Adventures in Exercise

New to the Pole

At Verticality, two game interns learn proper booty-swishing technique.

By Erika Vazquez September 3, 2013

Today, I am walking like a fool. My legs will not respond properly and sitting down and standing up are events that I dread and avoid if possible.  Stairs are the bane of my existence.

The cause of my pain?

Recently I participated in a level one pole dancing class at Verticality Pole Fitness in Montrose, the first class of two in their $22 beginner's package.

I needed moral support for this venture. To attempt this feat alone would have been unthinkable, so I enlisted the company of my friend, Kate. We arrived early, as instructed, to fill out the paperwork, in case our pole efforts ended in injury. We felt this to be a solid possibility, as we watched the dancers in the class before ours and evaluated the reliability of the 13 poles secured floor to ceiling.

Before the actual pole dancing began, our instructor, Ricca Gentry, lead us, like a line of ducklings, in a lunge routine. After a few laps of lunges, I was already out of breath. I did not take this to be a good sign. 

Once the actual dancing began, it became clear that Kate and I were new to the pole. Other girls were level 3 or 4 pole dancers, returning to level 1 to perfect and practice the basics.

Ricca demonstrates her pole expertise.

Ricca gave us special attention, making sure we had some sort of grasp on the movements.

I particularly struggled with the step known as “Goddessing Up.” To Goddess Up you start with your back on the floor and your arms out. You then push up into a sitting position, pressing your hands into the floor while bringing them in toward your body, and lead up with your chest, the head coming up last.

A fellow student asked, “how do I do this if I don’t have a chest?”

Ricca replied, “I could do it even before I bought mine.”

Ricca taught us to reverse direction and do dips as we pranced in a tight radius around the pole.

The student on the pole next to me was not impressed with the smoothness of my motion. She leaned over and said “just swish your booty.” As though it were that easy.

Kate and I perfect our signature move.

My low point arrived when Ricca told us to slide down to the ground by extending one leg forward. This made no sense to me. Suddenly, I was the only student left standing since everyone else had successfully completed the move, even Kate. She smiled triumphantly up at me as I hurried to catch up with the class. I felt equal parts betrayal and embarrassment.

When the hour was up, Ricca made her way over to us. She told us she had seen way worse, and that we had done better than she had on her very first day of class.

I don’t know if I believe her, but I’m willing to give it another shot. The hour passed quickly, and my sore body is proof enough that it was a good workout.  


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