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Pole-Spinning and Belly-Dancing Class at Work It Dance are More Exhausting than Erotic
When Work It's Michelle Abbruzzese teaches, she doesn't have to remind the class to pay attention.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011 10:41am
When a fellow student, Paula Ditimi of Stamford, tells me before Work It Dance and Fitness' Saturday morning pole class that the regime “works every muscle in your body down to your ankles,” I'm amused, if not thoroughly convinced. But whether I believe it or not, with a raised eyebrow and a smirk, I'm about to try out the pole for myself.
Yep, we're talking “pole,” as in “pole dancing,” but before you jump to the conclusions that I did — frustrated, aging housewives trying in vain to re-sexify themselves or hot-bodied 20-somethings on a mission to make the rest of us feel hopeless — think again. This is pole fitness and, sorry guys, but it has almost zero to do with being sexy. “Though once you learn to do the workout safely and correctly, feel free to do with it what you will,” says Work It owner Michelle Abbruzzese with a throaty laugh. The former New England Patriots cheerleader exudes confidence, beauty and intelligence. And, oh yeah, she's also ripped.
On Sunday, my cynicism has evaporated. My abs, quads, triceps, biceps, lats, calves, and I'm pretty sure even my fingers are screaming sore. Who's smirking now?
Just before class Saturday, Abbruzzese pulls out a fitness magazine and shows me a series of photos of Adonis-bod-ed men and shredded athletic women twisted and contorted and flying straight out like a flag from poles as part of serious gymnastics-style competitions. “This is what pole's about,” she says. “It has very little to do with sensuality, unless you want it to.”
We begin the class with a simple, one-handed twirl which, it turns out, is a lot harder than it looks. My appreciation for those who dance with this thing, for whatever purpose, has jumped considerably. Later, we attempt to spin, then hold our knees up in chair position while gripping the pole with hands stacked atop each other, then with legs straight out. Don't try this at home.
As brutally challenging as this workout is, we're all laughing through it and the hour flies by. “That's what we try to do,” says Abbruzzese. “It's about creating a workout that's challenging and effective but really fun.”
If the pole's just not calling your name (I will hear it mocking me forevermore)
Norwalk's April Guilbault has been taking a belly dancing class at Work It every weekend since January. Before my pole class, I catch the second half of her session, where a group of diverse women of varying sizes, ages, and shapes are wearing colorful hip scarves with jingly coins attached. They alternately sway and lean, pivot and wiggle their hips, adding graceful arm and hand movements while exotic music plays. After class, Guilbault tells me how much she enjoys the class. “It's really nice to step out of the box, out of your comfort zone, and try something new,” she says.
The studio is not just for women (though certain classes are) and other dance options range from hip-hop to Latin to “Dancing like the Stars.” Zumba, yoga, Pilates and bar boot camp are available as well.
Work It Dance and Fitness is one of only two facilities in the area offering this particular range of workout options. “It's definitely something different from the gym,” says Abbruzzese. “I'm offering a way to work your body that keeps you from getting bored and makes you want to come back.”
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Work It is located in trendy South Norwalk, CT, offering hip-hop, pole dancing, yoga, belly dancing, Zumba, and much more.
Build strength and endurance while you tone and stretch your body. Loose weight and become healthier all while having a blast!!!