This past summer, I attempted to take a pole dancing class in Portugal. It didn’t exactly go as planned. I was bummed about this, as I’d never taken a pole dancing class before and it’s one of those things only an assignment would make me brave enough to actually do.
Months went by and I forgot about this short-lived ambition, but since my New Year’s resolutions center around finding things to spark joy in my always-bored life, I figure it might be time to get myself onto the pole at long last, assignment be damned. (Also, I secretly want to be in a Cardi B video, so there’s that….)
Luckily, I live in Los Angeles, where you can find innumerable classes in just about anything, especially if said “anything” puts you at center stage. Keep reading for all the deets on the city’s best (of many) pole dancing studios—including one run by the actual pole dancer from Cardi B’s “Money” video.
Westside girls need look no further than The Pole Garage, one of the friendliest pole studios in town. The family-owned (by founder/instructor Drea Roers and her husband) space offers “pole teaser” classes for beginners; however, if despite the space’s cozy vibes, you’re still scared to go it alone, consider getting 5–7 of your best girls together for one of the box’s standard-issue private pole parties instead.
1720 20th St., Suite 205, Santa Monica, CA, 90404; (310) 392-2605
Located smack dab in the middle of the city, Evolve also offers pole parties, as well as group classes, which range from virgin to pro vixen—in fact, there are even different types of intro classes to choose from, so you can mix it up in the early days to stay jazzed as you learn. Solo sessions are on offer, too. In order to get a sense of the vibe here, check out the studio’s instructions for first-timers—cool, casual, and calming.
5872 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90019; Phone number (323) 230-9605
This studio is no joke. BeSpun is where competitive pole dancers—the ones who actually win—train. Still, newbies are welcome as well, and classes are offered on all experience levels. Specific, 2-hour workshops are also an option weekly should you want to intensively hone the skill of, say, pole handstands. Plus, if you’re in need of a little inspiration prior to signing up, check out Pole Show LA, an extravagant Cirque de Soleil-meets-pole-dancing performance created by BeSpun owner LeighAnn Reilly.
7561 Sunset Blvd., Suite 102, Hollywood, CA, 90046; (323) 876-7786
As you may have guessed, this studio offers aerial classes of all stripes; however, this divided focus doesn’t, in any way detract from the quality of their pole sessions. Choose from three different classes: fundamentals, intermediate, and an all-levels class that will meet you wherever you are in the pole dancing journey. Oh, and BYO-male bestie—Aeriform’s classes are co-ed.
1276 N. Van Ness Ave., Hollywood, CA, 90038; (323) 466-2374
Valley girls can choose from a wide range of class types at this Canoga Park studio, which offers everything from introductory sessions to pole-based contemporary dance choreography. One of the benefits of this studio is that there are many classes on offer at various times throughout the day and night; however, if you’re an early bird, here you will not get the worm—the studio doesn’t open until 11 a.m.
8511 Canoga Ave., Unit D, Los Angeles, CA, 91304; (818) 392-8922
Any sweatbox boasting a “studio of the year” distinction is worth a try, and The Choreography House was awarded just such a trophy by the International Pole Dance Fitness Association. Located in North Hollywood, this space offers its dancers classes ranging from beginner to advanced, with lots of open class time thrown into the schedule to catch those who want to practice between instructed sessions. One of the best things about The Choreography House, though, is that it offers weeks-long workshops so you can learn alongside a consistent team of your peers.
13131 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA, 91605; (818) 854-0922
If you’re interested in pole dancing as an opportunity to build flexibility and especially strength, Jagged is a pretty safe bet—classes here will leave you sore AF (and give you a whole new level of respect for Queen Cardi, natch). Its down-to-business classes are popular among shyer types who don’t necessarily want to feel the need to be “sexy” as they learn the technique. First-timers pay just $15.
11655 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90025; (310) 730-3862
On the flip side, this studio—which has locations in Hawthorne and Culver City—absolutely oozes sex, and if you don’t know what I mean by that, check out the YouTube videos posted to its homepage. As a result, its eight poles are often packed, which can mean some advance planning is required in order to book classes which work with your schedule. A diverse array of such sessions is regularly on offer no matter your level, however; try a class on mid-air inversions, one specifically geared towards strength training, and/or a course tailored towards newbies waiting to be sprung from their shells.
12913 Hawthorne Blvd., Hawthorne, CA, 90250
11409 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, CA, 90230
If you’re a South Bay gal, you don’t need to sit out of pole dancing classes (or brave a horrendous commute) thanks to this Redondo Beach-based box. But if you feel awkward acting all sexy on a pole in front of someone else’s dog, this may not be the place for you—friendly pets are allowed to roam the studio during class, which makes for an extra-fun (if occasionally chaotic) mix.
3645 Inglewood Ave., Suite 11, Redondo Beach, CA, 90278; (310) 773-0298
10. Luscious Maven
This studio, located in the NoHo Arts District, sells out its classes fast. Each one is labeled so you know exactly what to expect when you attend, and they range from levels one (beginner) to four. If you’re feeling particularly spicy, you can take exotic pole here, too (along with other exotic dance classes). I lost five minutes of my life watching a captivating video on Luscious Maven’s homepage which has me very motivated to check out the studio….
11135 Weddington St., Suite 113, North Hollywood, CA, 91601; (818) 824-4091
S Factor founder and actress Sheila Kelley is widely credited for having taken the pole out of the club and into the studio. After preparing for a role which required her to pole dance, she realized it was not only a great workout but also one which made her feel feminine in all the best ways. Today, S Factor is an empire, and if you’re most comfortable in a well-greased wheel type of environment, you might want to start your pole studies here. Plus, lights are dim and there are no mirrors, so you can minimize as much self-consciousness as possible early on in your journey. S Factor is located in the Miracle Mile area.
5225 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90036; (323) 965-9685
Also located mid-city (on Fairfax), this studio is owned by Nicole “The Pole” Williams, who’s best-known for her performance in Rihanna’s “Pour it up” video. More recently, Williams was cast in Cardi B’s “Money” vid. Because, damn. You’ll actually get to learn directly from her, too—the box’s limited class offerings are led by Nicole herself—and if it’s good enough for Rihanna and Cardi B, well… I think you know how that sentence should end.
7660 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90036; (310) 343 9757
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