Tracy ran us through some basics. My favorite tip was to treat the pole like your dance partner—pull it, push it, use it for resistance.
With that, we learned a routine consisting of a head roll-twirl-grind-drop-spin sequence, all while strutting around our partners. My crowning moment was managing to hang from the pole and spin around it with neither foot touching the ground. The music was groovy and grindy and helped set the mood. Every time it was my group’s turn, I hoped the playlist would land on Eminen.
Fun as all this was, I’ll admit that it did little to raise my heart rate or work up a sweat. That is, until Tracy announced that the finishing move of our routine would be to climb—caterpillar-style—to the top of the pole. My feet started to sweat. I never could climb to the top of the rope in gym class. I could still get up only with boosts from Tracy, but it was exhilarating.
My new goal is to make it to the top solo. I hope I can do it in the next five classes because that is how many I signed up for. Tracy promised after just a few sessions we would all be climbing like Spider-Man.
I can see pole classes joining my exercise schedule, along with ballet, yoga, Zumba, and masala bhangra, especially if all that hanging and climbing keeps making me feel sore in muscles of my shoulders and chest I didn’t know were there. Despite my soreness, when I got inside a subway car to go home, I had the urge to walk up to a pole and take a partner by the hand.