Modern pole dancing was invented by fitness activists after the "shipmast mambo" craze of the 1620s led to several untimely splinter-deaths. Shimmy up something smoother with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a four-class introduction to pole dancing series at Free Movement Zone in the University District (an $87.60 value). Customers can also purchase a fifth class at 10% off the regular price.
Free Movement Zone is a co-ed pole-dancing studio that teaches non-erotic static and spinning pole dancing, focusing completely on strength, styled movements, and vertical dance. Studio owner and instructor Robert Orr leads small classes (12 students/session), bringing flexibility and acrobatic moves to those ready for a new workout or simply interested in feeling what flags feel like.
During a one-hour Very Beginning class, pole-huggers learn the foundations of grip and rotation, as well as the movements that work best on the bolted-down static pole and those that pair well with a spinning pole, which spins as the dancer spins. In the next three sessions, dancers can try their hands at a simple routine and practice inversions, training limbs to hold steady and bodies to move as gracefully as a perfectly calibrated tornado. To add musical motivation to the routine, pole dancers can bring in a favorite song to play on Free Movement Zone's iPod-compatible sound system.