While I usually love watching full-bootied women in strip clubs strut around in heels to 50 Cent grooves, now I don’t have to envy them anymore, thanks to teachers like Lucey Cummins. She leads the biweekly Strip Bar pole-dancing class that started up in early January at my neighborhood Crunch in Park Slope. Now I, too, can be the object of desire, along with more than 30 other potential femme fatales (and two guys!) who take the class. [Click on the gallery to the right or HERE for photos of the class.]
"The reason it’s popular is because it’s a great form of exercise for people who don’t love to exercise,” says Lucey, a dance therapist by day for a hospital psych ward. “It’s providing a safe place for people to express their sexuality. For women, it can be very liberating to be that woman, to perform another identity.”
Though Crunch has offered its pole-dancing class for more than a year at its other Manhattan locations, the class' full-capacity crowds made it a shoo-in for the two-year-old Brooklyn hub.
But if you're not a Crunch member, don’t worry: New York City is going gangbusters in 2008 with pole-dancing classes all over Manhattan and through private dance studios and social-event services like Moxie in the City. Pioneers like New York Pole Dancing, which launched a few years back, have also experienced record-high attendance.
Wendy Traskos, a former exotic dancer and the NY Pole Dancing’s owner, says the West 52nd Street headquarters holds drop-in open pole-dancing classes daily, and the demand for bachelorette-party classes has increased threefold in a year. “Once they’ve done the party, [these women] say, ‘Oh my God, do you do classes?’” notes Wendy, who doubles as a personal trainer. “They see that it’s a fabulous workout.”
MEET THE DANCERS →