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THE BOOMERANG. The pole becomes your dance partnerand a very demanding one at that.



Get sexy, pole dance!

By Anne Jambora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:08:00 04/14/2008

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Leisure

MANILA, Philippines?If you think the art of luring a prospective lover is hard work, you haven?t tried pole dancing. Although sensual and graceful, a simple twirl around the pole tells you in an instant that pole dancing is a dead-on serious workout.

?This is an excellent fitness routine because it works out the entire body. It is also among the few exercises where people actually laugh?not at each other, but because they?re having so much fun,? said Ed Aniel, president and founder of the Pole Dance Fitness Association of the Philippines and pole-dancing instructor at Movement Dance Studio, 3/F Promenade Building, Wilson corner P. Guevarra Streets, Greenhills, San Juan (tel. 7217711).

Aniel, a former member of the dance group Adrenaline, specialized in jazz before combining the dance routine with a pole in 1997. He has never looked back.

With books and videos on pole dancing, the self-taught Aniel put in hours of training and practice before ?forcing? his jazz buddies to enroll in his class in 2004. Today, his students range from beauty queens to movie stars to socialites. (Aniel still operates his first pole-dance studio, Stomp Dance Studio on President?s Avenue, Paraaque City, tel. 8509029).

Superhuman strength

The trip to Fantasy Land, however, with the slippery pole as your ally as you gyrate, climb, spin or drop, does require incredible strength. Superhuman strength, in fact, especially when you have to rely on leg and core strength to support your entire body while suspended on air.

Pole dancing increases muscle definition without necessarily putting on loads of muscle mass; tones the arms, thighs and buttocks; and improves core strength and flexibility. It is about muscle control, maintaining that stability, balance and posture throughout the routine?with a smile on your face. This is, after all, still a sexy dance class.

Don?t be intimidated. Aniel has seen several students go from complete sedentary lifestyle to learning to climb the pole?and reaching the ceiling. Some, he said, had even been at least 30 pounds overweight. (They have since lost weight.)

?Size doesn?t matter. If on the first day in class you can only hold a position for a second, the next session will see you holding the same position for two seconds?guaranteed. I have seen that happen all the time,? Aniel said.

It is the ordinary everyday Jane achieving something physically extraordinary that hooks women everywhere into pole dancing. It?s amazing, said Aniel, what the human body can achieve. And he is very patient, too, never giving up on his students until they have mastered the basic spin, for instance.

Psychological effect

Like sipping slowly a love potion, pole dancing also has a powerful psychological effect. While all forms of exercise ups the self-esteem, pole dancing goes even further by making the ladies feel very, very sexy as they let go of their inhibitions.

?Because feeling sexy needs to be internalized in class?you cannot pull off a sexy move without first feeling you?re the hottest girl in town?my students go home thinking and believing they are at their sexiest,? he said.

The only risk involved is if you fall off the pole, and that almost never happens, he said. It is instinctive to hold on to the pole for dear life that the risk of looking stiff as a board is greater than falling on the floor. Bruises and friction burns can occur, too, from doing those climbs and spins, depending on the skin?s sensitivity.

A regular class runs for 90 minutes: a 20-minute warmup that includes core training, 40 minutes of pole tricks, 20 minutes of dancing with mirror ball, no less, and 10-minute cool down. Beginners will be separated from advanced group. One-on-one sessions and home lessons are also available (you need to set up a pole in your house first). Aniel also teaches children?but minus the sexy moves.

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