Wendy Traskos, Co-creator of Climb & Spin, Co-Founder of US Pole Dance Federation and Owner of NYPD
Pole dancing is a lot more fun than writing. This thought came to me one morning, and I decided to find out how many classes I could take in one day at New York Pole Dancing.
Between 8.15am and 5.15pm, I took six hour-long classes including Climb and Spin, Stretch, Booty Camp (twice), Handstands and Sexy Seats.
Instructors, Wendy Traskos, Gabrielle Valliere, Brynlyn Loomis, Anna Grundstrom, Jillian Urrutia, Micaela Mamede, Caitlin Goddard & Bonnie Fischer
Each Climb and Spin class ends with a routine including a spin, a climb and some floor work or transitional moves. It’s satisfying to feel one is leaving with something one could show one's friends, if one had the guts to do so.
During stretch class, instructor, Anna Grundstrom, demonstrated as she lay on her stomach and almost touched the back of her head with her foot while arching her back. Then we lay on our backs for hamstring stretches, and Anna almost touched her forehead with her foot. My leg shook as I fought to keep it straight while pulling it closer.
NYPD Instructors after a recent photo shoot
The NYPD instructors are knowledgeable enough to lead novices like myself through improvement, while also being able to push experts to expand their skills.
In my next class, instructor, Micaela Mamede, bounced into Booty Camp like an elastic band, with a hibiscus flower tattoo covering half her back.
“You know how during yoga, downward dog is your resting position,” Micaela said. “Well, during booty camp, your resting position is jumping jacks. Let’s start with 50. Go.”
I started jumping. This was my third hour, with three more to go. Micaela cheered us along as we did side planks with leg lifts, mountain climbers, pullups and pikes. Another student and I grinned at each other. This was hard but it was also really fun.
Handstands with Wendy Traskos
Waiting in the lobby for the next class, one student described to me a move she learned in “Sexy Seats.”
“So you put your head between his legs while he’s sitting in a chair,” she said, letting her waist length brown hair dangle between her legs. “Then you blossom out your legs.” She waved her arms like undulating water.
“I showed it to my boss and he said, ‘What are they teaching you there?’”
I could not imagine demonstrating this move to my boss, if I had one. But if I had a boss, I probably wouldn’t be here doing six hours of pole dancing classes in one day.
After handstands, and Brynlyn Loomis’s booty camp, I took my last class of the day: Sexy Seats.
Instructor, Brynlyn Loomis, doing her 2012 USPDF routine
First, we walked across the room in our heels. Walking in a straight line is challenging when wearing seven-inch heels. The shoes mesmerized me: silver glitter, pink corset, gilded, light up and some with fluffy toys inside.
Whether the pole is symbolic or not, climbing it, sliding down it, and spinning around it makes one feel powerful. Although I haven’t yet mastered any upside down moves or poses, I feel stronger and, yes, sexier, for having tried it.
After six hours of classes, I felt energized. And I couldn’t wait to write about it.