Pole Dance Your Way to Fitness

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.

Lose Weight with Highland Fitness’s Weight Loss Challenge

Highland Fitness, with three locations in the Chippewa Valley, has been involved with community weight loss programs and challenges for the past seven years. As we all know, January is the time for New Year’s resolutions, and many companies sponsor challenges to inspire folks to achieve their habit-changing resolutions. Since one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight (especially after the holidays), their weight loss challenges have proven popular.

This year, 2018, their second annual Eau Claire Weight Loss Challenge will take place. The challenge is open to the public, and all weigh-ins will be at the Eastridge Center location starting January 2 through January 5. All participants will receive a gift bag that includes a T-shirt, water bottle, and vendor coupons worth hundreds of dollars. The Early Bird Registration is open now through November for $20.

Participants will weigh in monthly.

During the challenge, Highland Fitness will host guest speakers, offer healthy recipes, and provide trainer tips. On February 10 their Healthy Heart Medley event will feature food, classes, training sessions, and massages—all of which will be open to the public!

Highland Fitness promotes weight loss, health, and fitness and supports the community by providing over $25,000 worth of prizes and auction items to benefit various area programs. At the Eastridge Center location there is a donation box to support the health and fitness programs of the local Boys and Girls Club.

“Get Fit & Lean in 2018”

1st Place Wins $1000

$20 Earlybird Special • Register Today!


Connecting with the Why: Achieving Lasting Change in Exercise and Nutrition

By Dave Hildebrandt, FitELITE, IGNITE, FE24 Fitness

Have you ever been on the roller coaster of exercise and nutrition and found yourself doing a particular program for a while and then fall off? Thousands of individuals do this every New Year. You set your intention to make this change, and it seems to fade just a few months later. We ALL strive for lasting change.

Well, the New Year is not yet here, and we don’t need the New Year to make a permanent change. That “someday is today.” Let me explain. I’ve been in the fitness industry going on twenty years. Lifestyle, health, and fitness is my passion—rather, helping individuals find their path to becoming the best they can be in all areas of life is what I truly set my intention for, why I do what I do.

Going back to lasting change, I truly believe change in anything you set out to do has to start with your mind. Your thoughts lead to decisions and decisions lead to actions. Many of us have set the goals to change that are more surface laden and not deep rooted and concrete. Over my twenty years, I have had many clients come to me and set the goal of weight loss. I truly honor this, but I challenge all of my clients to get more concrete and specific as to what they want and “WHY” they want their goal. I believe with absolute certainty you need to be specific about what you want and why you want it. Your goal has to be mapped out.

What is the key ingredient to lasting change? What will this specific weight loss do for you in your life? Will this weight loss bring you renewed energy to get down on the ground and play with your kids? Will this energy bring you the self-confidence that you may have been wanting for so long in your life? Will this weight loss give you the vitality to enjoy your retirement in the coming years? Answering these questions shows you how specific you need to be. What does it truly mean from deep within you to obtain the goal you are after? What is the internal (personally for you and you only) and external (for family or another external reason outside of you) meaning as to why you NEED and WANT to conquer the goal you set out to accomplish?

Once you established your “WHY,” make it a concrete statement and place the goal in front of you where you read it on a daily basis and as a constant reminder of the importance of conquering this goal to make it lasting. It is a constant reminder of how badly you truly want lasting change. Put it on your bathroom mirror, in your planner, your fridge, etc.

Just like nature has seasons of change, so does life. It is inevitable that you will encounter the winter and with it the trials will come, but you will have the power of your “WHY” to help guide you through to find the springtime and ultimately your lasting change. Truly anything and everything that leads to growth in your life comes through challenge.

So, the next time you set out to establish the next area in your life of personal development, take the time to reflect “WHY” it is so important to you. Make this “WHY” statement concrete, very specific, and get in depth within yourself to find the importance of conquering it for lasting change. Just like in the weight room, to make a muscle grow, you have to continually do repetitions just like we do in the personal development area of our minds. Read your “WHY” statement through daily repetition. You become what you focus on.