Our March challenge was to try out Pole Dancing and wow do you need to be fit and strong to do it (try lifting your whole bodyweight up by your arms..go on…ya – its hard – and thats just the beginning!!)
We were delighted to find the Irish Pole Dance Academy run by Arlene Caffrey – Arlene became addicted to pole dance many moons ago when it was first introduced to Ireland as a fitness concept. For Arlene, the most important elements of learning the art of pole dance are fun and personal achievement! Through her classes she can help you not only to reap the physical benefits such as increased upper body strength, flexibility and stamina, but also to help you to feel graceful and elegant as you progress with the pole.
Although Arlene took up fitness pole dancing 8 years ago, she still remembers what it feels like to be a beginner! After a year of dancing she became the first Miss Pole Dance Ireland in 2007. She has since gone on to conquer and win many titles some of which include Irish Pole Champion 2011, 2010 & 2008 and All Ireland Pole Dance Champion runner-up 2011 and All Ireland Pole Dance Champion Winner 2014.
When we arrived Arlene greeted us with open arms and a kick ass studio! Floor to ceiling mirrors, fairy lights, awesome music and poles! It is the perfect environment to let loose and enjoy!! We couldn’t wait to get going!! Decked out in our ‘booty shorts’ and leg warmers Arlene took us through a great warm up – ensuring we were ready for the lesson ahead!
Starting off with some awesome floor moves Arlene made sure we were comfortable and having fun – I cant stress enough how you really just have to let go and embrace the woman in you and your sexuality – whilst advance pole dancing moves most definately require a good amount of strength and flexibility you can really make the most of the most simple moves if you just ‘let go’ and enjoy the hair flicking, ground humping and pole swinging!! 😉
We were both delighted when Arlene commented on our strength and moved us on to some more advanced moves!! Learning to support and hold ourselves with just our upper bodies whilst we completed ‘pike’ movements on the pole and firemans twirls (SO much fun!). Next up for us was learning how to climb the pole – scary stuff!! We learnt how to use our upper body strength and our hips to climb a good 6ft up and then support ourselves with our thighs as we got up the courage to let go and do some awesome poses while we were up there! Every single time we completed a new move we got such a buzz – the giggles, high fives and cheering was constant!!! Within 15 minutes we were working up a sweat whilst having such a great time and really putting our upper body & core muscles to work!
Just when we thought we were getting good Arlene took us on to the next level of moves and this is when we really started to feel and be able to take advantage of the strength we have gained through crossfit and weightlifting. Arlene was amazing – she made us brave as we climbed higher up the poles and started taking on moves such as handstands and dismounts. We had an absolute ball and didnt want to leave – in fact we loved it so much that we booked out a class (which includes and cupcakes!) for our friend’s upcoming birthday celebrations and we are SO excited!!!!!
Arlene runs weekly classes and caters for birthdays, hens, groups and individuals at all levels. The class was so much fun and the next day both of us felt the ache of upper body, leg and core muscles so this is without doubt an all body workout. This has been one of our favourite challenges to date. Aside from the absolute ball we had doing it – Arlene’s teaching style, her way of explaining moves, making you feel completely at ease and all the time enjoying it is second to none!! We cant wait to go back!! ❤