Scream 4 actress Emma Roberts opened up to Women's Health about her workout of choice — pole dancing! Emma is on the April cover.
"I started taking [pole dancing] classes with friends as a way to both work out and hang out. You don't realize how much upper-body strength you need. It's also a good way to build confidence."
Emma isn't the only actress to stay in shape by pole dancing — Amy Adams, Kate Hudson, and Teri Hatcher have all been known to frequent Shelia Kelley's S-Factor classes in Los Angeles. The workout helps tone muscles, firm the body, increase flexibility, promote weight loss, and elevate energy levels. It also helps women cultivate sensuality, self-confidence, and a positive body image.
If you're not familiar with the S Factor, it's essentially a pole dancing workout that has quite a few celebrity fans — Martha Stewart has even tried it! Fans of the workout say it's a great way to tone muscles, firm the body, increase flexibility, promote weight loss, and elevate energy levels. Amy, 35, thinks it's also good for unlocking "your inner erotic creature." Mostly though, she's using it as a way to drop the baby weight, "I'll do anything to get off of that treadmill."
Pole-dancing has gone from adult entertainment to calorie-burning exercise to an art form with world championships. Last night, the International Pole Championship was held in Tokyo, where first place went to Mai Sato, a member of Canada's Cirque du Soleil.
Prenatal workouts are becoming more popular with the pregnant set: actress Bridget Moynahan hit the gym while pregnant, Olympian Kerri Walsh made sure to stretch, and one of our very own editors kept up with her yoga practice.
I'm loving this clip of Martha Stewart going completely outside of her box by doing a pole dancing workout with S Factor founder, Sheila Kelley. Check out this clip as the domestic diva gets down and gyrates her hips in full workout gear. Despite not being able to slide upside down on the pole, Martha did finish with an impressive leg lift.
If you've ever wanted to try a pole dancing workout but were too afraid, you've got no excuse now. If Martha can do it, so can you. In her own words: "She's got me on the pole. Woo-hoo!"
Is one of your fitness goals for 2010 to step out of your fitness comfort zone? Are you ready to work with a pole?
As female pole dancers petition the Olympics to include their sport in the international games, men want a chance to someday spin for the gold too. The men's pole dancing movement is heating up in Japan, where men competed for the first time in a world pole dancing championship. The organizers say that pole dancing isn't just about exotic dance and seduction; it can also be a demonstration of acrobatic skills and athleticism. Have a watch and see if you agree.
I have no doubt that pole dancing, as a press release for California's first pole-dance championship next month puts it, "requires strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance." Nor do I believe that pole dancing is "just posing against a pole" but rather involves "spinning, inverts, climbing, and power holds."
But what does it mean to elevate to a sport an act that originated in strip clubs and which symbolizes a woman's role as a sex object? We'd pause (at least, I hope we would!) if there were a competitive lap-dancing competition. But a similar argument could be made for making it a competition: a woman needs strong calf and thigh muscles to "dance" over a man's lap.
Pole-dance exercise classes have gone mainstream, so it's no surprise pole dancing has turned competitive. Women get enough reminders from the media that our jobs are to be sexually alluring — why not actually just learn a sport or emulate the acrobats who perform for Cirque du Soleil? At least a high-wire act doesn't come with symbolic baggage.
Do you think it's weird that pole-dancing is so mainstream that it has become competitive sport?