Well there you have it people, as of today our studios here in the UK have officially been open for a whole month post lockdown. Well, the lockdown is still in operation in some places and for some businesses, but seeing as our wonderful government have been fucking useless throughout the entire pandemic, I don’t think any of us actually know what the rules are anymore or if the lockdown has technically finished or not. Anyway, back to the point.
As someone who has thankfully been able to remain fairly well isolated throughout the pandemic (I have been able to work from home, shop for groceries online etc) I made the decision to return to my home studio Maya Dance and Fitness pretty much as soon as it opened, and shit the bed I am so grateful that I did. However, for those of you who are remaining rightfully cautious or haven’t returned to your studio yet for whatever reason, I thought I would whip up this little blog explaining what visiting the pole studio in the new world is like.
First off, it feels absolutely fucking fabulous to socialise again, especially with my pole pals, who I had only seen like most of us via the medium of zoom classes. To actually see people in person and complain about our pain thresholds’ disappearing and moves being hard as hell together was lush. It did wonders for my mental health and provided me with some much-needed reassurance that the world will one day return back to normal. Shit, I even missed my instructor Eloise the beast telling me to “suck it up” during one of my many whinges during the class!
In order to ensure that the studio is properly cleaned between classes, the class times are shortened to 50 minutes instead of an hour, although, do not let that lull you into a false sense of security. Obviously you can’t share a pole in the studio in order to maintain social distancing, so effectively in class you’re working twice as hard as you did in the pre-lockdown days when sharing a pole was permitted. And fuck me do you notice it working twice as hard! According to my Fitbit (yes I am a Fitbit wanker), I’m burning 100 more calories in classes now than I was pre-lockdown, as I’m not having a break while my pole pal Dannis uses the pole. Trust me what the classes lose in time they make up for in intensity.
Also, I can’t speak for all studios here, but for Maya I can confirm that it’s fully cleaned and proper hygiene precautions are followed at the studio. The poles are cleaned with pure alcohol and we are all given our own cloth to clean our pole with, which is of course taken away by our instructors at the end of every evening’s teaching and washed. We were all careful during class to practice the combinations mindfully and not get too close to whoever was using the pole next to you. I can confirm that I’ve not once felt anxious or concerned about catching Covid at the studio.
Another aspect of pole dancing in the new world that I’m actually quite enjoying is how much quieter classes are. Now, any of my pole classmates reading this are going to piss themselves with laughter, as I’m a strong contender for the loudest motherfucker in the class, but hear me out. The weekly Intermediate level 2 class that I attend was nearly always fully booked, with 12 of us excitedly busting out combos and making quite the racket if we did or didn’t master them. However, with five people maximum now in every class, as much as I love a good racket I have to say it’s much easier to get in the zone and concentrate on what I have to do instead to shouting “YES BITCH!” at whoever is on the pole next to me.
Lastly, this one isn’t really much different from the old pole dance studio life pre-lockdown, but I couldn’t write this blog without talking about how fucking incredible it is to have the proper space around you to train again. I love my home pole as much as the next pole dancer, but like all home poles they come with the obvious limitations. I can only really wear seven-inch heels maximum when training at home, otherwise I’ll boot the ceiling from a regular invert just from the floor, and trying to attempt glidey floorwork on carpet is a burny bastard. Getting my arse back on a grippy and high pole (aka one where you can do at least three invert climb overs), train in my ten inch Pleasers and dance on the hard floor once again felt bloody lovely I can tell you.
How have you found training in the pole studio again post – lockdown? Let me know in the comments!