Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Tonight was the 9th weekly pole dancing class I have attended over the past 2.5 months. After every session, we girls all walk away with exotic bruises, some with cramped or pulled muscles, or strained joints. We don’t look or feel particularly pretty or sexy after taking that kind of bashing.
Yet our classes are always filled with raucous laughter, and we keep coming back for more.
On Tuesdays nights, I find myself in the most pleasant company of other girls who are working hard to push back at their physical boundaries to achieve what could possibly be one of the most demanding and visually captivating of dance forms. I first came to know of pole dancing classes in KL sometime last year when one of the local dailies ran an article on them. Now I’ve finally made a firm enough decision to get started on learning it, and what an experience it has been!
There are spins, transitional sequences on the floor, kicks, and now at the Intermediate level we’re learning to take on ‘inverts’, which basically involve hoisting yourself up on the pole and performing moves while hanging upside down—most often with just your legs grasping the pole. My dance background, capoeira and yoga certainly gave me a fantastic advantage in terms of familiarity with movements and some strength. But the other girls who have been learning steadily for the past 6 months to a year are far better at climbing and sitting on the pole (my inner thighs still get sore!).
Pole dancing is (to me, at least) a celebration of what the female physique is capable of, and also our form. When executed with control and finesse, pole dancing is as beautiful to watch as ballet. I personally don’t like watching the youtube videos that ‘oversex’ pole dancing—I guess that’s just what most people expect of it, since it’s so closely related with prostitution. But the ones that showcase technique and the dancers’ gorgeous lines are a real treat.
My particular favourite is this girl:
Well, this is one new thing I am challenging my physical self with. Already my arms, shoulders and chest are showing signs of bulking up a little to keep up with classes. We are constantly reminded by our teacher, Nana, to keep stretching out our arms after we’re done practising a move, throughout our sessions. This is so we develop lean muscle, and not chunky ones.
Looking forward to my first performance! Not just yet, but I’m sure there’ll be ample opportunities coming this way.
Oh, and if you’re interested to find out more about the classes, visit Viva Vertical’s website for more information.