It’s been quite a while since I’ve last been on the pole. And I’ve finally decided to get back at it.
I get a lot of questions regarding pole. If you know my sister, then you get why; or maybe because its name sparks much interest. I’ve graced the pole a couple of years back with my cousin; but when she flew off to New York I found it less encouraging to do it on my own. But recently, with an effort to work on my strength, I decided to get back at it. Also, I find it a break from my regular workout hustle at the gym. It’s nice to jazz up your training especially during busy weeks. It’s like a breather; an avenue to explore something new and at the same time, get stronger each time your at it.
This time around, I decided to post about it on my blog; about things I learn, progress, and simply to tell stories about my experiences on the pole. So I’m starting a new series in my blog: Pole Kitten Diaries (Polecats Manila refer to their female students as Pole Kittens); nothing too serious or formal, just me sharing my heart about pole. And just maybe I can get to inspire somebody to finally give it a try too.
So here it goes.
I finally started to put myself together. This time around was different. One, I was on my own. Two, this time I have a goal and a purpose. And Three, I just want a break from the gym. I took a class on a Monday at Polecats Manila; located at 22F Strata 100 Bldg. Ortigas Jr., Ortigas Center, Pasig.
Honestly, I was a bit anxious to start out again because I felt a bit frustrated for not continuing on back then; and now I have to start all over again at square one. But as soon as I came into the studio, Amaya, one of the teachers, greeted me loudly so it felt like home again. 🙂 I used to take her classes back then. And here I am again.
This time, my teacher was Vicky. To be honest I thought I got the basics covered. Half of me was calm knowing that I got this since I’ve taken classes way back. But the other half of me was doubtful since that was so way way back. My personal dilemma was cut short as we started off with our warm-up: a couple of lunges, stretches, and a bit of splits. By the end of the warm-up I was already sweating. (Now you know which half of my thoughts were right). Usually at the gym, instructors find me flexible. But in here, I’m not even close.
After a quick sip of water, we started doing some fan kicks. The goal was to keep your legs straight, make them high, and keep your toes pointed (you’ll hear this last bit a lot in class). As beginners though, we were asked to focus on keeping our legs straight rather than keeping them high; we can work on the height as we continue practicing.
After this, we did a couple of spins on the pole. The inner arm is held straight overhead which controls the momentum of the spin, while the outer arm is held at a lower level to keep your body away from the pole during the spin. Then when you spin, flex those legs and point those toes! It’s helpful not to tighten your grip too much or it will keep you from spinning. The spins are my favorite part! They make me feel graceful and light! 🙂
After this, we started doing tricks. These are the different poses you get to do on the pole. You start with basic poses as a beginner then as you progress teachers teach you more complicated ones.
Of course the first step was to climb the pole. So to do this, with hands on the pole, the left shin is put against the pole locking it with your ankle with pointed toes, then pull yourself up, cross that right leg over; and squeeze. Is it painful? Yes it is. If you’re doing it for the first time, it will burn. Even I was surprised. I’ve forgotten how painful it was when doing it for the first time. But no pain no gain, right? Although I could not recall how many times I’ve said those words in my head over and over again throughout the entire class. I’m not sure though if that’s counted as muscle recall, but as you keep practicing your body actually gets used to it.
For some of us joining the class for the first time, we were asked to do the tricks at a lower level on the pole; while others who have been attending class for quite some time did more advanced tricks at a higher level.
I’m used to watching pole performances and I admire the grace of the dancers and how they make it look so easy and seamless; but when you try it, you’ll discover how tough these girls really are—and you get to admire them even more.
Pole is a great way to develop your strength; it makes use of both upper and lower body strength; and especially your core. Sure it is painful. But nothing comes easy anyway. The best part of it is that it’s empowering. To discover that you can actually carry your own weight and lift yourself up against the pole, and do some tricks even; it’s an amazing feeling. Pole is for both women and men; all shapes and sizes.
The best thing I love about Polecats Manila is the safe environment they offer to their students: no judgment, but just love—a lot of love. At times when you have difficulty doing a trick, the teachers would always encourage you that it’s okay and they’ll help you focus on specific points to help you improve. So when others are better at tricks than you are at the end of the day, you don’t feel bad. You’re assured that to grow, you have to focus on your own progress.
I started out a bit doubtful about things; but after class, I feel like a kid with wide eyes excited to find out what happens next. A bit anxious, but very much hopeful for surprises my body might bring. This time, I think I’m sticking around. I’ll definitely be back for more on my #polekittendiaries post series, so hope you’re with me on this! Until the next one! ❤
For those who want to try a class you can visit their website to check the schedule. They have classes available at Ortigas, Makati, Alabang, and Bonifacio Global City. I know you will ask: they also offer aerial classes (Hoop and Silks) but are only available at their Ortigas branch. No bookings are required, except for private classes; otherwise you just need to show up. For full details, check them out at: www.polecatsmanila.com