I always make it a point to drop in to a new pole studio whenever I travel. It makes every trip a super fun one and I love to explore different neighborhoods by myself as I visit them too.
The last time I was in Tokyo about a year ago, I dropped-in at Pole Dance Tokyo for 2 classes and had a great time. This time, I wanted to check out a different studio.
Luxurica is a 5-minute walk from Sendagaya station, about 3 stops from Shibuya. It’s located in a cozy little surburban-looking neighborhood instead of the usual business district, which adds a certain charming quality.
I was quite literally running late from catching up with a buddy over ice-cream, and luckily the studio was very easy to locate as I sprinted madly across from the train station!
I’d emailed Luxurica a week before and asked if they could suggest a sexy dance-based class since the schedule on the website was in Japanese, and was recommended the ‘Pole with High Heels’ 90-minute class on Sunday, taught by Reiko.
Rushing into the studio, I was greeted by the warm and friendly Reiko herself, who also happens to be the director of Luxurica. There were 5 other girls in the class and more than enough poles for everyone. The poles were static chrome as usual, but I was very happy that they were nice and small 40mm!
She explained that she would show us a few tricks which we’d put into combos, and teach us a dance routine using the same tricks in the choreography.
During the warmup, I was impressed by how flexible everyone was. And Reiko must have back muscles of steel because she can just straighten her body up directly from a yoga bridge pose to standing without touching the floor with her hands. It’s pretty extreme..
The first trick was a Superman, which is fine on its own except that we then had to reach behind for the pole and twist ourselves down to the floor. I have a pretty bendy back but had trouble reaching back for the pole… until I realized that you need to slide your legs down the pole first. Ah-ha!
But twisting your body around the static pole feels a little bit like trying to manually rub off the skin from a baked potato without using a fruit peeler. Except you’re the potato. I still have bruises on my inner thighs from twisting myself round!
The next trick was a Layout variation, which thankfully was much less painful.
The class was a multi-level group with girls at different skill levels. I was glad to see that Reiko spotted anyone who needed it, and she made sure to see if I knew what I was doing right at the start of class.
She also made it a point to helpfully explain things to me in English as she went along, though she’s expressive enough that I could follow most of it by watching her. I personally loved the fact that she was teaching in a sexy bikini set and heels with full makeup on, and the fact that she has a great sense of humor and laughs easily!
After each trick was taught, we split up into 2 groups to try them on the centre poles of the class, with a couple of spins of our choice followed by climbing and trying out the combo. Then she taught us the dance moves progressively in parts, which made them all nice and easy to remember.
It was a nice sexy little routine with the Superman combo, some floor work, then more dancing and the layout combo.
Once the dancing started I felt like I was in my element, even though my spins on static were very hit or miss. I attempted to do a fan-kick spin and got stuck. Oh well, nothing that a good hair flick can’t fix!
What made it really fun though, was the multi-colour ‘performance lights’ that add to the mood. I think in total we did the routine about 6 or 7 times each at least! I was too shy to take a video this time but I had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Although I’ve also realized after doing many travel drop-ins, that the ones I enjoy are the dance-based classes. Especially the ones that have a sexy style! Somehow spending an hour doing tricks alone just doesn’t leave me with the same level of fulfillment.
Also, I must say that 90-minutes is a perfect duration for a pole class. That way, there’s more than enough time to warmup, do tricks, learn choreography, practice it over and over, feel just a little tired and then cool down. without feeling rushed. Now I wish we had 90 minute classes at home too!
After the class wrapped up, we did some stretches to cool down and I chatted for a bit with Reiko after she gamely took a picture with me on the pole. I’d noticed flyers on the counter for Miss Pole Dance Japan, and naively asked if she was competing.
Well she’s not competing because…. she’s one of the judges! Oops…
And it turns out, one of my Bobbi’s instructors is flying to Tokyo to compete in it!
Omg I would loooooove to watch MPDJ… Maybe if I manifest hard enough it’ll happen? Haha.. but check out the publicity poster in the meantime, and (if you’re from Bobbi’s Singapore) see if you can spot a familiar face!