On top of various health and fitness benefits, there are reasons that a typical Thai girl from a conservative background like me decided to learn Pole Dance.
The song Angels from Within Temptation played loud in the background and I walked slowly around the pole. I moved along with the symphonic rock introduction, and when the musical beats got faster I spun myself around the pole for the first time. The adrenaline rush shot right through my whole body. And I told myself, ‘this is awesome’.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that most people relate Pole Dancing to the act performed almost every night by girls in Bangkok’s red light districts. I personally have witnessed a few good pole dance shows, and I secretly admired the moves when I took tourists for a mind-blowing experience in one of Bangkok’s alternative entertainment scenes. Regardless of how inappropriate it might sound, I found a few of them stirring and I enjoyed watching the girls performing.
But pole dancing isn’t just about titillation. It’s also a form of performance art which combines dance and gymnastics. It has evolved from being an erotic dance to be a form of acrobatics and stage performance, and today it has become an increasingly popular form of fitness practiced in gyms and dance studios internationally. A wide range of amateur and professional competitions are held in many countries around the world today.
Despite the fact that it is a form of dance workout that aims to keep your muscles toned and fit, pole dance is beautiful and erotic. Many women around the world like it because it’s fun, great for fitness, and is a great confidence booster…So why would I not be interested in joining the Pole Dance Class?
Spin the Pole
Only a few dance studios in Bangkok offer pole dance class. One of the leading dance studios with the class on offer is rumPUREE World Dance Studio. Apart from its good reputation, the school is conveniently located on the 5th floor of Amarin Plaza which is connected with the sky walk from Chidlom BTS station.
I called the school to ask about the pole dance classes for beginners. To be honest, I was a little worried about my fitness level and whether I’d end up breaking my neck in the first class. After all, I’m just an average lady who hasn’t actively engaged in any kinds of sports for the past 2 years. Well, I was suggested to join the introduction class on a Thursday evening with teacher Maria.
All of the students are suggested to wear shorts or minimum clothes for safety reasons. Since many dance moves involve bare skin touching the pole, wearing long pants can only make it difficult to perform and can even lead to injury.
After almost half an hour of stretching and warming up, we started walking around the pole. We learned how to move and point our toes when walking. Then we learned to turn and spin the pole. All dance moves are more difficult than what I expected.
Beyond the erotic moves to perform, pole dance is clearly an exercise that requires strength and a lot of practice to be good.
“Relax. Don’t worry if you don’t get it the first time. You have to find a momentum and let go,” Teacher Maria said as I was about to land flat on my bum. That was obviously not my classiest move.
After some practice, the song Angels was played and we started by walking slowly around the pole, moving our legs up and down, turning and sliding on the pole. As the music got more upbeat, I spin the pole for the first time. It was an amazing feeling once I could do it.
Teacher Maria was calm and supportive. I couldn’t help locking my eyes on her when she danced as she made it look so pretty. I never thought of pole dance this way before but after watching Teacher Maria’s moves with her high heels on, I can just see it as sensually elegant and inspiring.
The following classes get even more interesting. The basic move of Pole Dance involves spins, climbs, and body inversions.
I like Teacher Maria’s choice of music. The second class she played “The Bleeding” by Five Finger Death Punch, which is a rock song with a powerful introduction which creates an electric atmosphere to the performance. Though I didn’t do particularly well on climbing the pole, I enjoyed the whole experience. It’s certainly a challenging exercise.
“The strength will come. I was the last one in my class to reach the ceiling. If I can do it you can do it too,” said teacher Maria.
After the class, teacher Maria told me that there is a world champion pole dancer who started with absolutely no experience but became the world’s best in just 6 years. “Just don’t give up,” she added.
About Teacher Maria
Teacher Maria spent the majority of her academic years focusing on art-related subjects including seven years of playing the flute and singing in the chorus, drama, musical theater, as well as illustration, design, and creative writing. In her second year of studying Communication Arts in university, she decided to learn Bellydance as she’s interested in Middle Eastern culture. Teacher Maria joined her first class at rumPUREE in late 2006 where she soon became more involved with shows and performances.
Because of her passion and talent, Teacher Maria is now part of rumPUREE faculty teaching Bellydance and Pole Dance. She is also an active member of RaksrumPUREE and rumPUREE Tribal, the premiere Bellydance Company in Thailand dedicated to the Middle Eastern, American Tribal and Tribal Fusion art of dance.
rumPUREE World Dance Studio
Established in 2006 by dance professionals who have extensive experience from New York, rumPUREE is well recognized as one of the best dance studios in Bangkok with various classes in world dances on offer including Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Modern Jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Bellydance, Flamenco, Thai Dance, New York Salsa, Argentine Tango, Swing Dance, Hip Hop, Music Video Dance, Striptease, House, Jazzercise, Zumba, Body Improvement and Pole Dance.
Among the most popular classes here are Bellydance and Pole Dance, according to rumPUREE owner Khun Ple.
“Pole Dance is considered a sport. It’s beautiful and challenging. Every time you push your body to its limits you find you can achieve more. It’s popular because it makes you strong. Many girls come to this class because they want to get firm and fit,” said Khun Ple.
“The more you practice, the moves you do will show your strength more than your sexiness. However, if you want to learn sexy dance, you should try Striptease,” she said.
The class is considerably more relaxing as it doesn’t require as much of your strength as the Pole Dance class. Students learn to express themselves sensually with confidence. I was given a shirt and learned to walk slowly, moving my hips as I walked along to soft and easy-listening music. Then I learned to take my shirt off slowly and sensually along with the rhythm of music. Though I personally find the Pole Dance class more exciting, the Striptease class is certainly more practical for anyone who wants to learn new tricks to tease their lovers at home.
For more information and class schedule, contact
rumPUREE World Dance Studio
5th Floor, Amarin Plaza Building, BTS – Chidlom
Tel. 081 430 6684, 081 439 0200