My friend Sarah had a dinner party a few days ago, and although everything was beautiful (bright pink macaroons; a chocolate tart with a crazy-flaky crust; pollen-marinated, slow-cooked pulled pork… that I hardly even had to chew it was that tender), it was the stripper pole in the center of her living room that I couldn’t stop thinking about. People walked in and of course were compelled to say something snide or playfully disparaging about it.
An hour and a half later, a few glasses of wine later, there was practically a line for the disparaged pole, because whenever there’s a pole or slide or monkey bars…or anything that enables tipsy grown people to clamber over or down something or swing on something, they’re on all fours trying it. I kicked my legs over my head and held myself upside down—not graceful, but I was instantly hooked!
One week later, I found myself taking the “pole virgins” class at Body & Pole—a studio in Chelsea where they teach you to pole-dance and manage to give you a darned good workout at the same time. There’s a lot of keeping yourself suspended (upper-body strength!), a lot of swinging around the pole (exhilaration), and a lot of gyrating and tossing your hair around the way we all do occasionally when we’re alone and think we look great. The studio is light and airy and the floor is wood and the poles gleam because they are clean – even the gyrating is decidedly un-seedy, carried out to blaring hip-hop music like Rihanna’s "We Found Love." And it’s THE best total-body workout—and how cool is it to be able to do this, like lithe Sarah (pictured), at your next dinner party where there’s a pole in the living room.
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