You can also get a pole dancing fitness DVD like Susan's that are easy-to-follow along with and offer cardio, strength and stretching sections
how to use pole dancing for fitness
A good workout or session/class should include:
A thorough warm up
Stretching on and off the pole
Instruction on new moves such as spins, climbing, holds, poses or other tricks
Instruction according to your level. Example: don't start learning spins until you learn how to hold your body weight on the pole! Don't start learning to invert until you can tuck yourself in position to go upside down (core strength!)
Strength building exercises. Although the moves on the pole are so fun, don't ever leave out your body weight exercises or weight training. Your class should include ab/core work as well as leg exercises such as lunges, squats, planks, et cetera.
Stretching and cool down. This is the perfect time to work on deeper flexibility such as splits training, AFTER you are very, very warm and your muscles have a much better chance of stretching further. My deepest stretches always come after a good run for me:)
what about cardio?
Pole work is mainly strength training but you can also have a good cardio session, depending on how it is arranged. Again, Susan Peach of pole-dancing-for-fitness is the only creator of a pole cardio workout that I have found.
Other suggestions to get your cardio workout in:
Run or walk-run on your days in between classes
Swimming is a great non-impact cardio exercise
Bicycling, stationary or outdoors is another great way to get your legs stronger AND get a fat-burning workout
Susan is very thorough about showing you LOTS of functional strength building moves and exercises that are designed to get you up and flying on the pole faster.
Instead of just showing you how the advanced inverts and tricks work, she starts you safely learning from the ground up, literally, and by safely I mean no injuries and muscles pops, pulls and tears and frustration from trying to learn something your body isn't ready for yet.
Although pole dance is a way to workout, it is also a form of dance and a great way to meet other women like yourself who are also on a journey to get fitter, have fun and to take on new challenges.
Even if you can't find a local studio or the nearest one is too far away, you can join an online pole forum and make lots of good friends to chat with, share videos, photos and experiences with as well as get valuable feedback from your training sessions and work.