I move with the grace of a tranquilized rhinoceros. Not that this bothers me, because I’ve always been kind of burly. It’s just that looks can be deceiving. See, I’m a petite person—through no fault of my own. I slather everything in butter, order my latte’s breve, think red meat is rather tasty and turn my nose up at the thought of “light” beer.
Being petite (like most things in my life) is my mom’s fault. My mom is one hot mama and she’s still (at close to 50) super fit. I know, I should just shut up and be stoked on the good genes but before you jump on the bitch-calling wagon, let me explain my dilemma: My mom looks like a dancer and moves like a dancer. I may look like a ballerina, but I dance like a linebacker.
Growing up with a mom that could dance backup for the Go Go’s left me with a big fat complex. Seriously, moving my stiff little body has always been a breeding ground for major, palm-sweating anxiety.
So when I heard about Studio Butterfly—Maui’s first and only exotic dancing and pole dancing studio—I got really excited. According to owner and teacher Carmen Ferri’s mission statement, the studio was created for women to, “Provide a safe place… for exploring their inner sensuality and beauty…” Bingo.
Ferri has been a Pilates teacher for years and I figured learning to elongate and stretch probably wouldn’t be a bad idea while I was at it. So I went.
And fell in love.
Ferri is absolutely gorgeous and made me feel totally welcome and capable of expressing myself. Was it easy to let go of my inhibitions? Hell no. Was I able to feel myself letting go by the end of the class?
Exotic fitness is a real workout. It may have something to do with the fact that I have religiously refused to exercise for years, but I swear I was sweating and burning five minutes into the floor routine. And I do mean sweating and burning in the best sense of the words. I mean, what better way to get fit and gain body confidence than by learning moves that you can use in the bedroom. Hello? It makes total sense to me. Somehow, the workout becomes worth it.
My favorite part of the workout was “The Bad Girl,” which consists of placing your palms flat against the wall and slowly moving your hips up and down and back and forth. Then again, I liked learning the whole leg sequence where you do a little peep show. Totally hot—and totally not as easy as it looks.
When we moved to the pole, I was at once petrified and ecstatic. Ferri demonstrated “The Butterfly,” a graceful little move where you grip the pole and swing yourself into a spin with your ankles kind of crossed. She looked amazing.
Then it was my turn. It was really intimidating at first. I felt like I was going to fall on my ass. I’m pretty sure my first few attempts resembled a Jackson Chameleon trying to transfer branches. I clutched to the pole for dear life, but then something happened. I decided to just let go.
The difference was amazing, and before I knew it I was swinging away to Van Halen and having the time of my life. I even let Ferri take pictures of me. Photographical evidence of my naughty side. A naughty side that I feel pretty proud of today.
I’m totally signing up for more classes, and am so stoked that there is a cool, safe place where I can be silly, laugh, be sexy and basically find myself right here on Maui. Not to mention, a place where I can wear those hooker shoes that I keep staring at in my closet.
For more info and to reserve a spot, check out www.studiobutterflymaui.com. MTW