POSTED ON APRIL 4, 2012:
The Hottest Workout in Town
Pole fitness: Spin class for the new millenium
Grab your high heels and leave your sneakers at home. That's what Erin Britton, aka Honey Daniels, did -- and she never looked back.
Before you jump to conclusions about how this must be some sort of stripper academy, let's set the record straight. Pole fitness is really both an art and a sport -- and it's not just for hussies. It is simultaneously beautiful and physically challenging in the vein of Cirque Du Soleil. "We almost refer to it as gymnastics for adults. It's kind of a fun mix of ballet and gymnastics and yoga, all in one," Honey said.
When she tells people what she does, she knows "they immediately assume that I'm hanging upside down in a g-string with dollar bills all over the place." To disprove that theory, she recommends Googling Felix Cane, Jenyne Butterfly or Estee Zakar. "It is just beauty. Some of the things these women can do 15 feet up, it is absolutely outstanding. So whenever someone starts to give me a little bit of hell about it, I kind of point them in that direction," she said.
Besides, Vixen Studio isn't all about the pole. They have about 15 different classes, including six levels of pole and everything from country step class to kickboxing. "We also offer zumba, yoga, hip hop, your normal abs and butt kinds of classes, a strengthening and conditioning class; we offer weighted hoop fitness," Honey said. "I fully believe in cross-training." Other adult-geared classes include cardio striptease, chair dance and burlesque. A lot of them have one major thing in common: Fun. Wouldn't you rather let loose in their Flashdancin' Fabulous ('80s cardio) class or bounce around in Cheerleader Boot Camp than count steps on the treadmill?
With so many choices, vixens are sure to avoid a workout rut. If you don't feel like doing kickboxing one day, take a spin around the pole. If you're not in the mood for a regular conditioning class, bust a move in hip hop.
Honey's favorite is pole, but she loves all of the classes at Vixen. "I get bored easily, so I like bouncing between all the different things... I love pole, obviously. I'm a big promoter of yoga." She said nothing gets you in touch with your body like yoga and it's great for your back.
If you are a "virgin vixen," pole level one is the best place to start. Even if you don't think you're the type of girl who would enjoy something like this, you might surprise yourself. I know because I tried it and had a blast.
"You can do spins [with] feet off the ground, day one -- and get comfortable in it," Honey said. "There are some girls who don't feel comfortable their very first day, but we just keep working with you and we'll kind of help you with some of the moves. But most girls by the third class are feet off the ground, swinging into it and having a lot of fun." Honey has seen women who haven't worked out in years really rock the pole.
Each class begins with 20-25 minutes of strength conditioning and warm-up, and even that part is playful. "We kind of force you into it. I'm going to make you do hair flips and... some little booty shakes," Honey said. "But it's fun."
At first, "people tend to be a little self-conscious, and a lot of pole is breaking you out of that comfort zone," she said. To help you with that, instructors turn up the lights when demonstrating a move, but dim them when it's your turn to try it. And they turn up the music, so you can just get lost in the movement. You end up focusing on yourself, just like in yoga, and not worrying about the girl next to you.
While in class, you're having so much fun it doesn't feel like exercise. You work little muscles you've never used before, along with your biceps, core, thighs, glutes and calves. "I've had some girls leave and say, 'It was a lot of fun, but I don't really know how I felt about it as a workout,'" Honey said. She replies with, "Let me know tomorrow how you feel." I was sore for days.
According to Honey, pole is all about "women feeling more confident in themselves and feeling sexier and feeling like they're more in shape." If you're not into that sort of thing, Vixen Studio has plenty of other classes to try.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A48468