2159 Filbert St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9412337.798044 -122.434969
Neighborhoods: North, Cow Hollow
I think I found my calling – I took the introduction to pole dancing class last night and LOVED IT! Amanda was really funny and nice and made the class room atmosphere fun. Pole dancing in front of strangers could get awkward, but I love how they blast music and keep the lights low. At the end, she did a demo of the things you can learn in the advanced classes. To say I was impressed was an understatement. That chick should take her skills to Vegas. She could make a killing! I would recommend anyone take this class if you are interested! The only down side is, they are extremely expensive.
Best place to feel comfortable in your own skin – Let me start by saying S Factor has changed my life on many levels. After my first intro class nearly three years ago, I threw out my scale and have never weighed myself since. That's big for me. My Mom was a model in her twenties and I was a ballerina turned lightweight crewer who was obsessed with weight for my whole life.
But it's become something so much more than how I feel in my own skin. It's also helped me to feel good in my own (very female) brain. Guess what, world? I DO have hormones, I DO have the capacity to feel more than one emotion at once, and I DO sometimes feel like I am the only sane person on earth. Since coming to S Factor I've found an outlet to let out whatever emotions (glee, exasperation, frustration, sadness, silliness and more) I've been holding inside myself all week. It's cathartic!
Is it a big expenditure? Yes, but well worth the $8 or so that it breaks down to per day. That's a heck of a lot cheaper than a therapist and a lot more effective than eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's when I'm feeling down.
Don't believe me? Check out the website and listen to the testimonials. As an S girl, all of them give me the chills. This is seriously powerful stuff that made me realize my own power--on and off the pole. ;0)
Empowerment for the upper class? – I went to an intro class and had a blast. It's great fun and the instructors were great and the whole experience was wonderful. They do a big pitch about how this isn't a class but a community of supportive woman and a "movement" - it empowers women and changes our lives.
But then I was asked to pay $440 (not including shoes and accessories) for 8 classes. Why do rich white woman keep getting empowered and the rest of us are left on the fringe? I have to say, walking out of the S-Factor not being able to afford to ever be part of this movement was really disempowering.
Something new...for a price – If you've ever wanted to let your inner sexpot out, this is the place. The idea of a beginner class is awesome, although I found the instructor in my class to be a little wordy. Her metaphors were distracting me from the yoga/pilates/compromising positions that I was supposed to be doing, and the pole section at the end was not long enough. All in all, for the price, the beginner class was a good way to showcase what they offer, and the front desk staff was very helpful and supportive.
On the other hand...I found them to be somewhat overbearing when it came to the "why you should drop a car payment for an 8 week class." It would be one thing if this was part of a larger picture (i.e. a personal trainer at a gym I already pay for), but it is independently not in everyone's budget. I was impressed with their math skills, but it still seemed like a lot for a place where parking is scarce and space is a minimum. I like the idea of the work study and scholarship, but they should really have a brochure to give at the end of the trial session for those too embarrassed to ask about either. I'll think about it...
Cow Hollow studio teaches women the sensual art of pole dancing in a safe and intimate atmosphere. – In Short
Founded by actress Sheila Kelly after she learned the tricks of the trade for a film shoot, this studio offers exercise classes that aim to help women get comfortable with their bodies. The sensual movements incorporate yoga, Pilates, classical dance and stripper-style pole dancing, and classes (with a maximum of 13 students) span rigorous eight-week sessions. Stay-at-home moms, professionals and even a few senior citizens are among the students you'll find working up a sweat.
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