Having a day off from work to be able to try new things is amazing! Now that it’s two weeks in a row of Try It: Fitness, Sunday is definitely my fun day.

Today I was off to Flying High Aerial Arts Studio to try my hand at pole dancing! And for good measure, add in a spilts class and a back & shoulders class. Because why just do one when you can do 3? Especially since two of the classes work on flexibility, something that I personally need to work on more. I have tried pole dancing once before about a year ago at another studio at another trial class, but never classes based on stretching and flexibility, so I was super keen to give those classes a go.

After a bit of a drive out to the studio (super grateful the studio was easy to find!), the pole trial class started. I seemed to be the only real newbie to the studio, as most of the other girls seemed super friendly towards each other. I am getting used to feeling like the odd one out with trying all these new classes, but the atmosphere at least bodes well for a positive environment week in week out. Tammy, our instructor for this class, started us off with a solid warm up that actually left me feeling prepped and ready to go. We then moved onto body rolls (something so simple, yet so sexy if done right) before getting into the really fun stuff… spins and holds on the pole!

I loved that we got right into being on the pole in the trial. It is a ton of fun swinging and spinning around on the pole, and this is just amplified when you know what you are doing. (Well, at least know a little knowledge.) I didn’t think I was going to be strong enough to hold the seated hold (gripping the pole between your thighs and with one foot) but I did it! And it was awesome! Tammy was supportive and a wealth of knowledge, giving each of us quick tips to make sure we succeed. It feels like such a confidence boost to get a trick, no wonder pole dance and fitness have become more popular. I also felt pretty graceful when we moved onto 3 point turns and knee spins, something I don’t really get in my daily life. So extra bonus there!

As long as you can keep your left’s and right’s straight (very important with placement) and be prepared to have new spots on your body hurt (my thighs burned in a way I didn’t think was possible!) I think pole dancing is a fun and exciting workout. So bring on more short shorts time!

After my pole trial, I moved upstairs for the splits and back & shoulder classes. Being as I don’t do enough stretching on my own, I was looking forward to getting 2 hours of stretching done. It was also pretty warm today (about 29 degrees) so I think I would have turned into a puddle if I did the kickboxing instead. Aleisha, the instructor for both classes, took us again through solid warm ups before moving us through an extensive stretching routine for the chosen part of the body. I have never realised how much I lack in hip flexibility until today! Needless to say, I still can’t do the splits, but I can see how continual practice under an instructor such as Aleisha would benefit anyone looking to achieve a flexibility goal. It is 100x better than watching a YouTube videos and I felt I made progress, even if it was small.

The back & shoulder class was tough (my hips were a bit sore by this point) but I loved how we ended on tricks, similar to the pole class. We did back bends (a personal favourite), chicken stands (very much needed help into this one) and bent back hand stands (didn’t quite get this one). I could feel that I still have a long way to go before I would look anything close to Cirque de Soliel, but it was really fun to actually see where I am at. Aleisha also teaches a contortion class for those who have mastered the basics in the flexibility classes, which allows students to keep progressing. All of these classes I would highly recommend, as most of us could really use the extra stretch time.

Overall, it was a blast of a day. Pole dancing is fun, a total confidence boost, and I can see how well it pairs with the stretching classes. Flying High Aerial Arts Studio was a supportive and encouraging environment, something I would look for in any studio I went to for classes. If you were looking into trying a class, I would say get out of your comfort zone and just do it! You might just amaze yourself at what you can do!

What should I try next?

Happy dancing!
-SB

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