Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pole Dancing Class @ FTX Fitness Exchange

Pole Dancing has finally redeemed itself from the confines of strip clubs to become a legitimate form of dance and acrobatic.

It is a form of art combined with dance and gymnastics that requires a substantial amount of body strength in order to perform acrobatic tricks mostly done with a vertical metal pole. Before the mid-2000, the reputation of pole dancing was limited only to strip clubs thus giving this kind of dancing a more creative and erotic relevance. However, in recent years, pole dancing has become an increasingly popular dance sport and physical fitness routine and has been adapted by many gyms and dance studios in many countries around the world.

The Philippines is no exception and is relatively not left behind when it comes to the popularity of this sport. FTX Fitness Exchange, the newest fitness hub located right in the heart of the Makati Business District, is creating its own reputation of having out-of-the-ordinary types of work out systems including pole dancing classes. FTX is one of the few gyms in the metro that offers pole dancing among other classes such as Fly yoga, Rip60, Cirqfit, Muay Thai and boxing.

Last January 18, 2012, I was invited to attend a launching of some of the work out classes FTX is offering including pole dancing. I was amazed by how Ms. Uela Basco, a seasoned pole dancer, demonstrated some of her intricate moves and tricks that practically defy gravity. Her moves were so elaborate that they made some of the guests, including me, to be curious enough and can’t help not to try after her performance. 

A lot of interesting people who were also present and took time to grace the event include Mr. Fernando Zobel de Ayala himself who just been noted to be a health buff and a two-time Cobra 70.3 finisher at the Iron Man held in the Province of Camarines Sur last year. Another familiar personality was Atty. Midas Marquez, the Supreme Court’s spokesperson, who was nice enough to pose for some photos with us.

After the demonstration, we were treated to a hearty buffet of Japanese cuisine. I had the opportunity to meet these famous personalities while we enjoyed trying out some of FTX’s treadmills. I was also fortunate to meet the guy – yes, a guy! -- who actually brought pole dancing to the country. His name is Mr. Ed Aniel, the president and founder of Pole Dancing Academy of the Philippines.

In our conversation, Mr. Aniel shared to me about his passion for this type of unusual craft from a guy’s point of view. Having come from a Ballet Jazz and gymnastic background, he said that it was not that difficult for him to learn it. It was also surprising to know that he never attended a formal class in pole dancing so most of his moves and tricks were free-styled from his own choreography. In his travels to different countries, he was able to learn several techniques that prompted him to create an entirely indigenous and original program. From there, he founded the first Pole Dancing School which gave birth to several groups holding classes in various gyms and dance studios. 

After the crowd subsided, I managed to ask for a few basic moves on how to get started in pole dancing and I realized that it was not a walk in the park to learn it. It involves a lot of upper body tension and arm strength just to hold both of your legs up in just a fraction of a second. If you are interested to learn, FTX Fitness exchange is offering pole dancing classes for those who want to experience a different type of full body work out.

(Photos courtesy of Recycle Bin of a Middle child and FTX)

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