Dec. 10 2014 12:00 AM

While yoga, spinning and boot camp classes will soon be filled to capacity by New Year’s resolution makers, local women have a new option that is bound to be a conversation starter: Pole dancing. Welcome to Stilettos & Steel Fitness on Lansing’s west side.

“This isn’t training for the strip club,” said owner/ instructor Candice Tess. “Pole builds confidence and strength. A lot of women come thinking this would be fun, but say they’re really impressed how hard of a workout it is.”

Tess, who has a background in kinesiology, is the only certified pole instructor in mid-Michigan and one of the only in Michigan (you don’t have to be certified to teach it). She opened Stilettos & Steel in September after training in some other pole studios. She only teaches women right now, as demand hasn’t been high enough to start a men’s class, but she thinks men could handle it.

“It’s fantastic cross training,” she said. “One trick utilizes every muscle in your body. I have muscles I’ve never had before.”

A typical class lasts about an hour and half, including warm up, strength training and stretching. Skills taught include spins, tricks and different turns.

“And we teach how to put different moves together to (create a) free style dance,” Tess said. “It makes women feel sexy.”

Stilettos & Steel has gift certificates, if you’re looking to get something different for that daring young fitness enthusiast on your list. The space also offers bachelorette and birthday parties.

“Women love that they can get the strength workout but with the girly feel,” Tess said. “You can hang out with girlfriends, but still get serious about fitness. And you don’t flip truck tires here — you flip your body.”

A new Flavor Lansing’s East Town neighborhood is starting to look like Far East Town. Last year, Asian Gourmet opened on the 2000 block of Michigan Avenue. And for the last few weeks, interior work has been going on at the corner of that block, the former Lamai’s Thai Kitchen. This week a sign went up with the name of the new restaurant: China Flavor. I popped my head in and the owner, who declined to give his name, told me an open date isn’t set yet as he’s still assembling the space, which included the installation of new floors, new lights and a new bar. Stay tuned for more information.

New in Town will be taking a break for the holidays. If you have any business news to share, please send it to allan@

Stilettos & Steel Fitness 6400 W. St. Joe Hwy., Lansing Class times vary (see website for schedule) (517) 802-8265,