Sweat shop style: checking in with ‘Pole Sinsations’
As I buckle the clear, plastic ankle wraps on the bubble-gum pink, six-inch platform heels and the sultry, pulsating notes of Nine-Inch-Nails start pounding through the speakers hidden around the room, I whisper a quick prayer that I don’t break an ankle doing what I’m about to do.
I strut out seductively (I hope) across the hard-wood floor toward the glistening gold pole in the center of the room. Timing my last step to place my right foot at the base of the pole, I grab it with my right hand, turn to face the pole, hook my left ankle around it and fall into “The Fireman” spin – knees wrapped around the pole as I slide down, hit the floor and start dancin’.
Amateur night in Vegas after too many cocktails? Not this time. Just a Tuesday afternoon in San Diego at Pole Sinsations, one of the new boutiques popping up around the country that teach women (and men, I suppose, if you’re into that sort of thing) how to pole dance as a fun, challenging way to burn calories, tone up and lean down.
The unobtrusive studio offers free parking after six and is easy to find. Boasting five poles staggered through the room in front of floor length mirrors, Pole Sinsations is comfortable, private, and each student gets ample time to dance.
There were seven women in the Tuesday Intro class that I took with Michelle, a sweet, patient woman in her early 30s who also works as a clinical psychologist. Michelle doesn’t want me to use her last name, explaining that some people still attach a stigma to the innovative new workout, which, though inspired by exotic dancing, doesn’t actually advocate or teach one to strip as a profession. This negative association actually surprises me, a recent transplant from Los Angeles, where it would actually be a little weird if a single, hip girl in her 20s hadn’t taken a drunken spin around a pole at some point – be it a club on Sunset Blvd or a strategically placed column of some sort at your office Christmas party.
The hour-long intro class is $25.00, and I found it to be pretty comprehensive. We started with some yoga-esque stretching, moved into the actual pole work which definitely had me breaking a sweat as my inner Britney came out and got it on, did some “free-styling” with the lights down and the music up, and wrapped up with another yoga-esque stretching session as a cool down.
Pole Sinsations offers different levels of classes as your skill level increases, with the advanced level classes teaching awe-inspiring tricks that increase your upper body strength and flexibility. I left feeling satisfied with the level of work-out and eager to come back.
The deets: www.polesinsations.com 858.220.9414. 1965 5th Avenue, SD, 92101.