Pole Dancing: Not Your Average Workout…
Yes, you read the title of this blog post right: I’m talking about pole dancing. As in the activity where women spin, slide, climb, and perhaps even gyrate around a vertical pole, bolted to the floor, as a form of…
Well, entertainment, certainly. I mean, I know what you’re probably thinking: seedy strip club. Salivating men. Naked women hanging upside down. And yes, pole dancing has its place in many of “those kinds” of establishments around the country. But listen up, ladies: pole dancing is also gaining popularity as a form of exercise and a good ol’ boost of self-esteem. I didn’t believe it either. I had my doubts when my closest group of girlfriends wanted to take a one-hour pole dancing lesson a couple of months ago. I hemmed and hawed. I made excuses. Finally I agreed, only because it was what the birthday girl wanted to do for her Big Day, and because I figured I could stand anything for an hour.
Guess what? It was actually a lot of fun. Here’s the thing: it’s HARD. You need a lot of upper body strength to lift yourself off the ground, let alone attempt any kind of swinging or spinning around the pole. You also need lower back strength, to get yourself up the pole once you’ve slid or spun or otherwise gotten yourself to the ground. You definitely need strong core muscles as well. You’d be surprised at how much your stomach and back muscles work in the simplest motions.
Finally, and most important, you need ATTITUDE. Yes, you’ll feel silly. Maybe somewhat self-conscious. Awkward and in pain, even (many of the girls were bruised the next day). But there are definitely moments when you feel sexy. That’s what it’s all about, really: feeling good about your body – whatever shape your body’s in – and showing it off. I don’t think women do enough of that. We become so busy with our jobs and our kids and our responsibilities at home that we put ourselves somewhere at the bottom of the list.
Two of my contemporary romance novels are releasing in audio book format this week, and both my heroines are in need of a shot of sexy self-esteem. Lost in Paradise’s Ashton spends most of her days dressed in baggy t-shirts and shorts, until her gorgeous downstairs neighbor, Eddie, peels them off to show her the desirable creature she is underneath. And One Night in Memphis’ Dakota travels hundreds of miles to flee a crazy ex-boyfriend…trying not to be noticed along the way. Quiet Ethan is the one who protects her, saves her, and then teaches her to stand up for herself, which is downright sexy in its own way. Hey, maybe in my next book, I should have my heroine take a pole dancing lesson or two…what do you think?
Here’s the thing: when you feel attractive, you feel better about yourself. You remember the woman you are behind all those other, everyday demands. It’s like wearing lacy undies or getting a pedicure – or yes, indulging in the reading or writing of a romance novel. In those moments we steal for ourselves, we can imagine that we are the strong, sexy, heroine in our own story – and isn’t that why we live and love in the first place?
So the next time you see an ad for a pole dancing lesson (or a lap dance or striptease) in your local paper, don’t just dismiss it! Call up your girlfriend – the one you can do anything with and not feel silly or embarrassed – and give it a try. You might just be pleasantly surprised. I bet you’ll laugh. I bet you’ll feel a little sore the next day. And you might even go back for more!
Allie Boniface is a romance novelist and high school English teacher living with her husband in the northern New York City suburbs. She’s had a soft spot for love stories and happy endings since the time she could read, and she’s been caught scribbling story ideas on scrap paper (when she should have been paying attention to something else) too many times to count. When she’s not writing, shoveling snow, or grading papers, she’s traveling the United States and Europe in search of sunshine, back roads, and the perfect little pub.
Visit Allie’s website at www.allieboniface.com to find out release dates and all the latest news, or hear what’s on her mind today at her blog, www.allieboniface.blogspot.com.