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Greta Pontarelli, 61, Who Pole Dances

When Greta was 59, she was diagnosed with Osteoporosis, a condition that destroys bone density.

“To strengthen my bones, I needed strenuous exercise, something that would involve lifting weights, ” she explains. “But just weight-lifting is very boring. That's why I looked into dancing with a pylon.”

A pylon, (in other words: vertical pole) primarily attracted Greta because it provided exactly the sort of physical load that doctors recommended to her, except that the weight didn't come from dumbbells, but her own body. Secondly, it was simultaneously exercise, dance, and a show. Pontarelli loved the idea and she began learning with great enthusiasm.

Gymnasts, who gracefully fly up and down the pole may make the sport look easy. But, far from it, performing moves on the pylon is very difficult. It requires immense strength and control of one's body.

It's a bit of a stretch, but one could say that Greta was aided by her previous athletic experience: at some point in her youth, she did gymnastics. But, she stopped doing that over 40 years ago, so she had to learn everything from scratch.

“I trained for a few hours every day, ” says Greta. “It was very difficult, but also unbelievably wonderful. I even formed some sort of an addiction to it. After a few months, the moves became easier. Things started to work.”

Greta became fitter, she gained flexibility in her muscles, her back pain disappeared. But, most importantly, Greta was given the opportunity to inspire people.

“Many start to think that even at 40 or 45, it's already too late to begin something new, to find a new dream. I am glad I am able to convince them that it's never too late to realize your dream and be happy.”