The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Currents

March 21, 2013

Kent: Pole dancing fitness studio gives Mankato a whirl

MANKATO — Pole dancing fitness? Count me among the skeptics.

Or so I thought.

When Mankato native Brittin Wagner called me on the telephone to see if I might be interested in covering the opening of her new pole dancing fitness studio on West Dukes Street, I said I’d look into it and get back to her.

Of course, I had every intention of giving her enterprise a fair judgment on its merits. But whenever the words “pole dancing” precede any phrase, the mind is led to many places — least of them, fodder for a newspaper article.

But Wagner’s version of pole dance fitness isn’t salacious or scandalous. It’s more Cirque de Soleil than high-heeled risqué.

In fact, Wagner began pursuing pole dance fitness as a student at the University of Washington. While finishing her doctorates in sociology and statistics, the 2002 Mankato West graduate was spending long, sedentary hours hunched over a computer.

That’s when her mother purchased her pole dancing fitness lessons at a nearby studio as a Christmas gift.

“It pretty much saved my sanity,” she said.

Fast forward a few years and Wagner is back in Minnesota working in research and development in the health care industry. She teaches at a few studios in the Twin Cities and admits she’s among a small minority of instructors who haven’t worked in strip clubs.

Still, Wagner encourages the non-sexual aspects of the sport. Combining dancing and gymnastics, one session can burn upward of 300 calories — as much as a 35-minute swim or cross-country hike. Even basic moves, she said, require a certain degree of mental focus and physical exertion.

“It’s one of the most calming, relaxing holistic exercises I know,” Wagner said. “I’ve compared it to how it might feel to breathe underwater. I’m definitely in my own space physically and mentally.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Currents
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Alicia Keys is Pregnant With Second Child Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? 'Bachelorette' Star Nick Viall Talks Intimate Experience with Andi Dorfman Jessica Alba Sizzles on the Cover of Maxim Allison Williams Shares Peter Pan Throwback Pic Kim Kardashian Defends Brother Rob Against His Ex Adrienne Bailon Bradley Cooper And Sienna Miller Working Together Again You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Legs For Days! Megan Fox Rocks a Silver Mini Is Nick Viall Next for "The Bachelor"? Beyonce Fires Back at New Breakup Rumors No Man, No Problem! Katy Perry Talks Babies Jeah! See Ryan Lochte's 10,000 Calorie Diet "Guardians of Galaxy" Cast Shares Inside Scoop Allison Williams Will Star as Peter Pan in Live TV Broadcast Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Drew Barrymore's Half-Sister Found Dead Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Ariana Grande's Troubled Relationship With Father