Pole dancing’s popularity has skyrocketed recently. Certainly, the diminishing stigmas attached to the activity have helped open it up to more people. Nonetheless, a fair amount of confusion remains on what taking a pole dancing class actually entails. Alexis Romano, the owner of Body Soul and Pole, recently spoke with WellWell to settle the score by laying out the physical benefits of pole dancing and emphasizing the comradery of its community.
What’re some of the common misconceptions about pole dancing classes?
That it’s not about looks. That surprises some people. It’s really about empowering women and men to feel fully comfortable with themselves and not be judged by the way they look. Regardless of who you are or how you look, it’s a trusting and comfortable environment.
How do pole dancing classes support positive body image?
For women especially, we’re judged all the time on our looks—on our bodies—and I think that when women come together for a common goal, we are supporting and welcoming to everyone. Pole instructors tend to make everyone feel empowered to do simple moves right away. And they’re just encouraging their students to develop more challenging moves after they build strength. It becomes more than just taking a pole class.
Is the environment more positive and more encouraging than other dance environments that you’ve been involved in, such as ballet?
Absolutely. There’s no competition. Everybody’s supporting everyone, cheering everybody on. It’s much more positive.
Where does pole dancing rank as a legitimate exercise?
It’s seriously tough, many people leave with sore muscles, even bruises, to prove it. It’s a full-body workout.
Oh yeah. People always call and say “I don’t have the strength.” Well, you’re going to get the strength by taking the classes. We’ll get athletes, gymnasts or dancers and they’ll be wiped after the first class. You build upper body strength, incredible core, and even work the legs, quads and hamstrings. It’s a full-body workout, without a doubt. Gets the heart racing too.
A lot of the classes you offer have become popular for parties and events. What do you think it is about pole dancing that has caught up with crowd functions?
People are always looking for community and culture and Pole offers that. It’s obvious now more than ever with the COVID-19 crisis we’re going through. People don’t want to be isolated because community and culture are so important in life in general. They’ll connect virtually but it’s not the same as being in a physical environment with a group of women and men cheering each other on, just showing the love of community and culture. I really think it’s so important for people.
Do you offer online courses or have instructional videos for people who are stuck at home?
Yeah, absolutely. On our website, we have virtual classes Monday through Sunday. All of the instructors are trying to stick as possible to a schedule as close to what they were doing before. Some people have poles at home, some people don’t so we’re tweaking the classes to adapt to everyone. We’re doing our best to maintain the pole classes culture and community because we love it so much and we’re all missing it.
Do you have advice for people stuck at home for maintaining their well-being, whether it be exercising or maintaining a decent diet?
It’s unfortunate that liquor sales are at their all-time high. I see a 55-percent increase, which means people are stuffing their feelings, soaking with alcohol and poor choices in food and such. I’m always encouraging people to stay on some kind of structure during this time because, during a health crisis, you need your body to function at its ultimate peak ability.
But staying on a schedule right now is tough, especially since everyone has been dropped into this strange lockdown environment.
It is. But that is why it is so critical to be active. Movement is medicine. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t move. We can always find ways to move whether you’re with your children or you’re alone, there are always opportunities to get the heart rate up.
About Alexis Romano
Alexis Romano is a retired high school guidance counselor and educator of 21 years. She currently is a seven-figure income earner with her network marketing company. She is the owner and operator of Body, Soul and Pole.
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