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Gainesville lingerie store offers pole dancing lessons

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Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 12:43 am

Turning the pages of Campus Talk, a local Gainesville magazine marketed to college students, you will find a small ad.

This ad, showing only a black silhouette of a woman grasping a pole, reads, "Learn to pole dance in our new beautiful pole dancing studio." Next to image, The Lingerie Company logo can be found.

The Lingerie Company was once located in the Butler Plaza, off Archer Road. Now relocated in a larger store, the company has expanded to bigger ideas. According to Rozie Weeks, an employee, the classes began almost two months ago when the company relocated its store to a new location, the Oaks Mall Plaza, conveniently located near the Family Christian Store.

When walking past the sea of corsets, minimal-fabric clothes and the sensual toys, a door opens up a fantasy world to anyone brave enough to travel through it.

Brandy Heinlein, owner of The Lingerie Company, is responsible for the idea of creating a romance and dance studio inside the store. The studio, surrounded with mirrors, metal poles and a kitchenette area, has made it possible for women to learn the sensual workout.

"Most women I've spoken to about it love the workout and the fact that they can bring what they learned home to their husbands," Weeks said. "Nothing wrong with a little spice."

The class is not to educate exotic dancers. While the store and the instructor, Cary Martin, do not discriminate any of their services, the main idea of these classes is to offer a workout with a little spice to the routine.

Ashley Allen, an employee, said upper-body strength is a key factor. While it may seem easy to slide down a slippery pole to the melody of Johnny Cash's "Hurt," core strength is needed to actually move around the pole.

"I've always wanted to try it out, since I've heard it's a great workout," Anna Capi, a 21-year-old student at Santa Fe College, said. "I just don't know how I would tell my dad about my new hobby."

The United States Pole Dance Federation considers pole dancing a sensual, athletic dance form that demands coordination, flexibility, sensuality, creativity, individual style and physical strength.

In fact, pole dancers can compete against others in a national competition. The pole dance federation was founded in 2008 by Anna Grundstrom and Wendy Traskos, and is the first group in the U.S. to host professional pole-dancing competitions, according to the organization's website, uspoledance.com.

The federation decided to present pole dancing as a competitive sport in a theater setting where people could truly appreciate the art of pole dancing, according to the website.

The 2011 U.S. pole dance champion, Natasha Wang, was recently seen on "The View" to display her talents as an art.

The pole dancing lessons, which cost $99 for six sessions, have not seen as many people sign up for the classes as anticipated.

The classes are held Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Allen said they might be reducing the classes offered, but the company has no plans to cancel the class.

"Why not get all your girls together and have a great evening out having some innocent fun?" Weeks said. "Every girl deserves a little tender loving care in her life."

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