Fitness with a Twist

By: Amanda Cooney

#FBF to one of our first issues of BOLD Pittsburgh. Relive the moment when Amanda C. decided to try her hand – and the rest of her body – at pole dancing! Enjoy!


Fitness with a Twist

Everyone has a routine, and that’s okay, as long as you find some ways to break out of it every once in a while and try new things. That is what I have been striving to do for the past year, and I am looking to continue that goal throughout 2014. 

A month or so ago, I was going through my daily routine of checking up on things on the interwebs and social media to see what was going on in the world around me. While I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, I had stumbled upon a few photos that one of my friends had posted. She was a part of a bridal party for her friend’s upcoming nuptials and the bridesmaids decided to have the bachelorette party at a dance studio called Fitness with a Twist that offers classes on pole dancing. It looked like fun and I wondered if anyone could participate in these sessions, so I decided to check out their website.  Fitness with a Twist offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced pole classes, as well as drop-in classes for all levels. They also offer belly dancing and chair dancing classes.

 The idea of pole dancing sounded exciting to me, but the more I thought about it, I became unsure. If you know me, you will know that I am not graceful or coordinated. I am the stereotypical awkward female character you see in movies and TV shows - the ones that walk down the street and trip over their own two feet, drop their keys down a sewage drain, and have toilet paper on their scuffed high heels. I am a bit of a mess. I thought for a day or so on whether or not I should sign up for a class and decided “what the hell, why not?!” It looked like an interesting experience, so I signed up for one of their Saturday afternoon drop in sessions. 

Fitness with a Twist has two studios: one in Greensburg, PA and the other is located in Pittsburgh’s South Side.  I arrived at the South Side studio little early and signed in. I took a seat in the waiting area as the class before mine was finishing up. Seven poles are located in the third floor studio and mirrors surround the walls. Four of these poles were in use by three students and an instructor. Music played while the instructor called out to the students instructions on which moves to make. They looked so flawless while doing their routines – almost like synchronized swimming, but instead of a pool, they were on poles. I was astounded by their grace and the way they made it look so easy. 

Soon, more girls came in for the afternoon drop-in class. The instructor came over and introduced herself and went over some ground rules: no body lotion and if your pole gets slippery, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol and a rag. We were also given the option to wear heels if we brought a pair or dance barefoot – I opted for the latter.

We began the class like any other fitness session by stretching for about 5 minutes. Then we each chose a pole and began to learn some spins that varied from beginner to a little more advanced. These moves included the fireman, the fairy, and a headstand! I was nervous with the first few tries of each move, but with practice and the help of our instructor, I was able to do the routines to the best of my ability. 

The fireman is my favorite because it was simple, yet sexy. Starting with your left leg, you take three steps around the pole, wrap your left leg around the pole, lift your right leg up and around, and spin. The fairy is about the same, but instead of wrapping both legs around the pole, you bring your right leg behind you as you spin.

After the class, I felt great; the next day however, I was so sore I could barely move! Pole dancing is a great workout – you will get great muscle definition by taking these classes. I like a workout that doesn’t feel like a workout and pole fitness is just that. I plan to attend more pole dancing sessions at Fitness with a Twist and I may try my hand at some belly dancing sessions. I would definitely recommend this facility and these classes to anyone. 

Fitness with a Twist

70 South 21st Street

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15203

Phone: (412) 377-5889