Martha Stewart Takes the Pole Position

Marthapstory.jpgDomestic goddess Martha Stewart proved she may be as talented in the bedroom as she is in the kitchen during a recent episode of The Martha Stewart Show.

While “Stewart” and “stripper” don’t seem to fit together in the same sentence, the 68-year old homemaking maven and talk show host took a pole dancing lesson in front of the cameras for an exercise-themed episode of her popular daily program.

Dressed in spandex, Stewart tried the S factor workout with Sheila Kelley, swinging and swiveling around the stripper’s pole like the best of them. “She got me on the pole!” Stewart exclaimed, as she swung in a circle. “Wooooo!”

“Keep those hips going! Martha, come on!” Kelley encouraged. “That was hot!”

Kelley, an actress, learned pole dancing while preparing for a film role and was so taken with its fitness benefits she launched the S-Factor exercise program which uses the stripper’s pole as a fitness device ( In fact, a growing number of women are trading in their yoga mats for pole fitness programs that offer them the same sort of conditioning through slow, controlled movements. Pole dancing burns calories and helps build core strength – and it exercises the sensual side, too.

“We have a number of members who are 45+, many of whom are dedicated to the Pole Dancnig and the more sensual fitness classes,” said Michelle Epstein of Flirty Girl Fitness in Toronto.

“Pole dancing is a workout that doesn’t feel like work – it ‘s fun, sensual, and liberating,” said Karla Stephens-Tolstoy, an internet entrepreneur based in Oakville, ON. “When the music comes on and you begin to dance it almost feels naughty but a good naughty.” She loves dancing so much she has a pole in her home office.

Christine Boyer, 34, a certified Pilates and yoga instructor, and Tracy Gray, also 34 and a former corporate bank manager, created what is believed to be Canada’s first pole-dancing-for-fitness studio in Vancouver in 2004; today they have 11 studios across Canada and plans for more.
Instructors at their studios, called Aradia, advise starting out slowly, and break down the moves into small, progressive steps beginning with a series of mat stretches to open up the hip and pelvic areas. Then there’s a walk around the pole and a lesson in how to position your hands on the brass.

Toned arms, back and abdominals are the primary advantages but there’s also what at least one instructor calls the biggest benefit: a confidence boost. “Most of our clients fall into two categories – new moms who want to get back into shape and also feel sexy again, and older women who want to have fun while getting in touch with their sexier side,” she said. Whether it’s because they’ve been in long-term relationships and want to add a big of a thrill to their sex lives or whether it is because they’ve recently started dating again, older women are finding pole-fitness a great way to get their groove back – it’s least a good laugh and at best, great exercise.

“Pole dancing would definitely spice things up for your partner, and it really helps you connect with your body in a sensual way.”

See Martha’s methods:

 photo credit: KEYSTONE press.