Pole dancing has gained popularity as a form of exercise with increased awareness of the benefits to general strength and fitness. These forms of exercise increases core and general body strength by using the body itself as resistance, while toning the body as a whole. A typical pole dance exercise regimen in class begins with strength training, dance-based moves, squats, push-ups, and sit-ups and gradually works its way up to the spins, climbs and inversions which are the métier of the exercise. Pole dancing is also generally reported by its schools to be empowering for women in terms of building self-confidence, in terms of which its erotic components are still the subject of some controversy.[24] Some feminists argue that sexualized dancing of this kind cannot be seen as empowering because the choice to participate is not made in freedom from constraining power structures, especially given the performative aspect of many classes.[citation needed]
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Pole dancing, which has been featured on Desperate Housewives and The View,[40] like other exercise trends has its share of celebrity following. Jennifer Love Hewitt had a short pole dancing stint in an episode of "Ghost Whisperer". Actress Sheila Kelley was so taken with the sport, which she learned whilst preparing for her role in Dancing at the Blue Iguana, that she launched her own pole-based exercise programme.[41]
Wrap your leg around the pole. Bring up the leg on the same side of your body as the hand that is holding the pole. Then, bring your leg up to the pole as you wrap your other hand around it. Flex your foot and place it on one side of the pole, with your knee on the other side. You'll need to use this leg to really anchor yourself to the pole, and create a sturdy base for your other foot to land on.[13]
When walking around the pole, you need to pay attention to your body’s position in relation to the pole, as well as ensuring that your shoulders are rotated back and you maintain good posture. The way that you walk is important too, walking on tip-toes or wearing high heel shoes (optional for beginners) will give your legs a killer workout, as well as make you look more elegant. Keep your toes pointed too!
Poles come in a variety of materials and coatings where each material possesses its own properties, advantages and disadvantages. The materials poles are made of are brass, titanium – gold, stainless steel and chrome.[17] The brass and titanium – gold poles are gold in colour and are used to enhance the grip between the pole and the dancer, these poles are normally used by more advanced dancers. The stainless steel poles aren’t as popular as the other types as they do not have the finest grip however, they are used by dancers who have sensitive skin. The chrome poles are silver in colour and are most popular amongst beginners. The finishes some dance poles may possess are silicone sleeves and powder coatings. Silicone sleeves can provide maximum grip, however, there are safety precautions dancers must take and consider before using silicone sleeves. These measures can include a great amount of clothing to be worn by the dancer and only static moves can be performed. Poles that are coated in powder can provide the best friction and maximum grip for dancers.[21][22]
The standard dance pole typically consists of a hollow chrome, steel, or brass pole with a circular cross section, running from floor to ceiling. Affixing at the ceiling gives more stability, but is not always realized, especially at night clubs with higher ceilings or at transportable devices.[17] In most countries,[18] including the United States, the diameter is usually 50 mm (2 inches), or the now more popular 45 mm (1.75 inches), allowing it to be gripped comfortably with one hand. In Asia, the diameter is usually 45 mm or less.[19] In Australia a 38 mm pole is popular.[18]
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