Web Exclusive: Esteem Fitness Classes

By Ashley Schaefer

"Sex appeal is 50 percent what you've got and 50 percent what people think you've got." - Sophia Loren

Those words reverberated in my head as my sweaty palms gripped the pole. Squeezed into too-short shorts and ankle socks, I wasn’t exactly feeling sexy. My annual New Year’s resolution to work out regularly and get in shape for summer had never quite made it past January, but this year I was determined to stick with it, and my new six-month membership to Esteem Fitness—a women’s-only gym in Virginia Beach that specializes in pole dancing fitness classes—was just the nudge I needed.

After multiple failed attempts with home workout tapes and elbowing my way to the elliptical machine at the local rec center, I came to the realization that if I was going to get a proper workout, I needed to go at it full-throttle and find exciting classes led by encouraging and challenging instructors who wouldn’t let me slack off. I vowed to try out every single class Esteem offered, not only to challenge myself physically, but also to venture outside of my comfort zone and perhaps even gain a little selfconfidence in the process.

So there I was, booty shorts and all, learning how to do the “sexy walk” around the pole. (I quickly learned that almost everything in pole dancing is prefaced with the word “sexy.”) Soon I was mastering the “sexy legs,” “sexy sit up” and, my personal favorite, the “sexy stand up,” completed with a resounding booty smack (seriously!).

While it may sound a little silly, it definitely got me giggling, and I began to loosen up. A few “martinis” and a “fireman” later (those being pole moves, of course), and I was already twirling around the pole. Not looking too ridiculous certainly boosted my confidence.

The class wrapped up with a full routine of moves learned that day, and while I definitely needed lots of improvement, I was already head over stripper heels for this new workout craze. As I (sexy) walked my way out of the pole studio, I knew I couldn’t wait to give it another spin.

Esteem Fitness is so much more than pole fitness, though. Other classes to note include Drums Alive, ABsoGLUTEly, Cardio Kickboxing, Chair/Floor, Hip-Hop, Zumba, Belly Dancing and Sexy Flexy. It also offers personal training and has a full gym area with workout machines.

Visit www.esteem-fitness.com for more information and to view the monthly class schedule.

A few other Esteem Fitness classes worth mentioning… and trying!

Drums Alive
Anyone who really knows me can attest to my odd obsession with the drums (despite my lack of coordination and musical prowess), so imagine my excitement upon learning that drum sticks were the key ingredient in this class.  Through a mix of cardio, squats, lunges and drumming on a Pilates ball, you can get quite a good workout and have a lot of fun in the process.

If you haven't heard of the exercise craze known as zumba, it's a high-energy mix of Latin dance moves that will have you sweating as you switch from salsa to samba and do your best to shake it like Shakira. If the dance moves and the music aren't enough to get you energized, Esteem's spunky instructor will.

The name says it all. A few of these classes and that itsy bitsy bikini in your drawer won't seem so scary. The class was a mix of squats, lunges, and a few insane workout moves that targeted my abs, buns and a few muscles I didn't know existed. Make sure you've got a massage lined up for the next day after this one!

Who knew a sexy chair routine could be such a fabulous workout? Basic ab reps get kicked up a notch when you’re strategically balancing your back on the seat of a chair and pumping your legs in an extreme bicycle. Add to that some intense floor work complete with some very seductive moves and top it off with a steamy chair strip tease with your “invisible” male partner that concludes with a defiant panty fling off the foot (this is pretend, of course).

Cardio Kickboxing
Meddling boss? Inconsiderate boyfriend? It’s time to take that anger and put it towards a kick-ass bod with cardio kickboxing! Channel your inner Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby and jab, hook and uppercut to the beat of adrenaline-pumping music. A few weeks of this class and you’ll be looking like a knockout in no time!


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