Students of all levels are under the tutelage of a French national pole fitness champion, Prana Ovide-Étienne, a woman I thought spectacular, professional and delightfully approachable when I had a chance to take one of her classes.
Are Classes Very Sexy?
Yes. They are. But in the context of the studio, it's not about pleasing husbands or boyfriends. Nor training to be a stripper. NOT AT ALL. It's about getting in touch with one's femininity, reclaiming that grace and elegance that sometimes feels miles away as we curb our shoulders in front of the computer screen, dig our heels into office overtime and the wobble on the tightwire rope that is work-life balance. It's about getting away from all of that chaos for some sensual, body-sculpting me-time that produces results for both the mind -- confidence -- and body -- a strong, elongated, more flexible figure.
Classes: How They Work
Every class starts with a 20-minute warmup, which, according to Milan Pole Dance Studio founder Krystel Arbia, is “always sexy and pretty intense.” Intense is right. I was sweating ten minutes in. I also asked Arbia to break down what each class covers.
- Pole Basics Class
“It's basically an introduction for pole virgins: how to touch the pole [laughter], getting used to it, spinning.”
- Sexy Pole
“Sexy pole is where you start working on combos, where you'll start putting the moves you learned in Pole Basics in a dance routine. Not only do we want you to be able to move on the pole, we want you to be able to dance and look pretty while you're poling."
- Pole Gym
“Once you're more confident, you're going to do Pole Gym, meaning you're not going to dance, you're just going to work on tricks. This is a pure acrobatic class. Here you'll learn a series of pole tricks that you'll put in combinations.”
To progress on the pole, you need to be flexible. This class will teach you how to do the splits and work on your back.
- Exotic Dance
“This is an amazing class. It's the sexy version of our pole dance classes. It gets more intense and exotic here because we do a lot of floor work. So basically when you're not touching the pole, you're on the ground. And you work on transition moves: learning how to touch your body, going to floor, do a sexy pushup, come back up, use the pole ... so basically this class homes in on fluidity and sexiness, developing a sexy attitude.”
- Pole Conditioning (To be offered in the future)
"This is a really muscular class where you do repetitive tricks to build your strength."
- Sexy Chair (To be offered in the future)
"This is basically the Pussycat Dolls dance class using the chair. It's very cabaret. Heels on."
Students must wear short shorts and a tank top, preferably one exposing the midriff. Skin contact on the pole via the legs, the waist and the arm pits is needed to stay properly gripped onto the apparatus. For the shy at heart, keep in mind this is no swimsuit store changing room. The lighting at the Montreal chapter of Milan Pole Dance is flattering. And the mirrors are not fattening. As for footwear, high heels are highly recommended as they facilitate many of the sexier transition moves that are Milan Pole Dance Studio's trademark. But they're not necessary. Two students out of the six I trained with did not have heels.
What About Men?
Men can join in too. Arbia says their chapter in Milan has male members. Contact Montreal's Milan Pole Dance Studio to find out which class would best suit your needs.