Revolve Pole Studio

Okay. Every woman should be required to take a pole class. I know this sounds so strange… but from someone who has struggled with body image issues my ENTIRE life, I have never felt so liberated or confident EVER! Now I am not saying to get on a pole and twerk on stage in front of an audience in the buff, although if that’s your style, then by all means GO FOR IT, but I am saying to try a pole fitness class like they offer at Revolve Pole Studio.

I have been wanting to try this for quite some time, but I was just super intimidated and nervous that I would look like a total dork and feel out of place, and boy was I proved wrong. First of all, the people that work at Revolve are the sweetest and most patient people. On top of that, the people taking the classes are all super nice as well and there is NO JUDGEMENT.

So my first class was a beginners class where we learned a super short, but super fun routine. Everyone was laughing and chatting and no one judged me when I asked 800 times for Jackie, the owner and instructor, to help me learn the moves. The classes are small so you get 1-on-1 help when needed. There were only 5 people in my first class, 3 in the chair class I took and 5 in the risque pole class I took.

Each class starts with a really simple warm up of stretching and body rolls and just simple movements to get the body warmed up. Then the instructor walks you through a portion of the routine and you just follow along slowly. Then I ask (a few times), “Wait, can you do that again?” or “Wait, how did you do that?” before we run though it to the beat of a song. Then the instructor adds on another portion and we put it together and then another portion, etc, etc until we have covered the whole routine. Then I ask 56 more questions/clarifications and finally the lights dim way down low and we perform the whole routine 3-4 times through to different songs.

Here is the thing. At first I was super self conscious about … touching myself and acting ‘sexy.’ There is a lot of outline the body and touching your hips or whatever, and I was nervous because I wasn’t alone. But as the class went on, I realized that I hadn’t even taken a second to look at anybody else and guess what, they weren’t looking at me. The classes are really about just being in touch with yourself (no pun intended). If you want to go off routine, you can go off routine. It is a very similar theory to yoga where you do you and forget the rest. Be in tune with yourself and move in the way your body craves. I have only taken the three classes so far (beginners pole, chair and risque pole) but each time I leave that studio, I just feel so alive and confident and free.

Now when it comes to it being an actual workout, I would give it like an intensity level of maybe a 4-5. It really does not require a huge amount of strength, but it does require a bit more flexibility and rhythm. After the first few classes, my hip flexors were a bit sore, my calves were sore and my upper back and shoulders were a bit sore, but that was really it. My calves were sore because if you aren’t wearing the 7” platform shoes, you are supposed to stay on your highest of tippy toes, just barefoot. I did try on the platforms and I was SHOCKED as to how comfortable they were, but I think for my ankles sake I will just stick to bare feet.

I suggest signing up for the new member package of 5 classes (use in 2 weeks) for $35 and trying all of the variations to see which on you like best. Then every month they do a series class where you can sign up for a series (I think 4 classes plus some drop in classes) and learn something specific. This month just happens to be beginners/basics, but next month might be chair or something else.

Listen, don’t think too much about it, just go take a freaking class. You do not have to be in shape. You do not have to have rhythm. You do not have to be flexible. You do not have to wear super high heels. You just have to be willing to try something new and really appreciate the fact that you are a beautiful human being and you should flaunt your shit even if it is in a dark room with nobody watching!

For more information on Defy Pilates visit https://revolvepole.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RevolvePoleStudio/ and Instagram at @revolvepole

Hunter Dance Center

This workout was 943580348 times harder than I thought it would be. I was humbled, that’s for sure. According to Wikipedia… “Aerial silks (also known as aerial contortion, aerial ribbons, aerial tissues, fabric, ribbon, or tissu, depending on personal preference) is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerial acrobatics while hanging from a fabric. The fabric may be hung as two pieces, or a single piece, folded to make a loop, classified as hammock silks. Performers climb the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines, and rely only on their training and skill to ensure safety. They use the fabric to wrap, suspend, fall, swing, and spiral their bodies into and out of various positions.”

I had seen so many people on Instagram and Facebook do these workouts and make it look so effortless and fun and I was like, “I wanna climb these puppies and suspend from the ceiling like spiderman!” I signed up for a class and recruited one of my workout buddies to join me so I wouldn’t be the only uncoordinated newbie in the class. I show up and was talking to the really nice girl at the front desk who was all, “Oh, don’t worry! Anyone can do it. It’s for any fitness level and expertise.” LIES. Just LIES.

There were 8 sets of silks in the room, and most of us were doubled up with someone, so the class was around 12-14 people maybe, and probably half were newbies like us and 1 girl who was like a freaking monkey. She was climbing these silks like a mad woman.

So how the class worked was we started out with a typical warm-up, then got right to the silks. While one person was on the silks, the other was either doing squats or abs or pushups or something off the silks. The instructor would show us a move and it looked just sooooooo simple but these little fu**ers were so stretchy and my arms are still super weak that EVERY move was a struggle and looked like what I assume a baby panda bear would look like climbing a tree for the first time, but I was less graceful. Below is a little video of one of the moves, and again, it looks soooo simple, but I swear to you it is not.

I don’t think I sweat at all during this workout and what I didn’t like about it is that there really wasn’t a way to do an easier moderation of the moves, so if you didn’t have the strength to do it, then you just couldn’t do it. When I left, I didn’t really feel like I got a great workout, except maybe in my abs from laughing so hard at myself…and the ab portion actually was a b****.

All in all I did have fun, but I don’t think I would go back unless I had more arm strength. Also, it hurts your hands really bad because you are gripping so tightly and It’s just not something your hands are really used to so even if you have the strength, your hands hurt so badly that it is still hard to hold on, although I know that is something your hands would eventually get used to with time. Oh and I found them on class pass just FYI.

 

For more information on Hunter Dance Center visit http://www.hunterdancecenter.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hunterdancecenter/

 

Jazzercise with Danielle

“These are not jazz hands, THESE are jazz hands!” Of course I had to quote ‘Bring It On.’ That was a given. Thanks to Danielle Losos (on Instagram as @danitutu), a friend of mine and jazzercise instructor, I can now officially say that I have taken Jazzercise and it was … interesting.

The class I took was at the West University Place Recreation Center on Bellaire Blvd. and it cost $15 for a one time, hour long class. I got there early and walked into a big empty dance type studio and was quickly joined by 20 or so other classmates. I know Danielle from work events and when she mentioned she taught jazzercise I couldn’t quite picture it, but she was a phenomenal instructor. She was so confident and energetic and she had me smiling and laughing THE ENTIRE TIME 🙂

The class is broken down into 2 parts, cardio and strength, and is a full body workout. The first 40 minutes is cardio and is focused on reaching a peak heart rate about half way through then coming back down the bell curve to cool down before strength training. There was a lot of skipping, hopping and jumping so by the end of the 40 minutes of cardio, I was sweating quite a bit and my calves were on fire, but that was about it. I also felt VERY uncoordinated the entire time, but I could tell nobody in the room was judging me or even noticed. It was actually really nice to feel like a kid again just dancing around without a care in the world. I was also surprised by the variety of people taking the class. There were females and males, young and old, big and small, you name it, they were there!

The last 20 minutes were spent on strength conditioning, so it was time for the mats and weights came out to play. We used the weights for upper body and then focused on legs and abs on the mat. There were a few moves that I felt really target my inner thighs and shoulders, but all in all, I kind of felt like I needed to go home and do an extra little something something to feel like I had a great workout. No doubt it was fun, and taught me that I need to work on my coordination and dance moves, but as far as a killer workout goes, I am still on the fence.

If you are looking to have fun, show your sass and smile (a lot) while working out, this is definitely for you. Also, if you are looking for a low impact workout, all of the hops and jumps can be swapped for marching so it’s really good for anyone with joint problems.

Again, I don’t want to sound bias since Danielle is a friend of mine, but she really was a phenomenal instructor. I was just in awe of her because it wasn’t something I expected her to be sooo good at when I first met her through work. I know she has a background in dance, but she just made every move look so effortless, while I looked like a baby giraffe walking for the first time. It was rough to keep up.

Jazzercise_West U_1

For more information on the West University Place Recreation Center membership and classes, visit http://www.westutx.gov/434/Recreation-Center

Also follow @jazzerciseinc on Instagram.