Learn how to pole dance
An Aussie wanted to swing like the gals at Scores, so we hooked her up with a private booty-busting lesson.
Tue Sep 15 2009
I’m an Aussie girl living in New York, and I really want to learn how to pole dance because it’s such an amazing workout. I want to have guns like Linda Hamilton in Terminator and moves like Linda Lovelace. Who knows? If it all goes well, maybe I could install a pole in my East Village apartment. I could get really good and learn how to cook dinner while hanging from the pole!
Thanks for your consideration, Alison Mayfield
Alison Mayfield is an adorably tiny 32-year-old who stays fit by running and with Thai boxing, but she’s looking for some additional body firming. “Pole dancers have amazing bodies,” she says wistfully. So we booked her a 60-minute lesson taught by trainer and former dance instructor, Kimberly Domke at Smart Workout (124 E 40th St between Park and Lexington Aves, suite 603; 212-661-1660, smartworkout.net). The two warm up with a combination of stretching and yoga. “Flexibility isn’t a necessity,” says Domke, “but it will help you look more graceful.”
1 Mayfield’s abs are already burning, but it’s time to tackle the pole. “Start with a slinky walk toward the pole; turn around so your back is against it and slide down to the ground,” Domke says while gracefully demonstrating. Mayfield mimics her and is then instructed to add another step: “Lift one leg while you slide down, and then fall to your elbows.” Some open-leg fan kicks are added to the routine, and Domke teaches Mayfield how to get back on her feet...sexily. Mayfield has no problem standing up but says pulling off the sexy part is hard. “Sexy, sexy, sexy,” she chants as she tiptoes toward the pole. “I don’t know why I say it instead of actually doing it!”
2 They go through the first half of the routine a few times and move on to spinning around the pole. “Put your hands really high and use your arms to firmly support you,” Domke says as she does it perfectly. “You don’t want your shoulders to elevate.” Sadly, Mayfield’s not so good at this part; with each spin she only rotates a quarter of the way around the pole. She tries a few dozen times before admitting that she’s getting dizzy.
3 Once Mayfield regains her equilibrium, it’s time to climb the pole. “Imagine you’re stepping on something solid,” Domke points out as she wraps her lower leg around the pole, pushes up and uses her arms for additional strength. Mayfield is a pro at climbing. She’s near the rafters in no time and even pauses at the top to ham it up for the camera. Since Mayfield’s advancing so quickly, Domke teaches her a move that she normally doesn’t show first-timers: a casual hands-free backward lean. “What do I do from here?” cries Mayfield once she’s upside down. Her trusty instructor helps her down, and the two commiserate about how sweaty they are. “Whatever, that makes it more sexy,” laughs Domke.
4 With a series of moves under Mayfield’s belt, they decide to take the routine from the top. Domke goes first and does it flawlessly. Mayfield’s performance takes a good five minutes longer because her movements lack fluidity, but Domke promises she’ll get better with time. “It was way harder than it looks,” Mayfield says. And a few days later she e-mails to tell us she is feeling sore and that she has “a bit of 'pole burn’ in between the thighs.” Now that’s sexy.
Wanna learn to do a backflip? Or run a five-minute mile? Send your fitness goals to email@example.com and we can help you get your ass in gear.
How Smart Workout works
Smart Workout is a members-only gym that specializes in personal training and small group classes (there are never more than five students), and offers more than 140 classes a week and more than 30 different types of classes. Want to learn to pole dance? Classes are every other Thursday, and a package of six one-day passes is available for $210. Or schedule a private two-hour lesson for you and up to 12 of your friends (no membership required) for $360.