When it comes to finding ways to live an active lifestyle, pole dancing would not fit many people's first suggestion.
Natasha Fine, co-owner and principle instructor of Sheer Inspiration Pole Fitness, is changing the perception of pole dancing to include fitness. Her method of training allows her clients to build strength and lean muscles "organically" using a metal pole.
On her website, Fine describes how the body can improve from taking her class.
"The techniques, and the strength and muscular endurance training greatly improves a large variety of muscles; your core, pecs, buttocks, biceps, triceps and shoulders," Fine wrote.
Kimberly McCarley, a 28-year old client of Fine's, has been exercising twice a week at Sheer Inspiration Pole Fitness for two years.
"I enjoy pole fitness because it is versatile; your style can be sexy, artistic or more like gymnastics," McCarley said. "It's challenging and it makes you want to expand in the art. It's fun finding your own style to make it more personal to who you are. I like the challenge of having 10 moves that everyone uses but, making it mine own with my personal touches and linking the moves in my own way."
Fine says she tries to maintain an "ego-free" environment to create a comfortable space. She describes it as a "Girl's Only Zone," but welcomes men interested in aerial arts.
"(They can learn) technique, proper form, body alignment, pole spins, pole climbs, pole inversions and choreography, also called 'poleography,'" Fine said of the talents clients can expect to learn in her pole fitness sessions.
All attendees need to bring to class is themselves, "a positive attitude" and comfortable clothing that, at least, leave the arms and legs bare to create a good grip on the pole for better performance. Fine offers private lessons, group lessons and personal pole parties.
The levels of difficulty range from beginner to extreme and continue past that because, according to Fine, the art of poling is constantly changing, evolving and bettering itself.
Rachel Laney, a client of Fine's, emphasized not only the physical strengths, but also the mental strengths she has gained.
"Pole makes me happy," Laney said. "It's not stressful, it relaxes me. It helped me get off of anti-depressants. We do so many things that are good for us that we don't want to do but this, I want to do.
"It's my therapy, my sanity."
Fine has stayed in shape with pole for about 15 years. She began teaching pole fitness in her home after a close friend inquired about lessons. This began her journey into continuing the education of poling.
"I started researching pole more and fell in love with it and teaching," Fine said.
Now she has moved from teaching in her home to a studio that has 10 competition grade Xpole's.
To continue her education in the field, she travels around the U.S.
"I host workshops with the industry's leading professionals and attend Pole Expo every year where there are numerous seminars and workshops specifically designed for the continuing education of our industry as a whole," Fine said.
Laney also has some advice for those who may feel intimidated and don't think they can do pole fitness. At Laney's first class, Fine made a statement that sums up the passion of pole fitness:
"You either love it or you don't do it."