Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Girl's Night Out!!!

Benefits of Pole Dancing

In the United States, pole dancing gets a bad wrap. It has a reputation for being sleazy and is associated with strippers and strip clubs. In Europe, however, it is a different story. Men and women alike take to the pole to prove their strength and flexibility. It is an art form and an athletic event that works your abs and arms and challenges your strength and coordination while also expressing a hint of sexuality. Luckily, this idea is slowly making its way over to the United States and many gyms are picking up on it.

Crunch Fitness, a popular gym with many locations in New York and Los Angeles was one of the first mainstream gyms to add a pole dancing class to its fitness schedule. While slow to develop, it has now become one of the most challenging and crowded classes in many of their locations. Other smaller gyms have also started to develop pole dancing classes. One gym nearby my apartment, Work It Dance and Fitness in Norwalk, CT is one of these gyms. Not only do they offer mainstream classes like Zumba, they also have Intro to Pole Dancing, Burlesque, and Belly Dancing. My good friend Christina surprised me on my birthday with a gift certificate to the gym and I decided to organize a group of 10 girl friends to take a private class with me. As you can see from the pictures above, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Working every muscle while having fun!

We began the class with floor stretches and exercises. Every move our instructor would show us seemed easy at first, but soon because very difficult.  Before we even reached the pole exercises my triceps were burning and my shoulders were engaged. The music was awesome and they gave us each a boa to use throughout the class so everyone loosened up pretty quickly and was having a good time. I am so glad that I decided to do it with friends because it really took the pressure off of being nervous.

We then made our way to the pole and were taught a few different moves such as walking around the pole, incorporating the floor exercises, and eventually adding a hop around the pole. I will admit it, I was definitely the runt of the group. Although I consider myself an athlete, I was definitely having a hard time keeping my arm held up straight on the pole and using it to swing me around. In addition, I also found it difficult to perfect the moves and then add some confidence or sexuality. I think that must come over time although many of my friends hit the mark right off the bat!

I was definitely nervous going into the class because I didn’t know how I would do and it seemed a little awkward. But the instructor and the staff made us all feel so free and comfortable that it became very easy to just let go and enjoy it. Even though I wasn’t the best, I still just went for it and tried to have fun with it. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is always a good thing to do, especially when trying new fitness classes, so I urge you all to try this someday if you can (men and women included!). Even better would be if you could organize a group of friends to do it with you.

You don't have to be fit to do Pole Fitness, you BECOME fit by doing Pole Fitness!!!

Sometimes your body can get so used to your everyday workout that it doesn’t burn as many calories the more you keep up the same thing. As I said, I thought I had arm strength until I tried this class and now I realize that I have some work to do! It is always important to switch things up as often as possible to keep shocking your body into burning calories. I hope you all give it a try someday and if you are ever in the Norwalk area, I highly recommend Work It Dance and Fitness! You will never think of pole dancing the same way again 🙂

Read more of Erin’s blogs by going to http://onemorecupcakeplease.tumblr.com/post/6248800363/benefits-of-pole-dancing-in-the-united-states

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Digestive disease suffers can tell you that one of the best self-care measures one can take to alleviate their symptoms is to exercise and take control of their diet.  I, Erika, a pole dance instructor at Work It Dance and Fitness in Norwalk, CT, have successfully been on remission from ulcerative colitis for 3 years. I was diagnosed with a chronic condition of ulcerative colitis at 19, and struggled with flare ups until 23.  Now at age 26, and have finally regained my health, my strength, and my self-confidence with a little over a year of pole fitness training.

Erika before pole fitness

To keep my disease in check, I was put on a steroid called Prednisone.  It was a miracle drug in helping me with my condition, but I gained 46 lbs. due to the side effects of increased appetite and water retention.  These side effects caused me to start feeling bad about myself to the point that I even went through a short period of episodic depression.   My doctor’s answer was to write yet another prescription, this time for an anti-anxiety drug.

I informed the doctor, “Look, I take enough pills, I’m not taking anymore!” I knew there had to be a better way.  Come to found out, there was.

Erika on her 26th birthday

For me, pole dancing has become a natural release of serotonin.  It allowed me to tone my body, lose weight, and feel great about myself, and I’m proud to say, I did “it” without another drug in my system.  With pole dancing, I have not only managed to tone my every muscle in my body, but have also been able to strengthen my stomach and more importantly, help my digestion. Even the frequency of my flare-ups have been reduced leading me to be on remission for several years, with the assistance of a low dosage of anti-inflammatory prescription drug.

Pole fitness has allowed me to live my life again normally without the aggravation of flaring up and to be able to feel fabulous in my own skin again.  I even wore a bikini this past summer, something I haven’t wanted to do in years.

So, if your someone who is not happy with the person in the mirror,  physically or mentally,   pole dancing may be the answer you are looking for. Pole dancing strengthens the connection between the mind and the body, and can build self-confidence.  If you’re in the Norwalk Connecticut area, take my class so you can learn to show off your curves and sensual side! By the end of each class you will feel more empowered and feel as if you can conquer the world.  It worked for me!

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Work It Dance and Fitness is proud to introduce a new class, Flexibility and Stretch, taught by Naja.  We welcome Naja to the WIDF team and look forward to taking her class tonight (Monday) at 6:30PM.  This 60-minute class is for anyone who would like to increase their flexibility and range of motion. You will learn how to safely stretch your legs, hips, shoulders, and back while building the muscle and balance needed to use your flexibility. Techniques are drawn from Naja’s many years of circus contortion and dance training. This class is ideal for dancers (especially pole dancers), martial artists, yogis, athletes, and anyone else who would like to open up their body to a new way of moving.

More about Naja:

Naja has over 10 years experience in Circus Arts, as a teacher, choreographer and performer. Her performance, teaching and production skills are solid and extensive.  She studied in San Francisco at the San Francisco Circus Center where she received specialized training and study under Master Lu Yi and Xia Ke Min in Chinese acrobatics, doubles, hand-balancing and foot juggling. She also studied rope, static trapeze, hoop and tissue. She worked on the west coast for 10 years gaining performance experience with The New Pickle Circus, Vau de Vire Society, Velocity Circus and Earth Circus and professional experience at the San Francisco Circus Center as a Choreographer, Coach and Asst. Director for the SF Youth Circus productions; at Windmill Gymnastics as a Gymnastics Coach; at Velocity Arts and Entertainment as Associate Artistic Director and Troupe coach; at Head over Heels Gymnastics and Circus Arts as contortion, acro, hand-balancing and doubles coach/choreoegrapher for Splash Circus; and finally at the Kinetic Arts Center as the CircusSpire contortion,acro,hadbalancing and doubles coach/choreograher. Naja has performed mostly on the corporate circuit with various bay area production companies in contortion, doubles hand-balancing and hoop.

 Naja was also an instructor at the renowned San Francisco Circus Center and is well-versed in Chinese acrobatics and aerial arts. She choreographs individual and group acts as well as large scale productions and has trained private students including contortionists, hand-balancers and aerialists. Naja was also Co-Director and Choreographer of the SF Youth Circus touring production “Impressions” and was Stage Manager for the Circus Center Annual Showcase- Cabaret. Not only is Naja a highly skilled instructor and performer, she is also skilled in the art of circus and fashion make-up techniques and has been the make-up artist for many of her students’ shows. She was Make-up Director for the SF Youth Circus and an artist for Velocity Circus as well as for numerous corporate productions.

 Prior to living and working in California, Naja graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts with a Ballet Concentration and has worked/performed in New York and Connecticut while continuing her education at Joffrey Ballet, New Haven Ballet and Hartford Ballet, where ballet was her primary focus of study. She also acquired working knowledge of modern, ballroom, character, hip-hop and jazz dance. Prior to circus arts she was a classically trained dancer and performed with the New Haven Ballet, Hartford Ballet, Moscow State Ballet and the Paul Hall Contemporary Dance Theater.

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Welcome to the blog page for Work It Dance and Fitness.  We offer a unique work-out experience for men and women with classes such as Yoga, Zumba, Pole Dancing, Hip-Hop and much more.  Conveniently located in trendy SoNo, our studio is walking distance from the South Norwalk train station.

Our goal with this blog is to share articles, tips and resources for our growing dance and fitness community.  We will also promote upcoming events at WIDF.  Thanks for stopping by!

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