There are lots of fun ways to work out in LA, from hikes with stunning views to (mostly) free yoga and circuit training. But if you're looking to really spice up your sweat sessions, take a page from—well, exotic dancers. Hear us out: These ladies perform feats on the pole that many of the city's most storied athletes would never attempt. And you can too, with our list of the best pole dancing classes in LA. Leave the lingerie and sex shop jokes at home and arrive ready to work; your bod (not to mention your mojo) will thank you.
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LA's top pole dancing classes
Don't let the gaggles of toned, scantily-clad babes tooling around BeSpun intimidate you—let them inspire you. This posh Hollywood pole dance studio not only sastifies the needs of ladies looking to make their fitness routines a little more interesting; it also prides itself on grooming champions. Athletes who've trained in the exotic sport of pole dance at BeSpun have gone onto to win dozens of competitions and awards: Just like soccer, there's a Pole World Cup, and BeSpun loves nothing more than to claim its finalists. Don't be scared, though—the studio openly welcomes beginners too, and offers a range of classes from pole dancing basics and all-level workouts to private lessons and pole parties. Get a taste of what goes on within the neon-lit studio by watching videos of their classes on their website.
Take this Santa Monica pole dance studio's name with a grain of salt. Owner and lead instructor Drea Roers opened The Pole Garage as an intimate five-pole space designed for women to explore "their inner fire" from six feet in the air, wearing seven-inch stilletos. Not your average fitness center (or, um, garage), the cozy studio's babely instructors are well trained to pass on their sensual skills in pole dance, striptease and lap dance, firming your buns and thighs, while making you feel like you're worth ten thousand dollars a shift. Classes for both first timers and expert dancers are available, as well as private lessons, parties and workshops. Sessions conveniently take place at night on weekdays and during the day on weekends, giving Westsiders no excuse not to sneak a little sass into their weekly schedules.
Fitness with a dollop of spice is the game at this all-inclusive pole dance studio on Ventura Boulevard. Any woman who's ever experienced even a twinge of curiosity about suspending from a steel pole is welcome at Metamorphosis: Mind, Body & Pole, where the philosophy is to help ladies of all sizes and skill levels "rediscover and reconnect with the power of sensuality." Fitness classes range from beginner pole (stationary and spinning) to aerial silks and bellydancing. Sign up for a $20 single class for first time students or spring for a two-month package of unlimited studio access ($390). Private parties are also welcome—for those of you who like to get frisky with your bachelorette soiree ideas.
Ditch the profound inadequacy you experience at your neighborhood gym, and replace it with the sense of confidence and community that can only come from exercise that doesn't feel like exercise. This Culver City pole dance studio offers just that—in the form of fitness classes in pole dance, striptease, stiletto "vixen" cardio, bedroom teasing, twerking (yes, twerking) and more. Beyond providing a well-rounded workout, Secret Pole Dance Studio's goal is to instill a sense of sensuality and self-love in its students, regardless of age, size or experience level. Curious? Take advantage of the studio's new student discount rates and monthly packages.
Lusciousness is taken very seriously at this NoHo pole dance studio, which offers an eyebrow-raising roster of classes, from all-level exotic dance to a "pole fitness bootcamp" and private crash courses in burlesque. Studio owner Heather West founded Luscious Maven on the concept of "feeling juicy, divine, succulent and inspired in our everyday lives." Can't argue with that tasty logic, we guess. The studio itself features six 14-foot high dance poles, which serve as imposing centerpieces within the suede-clad, mirrored walls. In addition to the myriad of classes (all taught by experienced instructors whose names are as mesmerizing as their moves), Luscious Maven hosts a slew of events from costumed holiday parties to live performances. Challenge your glutes to a $20 first timer class—if for no other reason than the excuse to splurge on a pair of those notorious seven-inch platforms, available for purchase in the studio lobby.
Valley girls looking to spice up their workout should strap on a skin-tight ensemble and make a beeline to this Canoga Park fitness studio. Owned and operated by 2013's US National Pole Dance Champion (in addition to a slew of other saucy titles), the Vertitude offers an exotic pu pu platter of classes, from pole dancing, burlesque and Buti Yoga to aerial hoop and aerial tissu (we have no idea what that is). Each workshop reflects the studio's MO and namesake of "vertical attitude," inspiring strong, confident movement, whether you're scaling a stainless steel pole or dangling from silk ribbons. The Vertitude features a staff of highly decorated and wildly bendy instructors, who make use of the space's seven 14-foot spinning and stationary poles. The studio welcomes both beginners and advanced students. Cruise their rotating schedule of classes to find your match.
Getting in touch with your "inner sex goddess" while toning your caboose in under an hour is the one and only agenda at this Mid-City fitness studio, which specializes in all breeds of exotic dance. Allure was founded by Nicole "The Pole" Williams (you can't make this stuff up), whom you might recognize as the principal pole dancer in Rihanna's "Pour it Up" music video. Williams's philosophy promises that women of all shapes, sizes and experience levels can learn the art of exotic dance, and argues that "I have no upper body strength," "I'm too old," "I'm overweight" and "I'm not sexy," are not valid excuses. Alongside self-explanatory classes like pole dance and stripetease, the studio's other affordable offerings include tempting titles such as "Lyrical Seduction 101," "Booty Breakdown" and "Vixen-ology." Allure offers new student discounts on multi-class packages, as well as a titillating array of options for pole dance parties.
Jagged Vertical Dance & Fitness makes a very sophisticated argument for activities you'd normally associate with strip clubs and Cirque du Soleil. The West LA fitness studio offers a vast array classes for both men and women that combine dance, aerial work and fitness—examples include Aerial Yoga and "Poleography"—all of which cater to beginners and advanced students who have long since rejected the elliptical. A 1,266-square-foot dance floor, ten poles, two aerial hoops and six aerial hammocks only begin to describe the plethora exotic props found within JVDF's walls. Explore the studio's intriguing class offerings in more depth on the website.