My instructor Leigh greeted me with a warm hug and within twenty minutes whipped off her pants. That’s how they roll at Tantrum Fitness in Grover Beach. At the small, women’s only studio with the bright pink walls, you are told to “leave your inhibitions at the door and work it like you’re about to run into your ex.” At Tantrum you can take your boot camps and yoga with a side of burlesque and pole fitness–guess what I chose?
Prior to my first go round the pole, I noticed the other participants all had one thing (other than being awesome) in common — booty shorts. It turns out that leggings do not work for every situation. Fabric does not cling to metal like skin does, and each time I slipped sadly downward my arms and hands carried a heavier burden. Pole fitness is no place for pants. I couldn’t give this an honest try without a wardrobe change and was too shy to work it in my skivvies. A fellow student offered me her extra soft, flexible, bottoms that I managed to make booty short-esque.
Perhaps you’ve heard this before but allow me to reiterate that pole dancing is incredibly difficult in the beginning. I quickly learned that in this class, you couldn’t rely on strength alone. You have to move your body in ways that aren’t necessarily intuitive, and I did not necessarily feel hot unless you count my clammy palms. Pole fitness is no place for clammy palms. Thankfully our fearless leader Leigh gave me the gift of grip and confidence in the form of magical sticky hand gel–but it’s not all about the sticky stuff. Leigh gives hands-on instruction while letting the more advanced ladies perfect their tricks.
Tantrum Fitness provides a supportive environment in which to get your groove on and you’ll often find women of all shapes and sizes cheering each other on. Yes, pole fitness is physically difficult but often the greatest obstacle is being comfortable in one’s own skin.
Ladies, whether you’re looking for flirty fitness or a more traditional format, Tantrum Fitness has a place for you. Check them out at tantrumfitness.com.
Courtney Haile is a writer and fitness instructor living in San Luis Obispo.