It’s Not About Stripping...

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

On behalf of all my fellow #poleaddicts , I felt it was time to clear up many of the misconceptions many have about #polefitness.

No ,“Polers” are not working on a Plan B, in case we lose our current occupation. No, we are not #wannabe #strippers . No, we are not planning to #moonlight at the nearest strip club to pick up extra cash.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that!! I am not here to bash strippers. After all, who brought us this beautiful sport? There would never be Pole Fitness if there had never been Pole dancers. Still I wanted to shed some light as to what Pole Fitness is all about. At my age, I have no plans of auditioning at Scarlett's!

Polers are # fitness mavens whose goals are to build full body strength , while building confidence . Below is a great article that shows how the Pole has been utilized throughout generations.

You can not understand the feeling of empowerment once you've mastered a #poletrick. In the words of the great Greta Pontarelli, a world champion, 67 year old Pole Dancer, "you can lift weights , or you can lift your body"My sentiments exactly. Take it from someone who has tried every form of exercise. The two "P"s- Pilates and Pole , are the only workouts that have held my interest.

Watch the below video. You will be amazed!

Greta Pontarelli -Age 67 and still Poling! Amazing! #goals

Growing up as a MODERN Orthodox Jew in a very tight knit community in Brooklyn , I know all about judgmental people . Sadly they are not the only culprits. Imagine someone who claims to be progressive, questioning your religious beliefs and practices because your choice of fitness uses the Pole as a prop ? We do not practice on the Pole naked . We wear shorts and a sports bra for one reason and one reason only. “Skin on Pole “.

Anyone who has ever taken a Pole Class will understand the importance of this . If you do not have skin contact with the Pole, you will slide right off. No Bueno!

If I post a picture of myself on the Pole , it’s not because I’m applying for a job at #eleven or #cheetahs.

Look , I made it to the Pole Felony Fitness Instagram page! I was shocked my my #remisit looks damn good. It looks easier than it is! #feeltheburn !

I made it to the Pole Felony Fitness Instagram!

I like to share because I’m very proud when I master a trick . Especially when just weeks before it seemed impossible. I often tell my teacher when she shows me a trick that she’s about to teach me, “are you crazy , do you know how old I am ?”. I am 51 BTW. My teacher is patient , and will always encourage me . Sometimes just a slight tweak in form and voila ... I‘m doing what had seemed impossible!

Much of these preconceived notions come from ignorance. Surprisingly most of the negative comments come from women . I’d almost expect a pole wisecrack to come from one of my male buddies . Oddly enough, my male friends have been more supportive of my Pole obsession, and get the fact that is just another form of fitness that happens to implement the Pole as a prop. THEIR wisecracks are all in good fun.

I had been disappointed by the judgmental comments made by women who were supposedly open minded . I always felt that women should be building each other up rather than tearing other women down. Then it dawned on me . It wasn’t just ignorance, it was jealousy, coming from women who were unhappy in their own lives . I started to feel sorry for any person who can only make themselves feel better when they are putting someone else down . That was never my thing. I'm writing this blog for a few reasons . I am here to #empower women of all shapes and sizes . I am not even close to being a #fitness model . I‘m just a regular girl , fighting the #battleofthebulge . I have come a long way but there is always room for improvement. Many have said to me , wow so impressive, I don't have the strength to do Pole. Guess what .. neither did I when I started. Pole Fitness has given me the confidence I never had before . I see changes in my body , such as definition in my arms which make me feel strong . I have a long way to go . I am a work in progress but I will get there and you can too.

Another reason for writing this is to clear up the misconceptions and ignorance of some #haters. I’m aware that some haters are gonna hate regardless of the facts, but some may see the light and maybe even get on the Pole !

Let’s begin at the beginning so that I may explain how I got addicted to the Pole, and how this hobby has benefited me in so many ways.

It started as a joke. I used to #dance at #dancesport in NYC on 34th street . I was sitting with a friend who told me she started taking #polefitness at a studio in her neighborhood. She was actually whispering this to me , fearing what someone might think of her because of her new found hobby. At the time , I was a member of #crunchfitness. I was looking over the schedule and I saw they offered Pole Class so since I’m a little crazy , and will try anything once I signed up . The first class I could barely do anything . I could not get a grip on the Pole with my sweaty hands . The next day, every part of my body was sore . Hmmm, I must have been working muscles I didn’t know I had since with all the classes I had done , I never experienced such #charliehorse. So i continued , purchased #dryhands which helped with my grip and slowly I built up strength to do tricks I never imagined I’d be able to do .

The problem with Crunch was that the classes were too big . While the teachers were excellent, there was only one teacher for 20-30 students . One teacher has since opened up her own studio. I highly recommend her .

Kyra taught a private birthday class I organized with my friends as they were also concerned about my stripping aspirations. After one Pole class they got the real picture !

You must always have someone spot you when learning a new trick . Trust me , I dislocated my shoulder, so I strongly advise finding a small class with an instructor you trust . Since I was hooked , a dislocated shoulder didn’t stop me .

I went through #physicaltherapy. You can imagine the reaction I got when my therapist asked “ how did you dislocate your shoulder? It was good for a laugh for sure but he was great . As soon as he cleared me, I was back on the Pole . I was hooked . I got a standing ”O” when I returned to Crunch . The instructor couldn’t believe I had come back after that injury. It took a lot of time to regain my strength but I was determined . The therapist had taught me a lot about keeping your shoulders engaged while doing some moves. I did not want a repeat of THAT injury !

I started searching for an alternative Pole studio with smaller classes . I found #foxyfitness on a #groupon.

This studio was strictly for Pole Fitness . The owner and instructors have actually competed in Pole Competitions . Yes , it’s a thing and you will see Pole in the Olympics in the near future . #waitforit.

My teacher Yumi was excellent . I had complete trust in her to spot me when attempting new #poletricks. I really came back to pre-injury strength and then some . Yumiko is amazing and has competed in many Pole competitions. You will be amazed by what she can do . Her routines are so graceful. Hardly a stripper ! More like an acrobatic artist. You can follow her on Instagram

How beautiful is this pic of Yumiko?

As luck would have it, when I was finally advancing in Pole , I was offered a job in Miami . So along with finding a mover, a car , an apartment, new doctors, I HAD to find a Pole Class. One important thing to know was you have to “ use it or lose it“, meaning when you take time off from the Pole for whatever reason , you have to rebuild your strength in order to to the trucks . For this reason , I had to find a place quickly. I tried several dance studios which ultimately shut down . I tried one in Wynwood, Milan Pole Dance which was awful. Classes were too large . The instructor was one that I hated from a studio that closed . She had no patience and taught as though everyone should know how to do the trick . I did not trust her to spot me . Oh and did I mention, every girl in the class was 80lbs soaking wet. Yea if I only had to lift 80 lbs , Id be doing all those tricks in a heartbeat !

And then in happened . Again, thanks to #groupon I found my home .

Pole Felony Fitness !

I immediately felt comfortable there. The owner Nandee is an excellent instructor. There had been tricks that I could never master . Nandee would give me a slight adjustment and boom, i was doing it! She pushes me to the next level with her encouragement, but never to the point of risking injury. The atmosphere is non intimidating. I instantly bonded with my fellow #poleaddicts . We are a family , always trying to help one another master a trick , although I am usually the one who needs the most help! I can’t say enough about Nandee . She is simply fabulous and has trained many of her students to compete . Follow her on Instagram. You will be blown away by her talent and flexibility. My #polementor

Nandee is my idol. She is so strong and flexible #goals!

Imagine my surprise and pride when I showed up on the landing page of the studio's website!

YUP! That's me. Dedicated to #halloween..The "Spider"

OK, I know this was a long one but I’m very passionate about this . I hope my words have opened some eyes and some minds. Pole Fitness is catching on like wildfire . A friend of mine , who is a personal trainer mentioned that he’s always researching fitness and had noticed more and more Instagram pages of many talented “polers”. It’s a thing and it’s only getting bigger . There is even a Pole Bitmoji!

So what should you take away from this?

  • Pole Dancers are not wannabe strippers, they are women seeking strength through a different type of exercise.

  • Very important to choose a studio with small classes and a great instructor. Patience is key.

  • Size and age DO NOT MATTER! Anyone can Pole. Just keep at it. You will feel a sense of accomplishment with every trick you master! You will be surprised what your body can do.

  • Instead of judging strippers, be thankful they brought us this fabulous Pole sport 😀

  • Open your minds and find a Pole near you!

I can tell you is I will continue to practice and learn new Pole tricks as long as I’m physically able . There are older women who are amazing Pole dancers ! Greta Pontarelli is my inspiration! And then there's this:

Point those toes! Pole Tricks look so much prettier when the toes are pointed and of course, #followthetoes

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