I’ve just got back from a fun and extremely girly weekend in Manchester. My friend, Claire, is getting married in a couple of weeks so 17 of us converged on Manchester city centre for the weekend. The theme of the hen party was ‘cowgirls’ because Claire’s a big Dolly Parton fan (I’ve been friends with her since we were about 4 years old but it was only about two months ago that I found this out!) so we were all provided with white cowboy hats (adorned with tiaras) and told to bring appropriate outfits for the Saturday evening.
On Saturday morning, at breakfast, Maggie (one of the bridesmaids-to-be) announced that we had to meet back at the hotel at half-two so that we go to our pole-dancing lesson. This was news to at least some of the party but we were reassured that we didn’t have to wear skimpy bikinis or heels if we didn’t have them or didn’t want to. During the morning, Claire discovered some stunning black t-shirts in Primark with ‘Dancing Queen’ emblazoned across the chest in sparkly pink and got a job-lot of them. So, at quarter-to-three, clothed in our matching t-shirts (and Kerry in her fantastic neon pink leg-warmers), we trooped across to The Ruby Lounge.
Having to knock, mid-Saturday afternoon, on the big, red, locked double-doors to be let into a nightclub in a basement felt a just a tad bit seedy, and I think we looked generally apprehensive when our teacher met us. We were a bit fazed when she said we could get changed but she wasn’t at all fazed when we (dressed mostly in jeans or combats) said we were changed – she just suggested that we roll up long trousers. She was wearing her company uniform of matching cami and very short shorts – the more skin, the better, we were told. 🙂
After a short warm-up in flat shoes, anyone who had heels could put them on and the lesson began. After two hours of swinging round poles and hauling ourselves up just to slide back down again, we were absolutely knackered and also rather sore. When we went out that evening, I was sporting a lovely friction burn/bruise on my right wrist. When I went to bed that night, I discovered, too, that I have a matching pair of bright red bruises on my knees from sliding down the pole and landing on them too fast. And today, my arms, sides, thighs, and stomach ache.
So I think you get the idea that it was pretty hard work. Our teacher (from Polestars) was great – she made it look so easy but was very patient and clear about how to do the moves she demonstrated. In the last five minutes, she offered to teach us some lap-dancing moves. By this time, we’d lost much of our earlier nerves and, although it was slightly weird having to dance in front of each other (despite being called ‘lap-dancing’, there’s little contact), we giggled our way through it – it was basically similar moves to what we’d learnt on the pole, just without the pole.
That evening, we went to The Birdcage cabaret nightclub, which appeared to be mostly populated by hen parties wearing a wacky range of themed costumes (we were quite sedate by comparison). Just before we left, a woman came on to the podium to dance incredibly energetically in a bikini and did a bit of pole-dancing. We were, of course, all very impressed and full of a whole load of new-found respect for exotic dancers. And we got very excited when we spotted her doing moves that we recognised from our class.