Reaching new heights with pole dancing

WAG writer Danielle Renda tries her hand (and legs) at pole dancing at Pole Position in White Plains.

I must admit that I’ve always been intrigued by pole dancing.

Not as an entertainment but as an art form.

Maybe it’s the ability of the dancers to support their body weight in a manner that appears effortless. Maybe it’s the toning and conditioning benefits that follow the mastery of each new technique. Or perhaps it’s the celebration of femininity, conveyed through sensual movements.

But regardless of what the reasons may be, there’s no denying that it’s just plain sexy.

When I finally decided to pursue this experience, I chose to visit Pole Position, a boutique dance and fitness studio located in the heart of White Plains. New to the exercise entirely, I anticipated a studio of tall, voluptuous females reminiscent of Victoria’s Secret models — and experts on the pole, to say the least. But I was pleasantly relieved to see that all shapes, sizes and ages were represented in the class, each woman beautiful in her own way. And I had no trouble fitting in and feeling comfortable.

In fact, the atmosphere was anything but intimidating. Brimming with support, each woman was quick to applaud when a fellow classmate completed a new move or successfully made it through a routine.

“Most of the time, we’re just barefoot, dancing our souls out,” said Taylor Starke, owner of Pole Position.

Starke, a warm spirit with a bubbly personality, led the class, which entailed a full dance routine, a pole climb and a suspended pole spin, designed for beginners. Though she made each move look natural, the techniques required upper- and lower-body strength, focus — and, most important, a desire to let loose, flow with the music and embrace your sexy. If there was any confusion, Starke was more than attentive, breaking down the moves into individual, slow-motion steps for everyone to tackle at her own pace.

“I think it’s really important to know that pole dancing is just dance,” Starke says. “If you keep going to class, you’re going to do some hard, athletic stuff.”

And not only athletic, but artistic and sensual as well — the three main types of pole dancing, according to Starke.

In February, she purchased the business, which originally opened in 2015. Before that, she had attended one of the studio’s classes — and became hooked. It was an unanticipated business move for Starke, an equestrian who graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a journalism degree just a few years prior. But it was a decision inspired by a lifelong passion for dance.

“I always wanted to be a dancer,” she said. “But for a lot of forms of dancing, you miss the boat if you don’t start very young. The thing with pole dancing is that most people start in their 20s and older.”

Between her love for equestrian sports and dance, Starke keeps busy. She now divides her time working days as a barn manager in South Kent, Connecticut, and nights as a pole instructor at Pole Position.

“I love what I do,” she said.

And I undoubtedly loved the experience. It’s not everyday that you are able to exercise while feeling sexy and build confidence to boot. Despite being a newcomer, I was able to follow Starke’s instructions, learn new moves and thoroughly enjoy every minute of the class. 

The studio offers a variety of classes, ranging from beginning pole to intermediate, aerial fly gym, flexibility and exotic pole, as well as private events for birthdays, bachelorette parties and girls’ nights out. Pole Position is at 110 Mamaroneck Ave.

For more, call 914-615-9450 or visit

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