by Karen Rose
Click here for video of me pole dancing after my first 6 weeks of classes!
You’re never too old to try something new, and this year I signed up for a pole fitness class. My goal was to both have fun, and regain some strength and muscle I had as a young gymnast. At 50 years old, I was sure I would be the oldest one in class, so I was determined to hang out in the back and give it my best shot. I was pleasantly surprised to see women of all ages and sizes (one even older than me!). I took the class for two months and loved it so much that I purchased my own fitness pole for my living room. When I’m bored, I crank up the music and dance my heart out. The pole certainly makes for an interesting conversation piece when visitors drop by, but I’ve found that most of them are more interested in ‘trying it out’, than judging me for my choice of work out equipment.
One of the most challenging obstacles I faced in searching for a fitness program was finding one I could stick with, and look forward to doing everyday. Pole dancing turned out to be exactly what I needed to get me back in the groove. If you’ve ever considered trying a pole class, here are five reasons why learning to pole dance in your 50’s is a great idea, (besides the obvious of being super sassy and fabulous).
1. It builds strength—fast.
Pole dancing is intense training. You may be too sore to turn your steering wheel for the first week, but you will be surprised at how quickly those sore muscles turn into strong ones. Building and maintaining muscle is essential as we grow older, not only for endurance, but to protect bones as well. The results you’ll see from pole dancing are noticeable from week to week, so as your strength increases and your skills improve, so does your motivation to keep going!
2. It increases self-confidence
As you start to get the hang of it, you’ll see your confidence grow right along side your muscles. Feeling stronger and more flexible translates into standing a bit taller and walking with a spring in your step. It’s not uncommon to start your pole dancing journey with a bit of trepidation. After all, people can be judgmental of something they’ve never tried. You’re not obligated to tell anyone about your amazing new work out if you feel they will be judgmental or skeptical. However chances are, you’ll be so excited and passionate about your new skills, you’ll enjoy sharing your experience with others.
3. You’ll wear your bruises like badges of honor
Okay, so bruises on your thighs and feet many not be the sexiest side effect of drilling those new pole moves, but they’re a great reminder of how hard you’re working and how bad ass you really are. Don’t worry, the better you get at a certain move, the less bruising you’ll see. It’s the repetition of learning new tricks that causes most of the bumps and scrapes.
4. Pole Dancing is Empowering
The physical benefits of pole dancing are undeniable, but the sense of empowerment that comes from building up the strength and grace to master a new move is beyond compare. Many workouts focus strictly on getting that ‘bikini body’ or ‘shrinking into a size 2. This makes working out a drag and a chore. Pole dancing is artistic, creative, athletic and above all, fun. The focus of pole fitness is on what your body is capable of doing, not how good it looks in a bathing suit.
5. It makes you more accepting and less judgmental
Tell someone you pole dance for fitness and everyone has an opinion. Our society has difficulty letting go of stereotypes that revolve around what women choose to do with their bodies, and pole dancing is no exception. The truth is there is no stereotypical pole dancers. Chances are when you walk into your first pole class, you’ll see women of all ages, sizes, and all walks of life. From doctors and lawyers, to teachers and waitresses. Pole Dancing is a great way to ditch all the stereotypes and be open to meeting new and interesting people. After all, the world would be a much lovelier place if we all stopped judging and started dancing – pole dancing!