August 22, 2012

I was super excited to do a six week beginners pole dancing class at Pole Class. Venus Star, producer of Carousel Cabaret, teaches burlesque and hula hoop and Willow Noir, Miss Burlesque NZ, trains there!

I had a wee panic my first night that it was somehow related to Dream Girls which is a couple of doors down. Thankfully, it isn't. The building is a bit old, but what building in Wellington isn't? Up a flight of stairs is the studio, shaped like a wide corridor with a stone floor. You'd think it would be cold but we only used the heater one night. Pretty touches like chandeliers and paintings of burlesque dancers (some of whom looked familiar but the titles underneath did not match the performers I thought they were) add to the atmosphere. The pole set up was impressive. The poles are slim, silver, able to change from stationery to spinning and to be swung up onto the ceiling to provide more space in the room - yet somehow manage to be perfectly secure.

There are two teachers with different teaching methods and backgrounds. One learnt on the job and the other learnt through classes. One is better at the connecting moves; the other at pole moves. Neither of them looked like I expected a pole dancer to look; they were both down to earth. They share the teaching though we had one teacher for five of the six lessons.

The classes were really well structured. Each move was shown by the instructor, once fast though so you could see what it looked like, then step by step. The students did the move step by step with the instructor, then twice on the left, twice on the right. Each move was practised leading with the left and right to keep you honest (or was it modest?). Before you could get sick of it, or too caught up in how well you were doing, it was on to the next move. Classes started with a full warm up and ended with a cool down comprised of yoga based movements.

Classes at Pole Class are organised into sets (beginner level 1, beginner level 2, intermediate 1 etc) which stretch over six weeks. Each set of classes leads on to the next; moves from the previous set are used as part of the warm up for the level above. Even at beginner level you start building your skill set for further classes, attempting to pole sit (wrapping your legs around the pole and sitting there), and pulling your legs up onto the pole (above your head) from a standing position.

I found the first half of the set of classes fun, doing spins and floor moves. The second half were more technical and preparation for future classes. To be honest I wouldn't have kept going if I wasn't writing this review because it was hard. I'm glad I did continue. I did progress but was jealous of the other girls in the class who seemed to find it so much easier. I was sore after each class, not so much that it hurt to move but enough to make it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

In addition to the six weeks of classes students have the option of having an individual lesson as part of the package. I didn't take up this option as I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the teacher, when there was a class of students it was easier to hide.

There are a limited number of poles so it is always best to book for classes to ensure they have room for you, this also means that classes are small and you get individual attention from the teacher (not so good if you are like me and prefer to hide). I do think that it is confidence building so taking more classes would probably be good for me.

I would recommend Pole Class because they have well thought out classes including proper warm up and cool down, a structured training program, trained teachers and an excellent facility.

6 week beginners class
Price: $150
Location: Pole Class, level 2, 39 Dixon Street
Next set starts: Wednesday, 29 August, 6.45pm
You can find Pole Class on Facebook

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