What comes to mind when you think about pole dancing? Strip clubs and erotic music? Although there is a stigma attached to pole dancing, it is fast turning into a fitness workout.
Marjolein Blockland, a fitness trainer and a pole dance teacher, talked to Nairobi News about how its quickly being adapted by ladies as a fitness regime.
Nairobi News: Introduce yourself.
Marjolein: My name is Marjolein Blockland and I’m a personal trainer based in Nairobi. Currently based at the Colosseum Gym. I deal with clients who just basically want to lose weight, tone their bodies or build strength. I also teach Muay Thai and lastly I also teach pole dance fitness.
Question: What made you start teaching pole dance as a fitness regime?
Answer: Well it first started as a joke, I was sitting at the reception of the gym and my boss was like, you should start doing pole dancing fitness. And I was like, yeah right. But two weeks later he comes back and asks me again and then I realized that he was serious. So I went and put up some poles in a room at the gym and I started teaching myself, with the help of YouTube of course.
Pole dancing originates from strip clubs where it is a form of entertainment where ladies can either keep their clothes on or off and dancing and performing tricks on a pole.
Then one lady just started teaching it because you are dealing with your body weight, and from there it moved from being a taboo, a dirty thing – because everyone has very strong opinions about it – for it now to be a form of fitness.
Question: Has it changed the way people in the society look at you?
Answer: When I started out, I posted on social media telling guys what I was doing and asking anyone interested to sign up for classes. And wow you wouldn’t believe the response I received. I got a text message from someone asking me if I am in any financial need, this is not the right move to take.
And it was not like I was in a thong and twerking on the pole. No I was in my gym clothes. But I took all these reactions and understood that to some people this might seem too forward.
But slowly I started getting ladies doing enquiries. Sometimes I got only one lady showing up for a class and that is when I decided to push through.