wiping the sweat off my face glistening after my first Flirty Girl Fitness class. My gym has yet to install the stripper poles or set up the chairs to straddle, but my hips and pelvis are feeling the burn and my leg muscles are still screaming singing after my slightly stilted yet still sexy workout.
After watching Terri Hatcher demonstrate her steamy pole dance exercise routine on an episode of Oprah, Canadian sisters Kerry and Krista Knee created Flirty Girl Fitness. They opened posh, ladies only gyms in Toronto and Chicago which feature a tantalizing lineup of classes including Chair Fit/Striptease, House Music Honeys, Pole Tease, Coyote Ugly, Burlesque, and Bikini Boot Camp. Their Flirty Girl Fitness Program is also available in a DVD set, complete with six routines, a keepsake box, and a pink feather boa.
Of course, I had never heard of it.
I had no idea what to expect when I walked into the “Booty Beat” class. One of my favorite instructors recently received her Flirtification (a.k.a. certification and official independent contractor license) to teach her own Booty Beat classes. I showed up for my regularly scheduled intensive Body Pump toning class to see the Booty Beat flyer taped beside the door:
straight from the hottest videos and coolest dance floors and incorporate them
into a fat burning, super-fun, easy-to-follow routine to provide the perfect
combination of cardio and strength training. You will feel like you are a part of
a music video rather than in a cardio crazy, core chiseling, booty toning, arm
sculpting workout class. –FlirtyGirlFitness.com
I was already dressed in my gym clothes. I couldn’t just stand in the doorway looking like a prude or a chicken. I sighed, mustered up my courage, and walked into the class.
First your must understand something: I am one of the least coordinated women on the planet. I can’t make it through five minutes of aerobics on a DVD in the privacy of my own living room without thoroughly humiliating myself. During my last aerobics attempt my cat fled from the room while laughing at me (shh, I know she was) in her smug feline way. My feet and arms simply cannot handle two opposite movements simultaneously.
I am not rhythmically challenged; I love to dance, but only to music I can immerse myself within. None of that MTV choreography crap. I could never be a Brittany or a Madonna. I’m suppose I could say I’m a more sensual dancer, moving my hips along with the beat as my body follows along–more belly dancer than pop diva.
Luckily, the first class was nearly empty. Only three of us were brave enough to strut our stuff in a studio lined with mirrors. And I was miraculously the youngest. I said a quick thanks to whatever higher power for keeping the 17-year-old model/dancer gym regular our of class (she is sweet as can be but come on, my self-esteem evaporates in her presence). We started on a wide learning curve. Our instructor’s CD didn’t work. None of us had any experience with the dance moves. And well, we had to kick our inhibitions out the door.
The first move was the hardest for me: The Brittany. Just the name made me cringe. My hands had to perform four different movements while my feet danced at a slightly faster pace. And it was not timed properly with the background music. Not my most graceful moment. Other moves were much more my style: the sexy “Angel” (hands up then shaking your glitter down your body), the slowly gyrating “Corkscrew,” even the butt slapping “Oh No You Didn’t.”
Each song/routine consists of about four separate “flirtified” dance moves strung together and repeated at an aerobics pace. Since my instructor is more into toning than aerobics, she prompted us to pick up weights while dancing and modified some moves into more traditional squats and lunges. Oh yeah, I felt the burn. And not just because I was hot...
During that first class we laughed at ourselves, learned a few new moves our significant others probably wouldn’t mind us demonstrating, and worked up quite a sweat. It was fun. I didn’t feel as if I was ready to don my tightest tank top and a cowgirl hat and jump up on a bar for a sexy dance a la Coyote Ugly, but I walked out slightly more confident, more aware of my sexuality, and with my head held high.
If the class gains enough followers my gym may invest in some poles for our entertainment. Management will have to add a curtain in front of the peek-a-boo window; we don’t need any of the bodybuilders outside dropping any weights on their feet while gawking. And I might need a glass of wine (or two) before my first sashay on the pole. Adios inhibitions…
This first video shows a routine similar to what I attempted in class. Except we couldn’t do it as fast. Or coordinated. And my instructor is NOT a perky playmate barking out instructions.
And if we ever get those poles…