Vertical Joe’s: A Professional Woman’s Playground
As some of you may already know by now, I took a solo trip to Atlanta a few weeks ago. One of the things I promised myself I’d do was take a pole dancing class at the infamous Vertical Joe’s. Yes, this anti-social introvert jumped — or should I say slid completely out of her comfort zone *flips hair*! It’s no secret that I’m the last person to initiate change or try anything new, but, as part of my 25 by 25 (bucketlist), I promised myself that I’d use this year to not only boss up, but to try some things that would shock not only my friends but myself as well.
As I pulled up to the building, I gave myself a little pep-talk, “This is going to be fun, you’ll like it, the instructor will be nice.” But with all the peppin’ in the world, I couldn’t ignore the butterflies in my stomach. Luckily, I signed up for a private lesson which eased my mind a bit — after all, who want’s to make a fool of themselves in front of a group of strangers? Not this girl! Anyway, once inside, I was greeted by my instructor, X2C ,who was already “in gear” and ready to start. She showed me to a changing area and after I slid into my shorts and platform heels, I was ready to go.
Before we started gliding and sliding, X2C asked if I had any questions, if I’d ever taken a pole dancing class, and what ideas I already had about the sport. I admitted that I associated pole dancing with strippers and that I had never in my life ventured so far off out of my comfort zone. Smiling, she shared how she was first introduced to the art form and the fact that it made for a very intense workout. The cool thing about this part of the class was that this is when you decide on your name — mine of course was my alter ego, Coco. We started off with some stretching and began simply by walking around the pole. It was indeed very simple, but as I learned with pole dancing, each move should be made gracefully and sensually. Following the stroll, X2C introduced me to the basic Fireman’s Spin, which later became my favorite (and easiest) move and a few others including something called frisking the pole which sounds exactly like what it entails.
Not long after I grasped the concept of the moves was it time to put them into action. X2C asked me to pick a song to do my routine to and of course I had to pick a Beyonce’ record. “Dance for You” was my song of choice. The routine was a little shaky (may have been the shoes, maybe just my nerves) but when the music came on, that bashful little introvert completely disappeared and Coco stepped on the scene. It was like an out of body experience, a feeling of empowerment, femininity, confidence and sensuality, all bottled up into one. I grabbed a hold of the pole and lost all sense of who I was, all the things I was stressing over prior, and the things flooding my mind, everything — my head space was blank as I drowned in the music and let my body take control. It was truly amazing!
Taking this class was the start of stepping further out of my comfort zone, and it’s something I recommend all women, especially the introverts, should try. I can’t promise your instructor will be as good as X2C, but the class definitely challenges you to let go of your mind and trust your body.
If you’re in the Atlanta area, I highly suggest you stop by Vertical Joe’s and take a class or two with X2C! And if you’re out of state, I still recommend you take a weekend trip at least and visit the studio — tell them I sent you!
– Yolanda Danae’