That might be an odd statement to hear but for Erin Ghiringhelli, the statement is true. Ghringhelli is the founder and owner of Epic Pole Fitness located at 210 10th Street in Sparks. Epic Pole is a pole dancing studio, where participants can learn the fundamentals of pole dancing fitness.
"There are so many benefits of pole dancing," said Ghiringhelli. "You get this amazing sense of confidence and empowerment. If you stick with pole dancing, I promise that you'll be in the best shape of your life."
Originally from Roseville, Calif., Ghiringhelli was introduced to pole dancing by a friend. She was never a fan of working out. Ghiringhelli would run a couple miles one day and wouldn't run again for another few weeks. She tried yoga and Pilates but didn't like those workouts either. She even tried professional dance classes but often times found that she was the oldest in the class and felt intimidated. She bought a pole from Spencer's Gifts for laughs but she soon was hooked on dancing. Three years ago, her family moved to Sparks and Ghiringhelli fell in love with the area.
"The people here are so nice and down to earth," said Ghiringhelli.
Ghiringhelli and her boyfriend, Charlie, discussed opening up a fitness studio and decided to find a location in Sparks. They drove by the 10th Street location and thought it was perfect.
"It was fate," said Ghiringhelli. "We got along with the owner so well. Everything just fell into place. There is great foot traffic and this area has great diversity."
The couple remodeled the space themselves; putting down the hardwood floor and securing the metal poles to the ceiling.
Beginner classes at Epic Pole are held Monday through Friday with each class beginning at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Advanced classes will be offered when more people request them. Participants can drop into a beginning class for $15. For four classes, participants can pay $49 in advance. A month-long unlimited pass that allows participants to partake in however many classes they want is $79. Bachelorette parties and private lessons are available.
In the beginning class, participants will learn pole basics — how to wrap around the pole and properly condition the body for twists, turns and aerial movements.
"We start building your muscles," said Ghiringhelli. "You would be surprised what muscles you use when you're pole dancing. They aren't the muscles you use in your every day life. Pole dancing lets you excel at your own pace so you don't have to over-strain yourself."
Anyone can come in and pole dance, said Ghiringhelli. She has clients ranging from twenty-something to a woman who is 66 years old. Ghiringhelli works with each person. If someone has a minor physical disability, Ghiringhelli will adjust her teaching to fit with her student. For men, Ghiringhelli plans to teach a class strictly for them next year.
Ghiringhelli wants women to look at pole dance as exercise, not as method of taking off your clothes.
"I want to get rid of that stigma," said Ghiringhelli, about those who are curious about the fitness routine but associate the dance with gentlemen's clubs. "Pole dancing is a way to be creative, a way to express yourself. There's nothing negative about it."
Ghiringhelli is open minded and is willing to teach anyone with a desire to learn.
"People need to check out the dancers on the YouTube videos," said Ghiringhelli. "They are so talented and have such powerful strength. Those dancers are up to the caliber of the dancers on "So You Think You Can Dance" or any Olympic athlete. I know that people are pushing to get pole dancing in the Olympics. I really hope that happens."
Ghiringhelli also sells women's work out tops and shorts for prices under $10. She plans on selling dancing heels and having a "Heel of the Month" club once business picks up.
"I can't imagine my life if I didn't do pole," said Ghiringhelli. "It changed my life and I can guarantee once you try it, it will change yours. Come in and try!"
For more information about Epic Pole Fitness, call (855) 515-3742.