Discover Your Sexy Side and Get In Shape!
Javacia Harris Bowser
Wednesday, Aug 15,2012
Reese Witherspoon lied. A few years ago in an interview with Glamour magazine, the Academy Award winning actress said that she felt much sexier as a 30-something than she ever did in her 20s. Inspired, I cut out this quote and glued it to my vision board, certain that once in my 30s I’d finally feel sexy. But 30 came and went and no such luck.
So it was on to plan B in my quest to feel sexy – pole dancing classes!
On a recent Friday evening I tried the introductory pole dancing class offered at PYT (Pole Yourself Thin) Studio in Hoover. Niya Jackson opened PYT Studio in Feb. of 2009 after moving to Alabama from Detroit, Michigan. Jackson figured the Birmingham-area wouldn’t be saturated with pole dancing studios as are many major cities.
Jackson has been dancing since she was 2 years old, studying jazz, tap and ballet through the years. After obtaining a degree in dietetics, Jackson later became certified in personal training and group fitness. Jackson started teaching strip aerobics classes several years ago while living in California. Now, as owner of PYT Studio, Jackson has the chance to merge all her interests and talents.
Jackson says pole dancing classes are for women of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. She once had a student who was 72 years old.
“Pole does not discriminate,” says Jackson, who’s 32 and a mom.
For women who think they’d feel too embarrassed to try a pole dancing class Jackson says, “We’re all women. There’s nothing to be shy about.”
On this particular Friday evening the introductory class was being taught by Kristan Whitt, a new instructor. She discovered pole dancing fitness classes when she was searching for fun ways to get in shape. “I Googled ‘fun ways to work out’ and I found Zumba and this,” Whitt said. After taking an introductory pole dancing class she was hooked.
I quickly learned that pole dancing is a great workout. Not only did the class put my upper body strength to the test, but the constant movement caused me to work up a sweat.
PYT Studio offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced pole dancing classes, a variety of dance-based aerobics classes, and strength training classes as well.
On this night the other women taking the class and I learned the steps to a somewhat simple, but seductive routine, while dressed in workout gear and heels. The routine not only had us dancing on a pole, but even crawling on the floor.
And then there’s the move called “The Fireman.” It is, in my opinion, the toughest of all the parts of the routine. For it we had to, with both legs off the floor, circle around and down the pole. Even by the end of the class I couldn’t get this move right nor could the other dozen or so women taking the class that night. But this didn’t stop any of us from having a good time. I am sure there is always plenty of girlish giggling going on in these classes as it was this night.
On this night a group of women from Montgomery were taking the class for the first time. It was girls’ night and Kwandra Brinson came up with the idea to try pole dancing.
“We do something every month and I thought this would be something different and fun,” Brinson said, adding that most of the women in her group are married and thought the class might also give them some ideas to take home.
After Whitt taught us all the moves of the routine it was time to perform. No, we weren’t thrown on a stage in front of a crowd. The lights were turned down, the music was turned up, and a red strobe light was turned on to truly set the mood. With the bass of a popular hip-hop song booming through the air, we performed the routine three times in a row. Whitt encouraged us to add our own flavor and to give the routine all we had. And I did just that. Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror while twisting my hips and sliding my back down the pole, I thought, “Wow! I’m hot.”
Yes, in those moments I felt like the sexiest woman alive. Perhaps Reese Witherspoon was right after all.