Things are heating up on Manhattan Avenue with the latest addition to the growing fitness options in the neighborhood: pole-dancing lessons.
Brooklyn Pole Dance will open its doors September, but registration for the host of classes offered at the studio gets underway next week on August 25.
“This is about fitness of course but it is also about empowering women, and allowing them to take ownership of their bodies,” said Sally Sutton, the owner of the studio, as well as an instructor. “This is about changing the reputation of pole dancing as something associated with dark places or something that is catered towards men. It’s a spectacular American art form that should be celebrated.”
Sutton has over 20 years of experience working in the fields of dance and entertainment. She got her start in the early ‘90s, working at exotic dance clubs because she needed to support her kids, “and the money was good.”
But it also allowed her to remain fit, and even back then she predicted there would be a day when pole dancing became a popular form of exercise.
“I knew I always wanted to do this, but I just didn’t have the business acumen at the time, and I didn’t have enough life experience,” said Sutton.
Brooklyn Pole Dance will offer a range of levels in pole dancing from beginner to advanced, as well as a variety of classes including heel dancing, flexibility training, chair dancing, and yoga. On Saturdays, day-long sessions in burlesque dancing will be available – particularly catered towards tourists and groups of women looking to do something apart from the run-of-the-mill tourist attractions.
But for Sutton, the Studio is also a way to pay tribute to the pioneers of the art form – most prominently, Mae West, the Greenpoint-born actress, who gained fame for her stage work and Vaudeville acts in New York, before she moved to Hollywood.
Sutton too was born in the neighborhood, and has lived here since, and said the studio is her way of giving back to the community.
The classes are especially helpful for older women and new moms, Sutton said, because they help to boost metabolism, and increases flexibility and upper body strength. But by no means are they restricted to women – the studio will offer classes just for men as well, and already has a male instructor on staff.
Sutton fondly recounted the story of how her male skateboarder neighbors paid her studio a visit at the opening party last weekend and demonstrated their flexibility on the pole.
“The classes will really work in this neighborhood because its all about the arts and entertainment here,” said Sutton. “A number of musicians, actors, dancers, and all kinds of performing artists call this neighborhood their home, and this kind of workout is just a great way to make you feel better.”
For more information and to sign up for classes visit http://www.brooklynpoledancestudio.com.
Brooklyn Pole Dance
832 Manhattan Avenue