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'Pole Dancing saved my life' - The benefits of pole fitness classes

25th May 2017

'Pole Dancing saved my life' - The benefits of pole fitness classes
“Pole dancing is what I live for today”.

Amber Harkin (26) from Londonderry in Northern Ireland battled anorexia and at one point weighed as little as five stone. However, one day she saw a pole dancing photograph shared on Facebook that inspired her and the rest was history.

“I saw a photo of a woman doing the extended butterfly move. Somehow it made a connection with me, it inspired me.

I trained very hard and learned how to do the moves. Before long I could do the splits on the pole, the machine gun and the extended butterfly and all these other brilliant moves. I absolutely loved it.”

Pole dancing has enabled Amber to have a goal to focus on, a distraction from the anorexia she still struggles with every day.

Amber is not the only woman who has turned to pole dancing in a time of need. Two years ago, the story of Kerry Derham (31) from Worthing was published. After hitting rock bottom following a series of life events suffering from depression, she turned to Pole Dancing to rebuild her confidence.

“Pole dancing saved my life. It makes you feel empowered and sexy and gives you such a sense of being. It's your time to shine and forget about all of the things that are dragging you down.

I don't even know why I decided on pole dancing, I just thought it was something different and I'd give it a try. 'I'd seen on TV that pole dancing was a good form of fitness and as soon as I tried it I knew I was on to something - I was totally addicted.

It was challenging and it was fun and it was my escape from everything else that was going on in my life and I needed that.

You're having so much fun that you don't even realise you're working out until the next day or the day after when you feel a bit stiff as your muscles recover.”

Why is Pole Fitness so good for you?

Amber & Kerry are both extreme examples of the good Pole Dancing can do and the benefits it can have. It has a whole range of advantages that anyone can benefit from.

Pole Dancing is a massive workout. The strength and conditioning it offers are as good as hitting the gym. Pole moves require upper body strength, flexibility and muscular endurance, which are all attributes that will improve as you learn.

It's a tough learning curve though. Whilst pole dancing is a fun activity for beginner's, it does take patience and time to learn. But if you do persist, it's extremely worthwhile.

Many women speak of the confidence pole dancing gives them. It's amazing what your body can do without realising it. It takes many women outside of their comfort zone, but it often proves an empowering experience and helps you to feel sexy and love your own body.

Likewise, if you're looking to get into better shape, it burns calories much faster than a regular cardio workout. Plus, it's way more fun than going for a jog in the park! Over time, the continued weight loss would help you to tone core muscle groups as well.

Unsurprisingly, one of the main perks is the improved flexibility it gives you. Spinning around a pole doesn't lend itself well to people who are rigid. By learning new movements, the body will loosen up and become more agile. Long term, this will help prevent joint pain or stiffness and can contribute towards reducing the chances of suffering from conditions such as osteoporosis or arthritis.

Most of all, pole dancing classes are just really great fun. Class sizes tend to be fairly small, usually 6-12 people, so you get the chance to meet new people, make new friends and enjoy learning as part of a small community.

Join a local pole dancing class

In recent years, pole dancing has become more popular as a dance fitness style. There is less of a stigma attached to it and people are finally realising that more than anything, it's just great fun to learn and it can be done wearing a reasonable amount of clothes!

There are classes popping up across the UK and many studios, gyms and health clubs are now equipped to teach pole fitness classes led by experienced instructors.

To find a pole class in your area, head to the Dance Near You homepage and enter your postcode. This will show you all of the dance classes available in your area. If you are specifically looking for pole fitness, then choose “Dance Fitness” or “Pole Dancing” from the menu.

Alternatively, if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can find classes on the very handy NearYou App. All you need to do is enter your location and change your preference to find the class you want. Once you've found it, simply contact the instructor or go ahead and purchase a class.

Download the 'NearYou' App here.
Source: Dance Near You