NORWALK, Conn. — Zumba, kickboxing, boot camp, spinning: You’ve already tried all the cardio classes — or have you?
Work It Dance and Fitness in Norwalk is now offering Pole Dancing, which may be a new — and addictive — option for fitness buffs.
Pole dancing combines a variety of workouts all rolled into one.
"You develop strength comparable to crossfit, you gain cardio endurance compatible to running or swimming and you learn skills compatible to gymnastics or circus performers — all while building confidence and having fun," said Michelle Abbruzzese, 45, who owns the seven-year-old business with her husband, Tony.
“You can do this at any age," she said. "Because of the movements that we do, it’s a total body workout from head to toe."
Each hourlong class burns 700 to 900 calories.
Many people incorrectly believe they need to be in perfect physical shape to give pole dancing a try — but Abbruzzese says no fitness background is needed.
“We start at a very basic pace. Your feet don’t come off the ground," she said.
"We are doing things as we progress. Eventually, you'll be able to learn tricks that require your feet to come off the ground or your body to be upside down."
Pole dancing is growing in popularity, she said. “Since we opened, we have seen many other studios pop up in the local area," Abbruzzese said.
"When we first opened, there was a stigma that we were a stripper school -- that it was a type of sexy dancing," she said.
People now recognize it as an exercise form, but many students who master pole dancing perform for showcases and private parties.
Abbruzzese is a lifelong dancer and former NFL Patriots cheerleader
Since 2005, she has been battling stage two breast cancer. “Dancing has gotten me through this disease and made me more in shape now than I've been in my entire life," she said.
Aside from pole dancing, the studio offers belly dancing, flexibility, strength training, and tone and tightening.