by Kerri Mae Kiernan, Dragonfly Dance and Wellness
Tired of jogging and the same old exercise classes? Maybe it’s time to consider trying the new exercise trend of pole dancing. In August, Dragonfly Dance and Wellness in Eau Claire began offering classes in pole dancing.
Most of the participants have been women, but a few men have also participated. Kerri Mae Kiernan, who is one of the facilitators of the classes, says there are both beginning pole classes and more advanced classes. “Many of our beginner series have really taken off! Most students benefit from enrolling in a series where they can build their foundational skills each week.” If you’ve never tried pole dancing before or have not been exercising regularly, don’t worry, you can still sign up. “You don’t have to be fit to start pole dancing; you can use it to get fit!” she notes.
Each pole dancing class involves a warm-up to get everyone’s muscles ready for peak poses in class. Upbeat music is used that is easy to dance and move to. Each teacher has their own style, and, Kerri Mae notes, “you will find yourself using muscles you never knew you had!” A combination of choreography, aerobic conditioning, and fun floorwork give you a full body workout. Class always ends with stretching and a cool down.
But why pole dancing when you consider all the other exercise choices? Kerri Mae explains:
“Pole fitness is a fun and challenging workout that builds total body strength, and while it may at first be challenging, it is empowering to find yourself growing your skills (and biceps!) as you stick with it. Many women find pole fitness to be very enjoyable for self-expression and for building confidence.”
Jene Luciani, in her article “8 Reasons You Need to Try Pole Fitness” says it’s an opportunity to role play as you exercise, and that attracts women who want something new for their workouts. Another reason is the camaraderie involved. “Women who take the classes together create great friendships while bonding over the fun of pole dancing,” she says. Many who have done pole fitness find its rewards go beyond exercise benefits. “It builds confidence and improves body image and the ability to tackle other seemingly out of reach goals in life,” she says. “This confidence inevitably blends into other areas of your life, including relationships.”1
While the pole dancing classes are fitness classes, Kerrie Mae wants to stress that it is dancing and it’s fun! “Instead of gym shorts and t-shirts, most of the women wear pole dancing clothing. Many beginners do at first come in pants and a t-shirt but soon find out that actually having shorts is helpful as your skin helps you stick to the pole. You will find yourself learning fun and sexy dance moves to help you break a sweat. That’s why pole fitness and dance is fun—because it makes you feel sexy too! Whether it’s just the dance moves or your cute, new little booty shorts. Sometimes we wear heels too! Now that’s a real challenge!”
All the pole fitness instructors at Dragonfly Dance and Wellness have been trained and certified through the accredited XPERT Pole Fitness teacher training. These teachers are also experienced in many circus/flow arts such as hooping, lyra, silks, acro yoga, and fire spinning and have been performing for local events within the community for several years as troupe members of the Torch Sisters.
Follow Dragonfly Dance and Wellness on Facebook and like their pole fitness page “Dragonflyers” to find information about special events and new series starting every four or six weeks!
1. Luciani, Jene. “8 Reasons You Need to Try Pole Fitness,” Shape. www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-reasons-you-need-try-pole-fitness.