What’s On tries polefit, the latest fitness craze in Dubai, which is available at Capella Club in Dubai Marina. Find out how to book this latest fitness class in Dubai.

What gym class tones every muscle in your body while teaching a mixture of acrobatics, gymnastics and dance? Zumba? Boxfit, perhaps? No, it’s pole dancing. Or, to give it its proper name: pole fitness.

Our instructor at Pole Fit Dubai, at the Capella Club in Dubai Marina, is Vlada, who bounds across the room to greet us. If pole dancing makes us look half as good as her, we’re willing to give it a go.

Before we tackle the pole itself, we stretched every ligament and muscle group. Our first challenge on the pole was gripping it, raising our legs in the air and seeing how long we could hold on. We managed a teeth-clenching, muscle-burning ten seconds.

Vlada demonstrated an impressive array of spins and tricks, which we then tried to copy. But while she twirled effortlessly around the pole, we held on for dear life, pulling weird faces and grunting. But, slowly, we got the hang of it.

Learning to ‘sit’ on the pole (squeezing the pole between the thighs, letting go with your hands and leaning backwards) is one of the most difficult moves a beginner can attempt. With a bit of encouragement we manage something semi-graceful.

At the end of the class Vlada demonstrates more advanced tricks, leaving the class in no doubt that she’s an acrobat. The negative points? We got a bit of ‘pole burn’ on our skin and our muscles are sore. But on the plus side, it was good fun and a hardcore workout that had us gladly signing up for more classes.

“It’s a shame there’s a stigma attached to pole dancing because it’s a highly challenging acrobatic sport,” says Vlada. “My response to anyone who mocks what I do is this: let’s see if you can do it.”

Words by Sarah Garden

Capella Club, Silverene Tower, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9.30am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 4526000. Metro: Jumeirah Lake Towers. capella-club.com