Pole Position

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Think pole dancing is only for the super fit or the super confident? Think again, pole dancing is the perfect addition to your exercise regime

Yoga Dublin’s pole fitness teacher Mich Piazza has been ‘poling’ for three years and apart from seeing her fitness increase, she’s also seen all of her no ways turn into ok thens. We picked her brains about why and how pole dancing can be used to get fitter

  • An hour’s pole class can burn between 300-400 calories. Plus, it’s so much fun that you’ll hardly notice that you’re exercising!
  • ]Your confidence will skyrocket, as will your overall flexibility and upper body strength. You’ll gain muscle without gaining bulk and again, have fun.
  • You’ll find yourself become part of the most supportive exercise community there is. Although pole dancing and pole fitness are huge worldwide, the pole community is a surprisingly tight-knit one. There are numerous closed Facebook groups where polers from all over the world swap ideas, post photos, ask questions and boost each other’s confidence. The pole community is one of friendship and encouragement. Negativity isn’t allowed and passing judgement isn’t tolerated.
  • You’ll find your grace, coordination, endurance, stamina, balance and agility vastly improve in a short space of time.
  • Anyone can pole! I’ve said this before, but it’s good to reiterate: pole is suitable for all ages, fitness levels and people of all shapes and sizes. Even men pole!
  • Pole fitness is taking the world by storm. There are numerous international competitions and Ireland itself hosts a few national pole competitions each year. There’s even a bid to make pole an Olympic sport!
  • Your pole practice can be tailored to suit your own preferences, abilities and strengths. It’s a wonderfully adaptable form of exercise. It can be as strength-focused or “dancey” as you want it to be.

Convinced yet?

Well is so, make sure to check out Mich’s list of dos and don’ts

  • Please do not wear any lotions or moisturisers! Grip on the pole is essential for being able to do the moves correctly and safely. Anything slippery is lethal! Likewise, do not wear any rings or necklaces. Rings will scratch the poles and pinch the fingers, which in turn will cause injuries, and necklaces will get in the way of your pole practice.
  • Be prepared to bruise. Bruises are part and parcel of pole fitness and largely unavoidable – I bruise like a peach, but tend to earn nearly as many bruises from the corner of my coffee table as I do from pole.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that you can move easily in. A fitted vest or t-shirt and 3/4 leggings are suitable for your first few classes, but eventually you will need to don shorts! As mentioned earlier, grip is essential. Skin contact with pole provides the “stick” you need to be able to perform various moves correctly and safely. If you’re experiencing “fear of shorts”, let me put your mind at ease by telling you about my shorts journey! I swore I’d never wear shorts and insisted that I’d only ever wear leggings. After a few classes I upgraded (downgraded?!) to ¾ leggings, then knee-length leggings that could be rolled up over my knees, then cycling shorts, then eventually I gave in and bought a pair of shorts. Now wearing shorts is perfectly normal to me and I throw them on without even thinking twice.
  • Shoes/runners are not suitable for pole. Bare feet are best, but some for some moves, such as pirouettes, you might want to wear foot coverings in the form of half ballet slippers or “foot thongs” (which you can find in dance shops).
  • Bring a small towel and plenty of water! Some people like to bring a small notepad with a pen so they can take notes and write down the names of moves and any short sequences/choreographies that we do. But this is entirely a personal preference.

Mich Piazza’s next pole fitness courses starts Thursday, 1 June in Yoga Dublin Dundrum

Priced at €100 for six weeks, check out Yoga Dublin for more information