Know Your Pole at Vertical Fitness Dallas.

Welcome to Body Movin', our recurring feature where, each week, we take a closer look at wherever you'll find health-minded folks jogging, crunching, lifting or otherwise moving their bodies in the name of fitness. Because, listen, we all need to get off of our ass from time to time. Hey: No pain, no gain. Check out this feature's archives here.

This week, we turned our sexy on at Vertical Fitness Dallas.

Fast Facts on Pole Classes at Vertical Fitness Dallas.
Degree of Difficulty Scale For Beginners: 8 out of 10.
Calories Burned in One Hour: 200.
Muscle Soreness After The Fact: 6 out of 10.
Locations: 6090 Campbell Road (#136), Dallas, TX 75248 and 6025 Royal Lane (#120), Dallas, TX 75230.
Classes Offered: Five levels of pole from beginner to competition: The Flirt Class, The Temptress Class, The Vixen Class, The Diva Class, and The Siren Class.
Introductory Offer: Free massage if you sign up for a six-month membership.
Price: $99/month for pole membership, $135/month for unlimited classes and gym membership, or $189.99 for a 10-class punch card.

Overview.
For those of you who think pole-dancing is just something to watch on stage at a strip club, think again. Pole-dancing is an incredibly physical, competitive sport that requires muscular strength, balance and poise.

Vertical Fitness Dallas is one of the only studios in town that offers a competitive-level pole class. They also offer aerial silks, aerial yoga, booty poppin' 101, chick boxing, sexy chair dancing, contortion and lyra hoop.

During our pole class, Vertical Fitness assistant director Kimberly McCarter was right alongside us, making it look frustratingly easy. Some level of intimidation was inevitable, though, with nationally-ranked pole instructor Amy Henderson there, casually holding up her entire body on the pole using only her thighs.

As class progressed, though, things loosened up and the room filled with both laughter and cheers as everyone began to get comfortable on the pole and got the hang of some of the beginner moves.

“What we love about it is that it's a great way to get a work out in, build strength and confidence, but it's so exciting that you don't really realize that you're working out,” says McCarter as we both get into the moves and the music picks up.

Not only does Henderson get the class sweaty and moving, but she provides comedic relief with comments like, “Get your junk up on that pole!” and “Turn your sexy on!” that make it easy to feel comfortable and have a great time working out.

Class Structure.
Just like any other exercise class, pole classes start with a warm-up that includes floor stretches, some simple cardio leg lifts and push-ups.

After warming up, it's time to get acquainted with the pole by learning simple facts about hand placement and footwork. Your first class is spent learning a few easy moves that gradually flow together to create a four-step combination.

It's not until the Level 2 classes that you begin to learn lifts and inverts (hanging upside down), so there's no need to be too nervous walking in for your first time. Your feet will remain on solid ground as you're getting to know your new dance partner.

Getting Started.
If you're interested in swinging into a new kind of exercise, a pole-dancing membership alone costs $99/month for unlimited classes. But, for $135/month, you also get full access to their complete gym area (weights and cardio equipment included) and all their other fun forms of exercise.

Once you've mastered your new craft, Vertical Fitness puts on a showcase for friends and family to come watch to see all your hard work pay off! And if you don't want family to watch as you strut your stuff, they also offer a private party package for bachelorette parties to get a little dirty and have a great time with friends. Bachelorette packages cost anywhere from $250 to $350 depending on how many girls will be attending.

Like McCarter says, though, it's not just about being sexy. Pole-dancing is a fantastic way to reawaken one's active side.

“It's so exhilarating to try something new,” McCarter says. “It really awakens your curiosity.”

In any case, unconventional as it may first appear, pole-dancing may be just the thing to kick-start your journey toward getting back in shape.

Grade.
Overall, I'll give the Pole Class at Vertical Fitness a B.


Previous Body Movin’ Grades:
CorePower Yoga: A+.
Flywheel: A.
Title Boxing Club: B+.
Bikram Yoga Dallas: B.
East Dallas CrossFit: B-.
The Gym of Social Mechanics: B-.
El Centro Tai Chi: C.
White Rock Paddle Co.: C.

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