"Pole dancing is NOT a joke"

Jennifer Lopez said it best, "Pole dancing is not a joke".

If you're looking for a workout that's challenging, fun, and empowering all at the same time, you need to go check out Iron City Circus Arts in Pittsburgh right now.

​​I initially came across ICCA when I was looking for a place to learn aerial silks. Since I've retired from cheerleading, aside from the occasional stunt here and there, I've been wanting to find something that is physically challenging in a similar way. Aerial silks peaked my interest when I saw videos of people plummeting to the ground and catching themselves at the last minute. If you're a former cheerleader, you probably understand the appeal of this thrill. A regular workout class, like spin or something, just doesn't have the same effect.

ICCA offers aerial silks, trapeze, pole dancing, hoops, hammocks, etc. There's literally something for everyone and all age levels!

My friend, Angie, was in town over Christmas break and mentioned she had attended a pole dancing class in Texas and absolutely loved it. After talking to her, I was sold. I knew I needed to get myself into ICCA ASAP. Since my schedule isn't free while the silks classes are being offered right now, I figured the pole class would be a great way to check out the venue and get myself familiar with it.

I attended my first class at ICCA with one of my best friends, Kayla, last Saturday. We signed up for an Intro to Pole Drop-In Class and had a blast. Our instructor, Mia, was awesome and made everyone feel comfortable immediately. There was one other girl who was brand new and a few other people in our class who had been there before. No matter the level of skill you were attempting, the other girls in the class cheered you on when you were trying new things. Seriously, we were applauded for doing elbow-stands and leaning away from the pole and the girl who was doing all kinds of crazy stuff was hyping us up. There was so much positivity in the room it was unbelievable. It's the kind of support people need to give each other in every aspect of life to be honest.

The workout itself was great too. Kayla and I were both were feeling it just a few hours after we finished class. You have to engage your full body for pole and we were doing a lot of reps to get the technique down right. We also had some pretty entertaining fails in the process. My conclusion after our first class is that, like in cheerleading, going for it is half the battle. Hesitating does not help you out one bit and momentum is your friend.

I've already signed up for another pole class and can't wait to try silks in the near future! If you've been on the fence about trying pole or any of the other circus classes, you need to just go for it. It's so much fun and everyone there is so supportive that any reservations you may have holding you back will go away almost immediately.

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