By Tara Henley 
BELLEVILLE – Poles aren’t just for firefighters anymore.
Pole fitness  – classes in which participants do pole dancing – has been growing in popularity over the past few years. Classes are offered in Belleville at 121 Fitness , a health and fitness centre that offers a variety of non-traditional fitness workshops.
Classes are taught by Alison Kemp, the manager of the centre, who has been teaching there for four years and has been taking classes herself for almost a decade.
While some people might have reservations about a workout based on moves used by strippers, Kemp says that the more people try the classes for themselves, the less negativity there will be.
“Come try a class,” she said. “That whole stigma gets washed out right away when people try class and say, ‘Wow, that’s not as easy or as sexy as I thought it would be.’
“Pole fitness isn’t just about being a dancer; it’s about being a circus acrobat, it’s about being a ballerina, and it’s about exploring your own body.”