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Jennifer Lopez Calls Pole Dancing ‘One of the Hardest Things’ She’s Ever Done

If there was ever any question in your mind about how tough she is, a new video showing Jennifer Lopez’s pole-dancing bruises should banish any lingering doubts. The Hustlers star shared just how dedicated she was to nailing her role as Ramona, a stripper, in the movie, revealing a behind-the-scenes look at how she learned to pole dance — and the visible toll it took on her body.

If you were cruising Lopez’s Instagram, you may have seen a short clip teasing her pole-dancing journey, where she called pole dancing “one of the hardest things [she has] ever done physically.” To get the full version, though, you’ll have to head to Lopez’s YouTube channel. She shared the video on Thursday and, at just over 13 minutes long, it gives a pretty comprehensive look at the work it took for Lopez to learn her character’s craft. “I mean, it’s rough on your body. It’s real acrobatics,” she says, adding, “This is just as hard as anything I’ve ever learned. It might be one of the hardest.”

At several points, extensive bruising on her legs is visible. “I’ve gotten cuts and bruises and stuff from movies, but I’ve never really bruised like this for anything I’ve done,” Lopez admits, alluding once again to the physicality involved in exotic dancing.

By the end of the video, Lopez is ready to show off her hard work on the real stage — which is impressive when you consider how little time she had to prepare in the grand scheme of things. “I’m just trying to learn the mechanics right now, because strippers have lots of time to practice. You know, they’re there every night — if they work the club every night. So, they start learning little by little. But we have, like, to do a crash course,” she said. It took Cardi B, her co-star and a former stripper, years to master the moves that Lopez had to figure out in only six weeks.

And while Lopez jokes that she doesn’t want to be able to perform in Cirque de Soleil, she does need to look convincing. “My character really has the hustle down,” she says, adding that she wants to be believable as someone who has been pole-dancing for years. Her persistence obviously paid off, but it wasn’t always a comfortable experience. At one point, while attempting a move on the pole, Lopez yells, “Ow, my crotch!”

This woman is “no pain, no gain” personified. You can see the ultimate end result of her pole-dancing mastery when Hustlers hits theaters next week on Sept. 13.

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