Tracker Pixel for Entry

​There’s more than one way to climb a pole

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Wellness | March 1st, 2017

photo by Urban Toad Media

“We haven’t been open for a year yet, but it took us some time to get established as a reputable fitness facility--just because it’s so new and pole is such a controversial form of fitness.” says co-owner Misty Tomchuk. Zero Gravity is a Fargo-based fitness studio that hosts a variety of classes including pole, aerial, barre, yoga...to name a few.

According to the International Pole Dance Fitness Association, pole dancing has ancient origins that can be traced back to the ancient Sumerians, but the pole dancing our culture has become most familiar with gained popularity in the early part of the 20th century, with the traveling circus.

It eventually made its way out of tents and into clubs by the late 1960s. Canadian performer Fawnia Dietrich popularized pole dancing as pole fitness, teaching the first-ever pole class to non-performers in 1994.

Why pole fitness? Co-owner Gina Bushey says, “I had an extreme discontent with my middle-class adult life. I was so bored and I needed something to do that was different. I have a performance background and did a lot of theatre, cheerleading, and dance when I was younger--and they don’t really have that for 30-somethings.” So she took classes, increased her strength and wanted to push herself.

Tomchuk’s story was a bit different. She came across an ad for a pole fitness class while out on the town. “I was like WOW! What is this? I have a very athletic background. I trained for jiu jitsu and other things, but what really caught me is it was like sanctuary. It was this time where I could be focused on myself and it was a stress release and it was a break. I was able to do these cool things and it was challenging. I got stronger than any other fitness I had ever done, probably because it helped me connect with myself.”

Pole instructor Amanda Delapointe started pole in 2000 with a circus and burlesque background. “I couldn’t have giant circus equipment in my house but I could have a pole in my house.”

Delapointe teaches flow classes that incorporate the fundamentals of pole with dance elements. “There are a lot of cool things that you can do before you start inverting. If you come to my classes--I go on and on and on about how much I love the fundamental moves because they are the ones that tie everything together. I like to tie pole tricks together using dance. I think it’s a good way to build up your flexibility and you’re building up strength while dancing and not noticing you’re working as hard as you are.”

Instructors and students alike recently competed in a pole competition at the Maplewood Community Center in Saint Paul. Zero Gravity brought eight participants to Saint Paul and three brought home medals out of 40 competitors. Medals included second in advanced pole, and first and third place in intermediate.

Zero Gravity isn’t limited to just pole fitness. Aerial fitness and aerial yoga classes are offered as well. I had the opportunity to try an aerial fitness class--which was somewhat intimidating to an uncoordinated, inflexible writer such as yours truly--I’m the kind of girl who gets stressed out by yoga. But I was able to participate and complete the hour-long class--feeling satisfied. I might not be able to do a pull up but at least I can tell all of my friends and co-workers about my experience hanging upside down from a silk, laughing victoriously as the blood rushed to my head.

It was very much a work-at-your-own-pace environment. After various poses were introduced to the class, Misty walked among the students, aiding as a spotter for those who requested it. The class finished with a cool-down that consisted of a few short (stress-free) yoga poses on the floor.

I could see the draw and the will to improve as I watched one woman practice graceful acrobatics on the pole, across the gym from the aerial space.

Tara Wittman, who regularly attends the once-a-week class, found out about Zero Gravity online. “I was drawn to Zero Gravity because I had kind of started aerial in California, and wanted to find a studio here where I could continue.”

“It’s inspiring to hear all of the different stories and see everyone come in for different reasons--which makes it really unique, whether they want fitness or friendship, entertainment or for performance reasons, everyone has a different story.” Misty Tomchuk said.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

http://www.zerogravityfargo.com/

Recently in:

FARGO - Hundreds of thousands of women and men, young and old, took to the streets across America on Saturday, raising awareness for issues from women's rights, Black Lives Matter, missing Indigenous women, DACA, immigration…

When I was a young boy of five I was lucky enough to have a black and white TV in our house. I had a lot of friends in those day because I let the whole neighborhood come over on Saturday morning to watch cartoons. I distinctly…

Wednesday, January 24, 6pmFargo Theatre, 314 Broadway NThe very first showing of “Homegrown: From Farm to Fargo,” a half-hour documentary shot, written, edited and produced by mass communication and journalism students at…

Last week I was asked to appear and speak on behalf of Matt Pausch, owner of the Oasis, before the Public Works and Safety Committee in Wahpeton. The Pausches are great people and I will never forget the time I spent at the Oasis.…

Corky had a knee replaced in late December and she has been diligently doing the physical therapy connected with the rehab. Although the operation was done in Fargo, I imagine the procedure would have cost about the same if it had…

Rhombus GuysWhile they may be known locally and throughout the region for their restaurants, which feature over thirty different pizzas, and their recent addition of a brewery in Grand Forks, Rhombus Guys also proudly pour from a…

Do you eat enough vegetables? Almost no one does. The current USDA nutrition guidelines for adults recommend 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables to be eaten daily. Other nutrition sources indicate this number can be upwards of 6 cups of…

No one who has lived in Fargo for any length of time has to be told how bitterly cold it can get here during the winter. As much as we might complain about the cold temperatures, the biting winds, or the copious amounts of snow, we…

Now playing on Netflix Instant Watch, Voyeur is the curious story of strange bedfellows Gay Talese -- the once influential and celebrated journalist -- and Gerald Foos, a creepy peeper who spied on the guests at his hotel,…

High Plains Reader: How did the idea for Daily Trump Cartoon come to you -- what was your call to action?Peter Yuenger: It wasn't really a call to action, It was more of a New Year’s resolution to get back in the habit of drawing…

Smoke starts to seep from the sides of the stage and a rocker’s voice echoes over the crowd: “Are you ready to rock?!”You might think that you’re at a rock concert, if you weren’t seated in a black box theatre. For the…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

“What are some of your favorite bottles of whiskey?” is a question I get asked quite frequently and is often harder to answer than one might think. One of the great rewards of my profession is getting to sample some of the…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu“Kissing a man without a beard is like eating an egg without salt.”— Dutch proverb, probably written by a man.“Kissing a man with a beard is like going on a picnic. You don’t mind going…