STORY #1-Pole dancing is the new modern exercise.

To swing or not to swing?

When you walk into a strip club you go in there knowing exactly what you are going to see. It is a world that was created for male fantasy.
Well a fad has broken out that strips away all the fantasy and centers around something with substance.

Xpose Fitness as well as several other gyms and fitness centers across the country and the world have discovered a way to mold pole dancing into an effective aerobic workout while excluding everything else that associates it with exotic dance.

It is a growing phenomenon. Pole dancing classes have become extremely popular and intriguing to those who are unfamiliar with it.

Some women feel it is a fun, intense workout that pushes and tones their bodies while others feel it still objectifies women as sex objects.

Those who take class at Xpose Fitness do not associate their workouts with stripping at all.

Mary-Jane Jakubowski is a 48-year-old woman who has been taking pole dancing classes for the past three years. She says that she is stronger today than she ever was in high school.
She enjoys working out in an environment where there are no judgments made and it is only women. She appreciates a woman’s opinion more than a mans because a woman understands what it is like to struggle with her body in today’s society.

“It’s fun and it works every muscle in your body,” said Jakubowski, “It’s not boring or the same class every day.”

Jakubowski has a $5 annual membership at Ballie Total Fitness and she says that she would rather spend the money to come and take class at Xpose than go to the gym and tolerate the same routine everyday.

“We’re just regular women having a good time and we don’t have to take off our clothes,” said Jakubowski. “It’s not about stripping.”

Women of all shapes and sizes take classes on these poles that can hold up to 300 pounds. It is a new way of losing weight, tightening your body and feeling sexy all at the same time.

21-year-old Brandi Smithwick has her own pole in her house. You can purchase a pole for up to $100 online.
You burn a lot of calories because you are using all of your muscles at once rather than using a machine that only conditions certain muscles at a time.

“It makes me feel good to work out on it,” said Smithwick. “I feel a lot more sexy and confident about myself since I’ve bought the dance pole.”

The level of sexiness that is incorporated into pole dancing is what keeps people associating it with exotic dance. A woman’s sexuality can be expressed through anything she does. Pole dancing is just more upfront about it.

Kate Wilkinson is a women’s studies teacher at Towson University and says that pole dancing will always be frowned upon because it is associated with a job that exploits women.

“Pole dancing as exercise seems to reinforce the idea that women exercise to attain a sexual ideal, rather than exercising for health and physical self confidence,” Wilkinson said.

It is not an easy task to support the entire weight of your body while you do these moves on the pole. It requires the same amount of control, balance and skill that you see on the horizontal bar in gymnastics, this bar just happens to be vertical.

No one is denying that it can be a graceful, sexy sport but that doesn’t take away the level of skill needed to perform on the pole.

Trina Kadesky has been taking class at Xpose for a year and a half and is already a full-time instructor. She says that taking class at Xpose is no joke and it will bust your butt.
Xpose attracts a wide demographic. Young and older women find this class extremely fun and effective.

“Older women tend to be more comfortable at first then the younger girls,” said Kadesky, 26. “It seems to bring back all the sexiness they may have let behind or lost along the way.”

Older women also build their body strength a lot faster because they are willing to work a lot harder to lose weight.

Cecilia Rio, another women’s studies professor at Towson, says that on a micro level women may discover their erotic selves and self expression through acts of pole dancing and no one is harmed.

Women do have the option of participating in this form of exercise but what is it saying to the rest of the world?

“On a national and macro level, however, pornography is going mainstream and when it becomes so commonplace that we find its influence everywhere including gyms what happens is that pornography increasingly dominates imagination such that the only way American culture understands sexuality is through objection,” said Rio.

Sexuality has become very impersonal. We can’t be sexual anymore without someone finding it offensive. What pornography has done is make it so it is inappropriate for a women to be sexy.

So what do we do ladies? Do we keep our sexuality in the closet or show people that just because some women do it for the cash that it doesn’t mean that the rest of us should feel ashamed to bring out our sexy side now and then.

Kadesky says that you can’t judge something until you’ve experienced it, so don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

The world needs to start embracing this new exercise because it’s not going anywhere and people across the country are petitioning to make it an Olympic sport.

Here is a SLIDESHOW of some girls showing us their moves at Xpose Fitness.



A little about me.

Ink in the workplace.


9 responses to “STORY #1-Pole dancing is the new modern exercise.

  1. hlemai

    This is a really great article. You really found some great feed back from professors etc. I like how even older women are getting into this and rediscovering what makes them feel sexy.
    The videos are amazing. You have to be really strong to be able to hold yourself up like that.

    • shannonkemp

      Thanks girl. It definitly isn’t easy. I tried kicked my legs above my head and I caught one right to the crotch!

  2. Great article, thank you. 🙂

  3. nice article, shannon.

    “and I caught one right to the crotch!”

  4. Chrissy

    I love this article! I was a little sad that the one professor just doesn’t get it, but you can’t change everyone’s mind. I think you wrote an excellent article and I am glad that you put this out there. Thanks oodles :o)

  5. mj

    Not easy, but so worth the effort. Like the research you did for this article. Good Job.

  6. THANKS WOMAN! Great job and when you came to class i was really impressed that you were able to pick up so easily. Thank you for giving us some great recognition, and in case there were any doubts here is one of MANY articles… … thanks again and next time try our floor chair class. ADD us on FB and Myspace! xoxo

  7. shannonkemp

    Thanks everyone. I had a lot of fun taking the class and writing the article.

  8. sharon

    thank-you shannon, i appreciate how you went about writing this article. i understand that to give a good overview you needed to show different points of view. very nicely done. thanks for attempting this from a personal perspective as well. shows an open mind. please come back to play with us soon..and bring friends

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