“When you think of pole dancing, you think of strip clubs,” said Hicks, owner of SpinSity in Oakley. “But this is different; this is about exercise, fitness and self-confidence. It’s kind of like gymnastics class, only sexier.”
SpinSity is a women-only exercise/dance studio that offers a variety of pole dancing classes for beginning, intermediate and advanced participants. Open just a few months at her location on Main Street, Hicks – a self-described gym rat – became a pole devotee a few years ago when her sister-in-law told her about the impressive workout it provided.
“This has been around for years as a form of exercise and it’s an amazing workout, especially for the core and upper body,” said Hicks, 26, Kaiser Permanente employee and mother of four. “It’s much more difficult than it looks.”
It’s hard to argue that suspending one’s body vertical to a metal pole will burn calories while toning your arms, abs and legs. But there are additional benefits to pole dancing.
“It’s about self-esteem, empowerment and confidence,” said Hicks, who added that the majority of her clients are stay-at-home moms in their 20s and 30s. “When your body feels strong and looks strong, it gives you a lot of self-confidence. Who wouldn’t want to feel like that?”
And while Hicks takes in stride the raised eyebrows and occasional comments associated with her studio, she insists that SpinSity is not a real-life version of the Bada Bing Club.
The City of Oakley agrees.
“It (SpinSity) is a viable business and is not a gentleman’s club,” said Oakley City Manager Bryan Montgomery. “It’s a fitness studio and that’s what we determined in our research. If it wasn’t, they couldn’t even locate where they are.”
Hicks said city officials have been “very supportive” of her studio and appreciates that they “seem to understand what I am trying to do.”
And it would seem the pole dancing public is supportive as well. In recent years magazines devoted to the pole have begun cropping up, international competitions have emerged, and there is even talk of making pole dancing an Olympic sport.
“It’s a good thing,” said Hicks. “Even if I didn’t make a dime off the studio I would still do this to share with others the feeling I get from it. Everyone needs something that makes them feel good and is fun. Hey, if you’re not a scrap booker, maybe you’re a pole dancer.”
SpinSity is located at 1615 Main St., Suite 1003. Classes are by appointment only. For class hours, schedules or registration information, visit www.spinsity.com.