LAUREN CARLTON: Two years ago, I had the opportunity to take a pole dancing class as part of a school project and I loved it. I don’t know why it took so long for me to get back into it, but I’m glad I did.
I took my first class at The Brass Ring, 2539 W. North Ave., in 2015 and because I had such a great experience, I decided to go back for this review. Before you jump in and start spinning, you have to take a “Pole Basics” class. At The Brass Ring, you must to take this class a minimum of three times before participating in the level one course.
Since I had already taken a class, I knew that upper body strength was important, so I worked out during the weeks leading up to this class, which ended up making the moves easier for me.
This was a basics class so you may not think you’d get into the technique behind the dance, but there was a good balance of warm up and beginner work, and by the end of the lesson, my feet were off the ground.
The class began with stretching and learning what’s called a “stripper push-up,” which is basically a body roll in and out of the Yoga pose known as “child’s pose.” After the warm up, you learn how to do proper body rolls, pelvis rolls and how to walk around your pole. The last 15 minutes of the class focus on learning how to “jump and sit” on the pole.
An important thing to note before you go: Wear short shorts to this class because in pole dancing exposed thighs are important. While this hurts momentarily, the payoff of the beautiful poses you can strike from halfway up a pole is truly amazing. If you like fitness, music and having fun, then you should take a pole dancing class.
KENDRAH VILLIESSE: I walked into The Brass Ring, an unmarked studio where men and women wrapped their bodies around poles in the middle of the room. Without touching their feet on the ground, they twisted their arms and legs, circling their bodies around the poles. Knowing in 10 minutes I was expected to do that was absolutely terrifying.
As someone who was the “awkward” dancer on the high school dance team, I could only imagine how uncomfortable I would look twirling around a pole. But I was wrong. The minute I grabbed the pole, all insecurities, doubts and negativity drifted away. It was empowering.
When you are circling around the pole, you don’t notice whether you look awkward. It doesn’t matter how tall or skinny you are because this class is a safe space for everyone. The focus is to be comfortable and get the proper technique.
Overall, the class felt like a dance workout. It takes a lot of upper body strength to be able to hold yourself up in the air on the pole. Proper technique is also needed to make sure you don’t injure yourself as well as to make the dancing entertaining and exciting.
This was a truly eye-opening experience. After taking this class, I feel more confident in my body and I have higher self-esteem.