It’s a taster session, they said.
You don’t need to be fit, they said.
There’s no pressure, they said.
When the first instruction was ‘as an icebreaker let’s split into groups and take turns to do handstands‘ I knew I was in trouble.
In the spirit of trying anything once, I joined a pole dancing taster session this week.
Here’s what I learnt….
1. You need to be flexible
Can you touch your toes? How about performing a pike and getting your forehead to lie comfortably atop your knees? No? Same, but everyone else can…
2. There’s no escape
Once those doors lock, there is no way out. They supply water; they have a toilet, they have thought of everything.
3. Beware the overachiever
It’s in the guise of a skinny blond girl who will say she’s never exercised before then perform a perfect backwards cartwheel ending in an eye-watering perfect split.
4. They wear short shorts
When the instructions tell you to wear shorts, they mean it. Don’t think you can get away with rolling your leggings up and shaving your shins. They will comment on this, and thanks to the lycra you will slip around the pole. Which brings me on to….
5. The pole – meet your arch nemesis
The pole is terrifying. It is metal and cold, until it gets hot, sweaty and slipperier than a Calippo. It hates ankles and spines and will bruise you in places you didn’t know you had.
6. Mirrors are not your friends
Just when you think you’ve got the hang of the downward daisy,* you catch your reflection in the mirrored walls (why?!) and realise you look more like a dung beetle trying desperately to right itself.
7. Do not fart on your instructor
It’s very easy to do, especially when you’re upside down in some sort of elegant-backward-crab-doing-a-handstand pose and your instructor helpfully pushes your stomach to help you straighten your back. I straightened, and instantly broke wind. Sorry, Lola*
8. How not to pole dance…
*probably not its real name
**probably not her real name