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The Workout Diaries: Fad #4, Pole Dancing

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POLE DANCING
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In the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love, Ryan Gosling tells Steve Carell that the war of the sexes is over and men claimed victory the moment women started taking pole dancing fitness classes. Ryan Gosling has never seen this gal pole dance.

When I decided to start writing this column, pole dancing was the first and foremost workout that I wanted to try. I enjoy a good night out at a club and might have even won a dance-off or two. So, yea I like to think that I can dance. I always figured that placed in front of a pole, I'd do better than alright.

I'm back at Brass Vixens for this class. Owner and instructor Shannon is once again at the front of the room, closest to the mirror to lead me through the embarrassment that is to come.

I enter the class already at a disadvantage. Instead of cheeky, sexy shorts, I'm in baggy not-hot grey sweat pants. They sag in the butt and that's just going to have to suffice. My hair isn't wild and Whip-It-Back-And-Forth worthy but instead in a messy ponytail with short pieces sticking out. The most glaring of differences between myself and the reoccurring clients is that I'm barefoot. Even the other newbie has worn wedged heels.

What you'll need: A tank top, shorts and heels (they're optional but you'll spend the whole class on the balls of your feet anyway so why not try to feel sexier?)

Contrary to my initial beliefs, all the work is not done on a pole. We start the class on the floor with super soft foam mats to warm up. Leg stretches, arm stretches, sexy planking, sexy bicycle legs...it's all pretty intense and painful. Especially planking, which I do half-assedly and Shannon totally takes notice.

Once we move onto the pole, it just goes downhill. Not the class...my sex appeal. We dance around it, body wave on it, slide down it and even pull ourselves up to swing around it. I don't know if it's the fact that the pole can't dance back or if I'm just uncoordinated but the girl in the mirror is dancing mechanically and with no rhythm.

Here's a short snippet of my inner thoughts:

11 a.m. -- Great start. Everyone is taller than me and already sexier. Ugh!

11:02 -- This mat is so squishy! I feel like I'll hate its existence soon though.

11:10 -- OWWW. That burning, tingly feeling in my shoulder is pure, unadulterated evil.

11:15 -- I'm pretty sure V-shaped legs in the air would look a lot better if my knees weren't bent and shaking.

11:18 -- Finally! Let's get on the pole!

11:22 -- Nope. Off the pole, off the pole, off the pole.

11:30 -- Oh my god. Is the music weird or can I just not find a groove? Look away!

11:35 -- Weird. My body is sliding down the pole but my hands are staying put up there. Weird and painful.

11:45 -- This whirling around the pole move really isn't working out. The bar keeps getting in the way of my limbs.

11:50 -- Putting it all together in a dance is simple enough. Making it look hot and like something people would pay for is a completely different story. Ouch! Pole.

End Result: I feel way less sexy than when I walked in and I'm kind of doubting myself as a dancer. But I feel good and stretched. And slightly bruised on the shins that had continual contact with the pole.

Effort: A lot, actually. Not to the point that you'll be out of breath like you would with a spin class but you'll definitely feel all the work you did radiating in your legs and arms. Especially the next day.

Return Trip?: For the first time in this series, no. This workout was just not for me. I'm nothing close to a prude and yet felt extremely uncomfortable having to gyrate and spank my own tush in front of an audience. One who isn't tipping at least.

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