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Sweating with a few new moves

I grabbed up as far as I could reach, stepped forward, and wrapped my legs around the two-inch steel pole.

I grabbed up as far as I could reach, stepped forward, and wrapped my legs around the two-inch steel pole.

As I swung all the way down, I heard applause from the crowd below.

OK. So I’ll admit, my moves aren’t exactly straight out of Showgirls, and my audience was a group of women in yoga pants on a Sunday afternoon instead of gentlemen admirers, but hey — it still felt sexier than sweating on a treadmill.

There’s been a lot of buzz in the last few years around pole dancing as a great form of physical fitness.

No longer being seen as a stripper sport, women all over the world are now using poles as tools to help increase their upper body strength.

I’ve wanted to try my hand at pole dancing for awhile, so when I heard about 3Sixty, a new dance and fitness studio opening up in Ottawa, I grabbed a friend to check out an introductory class.

Ladies, you’ll have to leave your clear heels at home for this one though.

The class started off with a warm-up on yoga mats, where instructor and studio owner Corinne Brodthagen showed us a variety of stretches and strengthening exercises.

Feeling my muscles begin to ache during a leg lift exercise, I started to see the real workout side of pole dancing.

After the warm-up, we headed to the poles. Step, grab, pivot, turn, and slink slowly onto the ground. Seems simple enough, but it’s hard to strut your stuff in front of a room of people.

As the class went on, however, everyone began to get more comfortable with each other, and in their own skin.

Gaining confidence and self-esteem are some of the big benefits of participating in a pole dancing class, said Brodthagen.

“It’s just a really fun workout,” she said. “You get to feel sexy and laugh while taking part in a really good exercise routine.”

 
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