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Everything You Need to Know Before Taking an Intro to Pole Dancing Class

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.

If you’re looking for fun ways to exercise and stay active, pole dancing is a fun way to incorporate physical exercise into your daily routine. Pole dancing can sound intimidating. Personally, to me it was fun, and is a great way to become a better dancer and feel more confident and sexier after every class. To ease the stigma around pole dancing and the negative nuances that coincide with its background, I signed up for a one time $30 Intro to Pole and Pole Foundations at Rise and Climb Fitness. Here is how it went!

Rise and Climb Fitness is located in a shopping center down Arlington Ave in Riverside, California. Upon entry, the studio is beautifully decorated with light brown wood flooring and a large burgundy curtain that separates the entrance from the dance room. Clients are encouraged to leave their shoes by the door, where you’ll find candy and cute welcome treats. Walking deeper into the space, the corner walls are decorated with yoga mats that can be purchased if needed, merchandise with Rise and Climb Fitness brand on them, and a small mini fridge with refreshments. The middle of the dance studio are six poles that face floor to ceiling mirrors. Each pole has a bell at the top that can be rang if dancers successfully make it up! My friend, Bri, was talented enough her first time taking the class to make it all the way. 

The instructor, Charlie, immediately greeted us with a bright smile, making us feel at home and comfortable. She guided us around the studio showing us where the alcohol to clean the poles are, where the clean rags were, where to place the dirty ones, and a cozy corner with a couch and a soft rug where clients can relax after a class near the locker area. The space was spotless and the shine on the floors sparkled. Wearing no shoes in the studio meant it was a clean space to do any floor dancing and movements. 

To begin, Charlie guided us through some stretching that engaged our hamstrings, back, and shoulders. We took the time to be fully warmed up before putting away our mats and moving on to the pole. The first drill we learned was lifting our feet in the air and supporting our weight with a pole in between our armpits and engaging our core. I attempted this many times and could not gracefully lift the second leg that supported my entire body weight in the air. Engaging your upper lats and core is the key. I, unfortunately, do not have previous experience strengthening muscle in this area and will therefore hit the gym aggressively now. The next drill we learned was a meticulous dance. We began by standing on our tippy toes with our right leg forward. Then using our right hand to reach high up and grab the pole. The second hand will then be placed near our waist. From there, we twirled our bodies counter clockwise, rotating our right hand around the pole and slowly moving into a lunge with the left leg low on the ground. Then, we moved our legs into a diamond shape with our back against the pole to twirl around the it, and then released both hands and slid to face down on the ground and popped a leg up. 

The description may sound more complicated than the actual dance movements we performed. However, I can truly say that I enjoyed myself and the challenge of trying something new. I recommend everyone sign up for a class and try pole dance yourself. It is an experience that allows you to test your flexibility and your strength. If you have the funds, I highly recommend signing up for the full month, which gives you three lessons a week for around $120 or more. 

At the end of the session, we were allowed to take a video of ourselves trying out the pole dance moves we just learned. Looking at my performance, I decided I would like to go back and perfect it, as I was not as graceful or elegant as the instructor herself. If you decide to take a pole dancing class, Rise and Climb is the perfect place to do it. Just take a yoga mat, a water bottle, and some athletic clothing to comfortably learn the movements. Pole dancing is a great way to build confidence and have fun while exercising. Try it out and take a friend. Have fun!

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Ashley Carranza

UC Riverside '24

Hello! My name is Ashley Carranza. I am a 5th Year Creative Writing major at UCR. I transferred from Compton College where I received two Associate Degrees in Biological and Physical Sciences, and Physics. I originally dreamed of becoming a dermatologist or psychiatrist my first year at UCR in 2021, but fell in love with writing in my first creative writing class. I was a Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology student , but after my second year at UCR, I changed my major to Creative Writing in pursuit of a writing career and education. I love to talk about books and discuss different styles of writing. I plan on applying to graduate school to receive an MFA in Creative Writing at UCR. I would love to teach others about writing and the amazing world of fiction we can create once we dive into a book. I love to read cozy mystery books, thrillers, and romance novels. I enjoy writing at coffee shops while sipping seven dollar coffee. I hope to one day write my own thriller and romance books. I love to hike and go to the gym. Topics I love to read and write about are dating, relationships, school, health, and education.