Go where no workout has taken you before.
It’s been a while since I have let out my inner sultriness. In fact, the last time was almost a year ago when I attempted a swing around a shiny pole during a pole dancing class at Move Studio in Dallas, TX. And let me tell you, I felt like the exact opposite of a sexpot. In fact, I felt like an uncoordinated, graceless sloth trying to get my feet off the ground during a swing.
With 2011 rolling on, I realized I was slouching into my fitness comfort zone and it was time to truly step outside the walls of the aerobics studio and shake what my mama gave me – which is quite a lot. So I thought “what better way to shake it up” than to throw on some heels and hit up Centre for Dance in Dallas!
I wanted to brace myself for the simulated sexual shenanigans that went on during a burlesque class, so I decided to go all “Mary Tyler Moore” and cover it for DFW Reporting. Check out the dance moves and full story here.
I must say that I was quite impressed with the folks at Centre for Dance. It was not nearly as taboo as I had expected. Instead, the instructor was bursting with confidence, a melodic rhythm, and class. In fact, I admired her confidence so much that I came home and tried to exude her feistiness in the privacy of my own living room (but she definitely takes the cake on that one).
This tiny ball of relentless energy is Geena Ngaaje and she possessed the endurance of a marathoner. Right before she dove into the Burlesque hour, she was busting it out to heavy jams in a grueling Hip Hop session. She dipped her booty down low and got some major air, all in a matter of seconds. As soon as the Hip Hop class was over, she traded in her baggy ensemble for four-inch heels and tights.
Minutes before the class started, I was ultra-bummed. I was standing there in my “reporter” clothes, but this class looked like it was going to be a blast and a half. Like I said earlier, once I saw how fun and classy these girls were, I laughed at myself thinking this class was “taboo.” That is the thing about treading in uncharted fitness water: you may gather qualms or misconceived notions because you are apprehensive, but once you get in there a large cloud of the worry lifts.
Pretty soon Miss Sassofrass, aka Geena, struts in and the bass starts thumping. In fact, I can feel it in my chest. I am standing awkwardly in the corner, while our camera guy is circling the class. My toes are tapping and my hips might be swaying a bit side-to-side. It was dark so I really didn’t care. I was beyond inspired by Geena’s confidence and how fluid her motions were.
The interesting method Centre for Dance practices is they have a variety of Burlesque-themed classes. Some involve a sexy chair dance while others are a bit more cardio-intense, such as Cardio Tease. The particular class I covered was Hip Hop High Heels, and let me tell you: the music in this class was awesome! I came home and downloaded the tunes on my iPod and you can bet I am strutting it on the street to these sexy Hip Hop jams. Well, maybe not strutting, but in my head I totally am!
While these sultry dance moves may be fun and flirty to execute, they are also a pumper for the ol’ gams. Think about it: pop-lock-and-drop requires some intense quadriceps work. If those puppies aren’t strong, there will be a whole lot of tipping over, especially in stilettos, and don’t think the legs are the only body part overhauling it. The way Geena had these girls mold their body into contorted poses was definitely strenuous on the entire core. Bending forwards, shimmying to the ground and snaking their bodies back up, I was in utter amazement and quite jealous I wasn’t partaking in the fun, toning workout.
Besides the toning and cardiovascular benefits this exercise style has to offer, I loved how all the women in the class were consumed with confidence and pride. I am not saying they thought they were the next Shakira or Beyonce, but you could see on their face that they were proud because they took an hour out of their busy day to do something just for themselves. That room was dripping with girl power. You could tell they weren’t mastering these moves to prove anything to anyone…just themselves.
So, if you are looking for a fun way to treat yourself, check out your local gym or dance studio and see what they have to offer in the way of Burlesque. Unless you are a glorified sex kitten, I can guarantee you will feel silly, clumsy, out-of-place and foolish; however, throw those self-induced limitations out the door and let go for an hour. You might be surprised how this little act of bravery can impact other areas of your life. I know I can’t wait to go to one of these classes where I can concentrate on nothing but the music, motion, and myself.
Kimberly Westphall is the author of Blogging Fitness and a regular contributor to Midwest Sports Fans.
She attended the University of Kansas where she majored in Journalism. She participated in a podcast with Jerod, which will help you get to know her even better. While at KU, she was an anchor and online web producer for Jayhawk Sports Talk.
Kimberly made her MSF debut in 2009 discussing the fight between Kansas’ basketball and football teams and also had her column about the Dallas Stars Ice Girls featured at Dallas Sports Fans.
She also is a reporter for DFWreporting.com where she reports on positive, uplifting news in the DFW Metroplex.
She has a passion for fitness and is on the lookout for emerging fitness trends and workouts. Her favorite group exercise format is kickboxing, and when she’s not hitting up the aerobics studio, Kimberly is training for her second marathon: Disneyworld 2011.
Follow Kimberly on Twitter: @Fit_Trip_Kimber