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5 Best Pole Dancing Classes in NYC - CourseHorse

By Jenny Tobin | Published 7/24/2012

On the lookout for the best New York pole dancing classes? From the Bronx to Bushwick (and even New Jersey), we’ve got you covered.

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Pole dancing as an art form traces back at least eight hundred years and has seen everything from gravity-defying stunts to Rock and Roll roots (Elvis in his “Jailhouse Rock” video, anyone?). While the modern pole dance has often found its place in night clubs around the world, it’s becoming a more and more popular form of exercise and creative expression, and as such, has found an overwhelming popularity across all of NYC’s five boroughs. Whether you’re out to tighten your core or want to work through some gyrating gestures, our list of pole dancing classes should get you moving in the right direction.

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Basic/ Beginner Pole Dance

NY Pole Dancing

NY Pole Dancing specializes in everything pole from exotic to fitness based classes, so it’s no wonder they’re considered some of the best in the NYC pole dancing game, but they also run a few non-pole classes such as handstands & flexibility. They run classes incredibly frequently and have some top-notch instructors, including a pole dancing champion or two. Though The Bronx may be out of the way for a lot of New Yorkers, if you’re serious about learning pole dancing then you should seriously consider the classes here. The Basic / Beginner class is meant for people taking their first ten or so classes to get them comfortable with some introductory pole techniques such as spinning & climbing. You’ll get these skills down to the groove of some sexy & fun choreography, and even get to practice both your right and left sides so you’re not just a one trick pole-y (ooph, bad pun). It’s a great way to learn some fundamentals and get an idea for whether or not you want to take your pole dancing skills to the next level, or just try out a way of exercising that might add a new dimension of enjoyment to your fitness routine.

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Chinese Pole (Open Level)

The Muse
Bushwick, Brooklyn

Known for having some of the best circus & acrobatics classes and performances in New York, The Muse has been teaching people to use their bodies in dynamic ways for nearly a decade now. With workshops in everything from aerial skills to yoga, if bending the boundaries of what your physical form can do is up your alley, this is the place to be. They’ve bred some of New York’s best acrobatic performers including their in-house performance company ABCirque which maybe you’ll aspire to be a part of. In the Chinese Pole class, they take a less than typically thought of yet traditional pole dancing art and get you testing and building your strength via a variety of exercises moving up and down the pole. Climb the pole with your feet? Check. Leg hang? Check. Spin? Check. You’ll get a taste of just about every exercise required to start getting comfortable with just how much work the pole can really be, and you’re guaranteed to go home feeling fitter for it.

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Beginner Spin Pole

S Factor New York
Chelsea, Manhattan

In the heart of Chelsea on the third floor of an otherwise unassuming building lies Sheila Kelly’s NYC S Factor Location. Sheila, who has been featured on shows such as Oprah and TedX, founded an exercise type she calls “Sensual Fitness” which includes everything from pole to strip tease, intended on deepening the connection a woman has to her body and the empowerment which comes from that. In the Beginner Spin Pole class, you’ll get a taste of S Factor’s unique brand of pole dancing which focuses on a combination of athletic and technical maneuvers. Students will learn both right and left-handed pole grips and go through exercises which focus on rotation and balance such as controlling spinning and flying speed. It’s on the lower-mid end of intensity and so this 90-minute workout is great for beginners or people who don’t necessarily consider themselves super fit. If you’re looking for a unique approach to the pole specifically designed to get you in touch with your physical and spiritual femininity, S Factor should fit the bill.

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Level 1: Floor Work

Midtown, Manhattan

Though StripXpertease doesn’t do any actual pole classes, they specialize in seductive dance & exercise which could be a complimentary activity or might be more what you’re looking for (especially if you don’t have a pole at home). Their floor work class will teach the basics of striptease using choreographed floor techniques and a complete routine you’ll get to go home with. If what you have a more “sexual performance” based goal in mind, this could be a better bet than a pole dance class, and even if you’re utilizing the pole sometimes it pays to take a break and strut your stuff on the floor.

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Sushi Heart

Pole Exxxotica (New Jersey)

Femme Body Fitness
Flatiron, Manhattan

While Jersey certainly isn’t exactly NYC, we didn’t want to leave our neighbors just across the water completely empty handed. Femme Body Fitness is an insanely quick public transit or car ride from any Manhattan destination and so we’ll consider them an honorary New York pole dancing locale. Though we’ve heard their space can feel a little cramped for pole work, class sizes are typically small & the instructors are known to be positive and enthusiastic. For those looking for a more stereotypical pole dancing lesson (i.e., strip club ready), the Pole Exxxotica course should have everything you need. Ideal for beginners, they focus on exploring seductive and sensual dances using the pole as more of a prop than a mechanism for maneuvers.

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