As part of my ever evolving change challenge and vow to “get uncomfortable” every now and then, I decided to challenge said comfort zone last night and take an Intro to Pole class. After all, I took ballet, jazz, hip hop, and tap while growing up and danced almost my entire childhood- how hard could hanging around like a monkey on a vertical shower rod be?
1. Monkeys should not be underestimated. Hanging around like a monkey on a vertical shower rod is A LOT more difficult than it looks.
2. The vertical shower rod spins. You do not need to inform your instructor (or the class for that matter) that your pole is broken, or check your neighbors to see if hers is broken too. You also do not need to try to keep spinning it to see if it tightens up, because it won’t. They were actually designed that way. Oops.
3. “Centrifugal Force-” is the apparent outward force that draws a rotating body away from the center of rotation. It is caused by the inertia of the body as the body’s path is continually redirected.
4. English translation for those who are not physics majors…the more momentum used to enter a spin on the vertical shower rod, the faster said rod will spin…with you on it. Entering the spin quickly will result in you spinning faster than a dreidel.
5. Spinning like a dreidel can (and very likely will) result in motion sickness. Take Dramamine prior to spinning.
6. “When in doubt, stick it out.” – Dawn, Pole Dancing Instructor
7. There are “safe” and “unsafe” stilettos for pole dancing. I use to think all shoes with a heel over 5 inches that came to a point the size of an eraser tip were technically “unsafe,” but I was wrong.
8. “If you have skin, you will stick.” Luckily for me I have skin. The more skin showing, the better (for sticking reasons, obviously).
9. Size does not matter when it comes to this activity, it’s all about strength. I thought being thin would make holding my weight on the pole easy- buzz, wrong. I had some wonderfully curvy women next to me who spun like it was nobody’s business. You go girls.
10. Pole Dancing is HARD (pun intended). It is also a great workout.
After waiting for the world to stop spinning and successfully not losing anything I had eaten prior, I give the monkey-hanging-on-shower-rod experience two stilettos (safe ones) way up. My words of advice, hold on tight- you’re in for a wild ride.