When people think of pole dancing, images may be conjured up of dimly lit nightclubs and scantily clad women dancing for a masculine audience.
However, this image is a million miles away from the new fitness craze of pole exercise, as visitors to Pole Angels’ Superheroes Party event which took place on Wednesday, May 4 saw.
The doors of Bar Fever on Lower Regent Street in Cheltenham were opened to more than 40 students and guests who witnessed instructors and students put on dancing displays to demonstrate how much fun the classes are.
Visitors were also offered the chance to take to the poles themselves and try out beginner moves such as fire lady spin, body wave as well as sitting on the pole. There was also the chance to win free classes and clothes.
Dressed as Wonder Woman, Super Woman and Bat Girl, instructors and students from Pole Angels wowed visitors and new students with their own choreographed routines before giving them chance to try it for themselves and win freebies.
As the pop music played, the women did moves including a daring crucifix which involves the dancer holding on upside down by just their legs, with their arms wide apart and off the pole, amongst other adventurous moves which mostly involved hanging upside down and hanging on by either one arm or one leg displaying strength, flexibility, and gymnastic skills.
Pole Angels owner Nicky Jameson said: “It was great to see the audience enjoying what the students and instructors have put together.
It’s also nice for the audience to understand that pole dancing can be a fantastic and fun way to exercise for anyone and recognising it as a form of fitness in Cheltenham. All of our 11 instructors have come from a fitness background which is uncommon in the industry. “
In the last five years Pole Angels have seen pole dancing classes become more and more popular with women signing up to learn the dance form in droves.
Music videos including the recent promo for Nero’s Guilt have featured pole dancers which has led to a surge in people signing up as well as people who are looking for a different way to tone up and lose weight.
However, some people may still be hesitant to join a class and may baulk at the idea of slipping on a pair of shorts in what they assume will be a class full of nubile 19-year-olds.
But at Pole Angels, students come from a range of backgrounds, are a range of ages and have different levels of fitness.
Instructors make sure that people are working at a level that is suitable for them and only move on to more advanced moves when they are ready.
Nicky explained: “It can change people’s lives from finding they can enjoy exercise which they never thought was possible, to finding new confidence and making lifelong friends. We’ve seen it all.
Two of our instructors are now the best of friends and met at class. Other instructors started soon after having babies to help get out and about, and tone up.”
Owner Nicky has recently experienced the benefits of the Pole Angels classes following the birth of her first son Jack, now six months old.
Nicky had always been very active and after having her son by Caesarean section, was surprised to find her confidence knocked and her fitness levels drop.
“I felt nervous about going back to class, especially about having to wear a pair of shorts again!
But at Pole Angels we have lots of instructors and students who have had children and they have helped me to regain my confidence and can help new mothers with a fitness routine that will help them tone up and get fit again at the right pace.
Dancers do not have to be young and really fit to start, most people can pick up some moves straight away. It’s really fun, quite addictive and doesn’t feel like exercise,” she added.
At Pole Angels, classes are taught with multiple poles and multiple instructors so that when a student is ready for more advanced moves like going upside down an instructor is always there to ensure complete safety.
People who have never given pole exercise a chance before may be expecting something rather seedy but the reality is more fun and friendly. Women from the classes come from a range of backgrounds and fitness levels from never having been to the gym before to a fully fledged gym bunny.
The good news for potential pole exercisers is that a class can help you burn off calories, work on core strength, improve coordination, confidence, and more importantly find new friends and tone up before bikini season.
Pole Angels have been teaching pole dance for over five years. Classes run on Wednesday evenings at Bar Fever on Lower Regent Street at 6pm and 7pm. Bar Fever also has a pole downstairs as a permanent fixture for practice.
For more information and bookings visit:
Or ring Nicky on 07803 700559