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“And this spin, ladies, is known as the firepole. Someone grab an extinguisher — because you girls are on fire.”

I wasn’t sure what I loved more, our instructor Dani’s well rehearsed banter or the fact that she was conducting our entire class — Viator’s — in seven-inch lucite heels. Ever since taking a pole fitness class in Thailand last year I’ve been intrigued by this fun and sassy workout, and I was itching to take advantage of one of the several highly organized class options in stripper central, Las Vegas. Deciding to make a silly day out of it, we went for the VIP option that included not just an afternoon workshop, but also tickets to see our professional male counterparts work their magic later that evening at Chippendales.

Yes, the class is taught by a real-life Vegas stripper. Pole dancing classes are increasingly popular and for the most part it appears that instructors around the country are doing their absolute best to promote their offerings as fitness programs (which is legit — can you imagine the muscle necessary to ?) and distance themselves from their stilleto-wearing sisters. Not in Vegas! And no complaints from me — I loved how unapologetic it all was.

Dani even added in a little bit of striptease instruction into her hilarious class syllabus, though our sports bras stayed well secured. Despite the pantomiming of a motorboat move, the whole thing was overall pretty tame. To my surprise there were even some mother-daughter pairs in the crowd. Two things that weren’t present? Men, and cameras during class — both are banned. We did stay a little after class for a little photo fun, but the room is incredibly dark, I believe to combat shyness, so you might have to snap a couple to get a good one.

It’s a 75 minute class, which in reality means less than an hour on the poles. Personally, I’d love to see them add a Stripper 102 — not to brag, but I felt I’d mastered some of the moves before we stepped in and would have enjoyed tackling a few more advanced spins.

Meet Sprinkles, Sparkles, and Stephanie

One tip: get there early! We didn’t count on how long it would take us to find the class in the labyrinth that is Planet Hollywood, or the long lines to sign in to various shows and theaters. Arriving early will allow you to snag poles near the other girls in your group, and enjoy a pre-class drink at the Showgirl Bar.

If you splurge on the VIP option, that drink can be a comped one. Regular admission runs around $37, while an upgraded ticket for $68 includes a cocktail at the Showgirl Bar as well as a voucher for either Chippendale’s or Zombie Burlesque. Considering the cheapest Chippendales tickets start at $58, it’s a crazy bargain.

For that reason and that reason only — insert my most conspiratorial wink here — put the show on our itinerary.

I admit I’ve been intrigued by the whole male revue situation since loyally supporting Channing Tatum’s career by watching both Magic Mike movies on multiple occasions. Would they be fun? Would they be sleazy? Would I storm out and demand a refund upon realizing Channing was not among the perfectly sculpted bodies onstage? Inquiring minds — okay, really just my one own inquiring mind — wanted to know.

We were in the perfect silly frame of mind upon arrival at The Rio. When we handed over our vouchers from Stripper 101 to exchange for tickets, the receptionist kindly asked if we might like to upgrade. Zoe handed her credit card over without hesitation — a boss move that we would not regret.

Y’all, I’m sorry to bury the lede here, but this was literally among the most fun seventy-five minutes of my life. Each number was uniquely choreographed and themed and had a surprising amount of effort poured into them, considering they probably could have just put these twelve particular men onstage doing the macarena for six hours straight and it would still draw rave reviews.

We spent the entire show alternating between laugh-screaming while gawking at the stage, laugh-laughing while noting the dumbstruck expressions of some of our fellow audience members, and laugh-crying while catching each others’ eyes and realizing all three of us were loving every single second. We were thrilled with our stage-side seats, even if we did spend a large percentage of the show out of them, dancing along with the boys.

The part I was most impressed with? The perfect balance the whole production struck between silly and sexy, never once crossing the line over to sleazy. Yes, it’s suggestive choreography and men stripping, but the guys actually seem ever-so-slightly bashful on stage — a nice reminder that everyone on and off the stage is in on the joke. The hosts’ banter, the themes of the little skits and the overall attitude of the show is very much of the “every woman is a beautiful goddess who deserves to be treated like a queen” variety, and let me assure you that it was a hit with the very diverse, multi-generational audience. The guys showed no favoritism towards cute young things, and instead spread their attention (including pulling a few lucky ladies onstage) very diplomatically. At one point, they gave a rose to the septuagenarian in the audience who had been married for fifty years — I wouldn’t be opposed to taking my ex-nun of a godmother Mary Jane, if we ever found ourselves together in Vegas. When I later read the entire show was designed for women by women, I wasn’t surprised in the slightest.

There are shows nightly at 8:30, with additional 10:30pm shows on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets range from $58-99, and you will likely shell out more upon arrival. I paid $20 for a seat upgrade, $15 for a drink, and $20 for a souvenir photo with the guys (cameras were only allowed for a short designated segment at the end of the show otherwise.) Each and every dollar was an investment in the hardest I laughed in all of 2015, so clearly it was money well spent.

One important thing to note — we were super pumped to stalk the dancers and bet each other cash money to get their numbers to hang with the guys after the show in the Flirt Lounge as heavily advertised, but we didn’t realize that if you go to the 8:30pm show on a weekend like we did, the guys are busy getting ready for a second round and don’t have time for a drink with their future girlfriends fans. Thankfully, we did have that one beautiful moment together when we snapped our souvenir photo. But seriously, if you’re excited to meet the guys after, be sure to book the last performance of the night on Fridays and Saturdays.

Post-show, when we were able to stand up straight from our doubled-over laughing position and drag ourselves away from all the hilarious photo-ops available outside the theater, we headed to The Palms. While we could have stayed right in The Rio and redeemed our ticket stub for free admission to the onsite Voodoo Lounge club prior to 11pm, with The Palms right there in walking distance it seemed crazy not to head up to Ghostbar for a drink over one of the best views in Vegas.

Later, we piled in a cab up to Tryst at The Wynn, for no particular reason other than I can’t seem to not when I’m in Vegas. And good thing I did, as I later learned it was my last hurrah there — the club for good in October after a ten year run on The Strip.

We had a blast. In fact, we had such a good time we looked up ticket prices to take another friend of mine, who arrived later in the weekend, back to do the whole day over again over the weekend! Chippendales was legitimately one of the most hilarious and fun experiences I’ve ever had in Vegas, and at only $10 more to tack on a Stripper 101 class and learn a few mover of your own… why not?

When in Vegas, right?

Ladies, (or gents!) would you take a pole fitness class or check out a male revue?

3-devide-lines.
I am a member of the Viator Ambassador initiative and participated in Stripper 101 as part of that program.
3-devide-lines
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57 Comments...
  • Sarah
    February 9 2016

    this looks hilarious!
    And I love the picture where your friends are leaning against “palm”
    Sarah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      They are wonderful little photoshoot models, those two πŸ™‚

  • Kathryn Allen
    February 9 2016

    Can’t believe the timing of this post! We just saw a play at CAPREP called “Naked Influence” about a stripper/pole dancer and pole dancers were performing practically the entire play. They were not quite as accomplished at the one you linked us to on Utube. Remember Julia Franklin? She was one of the pole dancers in the play.

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      That sounds like a really cool show — I definitely would have joined you if I were in town!

  • Joella
    February 9 2016

    I would definitely try a poke dancing class- it seems fun and you must have to be super strong to be good.I just signed up for Class Pass which means you get to go to classes at all different studios in the area. Most of the Newport Beach classes seem to be some kind of hardcore power yoga or super intense circuits (people here are nuts about working out I’m telling ya!) But I think there is a pole class or two. Though I need to head up to LA for the most “interesting” classes. One of them on the schedule at 6am is called Twerk Before Work..! Ha!
    Joella recently posted..

    • Joella
      February 9 2016

      Errrrm so autocorrect changed pole to poke in my comment. Now that’s a whole different kind of class I don’t think I want to try…. πŸ™‚
      Joella recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      I am so jealous of the whole Class Pass situation — it sounds so fun and I would love to try it if I lived somewhere it was offered! Twerk Before Work sounds hilariiiiious!

  • Marni
    February 9 2016

    This sounds like an incredibly fun day, and quite the workout! It’s actually on my list of workouts I want to try. Also – I love Zoe’s outfit for the show!
    Marni recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      It is a tough one — you need a lot of core strength to do anything that involves holding yourself up on the pole. I’m so impressed with the moves I see in movies (not those kind of movies, ha ha) and whatnot now!

  • Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
    February 9 2016

    I’m going to a bachelorette party in May and I think we definitely need to do this! Looks like a blast.

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      This would be an AWESOME bachelorette day πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  • Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
    February 9 2016

    Another comment, I just looked up Tryst on the Wynn website and it says it’s a private area now. When were you there?
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      How sad, you’re right! Looks like it closed in October and is being converted into a new club. What a bummer!

  • Janice Stringer
    February 9 2016

    I’d love to have a go… Great fun! πŸ™‚
    Janice Stringer recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      Added bonus — laughing burns extra calories!

  • Megan Indoe
    February 9 2016

    Haha, I love that you did a pole dancing class! I’ve always wanted to try one out but am scared I will break something! Also, I love the fact you enjoyed some Chippendales afterwards! What a great girls trip idea for Vegas! Thanks for sharing!
    Megan Indoe recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      It was a hysterical day. When in Vegas indeed!

  • Ijana
    February 9 2016

    From what I’ve heard (I have zero interest in it myself) the male stripper shows are actually quite good, better than one would expect. It sounds like you can confirm that! I would love to take pole classes, and pretty soon I’m actually gonna sign up for a month at one of those pole studios

    • Meihoukai
      February 9 2016

      It’s true — I had medium expectations and they were blown away! It was hilarious and much better executed than I would have imagined.

  • Lili
    February 9 2016

    My friend and I did the Stripper 101 class for her bachelorette party! I was so much fun. We also opted for the VIP tickets, but when we went it was for “American Storm” so many fun times and a great way to send off one of my best friends! I highly recommend it.

    And totally second getting their early since its hard to find. We went early and it took us ages to find it. Everyone else was super late (and by then we’d already had a few cocktails prior to the class!)
    Lili recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 11 2016

      Yeah, and unlike so many activities it really did start completely promptly! We were bummed to miss out on the first few minutes. Glad to hear you had a great time with this as well!

  • Kristin
    February 10 2016

    A couple girlfriends and I did a pole class a couple years ago just on a whim, and it ended up being tons of fun! Leave it to Vegas to take it up a notch and throw in the male revue!
    Kristin recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 11 2016

      They are kind of the perfect complements to each other, no? πŸ™‚ Very Vegas indeed!

  • Dominique
    February 10 2016

    I would love to watch a male stripper show up-close and personal! I’ve actually seen one at my student sorority, but it was the kind of sleazy you mentioned in your post which makes me want to unwatch it more than anything. The Chippendales show sounds perfect though!
    Dominique recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 11 2016

      Yeah I don’t have much of an interest in that kind of entertainment πŸ™‚ This one was just perfect…

  • Eva Casey
    February 10 2016

    Okay, so I was super skeptical by the post title, but by the end I have to admit I would love to go!! Hahaha!
    Eva Casey recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 11 2016

      Then my job here is done πŸ˜‰ I bet you’d have a blast!

  • Leah
    February 11 2016

    THIS is hilarious! I’d love to try pole fitness (that sounds so dirty all of a sudden) and also see men take off their clothes for me in a non-sleazy, entertaining way. Who knew such a thing even existed?!
    Leah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 15 2016

      Maybe we need to make sure the next city we meet up in starts with an LAS and ends with a VEGAS.

  • Melanie Messerli
    February 11 2016

    Wow! That seems like a lot of fun. I LOVE Vegas!I have always joked about going to see Chippendales, but never actually went and saw them. After reading this I might actually have to go see them!

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      You might see me in the next row πŸ˜‰ I have a feeling I’ll be a regular after this!

  • Cassy
    February 11 2016

    If you are interested in some serious Pole Classes, check right off the strip at Pole Fitness LV (it’s super close!!) The lovely ladies that work there will teach you inverts, spins, and even drops for those ready!

    Cheers!

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      That sounds awesome — thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely check it out next time I’m in town…

  • Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate
    February 11 2016

    Funny, the studio I just did aerial at also offers pole and I may have signed up for a class in two weeks’ time πŸ˜‰
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      Now those photos I can’t wait to see πŸ˜‰

  • Mary b
    February 12 2016

    Even with my intense love of Channing, I’ve never been particularly interested in a male strip show… but I think you’ve sold me! I’m relieved to hear it wasn’t sleazy, and I have a feeling I’d be doing a lot of laugh-crying as well. If I ever go back to Vegas, this is going on the itinerary for sure!
    Mary b recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      It definitely had a different vibe than I expected. I can’t wait to go back!

  • Dev
    February 12 2016

    Hey, you have a knack of writing. Very nice and informative article. πŸ™‚

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      Thanks Dev! It was a fun one to write…

  • Ashley
    February 12 2016

    God, this all sounds amazing. Your posts are making me realize more and more that I did not do my trip to Vegas justice. I’ll definitely be doing a pole dancing class and Chippendales show should I ever return!
    Ashley recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      Well, I definitely did Vegas better the fifth time than I did the first, ha. Although truly, every trip I’ve ever taken there has been a blast!

  • becky hutner
    February 14 2016

    Yes and YES. Which is saying a lot for a Vegas hater who has considered neither. That is the power of your blogging, Meihoukai!
    becky hutner recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      One day I’ll get you to Sin City, Becky! One day!

  • Ása Steinars
    February 15 2016

    Haha, I love this! I didn’t know this actually existed, I have to get there πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€
    Ása Steinars recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 16 2016

      It’s a new must for me when in Vegas πŸ˜‰

  • Natalie
    February 16 2016

    I’ve always wanted to take one of those pole dance/fitness classes. After reading your review I’m even more tempted. I’ll have to see if we have any around here…
    Natalie recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 17 2016

      You might be surprised — I certainly never thought I’d find one in Koh Tao, Thailand, of all places!

  • Izy berry
    February 18 2016

    I want to go so badly to this show amazing and the boys omg
    Izy berry recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 18 2016

      Check their website — they do tour internationally!

  • Anna @AnnaEverywhere
    February 18 2016

    As a pole fitness instructor I think it’s funny how everyone associates poles with stripping when in fact in most cases it doesn’t look very attractive – especially the acro part πŸ˜€

    I’d totally do Chippendales btw πŸ˜€
    Anna @AnnaEverywhere recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      February 22 2016

      That must be a fun job Anna! I’d love to take one of your classes someday πŸ™‚

  • Britt
    February 25 2016

    I feel like this is the most Vegas post I’ve ever read πŸ˜›

    I would have paid the extra $20 for the photo as well. I’ll definitely be booking the later show if I’m ever in Vegas hehe.

    Pole fitness is so popular at the moment, a couple of my friends do it regularly and they are seriously so fit. I’m far too clumsy to ever try, I’d seriously knock myself out on the pole and miss the whole show at Chippendales.
    Britt recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      March 3 2016

      Ha ha, I love the mental picture I just got! But I’d still urge you to give it a chance — you might be surprised at what secret skills you didn’t know you had!

  • Amy | Toothbrush Travels
    February 28 2016

    I used to take pole classes a few years back and it’s so much fun, although you do end up rather… bruised each time you learn a new move! Definitely something i’ve been thinking of taking up again xo
    Amy | Toothbrush Travels recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      March 3 2016

      Ha, bruises are a part of the deal for sure… I wonder how the “pros” avoid them?

  • Susie
    November 5 2017

    This looks so much fun! As a former pole dance instructor-in-training, I’m always in the position of having to explain to people that pole dance is so much more than just looking sexy and pretty in pleaser shoes. I used to get bruised all the time but with time your body gets used to the pole and won’t bruise as much!

    • Meihoukai
      November 5 2017

      Good info, Susie! I’d love to take more classes if I had a regular studio in my area πŸ™‚ Maybe someday!