Witness the Fitness #3: Pole Dancing

November 6th 2014




I’m going to be honest here. I’m no stranger to semi sexualised fitness trends.

When I was 15, my ballet teacher (who used to say “youse can plié,” because #Igrewupinthewest) got hold of a belly dance instructional DVD.

For a full six months, Miss Nolene taught us a routine to an extended version of Desert Rose by Sting. My mother, in an act that showed extreme dedication to Sparkle Motion, stayed up all night sewing an extra set of coins onto my costume so that I would not be a basic bitch.

Given this history (and fleeting flirtation with life as a burlesque dancer) it may come as a surprise that I have never tackled pole dancing classes. But, here I am. I’m doing it. It’s a thing.

I’m at Bobbi’s Pole Dance Studio on Elizabeth St. I’m wearing eight inch plastic heels that have a see-through compartment with crisp $1 bills rolled up inside.

They remind me of that time on The Simpsons when Disco Stu has a pair of platformed boots with dead goldfish floating inside them. My teacher Isabella is wearing a purple sequined undies with bows on the side. She has a great bum and is flex.i.ble.

I ask her to do a bit of a demo for me. As it’s a one on one class, I feel a bit like Arnie in True Lies when Jamie Lee Curtis does “that” strip tease for him. It’s all very sexy, and Isabella is clearly very strong. I wonder how my wimpy upper body will cope.

I’ll skip the warm-up because it’s just a bit of good old fashioned jazzercise and I think you will get more enjoyment from the part where I try to be sexy but instead look like a slug trying to back up along the floor.

We start off by grabbing the pole, taking a step and then spinning under our arms so that our back is now resting provocatively on the pole with an arm up high.

I don’t know why, but it takes four turns until I can master the art of walking around a pole.

I’m freaking out a bit because there isn’t exactly anyone that I can hide behind.

We move onto a spin called the “Vanessa” (Isabella mentions that they’re working on getting standardised names for all the moves. At the moment they tend to sound like stripper names and sex positions, which I’m all for).

I feel as dizzy as Lucille 2 so we move onto some floor work. There are all these “sexy” ways you can get up from the ground. I’m trying to do this reverse body roll thing where your bum is in the air but your knees are on the ground (with one leg raised for sexiness) and then you graze the carpet with your boobs and somehow come to a seated position which then becomes a hands on the ground, bum in the air and body roll maneuver. It’s impossible! Isabella looks like a babe, and I look like I’m doing an interpretive dance titled “Prairie dogging”.

A few more goes, and I’m kind of getting the hang of it. We put it all together into a little routine backed by “The Way I Are” by Timbaland. It’s fun and I can see the appeal.

My only worry is that the next time I get I get drunk, false confidence and pole dancing muscle memory are going to kick in and someone is going to have to pick me up off the floor of Goodgod while I slug roll about trying to attract a mate. #foreveralone.


Fitness Ability: 6/10

Upper body and core strength will be your friend here.


WHAT:  Pole dancing lessons
WHERE: Bobbi’s Pole Studio, Level 3, 251 Elizabeth St, Sydney
HOW MUCH: $240 for an 8-week intro course

More Info:


Miss Pole Dance Australia is on Saturday 8th of November at the Enmore Theatre.




As a city, Sydney is guilty of succumbing to fitness trends (#cleaneathing #greensmoothie #acaigojispirullinabowl). If there’s one thing that Healthy Harold taught us, it’s that 30 minutes of exercise a day is one of the things that you should do if you want to be a grown up or good human. So, as Harold sits dormant in his caravan, robotic parts probably worn out, Bindi Donnelly has risen from his ashes to be your athletic spirit animal…






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