Pole dancing used to be the class that groups of girlfriends booked during bachelorette weekends to incite innuendo and giggling.
But there’s nothing gimmicky about Body & Pole, a massive (and pretty!) three-story fitness center in New York City dedicated to the aerial arts and conditioning classes like Acro Floor, Vertical Ballet Barre, to an upper-body, core-tastic workout called Aerial Hoop.
For this class, you’ll spin and sway from a hoop that’s suspended from the ceiling—and placed over a mat, thank you!—thereby getting in touch with your graceful side while also getting (seriously) ripped.
Intro classes are capped at six, and two students practice at a time, which sets you up to safely trump gravity while tapping (and taxing) your muscles. Each of us learned and tried two different hoop mounts, with a couple of fun moves in the hoop, and a touch of spinning.
This is typical of a first class, which is 60 percent instructional, as the teachers demo the mounts step-by-step for you. So no just flipping yourself over and climbing in the hoop. It’s a process that’s involves more moves than Beyonce—and tons of strength. Getting in the hoop feels like you’ve won an Olympic medal.
You won’t break a sweat the first time, but the more you go, the more you’ll move your muscles and get hotter in both senses of the word. —Lisa Elaine Held
Who’s it for: Yogis and dancers who want to try something new; those looking for a creative strength-training workout; acrobatic-lovers who’ve always wanted to learn a few Cirque du Soleil or burlesque tricks
Body & Pole, 115 W. 27th St., between Sixth and Seventh Aves., Chelsea, $40 per class, www.bodyandpole.com