Pole is a slippery subject at the best of times. I remember the day I was chatting about my new interest over coffee with a friend. By the time I went to pick my son up from school an hour or so later, another friend asked me "So Luce, you and pole, how long has it been?" About six weeks, I started enthusiastically, and began to talk about this fantastic workshop we had just been on with Cirque de Soleil's Felix Cane. No, no, she cut in, I mean since you were overheard talking about it in the café and it's gone viral at the school gates. Welcome to Suburbia. We've still got the red lights in the hallway after the Moulin Rouge house party for my husband last week, all that's missing now is the pampas grass out front...
|Anna demonstrating The Lounging Lady|
|Learning The Lounging Lady|
Because here's the thing. Pole has a Reputation. After all, it has its origins in strip clubs and cattle markets, with nightbirds flaunting their feathers for the lads - the same way, legend has it, that the tango that now graces the Establishment grew out of the bordellos of Buenos Aires. Although, if you strip back history still further, you will find pole gymnastics at the heart of the ancient Indian practice of "mallakhamba" - malla meaning wrestler, and khamba meaning pole. I definitely see polefit as a way of fighting fit, wrestling back my body, building up stamina to keep up with my kids and as a superb well-woman exercise, both physically and mentally. It has transformed my core strength in next to no time, increased my flexibility exponentially and my confidence has soared as a result - and it's fun. As you start practicing pole, the urban landscape changes very quickly into a parkour playground: support rails on tubes; signs at bus stops; fitness poles in the park and water markers on the beach are all fair game for all manner of inversions, swings and handstands. It may be tough at times, but you are never bored and always stretched.
|Apparently there was a time when Sam King couldn't do splits...|
|Advanced student Lucy Reed, leading the way|
|Pole duo Anna and Sam|