Special Report: On the Pole - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Special Report: On the Pole

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's a class women are taking to try something most have never tried before.

Some call it a Fad. Others say it's the best workout you'll ever get. It only takes one piece of equipment and an adventurous spirit.

Throw out your step by step routines, this exercise class has a different twist. "They had it on the Today Show, they had it on Oprah, they go into homes and do it so that's where we got the idea from basically," said Julie Deck, The Adult Toy Box owner.

While bigger cities have pole dancing classes, in Albany it's about as far from routine as you can get. At the first class last Thursday everyone seemed a little nervous.

"They come in and everyone is sitting around at first, but then Tamara gets up there and she shows everybody some moves and stuff and instantly they get excited," said Deck.

While Tamara makes it look easy, the women quickly find out, the simplest moves are difficult.

"I wanted to get a good workout, so I came out just to tone up some," said Clarissa Bishop.

"It's just hard on your muscles, but it's good for you, it's athletic," said Crystal Reed.

Pole dancing is something most have never tried. "I thought it was wonderful. I came out here with a friend on her birthday and we're just having a blast," said Nancy Hodge.

There are only two poles for the entire class, but that's not uncommon, and the class takes on a slumber-party type atmosphere as the group cheers on those brave enough to try. But what's the exercise benefit in something like this.

"You have a lot of core stability, you're holding on with your arms. There's some flexibility and balance issues but all of that is your core, you're working transverse abdomens, which is your core musculature," said Perry Buchanan, an ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist.

The girls are right while this is a lot of fun, it's not as easy as it looks and takes a lot of upper body strength and if you're not careful you could pull something.

"Especially if you're someone who's not trained and just doing something for the fun of it. And it's more of a functional movement, you're not in a machine doing a one dimensional movement so you're more likely to hurt some stability muscles," said Buchanan.

"You need a lot of strength," said Hodge.

"It takes all the muscle strength that you have, all the muscle strength," said April Anderson.

Experts say if you stick with it, it can be just as good as a workout at the gym.

"It would probably be good cardiovascular aerobic conditioning if you did it for an extended period of time," said Buchanan.

But most agree it's going to take a little practice.

"I have rhythm, I know how to dance but other than that, pole dancing, ah," said Bishop.

Giving these ladies another exercise option, all the while having some fun while they cheer the next one to try their luck on the pole.

The Adult Toy Box plans to offer the classes as long as women are interested. In the future they plan to limit the class to 15 participants so the ladies can get a better workout.

  • People wanting more information on the classes or wanting to sign up should call (229) 889-0220.

  • Classes will be limited to just 15 women and will be scheduled as often as there is interest.


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