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By Kristine McKenzie
Las Vegas is a place where most people break all of their New Year's resolutions. They drink too much, eat too much and spend too much money. But now there's a way to indulge in a sinful Vegas vacation while keeping at least one resolution -- to lose weight and get more exercise.
Stripper 101, a striptease cardio and pole dancing class offered at the V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood offers women the chance to let loose and unleash their inner bombshells while burning major calories.
Students learn sexy striptease moves and lap dance techniques, while working off between 300 to 400 calories in an hour and 15 minutes. This is a full body workout -- from cardio to toning the arms and legs. Since you're using a lot of muscles you normally wouldn't, you'll definitely feel the effects the next day.
"You'll feel like you've gone to the gym for the first time in months," said Stripper 101 instructor Kindra Knoll. "But you won't know you're working out because you're having so much fun."
No dance experience is necessary and women of all ages are encouraged to attend. Knoll, who worked as an exotic dancer at a gentleman's club in Las Vegas for six years, provides easy-to-follow, expert instruction.
Sorry -- no men are allowed in class, so the lap dances are taught using empty chairs. Ladies are encouraged to let loose and practice their moves with props including feather boas.
The Stripper 101 studio is set up to mimic a nightclub atmosphere -- it is dimly lit, the music will make you want to move, and cocktails are served.
"We want to give them a real live Vegas experience with the drinks and the music and the lights and the glow-in-the-dark poles," said Knoll. "We're really the only place that has that right here on the Strip."
The carefree atmosphere makes Stripper 101 the perfect setting for bachelorette parties, birthdays, retirements or just a fun night out with the girls. Sin City is known for its gentleman's clubs, so what better place to learn some moves to take back home?
"It's the ultimate Las Vegas souvenir to take home with you," Knoll said. "You'll want to purchase a stripper pole when you get home."
Maggie Scott-Lemak attended a Stripper 101 class with a group of friends to celebrate her 50th birthday. She says she chose the class because everywhere she went people were recommending it to her as the one thing she had to do in Las Vegas.
"I had a ball," she said. "You're never too old to start something new." Scott-Lemak said she,d recommend the class to women of all ages and that people shouldn't be shy about attending.
"She (Knoll) made it very friendly and easy. You lose a lot of your inhibitions because it's all women…and the drinks don't hurt!"
Another recent student at Stripper 101 was there for a bachelorette party for her friend. She said the group wanted to avoid going to see one of the traditional male strip shows, but still wanted to do something "naughty."
Students definitely do get a chance to be naughty -- everyone gets a turn to master the Stripper 101 pole. The lighted poles used in class are more flexible than the traditional metal pole, which makes it easier on beginners.
By the end of class, students will be showing off their fancy new moves including squat spins and fireman's spins -- but it's not as hard as it sounds.
"Dancing with a pole is like dancing with a partner," Knoll said.
Students are also given some free time to practice what they've learned and just have fun with the poles.
At the completion of the class each student receives a certificate establishing them as a "genuine Las Vegas stripper." Individual photos and group photos are also taken and are available to purchase after the class.
Even though Stripper 101 is a good workout and a fun-filled time, Knoll says what it's really all about is giving women confidence.
"I think it gives women the chance to really reveal themselves -- to kind of come out and feel good about themselves and to experience something that maybe they never thought they could do. And by the end of the class they realize they can do it and I think it just makes them feel really good."
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