A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called 3 Alternative Workout That Won’t Put You to Sleep, that was about different fitness routines I’ve tried that aren’t as boring as the traditional treadmill can be. One of those fabulous workouts was pole fitness. A lot of people seemed to be curious about pole fitness, so I sat down with Wanida, who is the manager at the studio I attend, to get the some insight on pole fitness. Learn about Be Studios in Lakewood, Ohio and why you should consider trying pole!
What is your role at Be Studios?
“I’m the manager of the studio. So, I manage it. I do all the customer service and I am the only person at the desk. There is another girl that comes in about 6 hours a week. I handle most of the customers who are calling in or scheduling. All of that to building the system and websites. Kind of everything. I do a lot of things. I also teach 3 pole classes a week and I do a lot of the parties. We do bachelorette parties, birthday parties, girls day out, that kind of stuff. I teach a lot of those and all the Fleur de Femme workshops, as well.”
What made you get into pole fitness?
“I was a gymnast when I was a kid and I did uneven bars, so it’s kind of something my whole life I’ve been into. Climbing things and flipping around things. I’ve always been intrigued with the sensual side, the sexy, and the dance. So, finding something that I can bring those two together the acrobats and the sensuality, that tied me in. I came to my first class through Groupon, a little over 3 years ago, and I was hooked instantly.”
What would say are the main health benefits of pole fitness?
“It builds a lot of strength because it takes a lot to do it. The thing that I like about pole as opposed to other workouts is you don’t really realize that you’re working out while you’re doing it. Because you’re like ‘I want to nail this trick!’ or there is always some new trick that you want to learn. You’re so focused on getting the trick that you don’t really realize that you’re putting that much effort into doing it. You really build a lot of muscles and it’s fun! You don’t even realize that you’re doing it. That’s a big thing, building strength and endurance. Especially, if you get into the dance classes, which we don’t really offer too many going on right now, or we do the choreography workshops and the routines. You really get into the endurance of putting everything together.
The biggest thing for me that I like about pole is the body awareness and control because any time you’re on the pole, you’re not using one muscle. If you go to the gym and you lift weights, you’re isolating one muscle group. Whereas on the pole, you have to use all of your muscles together. If you’re doing a pull-up or a pencil spin on the pole, which is basically like a pull up while you’re spinning, to hold that spin you have to pull yourself up. You’re using your arms, shoulders, and upper body. Stay straight, you’re using all of your core muscles and all the way down to your legs have to be engaged. You’re literally engaging your whole body and it creates a body awareness because you know what your feet are doing, even though your arms are doing the bulk of the work.
You’re learning how to control and you find that more once you get into the advanced tricks. Say you’re trying to do an Iron X, which is kind of like a Chinese flag where you’re hanging of the side of the pole. You have to learn how to control everything to keep yourself balanced. I think that’s really cool and it helps outside of pole. In your regular life, you just have this awareness of the rest of your body that I think people don’t just naturally have.
What are other benefits besides the physical?
It has physical benefits, but then there’s so many mental and emotional benefits to pole that blow everything out of the water. You definitely build a lot of confidence. When you come to class, especially when you’re new, I love that people come in wearing like yoga pants and a tank top. Then, you quickly learn that you can’t grab the pole in that. Next, you’re in pretty modest shorts and a tank top. Then, you get more advanced and you’re like ‘Well, I need something with more grip.’ So, then you’re in your sports bra and your pants.
You evolve to the point where you’re practically wearing a bikini on the pole! Throughout that process, it comes as a necessity for safety to keep the grip on the pole, but you gain so much confidence because most girls don’t want to go out in public in a bikini. Let alone, working out and getting into these weird positions that are not always flattering on the body.
Plus, I think that the second that you learn how to life your own body weight, is such an empowering moment. Not even just like in regards to body image, but mentally the inner strength and independence like ‘I can carry myself.’ That carries into your life like your relationships and your work. Especially since I’ve been teaching for a couple years now, I focus a lot on personal development which is what Fleur de Femme is about. I’m also a yogi, so I teach yoga. So, I kind of see the personal growth [along with] the workout and Fleur de Femme focuses on that a lot. Even outside of that, just in regular pole classes, I see such a transformation in my students lives. Their confidence is carrying over into their relationships and their work like being confident in asking for promotions or saying ‘I’m not going to put up with this shit!’ Those are the big benefits is like strength, confidence, and body awareness.
Also, flexibility because a lot of the pole moves take flexibility.”
What are the biggest misconceptions about pole fitness and how would you clear those up for people?
“The thing with pole is that there are so many different types of pole, so there are girls who are purely into the athletics, there are people that are purely into the sensual, sexy, and exotic pole. Then, there’s people that are into it for the art or lyrical. There’s also comedy pole! If you look into pole competitions, there are competitions all over the world. One them that is big in this area that’s happening at the end of this month is Pole Sport Organization. They have different categories like drama, comedy, lyrical, and athletic. I think when a lot of people think about pole, they think about strip clubs. But, there’s so much of an art.
There is something for everybody. Whatever you’re into like if you just want to do tricks and don’t want to be sexy, we definitely have instructors that are like that. You can find the person that speaks to your vibe and find someone who only does tricks or if you like to dance and be sexy. That’s where I’m at. I like to dance and be sexy and find your inner voice and your true self. I like to speak that and not be ashamed of your body and that sexy side of yourself. You’re taught to be ashamed of that side. That’s like my focus.
We have a lot of dancers like ballet and modern dance and like tap and jazz, so they put that into their pole. There’s something for everyone and you can put your own spin on it. It’s not just twerking in your underwear and people throwing dollar bills at you.”
I didn’t know that there were Pole Competitions.
“Yeah, I actually competed last year at the Arnold. There is a bunch and they want to make it an Olympic sport. If you go outside of the U.S., into more progressive nations, they do pole classes for kids. That’s something we want to get into here is pole classes for kids. It’s just like gymnastics. That’s basically all pole is, gymnastics. It’s just how its been perceived [and turned around]. If you come to a place like this, you’ll find that community here in the classes. We have a great welcoming community. A lot of the girls are really nice and become like best friends and become my best friends because I basically live here!
We do showcases and it’s the most supportive and empowering environment. The students perform and other students, friends, and family. It’s a great experience. People bring their parents, boyfriends, husbands and it’s nothing like objectifying. It’s really supportive and wholesome – to an extent because it’s pretty sexy sometimes.”
What other services, besides pole, does Be Studios Offer?
“We do pilates reformer which is a really great compliment to pole. Especially since pole is really hard on the body. It’s a lot of strength. Think of weight lifting where it takes a lot of toll on your muscles. You want to cross train and do some flexibility training. Just more lengthening the muscles and pilates is really good for that. We have a lot of students who only do pole or only do pilates. I totally suggest that people do both. If you’re going to do pole, do something to help elongate the muscles. Pilates is used by a lot of athletes to rehab muscles and help prevent injuries. It’s also really good for building core strength which you need a lot of on the pole. So, if people are struggling in core strength, I’ll recommend them to take pilates.
We have an infared sauna which is awesome if you’ve never sat in one, I always highly recommend it especially in the winter. It’s infared heat, so it’s not like a traditional steam sauna. It’s like the heat from the sun but without the harmful UV rays. It works on drawing toxins out of the body so it works on detox. It helps with sore muscles, will get your heart rate up, and is good for your skin.
We have the Fleur de Femme workshops that focus more on sensual movement, meditation, journeling. It doesn’t really use the pole too much. [It depends on] where the students are at. If they do a lot of pole tricks than we welcome them to do it, but we don’t teach any pole. It more on teaching how to let your walls down and find your true self. It’s like learning how to love yourself and accept yourself.
We also have a dance studio on the other side. We rent it out and have a girl that does belly dance and a girl that does Buti Yoga. That’s always available for rental too. The dance classes and the Buti Yoga classes don’t rent through us, but we try to cross promote and help them. The girl who does the Buti Yoga is one of our instructors here. We’re hoping to get spin bikes soon and start doing spin classes. We also have a pole photographer.”
What Events are Coming Up at Be Studios?
We have the beginner choreography workshop that begins May 15th. The showcases are three times a year. A lot of our students and instructors who perform, they all do one of our workshops. You have to do one of the workshops in order to perform. It helps you learn to build choreography and build their routine. If you’re interested in performing, they’re required to do one of our workshops. But, you don’t have to perform if you do a workshop. You can just do a workshop for fun and they’re fun! The choreography workshops go in levels. The beginner one is in May and you learn a different choreography every week. We try to do different styles so maybe lyrical one week and sexy one week or dance in heels.
Why should someone get a membership at Be Studios?
“The membership is the best deal for your money. I always tell people that if you’re going to come ever week, the membership is the best deal. You get a lot of added benefits with the membership like you get a discount on all of our apparel (5% off!). All of our workshops, you get a discount. So, the choreography workshop regularly it’s $80 for 4 classes. For a member, it’s $72. The Fluer de Femme is usually $350 for 8 weeks. For members, its $300 and that’s with level one.
[Be Studios] brings in professional competitive polers from out of town and you get discounts on those workshops, and we offer discounts on the sauna. We have a member only Christmas party every year where we do an elephant gift exchange, drink, eat food, play games, have contests and win prizes. We have a Halloween show that was free for our members where we dressed up and we did different performances. Generally, it’s just a good community where most of our members are friends and have gotten to know each other through that. They weren’t friends outside of the studio, came together, and became friends from coming to classes together, the showcases together, the workshops together, and the parties.
All of our pricing goes for both classes, so say you got our be sexy membership which is our base one, it’s $59/month. You can take one class a week and you can do one open pole practice a week. You can decide one week ‘I want to try this pilates and see what it’s about.’ You can go and take pilates. They’re not exclusive to one class. You don’t only have to do pole or only pilates. You can jump back and forth and see what you like. Sometimes if people don’t like pole, they’ll like pilates. I’ve never met someone who doesn’t like pilates, but I met people who were like ‘Pole is too hard and just not for me, and they’ll like pilates.”
Why Should Someone get a package at Be Studios?
If you can’t commit to coming every week (because the classes don’t roll over), I suggest doing the packages. The price points are about the same, the packages expire within 90 days. They kind of equal out within 3 months of being the same amount of money, but with the membership you get a lot of additional perks that you don’t get with the package. But, you have more flexibility with the package where you can come when you want and don’t lose your classes. As a member, if you can’t come one week, you lose a class. But, you also get open pole practices, so you can come and practice by yourself without an instructor during the times that someone is at the front desk.
Why should someone throw a pole fitness party?
“If you’re celebrating something like a birthday or bachelorette party, those are really fun to do. We’re like five minutes from downtown [Cleveland] like the flats or West 6th. So, it’s a really good area. Plus, the Wine Bar across the street has really good food and really good martinis. So, if you don’t want to go far, there is a bar across the street where you can keep the party going. They are a lot more low key than the classes. In the classes, you’ll do mat work or conditioning on the pole. The parties are more like ‘We’re here to have fun.’ So, it’s more sexy and trying to have fun so it’s not as vigorous of a workout, but it’s still a pretty vigorous workout because you can’t really get around that on the pole. You can bring drinks, bring food, have fun with your friends.
If you’re not doing it to celebrate something, it’s still good for a girl’s night out, especially if they want to try pole but are too afraid to come to a class. You can get s group of friend together and come do it together and make it a party so it’s not as intimidating.”
What is your favorite one thing about pole?
“That’s hard because there are so many things. I literally quit my full time job to come here full time because that’s how much I enjoy it. I’d say the community or the sense of empowerment and confidence. But, I feel like they have to go hand in hand. The community builds that self esteem. Once you’re building up, you want to build up other women. It’s definitely such a supporting environment. I’ve never met people like that before. I’m the type of person that I grew up having all guy friends. I did not have girl friend until I started here. Now, I have all girl friends. I have my boyfriend, but I don’t have any guy friends outside of that. The girls that I’ve met here are so authentic and genuine.
You have to be because you’re so raw and vulnerable when you’re on the pole. You can’t help it! You’re basically in your underwear doing something uncomfortable and really difficult. I don’t car who you are, you’re vulnerable when you’re up there. Especially if you’re trying to dance. Most people you tell them to body roll and they’re like ‘I don’t understand.’ It’s a vulnerable experience and you finally break through that. You find people who you are comfortable to break through that with. It’s like your tribe, for sure. My favorite part is that sense of belonging and the confidence. You definitely learn how to be a boss bitch.”
Tips on Getting Started
“You start and you’re like ‘I can’t do this.” You have to start with baby steps. You can’t watch these girls on Instagram and they’re like insane and you’re like ‘Yeah, I’m going to do that.’ Set realistic goals like ‘I’m just going to sit on the pole today and next week I want to sit a little bit higher or climb this much.’ Generally, it takes people anywhere from like one to six months to climb the pole. A lot of people can get it in five weeks. But that moment when you do [climb the pole], is one of the best moments of your life. You like ‘I can do anything. I’m strong enough to do this. There’s no one helping me.’ Someone’s teaching you how to do it, but that’s you doing it. The first time you invert and go upside down is like ‘I didn’t think I was capable of doing something like that.’ But, everyone is capable of doing something like that. You just have to try. But, once you do, it’s really empowering and I think that’s something really special.”
If you’re looking for more information on Be Studios or pole fitness. Feel free to visit their website or give them a call at (216) 277-9710. So far, I am loving my Be Studios membership and pole fitness workout and I think you will too!
Thanks for reading! What makes you want to try or what do you love about pole fitness?
Disclaimer: According to Brittney was not compensated by Be Studios to conduct this post. The opinions in this post do not reflect the opinions of According to Brittney unless otherwise stated.