Amy Thomas, wearing a bright yellow midriff-baring shirt and frilly gray booty shorts, pulls herself up the shiny pole, climbing almost to the ceiling. Arms trembling from the strain, Thomas manages to maintain her grip, intently focusing on the middle of the dimly lit exercise studio filed with poles and women. A victorious grin spreads across her face as she relaxes and slides back down.
“Again! Caress, rub, flick it and spin it, that’s it, ladies, keep it sexy!” shouts the Le Femme Suite instructor, clad in pink-leopard print shorts and a black tank top.
Le Femme Suite is a pole-dancing studio on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. in West Harlem. It attracts a growing number of enthusiasts of a popular new dance form that’s spurred a movement to gain approval as an Olympic sport.