5 Lessons Learned From My Brief Stint in Exotic Dancing
That got your attention, didn’t it? In the interest of keeping our reader-writer relationship honest, I have to confess that my brief stint consisted of two hour-long lessons taken at the PoleLaTeaz studio in Atlanta. It’s a women’s only facility that specializes in using exotic dance techniques for empowerment and exercise. That, and it’s kinda fun.
After twelve years of marriage I should know better. While watching a news segment on a Carmen Elektra workout tape a few years ago, I made the mistake of commenting that her exotic dance moves looked like fun. My husband, ever a giver, purchased gift certificates to PoleLaTeaz for my birthday so I could test out my hypothesis. (In all fairness, he also got me a gift certificate for Yoga lessons, a gift card to Ikea, a Macy’s gift certificate, restaurant gift certificates, a certificate to a laundry place, and several other gifts—he’s the best gift giver ever and not just a selective listener.)
On Tuesday, I became very friendly with a chair. For any doubters, it was quite the workout—heels are, of course, optional. On Friday night, I took a class entitled “Intro to Pole.” Yes, the pole and I were well-acquainted, too, before the night was out. That said, it’s just as well I didn’t pursue exotic dancing as a career because swinging around poles is not my forte.
Despite my lack of coordination (May I refer you to M&M dancing?), my motto is that no experience is wasted if you learn something from it so here are the top 5 things I learned from exotic dancing:
5. Once you learn the sexy walk, there’s no turning back. The first lesson was how to “walk sexy.” It’s one of the few lessons in life I haven’t aced, but it had something to do with pretending you were holding a penny between your thighs. Anyway, the idea here is to commit. If you want to be a writer, write. If you’re learning how to pole dance, you have to walk sexy—even if it’s to the bathroom.
4. Find what you want to emphasize and work it. We all have our strengths, but, as my instructor pointed out, you will look like a hot mess if you try to emphasize your hair, your waist, and your legs all at once. That’s not to say we shouldn’t try new things, but we have to know ourselves and know our strengths.
3. Do not get into a Figure Four Leglock with an exotic dancer. She will snap you like a twig.
2. Support each other no matter what. In the Intro to Pole class, especially, classmates had to trust each other implicitly not to laugh. In my case, I am so uncoordinated that I banged up my shin trying to do a fireman’s spin, but NO ONE LAUGHED. As women, we can’t afford to waste our time or energy tearing each other down. So I can’t dance around a pole? There were ladies there who would have probably broken into a cold sweat at the thought of writing a blog post. We each have our own talents, and we should support each other.
1. Always get up sexy. If you fall down—and you inevitably will both in life and in pole dancing—throw your booty in the air and get up sexy. Make people wonder if you meant to fall and have confidence that you won’t wipe out again next time. Scientific studies show that people remember the beginning and the end, but they often get a little fuzzy on the middle, so always end with a bang.
[I do so love to keep that reader-writer relationship honest. This post originally appeared on the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog back in 2010. To date, it's the most popular thing I've written. Here's hoping that wasn't my 15 minutes of fame, but, even if it was, I still remember how to #getupsexy.]