Inspired by Tara-Karina’s videos, I have recently begun taking pole dancing classes here in NYC. I can truthfully say that I will NEVER look down on strippers, especially the ones that do complicated tricks – those ladies earn every penny they make and then some. The first class was so difficult that if I hadn’t had prior dance training (ballet, jazz, and bellydance) I would have been totally lost.
The first time I slid down the pole, I thought it was going to rub me raw. After the first couple of times you spin around it, it gets easier, but the initial burn is intense!
Also, spinning backwards is WAY harder than spinning forward! WTF!
There’s a real art to the transitions between tricks, when you’re doing floor work or getting back up for another twirl on the pole without looking robotic or stilted. We learned the ‘stripper push-up’, which helps you move from a laying position into an upright one, and how to undulate down the pole (this gets progressively more difficult as you reach the floor and need to rely on your core and legs to hold you up).
One of the neatest tricks is the handstand onto the pole. What you do is put your head right next to the pole, and then walk your body forward until your back touches the pole. Then you swing your legs up, clasp the pole with your thighs, and then pull your upper body up and grasp the pole with your hands.
From talking to my fellow students, it seems like pole dancing has a pretty fast learning curve. Some have dance backgrounds (one is a cast member of Annie!) but some don’t, and a lot of the girls who’re doing the intricate pole work have only been studying pole dancing for 6-12 months. My intimidatingly gorgeous and buff instructor has only been pole dancing for four years!
I’ve GOT to get more upper body strength for this – you really do need to be strong, because you’re lifting yourself by your arms so much. Maybe I’ll finally get those cut, sexy arms I’ve been dying for since like 2004.