It sounds like the beginning of an awesome joke, but I assure you Toy with Mes that it is not. This really happened last week when my friend (we’ll call her The Rabbi because that’s what she is) and I decided to sign up for a Pole Dancing for Beginners class.
We were thinking of taking a yoga class or Chinese Aphrodisiac Cooking or AA or something but wound up with pole dancing. I’m not sure how it happened and it’s not something I’d normally do because I’m not really very dancy.
I mean, I can Turbo Jam like a motherfucker, but put me in a position where I have to do some actual dancing and well, um. No.
I took lots of dance classes when I was a little kid, and I don’t mind telling you that I thought I was pretty talented. I practiced ballet, tap, and jazz like a pageant kid on crack until one day I overheard my mom ask my teacher how I was doing. The teacher was all “oh, you know. She’s doing…fine.”
I was crushed.
I was expecting her to say “your daughter’s got some real talent, Mrs. Crissy! She’s really quite something. We’ve been thinking of moving her up to the advanced classes!” But no.
That early trauma has sort of colored my dancing self-esteem ever since.
Fast forward thirty years (holy shit!) to last week, and I find myself in an old re-purposed mill building at a dance studio admiring the gleaming hardwoods, sky high ceilings, and velvety curtains. I got a little nauseous looking up at the ceiling with women’s names written in marker at the tippy top of the stripper poles. The name “Crissy” was up there and I was like, “well, I can just go home now because my name is already up there” and I headed for the door, but The Rabbi wouldn’t let me leave.
The place was absolutely gorgeous and the staff was friendly, but I wasn’t so sure how this was going to go down due to my not dancyness and everything, PLUS it was the first day of an unusually heavy period (sorry boy Toy with Mes, but the ladies know how critical this piece of information is to the story) so I was wearing 5 lbs of bloat, had hideous fatigue, and was wearing a Diva Cup. Donning my tightest clothes and shortest shorts in a room full of mirrors and humping a stripper pole? Sounded as enticing as running down the street naked with a bucket over my head, but there I was.
Our teacher is quite possibly the most muscular woman I’ve ever seen. She’s totally diesel. She’s got big but- not- too -big fake boobies and the most gorgeous ass. I just wanted to ask if I could touch her. And to top off the super sexyness, she’s got a Jamaican-British accent. It was hard for me to look at myself in the myriad of mirrors because the comparison between her muscular brown body twisting around the pole in perfect control to my bloated pasty one with arms flailing and legs akimbo? Harsh, you guys.
As soon as we started the warm-ups, I knew I was completely fucked. Our teacher simply hopped up, grabbed the pole above her head, and began lifting herself up and down without touching the ground. She was basically doing sets of pull-ups. I could not do this. I could grab the pole, but the lifting was so not happening.
And then it came time to do a headstand with our backs against the pole and she just went “jooop!” right up against the it like it ain’t no big thang and the rest of us were just standing there, bent in half with our asses in the air looking at each other like, “no, no, nononononononono. I’m not doing that.” I panicked because I feared what would happen to my Diva Cup when I stood on my head. Would it spill and go back into my body and come out of my eyes or something?
But she made me do it! I was totally freaked out, but incidentally I did not bleed out of my eyes. I might be late for class next time just so I don’t have to do that bullshit again. Upside down is scary–I’m going to break my neck, I can just tell.
After the warm ups it was finally time to dance. She started off with a little Sade because it’s slow and sexy and then all of a sudden it was Lords of Acid and holy shit why are we flying in the air already?
Around and around the pole we went. We went forwards, we went backwards, we hooked one leg around the pole, we hooked two legs around the pole, we kicked, we spun, we dropped it like it’s hot and before I knew it, the class was over and I couldn’t feel my arms anymore.
It was really, really, fun you guys. Fun, but hard. My arms were exhausted, and I have bruises on my ribs and legs because those spots make a lot of contact with the pole and they take quite a beating–especially when you’re a clumsy fuck like me and you sort of just smash into the thing instead of like, make sweet love to it or whatever like you’re supposed to.
Remember that scene with the fire pole from Bridget Jones Diary? It was a lot like that except I really could have used a helmet. I might bring one next time. They do that, right? Strippers? They wear helmets sometimes don’t they?
The next morning I couldn’t pull my pants up because my arms were so wrecked. As I sat with incredibly deep and pervasive muscle soreness I realized that pole dancing is a lot less about sex and a lot more about gymnastics than I used to think.
I’ve got five more classes, and guess what? There’s a recital at the end! Don’t worry–Ken has already started preparing for the videography.
Anybody got a DIY pole kit they need reviewed? I’m gonna need to practice.