Pole fitness is an alternative form of fitness that with regular practice provides for dramatic results such as losing weight, gaining strength, and flexibility. While pole dancing has its roots in exotic dancing in clubs, pole fitness has emerged as a popular form of exercise and is now recognized by the International Sports Federation pending approval to be an Olympic Sport. A google search quickly dispels the idea that pole dancing is strictly that which is found at gentleman’s clubs. And if you are to ever visit a studio, you will find gymnasts and ballerinas in addition to those who have no dance background whatsoever. You will find a diverse group of people varying in age, size, and ability. Pole fitness is an international favorite and you can find studios in countries across the globe such Australia, Russia, China, and throughout Europe as well as Latin America.
With that, Jena Clough, the owner and operator of DreamFyre Pole Fitness will be the first to tell you that pole can be whatever you it to be - whether you’re looking for something a little more exciting than yoga, looking to get in touch with your sensual side, or looking to get in shape after having a child. Pole has something to offer everyone regardless of size, shape, age, gender, or ability.
Jena, herself, used to surf and in searching for a dance class, found pole. Jena is largely self-taught which has made her an excellent teacher. She has been teaching pole since 2011. Her style of teaching is technical as she breaks down every movement so they are easy to understand. Jena puts safety first – emphasizing proper technique and form needed to execute movements in addition to having students try moves from the ground before attempting them aerially.
In addition to teaching, Jena is a competitive pole dancer and loves performing as well as teaching and guiding her students who want to do the same.
Many people assume that they have to already be “fit” in order to do pole and that is absolutely not the case. All the strength and flexibility needed to do pole will come through the activity itself. While any other fitness endeavors such as yoga or weight training will aid in one’s pole progress, they are not necessary to be a successful pole dancer. Many students have found that pole has motivated them to pursue more fitness outside of class, whereas without pole they would not have. And for some, pole is one stop shopping for their fitness needs.
Talk to anyone at DreamFyre Pole Fitness (and this holds true throughout the entire pole community) and you will hear them sing praises for all that pole and the community has brought to their life. The most common thing you will hear is people describing the effect pole has had on their confidence. Confidence that is found in class translates directly to people’s everyday lives.
The fact that so many women come and think they are deficient in some regard, but challenge themselves nonetheless, is remarkable. They find themselves in the challenge, in being supported to push themselves, and it all leads to them being successful – to achieving their goal, a goal prior to which seemed like a lofty dream. Even once in it, it is common to look at a trick and think – “oh, that’s not for me” or “I’ll never be able to do that”. And before you know it, these women are doing just that which they thought was not for them. It is the process of challenging oneself, working hard, and achieving goals is what is so transformative about this sport. It is not too often in our adult lives do we challenge ourselves in such a way. And while pole dancers are all personally going through that process, they are also supporting and encouraging fellow dancers along their journeys – to the point where it is just as rewarding to see your fellow dancer achieve their goal, as it is to achieve your own.
With the internal transformation, comes an external transformation. As mentioned, pole dancing provides for dramatic results in a short period of time. And it’s fun, really fun. You get to dance, spin, and fly your way to a body that you feel comfortable in – a body that requires smaller clothing, that maybe jiggles a little less; a body that can lift things; a body and a life that has energy and drive to do things. Muscle tone and strength, weight loss, and increased flexibility are apparent within the first three months of continual practice. People are amazed at the results and amazed at themselves. You often hear the sentiment “I never thought my body/I could …” and then it did. Pole dancing students surprise themselves daily and the combination of new found confidence and increased self-esteem through their outward appearance makes for truly joyous, happy, energized, supportive, and driven people.
Another misconception or assumption is that you have to be a young petite female in order to do pole – which is not true. While the industry tends to attract many young women, there is great diversity in the pole community – whether it is size, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender, or nationality. DreamFyre Pole Fitness is comprised of women and men. There are also “plus-sized” dancers – one of which was selected for her first competition in New York City called Dangerous Curves. Dangerous Curves is for plus sized pole dancers only, and was founded by the Roz the Diva. Another member of the studio, Stephany is over 40 and performed for the first time at DreamFyre’s Showcase last fall.
Myth – All male pole dancers are gay.
Fact – Men pole dance, and they are really good at it. Some male pole dancers are gay. Some are not. Don’t be that person who assumes someone’s sexuality based on their hobby or profession.
Myth – You have to be thin and fit to be a pole dancer.
Fact – AnyBODY can pole dance. Size and fitness have no bearing on being a pole dancer. People may become thin and fit as a result of pole dancing.
Myth – Pole dancing is for strippers/If you pole dance you must be a stripper
Fact – Some strippers pole dance and some pole dancers are strippers. Modern pole dancing originated from clubs and there is no denying the relationship between pole dancing and exotic dancers. However, at this point, pole dancing has expanded beyond the strip club and there are just as many, if not more people, who pole dance just to dance, for fitness, and to have fun.
Pole fitness programs are a safe space to explore yourself without judgment or shame.
For more information:
DreamFyre Pole Fitness
15b Lighthouse Lane, Eastham MA 02642