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~~ Dancing the Weight Away ~~
by Beth Boswell Jacks

Most of us can identify with Carol Leifer, ex-girlfriend of Jerry Seinfeld and a funny woman, who says she’s not into exercise. Rather than “no pain, no gain,” her philosophy is “no pain, no pain.” But we know we’ve got to do it – we’ve got to exercise or we’ll rust like an old school bus (and look like one too).

The big dilemma – “How can I get moving?” – has yet another solution, according to exercise gurus who are now touting the latest craze at American fitness centers. That would be pole dancing.

Yes, that’s pole dancing, as in the erotic, bawdy undulation we Southerners associate with the hoochie koochie places on Bourbon Street – not that I’ve ever personally observed such a sight, you understand. Really, I’d think if a person were trying to execute a few swirls and twirls, a metal pole would be in the way. Apparently not.

At att.com, they’re saying pole dancing is hot. (That, I understand.) They’re pushing pole dancing as a terrific aerobic exercise that does all kinds of healthy things for your upper body, heart, hips and legs. You can also leave your clothes on, which comes as good news to most of us.

Att.com calls the routines “stunning, fun and exciting,” and they claim women gain enormous confidence. I should say so. If I could wrap myself around a pole without falling on my face I’d be ecstatic and change my name to Bubbles.

Nothing like a little contortion to build confidence and get the kinks out.

Hmm, I doubt I’ll ever install a metal pole in my living room, although I could order one for $150 to $1500. (The price depends on what? A pole is a pole, for goodness sake.)

But yes, there are few pastimes more fun than dancing.

Singer and TV celeb Paula Abdul maintains we should definitely “find fitness with dancing. It’s fun and makes you forget about the dreaded exercise.” She looks darn good, so I’m guessing she’s a pretty dedicated prancer.

Dance is just so natural. “The Complete Book of Ballroom Dancing” by Stephenson and Iacarrino states: “No primitive tribe has ever been discovered in which dance was not an important part of tribal culture.” Emphasizing that dance can also be observed in birds and animals as well as humans, the book describes how anthropoid apes form circles and parade around tree posts.

(My word, tree posts? Anthropoid apes are obviously the first pole dancers!)

Medical Health Information at healthadel.com concurs, saying: “Dancing is a primal and ancient form of movement that has been part of our lives from the beginning of time. There is also no doubt that dancing is a wonderful exercise, which not only releases and frees our bones, muscles and joints, but also raises spirits.”

Consider young children. They move instinctively when they hear music. They smile and laugh and throw themselves wildly into the melodic mood. They twitch and spin and shake their little behinds with sheer joy and abandon.

So there you go. We are meant to dance. And if we’re meant to dance, if it’s in our very being, if we can’t help movin’ and groovin’, then dance has got to be the perfect exercise.

This is why I keep a Bose CD player in my kitchen. I dance in the kitchen, a very good use for the room, and my CD of choice, at the moment, is the greatest hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I’m sure the neighbors are dancing too, because I turn the music up as loud as it will go. (“Biggg girls don’t cry-y-y! They don’t cry!”)

For a solid hour, if I’ve a mind to, I can kick and slide and turn circles around the chopping block, which is much sturdier, less slippery, and more easily grabbed than a metal pole.

But go on and order a pole if that blows your skirt and gets you moving. Order an anthropoid ape while you’re at it – with the same money you’ll get a pet plus instructor.

Then watch out, world! Uh-one, two, three, shimmy!


For more SNIPPETS stories, read these:
Ava's Story
A Towel Piece ~ A Tribute
Spring Cleaning ~ Here We Go 'Round In Circles
Conquering the Wild Blue Yonder
Trail rides, cantles and beans...Hellooo, Mama!
Ben Skelton: Peace Corps Volunteer
Smiles, Not Fists...
Dance ~ the Soul's Hidden Language
Class Reunion Advice
Searching for the Inner Animal
It Was a Dark and Stormy... you know
Granny Does the Shoshone
Forget Your Troubles ~ C'mon, Get Older!
How to Eat Crawdads

For stories at USADS by columnist Beth Boswell Jacks, click here: SNIPPETS
And find even more here: MORE SNIPPETS

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