I tried the UCLU Pole Fitness Society and it wasn’t a complete disaster
Had the time of my life
As I enter the Lewis Building and pass the George Farha Café, heading upstairs towards the dance studio, I’m apprehensive about pole fitness. What if the pole falls down? What if I fall off it? What if the instructors think I’m an idiot?
I arrive to the 2pm Monday beginner session, and immediately I’m at ease. Led by instructor Renee Sprenger, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming from the off and I’m excited to get down to business.
My first session as a complete amateur begins with a warm-up session characterised by some effective stretching exercises – crucial, as we learnt, just like any other sport. We then moved onto some actual pole action.
There was quite a lot to take on board to begin with, but safety is of paramount importance and there are some top tips to stay safe up there.
Several things to keep in mind were the distance of one’s body with the pole, which arms were to push the body and which were to pull, and to keep leaning when circling the pole.
Renee breezily called it a “prettier way of conditioning”, but don’t be fooled, it takes a lot of work to get even the smallest detail right for the exercises. But from what I saw of the expertise on display, it seems well worth it when you can finally nail it.
I learnt it’s best to throw your inhibitions out of the window and get down to it, whether beginner, elementary or expert practitioner of dance moves, everyone has something new to learn and the society help every step of the way.
Joining in with fellow newfangled enthusiasts was a great help. I was particularly happy in getting a slight hang of one of the trickier moves, the fireman spin; a tiring but fruitful move.
Content with my ability to complete a fireman spin – if you don’t know what it is, it’s the classic move where you spin down and around the pole – I was finished with my first session. The pole community had been good to me, and I’d had a a terrific time, I celebrated with a hot shower for my surprisingly achey muscles.
Pole Fitness host multiple practice and open sessions for aspiring pole fitness fanatics of all experiences. The classes are small, and the atmosphere both relaxing and invigoratingly vibrant.
Luckily, as 2nd year classicist Ben Nabnian said, each difficult hurdle is not only good fun to leap past, but is accompanied with full support from ‘friendly, non-judgemental’ people.
Beginners need not worry about lack of experience, as the more advanced learners and Renee are always incredibly solicitous; although do come prepared with very, very short shorts for moves like the ‘fireman spin’.