Ever since college, and we saw Jolin (the Taiwanese version of Britney) do it in her MV, HG and I have always been very intrigued by pole dancing. Not in the strip tease way, but by how incredibly cool Jolin looks effortlessly twirling and whirling on that pole as if she had wings, like a fairy.
So when I saw that our gym was offering members a 6-class pole dancing course at $360 HKD ($46 USD – it’s like Groupon cheap!), HG and I immediately signed up. Our instructor, Tessa (a competition winning pole dancer) is seriously impressive. She’s so fluid and elegant, it’s mesmerizing to watch (again, not in the creepy strip tease way, but the same way one is drawn to staring at art). In comparison, Jolin is clearly still a student.
I’m not sure what possessed us to think we can be fairies as well. I guess we figured that it was only a matter of the right instructions and learning, and we are nothing if not astute students. But alas, we forgot that some things simply cannot be learnt. We’ve just had our 4th lesson over the weekend, and so far we’ve tried an array of moves, from the figure 8, the body role, fireman, pretzel & single-leg pretzel, the carousel to the fan. Frankly, we’ve made a muck out of all of them. Our body simply does not move/work that way. The first time we tried to slide down the pole, we ended up a heap on the floor. When we tried to stay hooked onto the pole (hands off! it is all in the thigh and pelvic muscles), we didn’t even manage a second (let alone climb upwards, which is the next step). When we tried to follow her step by step instructions to do the body roll, we looked like we were trying to metamorphose. She even slides up the floor elegantly, while we struggle (it’s really more like a push up in disguise). Let’s not get into the carousel (the fairy-like swirl on the pole, where you are held up with one arm while your legs are elegantly sprawled out in 90 degree angles to your side). This one is like a single hand lift up, except you have to do it horizontally keeping your body off the floor. Needless to say, HG and I have no physical strength to perfect any of these, except maybe the head flick. So we just tried and had a good laugh.
It may not be an Olympic event (though if it were, I’m sure there would be a packed stadium), but it is most definitely a sport. The physical strength, stamina and agility that goes into perfecting the moves is nothing short ofwhat you’d expect of a gymnast.