One of the best parts about Los Angeles is that it's on the cutting edge. You name it, and L.A.'s got it: the latest fashions, most daring art, forward-thinking theater and even adventurous fitness. We live in a city drowning in beautiful people who are always looking to find new and fun ways to keep those great physiques in check.  

So what's the latest fitness craze? Pole dancing! And the best part is that anyone can do it, you don't have to look like a supermodel or be in your 20s to have a great time learning how to pole dance – and there's no nudity required.

This hip new style of dance is in high demand and now flooding hundreds of cities across the U.S. and Canada.   And there's good reason why – it's a great workout and some of the most fun you will ever have.  

Aphrodite Strip-N-Pole is the best place in Los Angeles to score this workout. Heading up Aphrodite is Gabrielle Gumbs, the founder and instructor of all things pole here. She may be petite, but her energy and enthusiasm comes in spades.

Gumbs is an actress who stumbled upon pole dancing when her acting teacher at the time urged her to take a class to get more in tune with her femininity and inspire her to be more confident with herself. And, that is the message she took from the class and hopes to pass on to her students.  

“I'm not saying go out and be a stripper at all,” explains Gumbs. “It's not about that, it's about the movement and the fun of it all and doing something other than running on a treadmill or biking.”

She continues, “We all have our artistic sides and our creative sides and [pole dancing] feeds that. It feeds your connection to other women because a lot of us only interact with males at work so we don't always get to be around other women. This is an environment that is very positive. It's not about a competition, it's about you tuning in.”

Gumbs' background in sports medicine and kinesiology (the study of movement) created a solid foundation for which to build this small empire. She is a firm believer that if you believe you are sexy then everyone else will believe it too. A combination of female empowerment and physical fitness is what has spawned Aphrodite Strip-N-Pole's unique workouts and incredible results.  

Standing before the world a confident and beautiful woman, Gumbs admits that she has not always been this way. Pole dancing allowed her to transform and become the self-assured human being she is today.

“I used to be super shy,” she says. “I was a tomboy. I didn't realize it but it gave me blockage that I had no idea about. I used to only wear baggy clothes – always hiding everything.”

After failed attempts to get out of taking the pole dancing classes, she agreed to go. “[I am] very thankful obviously now that [my acting teacher] pushed me to do it because it really brought a whole lot of stuff up that I didn't realize that I was having happen.”

Once a year, when the Gods are happy, Aphrodite opens its doors to the public to come see what these classes are all about. Sunday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Gumbs will be strutting her stuff along with her students and showing off amazing new dances at Studio Soma. “Body Shake,” as she calls it, is open to all and is more of a social event and meant for having a good time while enjoying food and the company of others interested in L.A.'s next big thing.

For more information, call (818) 505-1165 or visit .