Every month we will feature an Aradia Fitness Calgary student who we feel embodies our community of positive, supportive, powerful and fabulous women! For the month of March we are featuring Sasha! Her commitment, strength and beauty, inside and out is undeniable and we are so proud to be part of her pole journey! Even with her busy lifestyle, Sasha is at the studio working hard and taking at least one to two classes per week. She has been our student for over 2 years and a VIP Member for over a year and a half! Here’s her story.
Student Spotlight for March 2017, SASHA! Here she demonstrates her Gemini with strength and grace.
Why did you decide to start pole dance and fitness?
A friend of mine wanted to try it for fun. I had always wanted to try it because it looked like a blast but I had just never found anyone who was motivated to go with. I also knew that I needed to take better care of my body and that I needed to find a fitness activity that felt more like play than work.
What has kept your interest in pole?
I’ve stayed interested in pole fitness because it’s always challenging and there is always something to work towards. There’s always another move or combination that may seem impossible at first but is completely achievable with practice. The rewarding feeling of mastering a tricky move feels awesome too!
What would you say it has helped you the most with?
The classes have helped me develop coordination, confidence and strength. It’s a great stress reliever, pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a place where I got more comfortable with taking risks and believing in myself. It’s also helped me learn a lot about myself and how my attitude sometimes holds me back or pushes me to achieve something great!
What advice would you give new students?
I would advise new students to take risks and not shy away from a challenge. You need to be goofy, just go for it and don’t hesitate to make friends along the way!
We thought doing a quick blog on the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) would be helpful to our existing students as well as those thinking of joining Pole Dance and Fitness with Aradia so here are some of the top questions and answers!
I’m brand new to Pole Dancing. Where do I start?
We ask that students who are brand new to Pole Dancing start with our “Teaser: Intro to Pole Dance class”. After completion of your Teaser class, you will then be ready to begin with our Pole 1 classes! You can sign up for any Pole 1 class (even mid or end of month) as our curriculum rotates every month and so even if you missed the first couple of weeks of that month, you’ll still have an opportunity to learn and review those moves next month while you get started right away on the current curriculum.
How do I sign up for a class?
The best way to sign up for a class, is to visit our Class Schedule and click on the class that you would like to sign up for (best viewed on a computer). Pre-payment is required to hold a spot in the class. All class registrations and class payments are accessible through the Schedule House Registration portal (you can also download the Schedule House App if you prefer to manage your registrations on your phone! You can find the app link under Class Schedule).
Schedule House App Find A Location: Aradia Fitness Calgary
How do I advance or progress through the pole levels?
Pole dance fitness is a form of movement that is unlike any activity you have done before. After your first class, you will feel how sore your new “pole muscles” are.
At Aradia Fitness, safety is a top priority. While we appreciate the enthusiasm of students who want to advance quickly to do “that cool trick”, we urge you to keep the age-old saying in mind – “You can’t run before you can walk!”
Depending on the time students are prepared to invest in their pole fitness journey, we have found it takes anywhere from 8-16 classes before they can safely & properly perform the techniques, tricks & spins of each level. The last thing we want is for a student to injure herself attempting a technique that her body is not yet ready for. Students must attend at least eight (8) classes of each level before being eligible to assess to the next level (exceptions can be made based on previous experience or fitness levels).
For safety reasons, Aradia Fitness requires all students to pass an assessment prior to advancing. When you believe you are ready, please ask your instructor at the beginning of your class to complete an assessment for you at the end of class. You can also ask for an assessment at a practice session. Students are welcome to attend any Pole Dance Level class at their current approved level or any lower level with their Class Packs or Membership.
Should I take more than one class per week?
The more classes you take each week, the faster you will progress and reap the fitness benefits. Based on many studies, a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week can put you on the road to weight loss and/or increased fitness levels however 300 minutes per week will accelerate your progress. Based on Aradia’s structure of multiple class options per week, it is easy to accomplish along with other physical activities you may take part in. As an example, taking one class every other week, will be a slow process as your body is not getting used to or keeping up with the workout however taking two or more classes per week will help you advance much more quickly. Check out our Class Packs and Memberships to decide what the best option is for you!
What do I wear to a class?
We wear normal workout clothing- what you feel comfortable to move around in. As you progress to the higher levels, shorts are encouraged (especially for inverting). We dance barefoot or wear Foot Undeez. After Pole 2, students are welcome to bring in their dance shoes (they should have straps on the front of the foot so they don’t slip off). On the day of class, please refrain from applying hand lotion, this makes hands slippery. At the time of class, please remove rings, bracelets and watches.
I don’t have any coordination and I have no upper body strength! Will this work for me?
Of course it can!!! The beauty of pole dancing and fitness is that it trains your upper body (as well as the rest of it) to build the strength necessary to progress and it all begins from the FIRST class you take! You also might be surprised to find out how coordinated you are after a few classes!
Have more questions? Please visit our FAQs and please do not hesitate to email or phone us with any questions!
Back in October 2016 I decided I would sign up for a couple of certifications in the new year that I was contemplating for a while. The first was POUND® (which we are launching in March!) and the second was to add another pole certification to my resume. After much research, I decided on elevatED. Even though I’ve been an instructor for over 6 years, there is always something new to learn and this would be a great opportunity to learn from one of the best and an industry leader, Michelle Stanek from Body & Pole NYC. I arrived (really) late on Thursday to Houston after a cancelled flight but I made it and was so excited to start the very next day. The weekend would be filled with pole dancing, laughs and education. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was keen to find out.
Friday was going to be a short day (5pm to 9pm) at Verticality Fitness (the studio hosting elevatED). I hopped in a taxi and made it a bit early to settle in. Everyone greeted me with a smile and as expected, we all asked each other where we were from. I happened to be the only Canadian in the group 🙂 Michelle came in and we began to introduce ourselves and our backgrounds in pole. We quickly got into the curriculum and discussed many topics including pole instruction excellence, body knowledge/muscle activation, common injuries and cueing. I really enjoyed the different perspectives we all shared and there were definitely moments of “I forgot about that” and “that’s a great addition to my teaching method”! I loved the section of cueing… Everyone learns in different ways and to incorporate different cues really makes a difference to students’ experience and progress. We ended the day and one of my new friends dropped me off at my hotel. I ordered some room service and went to bed early because tomorrow’s training would start at 9am.
Saturday would be 8 hours but I couldn’t wait to get moving! We would be reviewing warm ups and dance-based and strength-based techniques and spotting. It took me a while to figure out the different terminology (the old adage is true… every studio uses their own pole language!) but I got into the swing of things pretty quickly. We took a break and I went with my new friends to grab some lunch. Everyone was so welcoming and nice… That’s not surprising though. The pole community is amazing and some of my closest friends are people I met through pole. We finished up and walked back to the studio. When 5pm came around, I couldn’t believe that the time had passed so quickly!
Sunday was going to be another 8 hours plus a practical exam. No matter how long you’ve taught pole, an exam always make you nervous! We each created several pole combos and flows throughout the day. We all were learning different moves from each other and it was awesome to see other styles. We also taught each other moves and spins to prepare us for the practical where we would teach a specific technique to the rest of the girls. By the end of the day, I was losing a bit of steam but I was looking forward to teaching climbing. We were all to pretend that the others were new to the technique we were teaching and so I began my instruction. Michelle was taking notes and at the end she confirmed my success! We just had one more challenge upon returning home, the written exam.
The next day, I boarded my flight and the day after I successfully completed my written exam online for L1 Pole. Next up? elevatED L2 Pole! I can’t express how great this experience was for me and I know that my new knowledge will benefit my students and the other instructors at Aradia. The biggest take away for me was the EXPERIENCE we as instructors bring. This is the single most important thing I can give my students. Not only should we continue to focus on technique, safety and learning new things but when I think about any fitness classes I’ve taken, I think about my experience and the feeling I had during and after class. Classes should be fun, motivating and satisfying. The studio, music and comfort all play a part too. At Aradia, we want your experience to be fulfilling and our goal is to deliver that to you every single class!
(Many thanks to the elevatED team and especially Michelle Stanek!)
Pole instructor training in Houston, TX. A great weekend with Michelle Stanek from elevatED.