Slim, thick, chubby or fat – here’s why pole dancing doesn’t discriminate and is getting more popular

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Here are the benefits of pole dancing as a part of a fitness regime.
Here are the benefits of pole dancing as a part of a fitness regime.
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It strengthens your core, tones your body, boosts metabolism and improves your body confidence. Who wouldn’t want all that?

“Pole fitness also gives you a sense of confidence, independence, sexiness and strength that no other sport can do,” according to professional pole dancer Joanna Pawelczyk. 

“It isn’t just amazing for your outer body,” Joanna told Health24, “but for your inner self too.”

Yet for years, pole dancing has been looked at askance, as something no ‘self-respecting’ woman should do, especially not in public.

But, in recent years, with celebrities such as Pearl Thusi, Lebo JoJo Mokoena and Bontle Modiselle giving it a whack, more and more women are beginning to seriously consider it as a serious form of exercise.

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Radio personality and exercise enthusiast Rozanne McKenzie – who works out first thing in the morning almost every day – says her evening pole dancing classes give her fitness routine the right kind of mix.

“For me, training first thing in the morning puts me in such a good mood. The endorphin high in the morning is my favourite! I feel like I’m ready for the day and then training is done. 

“The rest of the day can be spent focusing on other things. For me, it’s making exceptional content on Jacaranda FM and my other business endeavours. For others, it could mean going to work without feeling guilty about not working out. 

“With this in mind, you will find me at a Fitblock class at 5:15am most days. My pole classes are in the evenings twice a week and I will admit, I struggle initially to find the energy to push through a class at that time of the day, but once the class kicks off, I get into it.”

The Jacaranda FM presenter’s routine may seem too vigorous for some, but it’s not just the physical benefits that you can get from adding pole dancing into your exercise routine – it’s a confidence-booster too, especially if you feel like you aren’t in shape.

In 2015, Roz “The Diva” Mays, a then 31-year-old pole dancer weighing 130kg was fat-shamed by America’s Got Talent celebrity judge Howard Stern, who told her she was “too fat to be in this industry”.

Instead of letting that kind of feedback discourage her, the NYC-based fitness trainer and pole dancing instructor, decided to prove Howard wrong and be the diva she always knew she was – being one of the city’s foremost pole dancers and teachers “specializing in exercise virgins”. 

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Through her self-described “obnoxiously loud classes”, the Chicago native has become a pole-dancing guru and a passionate fighter of the stigma that keeps curvy women from public workout spaces.

“Pole dancing is the reason I’m trying to make positive changes and build some sense of self-worth,” she says. 

“For the first time, sport wasn’t about me running fast, which is something I’ve never been able to do.” 

Roz shares videos of her incredible pole antics, as well as clips that explain how to do basic strength and plyometric moves on her YouTube and Instagram pages. Her fierce catchphrase is, “Ditch yo’ trainer. Get a diva.”

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