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“Dear Diary…” Pole Fitness at Studio Soiree. Week 1.

June 27, 2010

Studio Soiree

Hearing that we would be attending a pole fitness studio, we were very excited, but also had no idea what to expect.  Any time we had ever heard the subject of pole fitness classes brought up in a group conversation, there was usually one woman who quickly dismissed the idea.  For one reason or another, some women are quick to judge the very notion of a pole fitness class as being an unrealistic form of exercise.  Throughout the course of my experience with Studio Soiree I know that I will be able to prove those nay-sayers wrong.  One of the great things about Studio Soiree is the wide array of services they have to offer.  If you are just looking for some new techniques to use on your significant other, Soiree will definitely provide you with the necessary confidence and choreography.  If you are looking for a serious workout, Studio Soirees’ experienced instructors will work you out harder than you ever thought possible.

Jesse.  “Dear Diary… Week 1

February 17, 2010

Tonight I experienced the Intro to Pole class taught by Sarita.  I loved this class! I genuinely learned something brand new and have also satisfied that curiosity that I have always had about pole fitness.  Let us address the most obvious aspect of pole fitness. We all know where the exercises come from, right?  No, the classes do not involve naked women running around doing explicit things. No, the poles are not filthy and grimy.  They are clean and sterile.  Everybody who attended wore the exact same types of clothes they would wear to a gym (except that we were bare-footed… gasp!!)   I would challenge anybody reading this to dare to experience pole fitness. You will realize how much fun it is and what a great workout it is.

When I walked into the room I noticed the array of age differences.  I was happy to see girls my age along with middle-aged women who wanted to see what it was all about and who wanted to show their husbands what they learned.  We started the class by stretching and grabbing workout mats to sit on.  We then sat Indian style on the floor with our feet cupping the pole and our hands grasping the pole above our heads.  We then pulled our bodies up off the floor repeatedly to get the muscles in our arms warmed up for the hard work ahead.  We also sat on our knees and would pull ourselves up off the ground, to rotate our legs around, to end up sitting on our butts – without letting our feet touch the ground.

We were to keep in mind which arm/leg was outside to the pole and which was inside; otherwise things could have gotten messy.  We started our strut about the pole with one arm gripping the pole above the head.  You are always supposed to walk on your tippy-toes and you should never just let your outside arm just dangle like a dead fish to the side.  You should either bend it at the elbow and place the back of the hand on the lower back, or you can get creative and play with your hair or “follow the lines of your body” (my favorite).

We then progressed into learning some spins.  The first spin that we learned was the Fireman Spin, next spin is called the Sunwheel Spin, and the final spin we learned today was called the Side Spin.  While the previous spins were all spins with the woman facing the bar, the Side Spin requires you to keep your body sideways to the bar.  You start your strut around the pole and step on your inside foot, you then let your body weight fall forward and use the momentum to spin around with your legs tucked up under you.  Your outside arm is pushing against the pole and is what is keeping your body from turning and falling into the pole.  This spin really worked my latissimus dorsi muscles.

Let me just say that my arms are so sore already.  I’m excited to learn as much as I can and to hopefully gain a new talent along the way.

February 18, 2010

Today I attended a Beginner Core Pole Fitness class, taught by Kim.  One thing I want to point out about these classes is that no one is allowed to just sit in and watch these classes.  All classes are WOMEN ONLY, with the exception of the Core Pole fitness classes designed specifically for climbers and resistance training enthusiasts.

This class involved lots of mat work that focused on the abs and buttocks.  Once we finished with those exercises, we moved on to strengthening our core by practicing static holds on the pole.  I must have been brain-dead to not realize this before but when attending a Pole Fitness class, you have to allow your skin to become a fifth appendage (it is, after all, the largest organ on the body).  Many of the holds on the pole require you crossing your legs around the pole and squeezing your legs to hold yourself up.  We practiced climbing with our calves by squeezing our legs together.

Once again, I could not move my arms when I walked away from this class.

February 20, 2010

Today I attended a Tribal Belly Dancing class taught by Kairo.  Wow!  What a captivating teacher! She has such a carefree, joyful, energy about her.  It was so fun to be immersed in her teaching for the time I was there.  The main point that Kairo stressed about Tribal Belly Dancing was “it’s not about what you get; it’s about what you don’t get.” I spent the whole class trying to figure out what that meant, and I think the beauty of belly dancing is expressed after the move is performed and before the next one starts.  Kairo loves the female body in all its earthy forms.  She mentioned how important the fleshy part of the back and belly is to belly dancing.  The best movement is when the flesh “jiggles.” I don’t think you will ever hear that in any other fitness class.  How refreshing.

During the course of the class we learned three sets of hip circles.  The smaller circles required you to keep your heels together and to make a letter “D” with your hips; while the medium circles required your feet to be placed wider apart and placed greater emphasis on thrusting your hips out to the sides.  The larger circles are called “Gathering in the Harvest.”  It is called this because you bend over to the side and gather your arms up into your heart and then rise back up and extend your arms above your head.  This is supposed to symbolize gathering up all the good in your life and then releasing and sharing it with the world.

We then learned the art of snake arms.  Wow, these were so hard!  You are supposed to be so strong when you do this, all while making it look beautiful and fluid.  I had to keep giving my arms breaks because of how tired they were getting.  I learned from Kairo that in Middle Eastern cultures you are not supposed to flash your palms to anyone because it is more offensive than giving someone the finger.  So you are supposed to keep your palms always facing the sides, and your middle and thumb finger almost touching.  You are also not supposed to touch your hair or face while belly dancing because by doing so, you are letting men know that you are ready to “get busy” and that you are an easy woman.  You are however, supposed to draw attention to the eyes with your hands… So much to think about.

We finished the class by learning the techniques of belly rolling, which is what people usually think of when they think of Belly Dancing.  We learned to roll from up to down and from down to up.  These were so hard, but were really cool to learn.  I don’t think any of us figured out how to look as good as her, but it was sure fun trying.


Dear Diary…

I have to be honest. When I first learned that we were going to be taking classes at Studio Soiree, I had no idea what to expect. Except for a few friends who had been to bachelorette parties that included pole lessons, I didn’t know anyone who had taken any form of pole fitness.

On my first day at Soiree, I arrived a little early so that I would have time to meet with the founder, Lizz. Let me tell you something about Lizz; it’s apparent from the moment she introduces herself that she loves what she is doing. She seems to radiate positive energy! She fell in love with pole exercise when she discovered how well it worked in conjunction with the Yoga and Pilates she had been practicing for over ten years. She founded Studio Soiree in Sugarhouse two years ago and recently opened a second location in Draper.

Lizz started my first Soiree experience by giving me a tour of the Sugarhouse location. They have two studios where they hold classes. Studio A has 6 brass poles and 1 chrome spinning pole. Studio B has 12 brass poles. They also have a relaxation room equipped with floor cushions and stocked with books and magazines.

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