A Pole Lotta Fun

Pole dancing, yoga and bellydancing in one class? Where do I sign up? Goddess Fitness Dance, it turns out.

It was cute. Gimmicky, but cute. I could've done without all the pink feather boa/diva/tiara/ goddess stuff, which felt kind of 90's. Plus as we worked out, our instructor (and founder) Emma Ridley did these raver "Ooh?! Ooh?!" shrieks. But the lady had a killer body and the workout was fun. We even got little coin belts to tie on as we bellydanced.

It was all roses until we got to the pole dancing part. In a big darkened room, we lined up to try a spin on one of the poles. I hate lines. I'm the guy that brings a book to Disneyland. In a plastic bag of course, (water rides). She told us to keep our hearts rates up by dancing in place while we waited for our turn. Everyone shifted feet and looked at one another to see who would dance first. It was really awkward. She lowered the lights and raised the music to kill our inhibitions. But we only half-heartedly shifted our weight from one foot to the other and hoped we wouldn't make fools of ourselves when it was our turn at bat.

Our instructor directed us while hanging upside down from a pole 20 feet in the air.  A girl leaned in and said, "When you're a real pole dancer, you can't spend too much time up there. You need to get your ass down and make some tips." She was a seasoned stripper from Houston.

There are a lot of tricks to making a pole look easier to climb. I was doing pretty well. Then she wanted us to spin on the pole with our feet off the ground. This entails running and jumping onto the pole. That's where things took a turn south.

Ever had a bruised shin? It felt like the bone shattered. But it's amazing the lengths I will go to to appear cool in front of a crowd. I grinned and bared it. They cheered. I spun. No one could see the tears streaming down my cheeks. Maybe that's another reason the instructor dims the lights.

When the shin bone gets bruised, you don't see the damage as easily as a flesh wound. The leg was sore to the touch like a bad sunburn. If a leg hair bristled, I burst into tears. My leg swelled and blood pooled at my ankle arch, turning it purple. As sexy as I'm dying to be, I may have to sit out of the whole pole dancing movement. I'll always have my Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease DVDs after all.

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