Profile: Brianna MacDowell, pole dance instructor

It is not a stripper pole. It’s an art form. The majority of people unfortunately associate it with strip clubs.’

Atlanta’s Brianna MacDowell offers training in a rather unusual form of exercise. As a pole dance instructor at Dance 411 studios, MacDowell transforms bodies while simultaneously increasing sex appeal.’’

What do you think are the greatest benefits of pole dancing?

Burning calories and building strength, because it’s definitely a lot harder than people think it is. It’s also a big confidence boost for women. It helps you come out of your shell. It makes you feel sexy and womanly and sensual.

What are the women like who attend your classes?

They are everyday women. People always ask me, “Do you get a lot of strippers?” We never really get exotic dancers. We get everyday women, working women, doctors, professionals, and executives. Some of them are married and have kids, then there are some that are single doing it for themselves — or for their boyfriends.

What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions about pole dancing?

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people call the pole the “stripper pole.” It is not a stripper pole. It’s a pole. Over in Europe, it’s an art form. You keep your clothes on. It’s not even associated with strip clubs in places like Europe and Australia. They even have it in Cirque Du Soleil. Being in America — and especially Atlanta — the majority of people unfortunately associate it with strip clubs.’’