Archives > January 2020

Student Spotlight – Kelly

At Aradia Fitness Calgary, we love to brag about our students in our Student Spotlights! This month is no exception. For February 2020, we are featuring Kelly Peniston! Kelly joined our Aradia family just over a year ago. We’ve proudly watched her grow into a confident and accomplished pole dancer since her start with us. On top of pole, she scuba dives, travels, snowboards, and teaches yoga. We think she’s pretty cool and you should give her a follow on Instagram.

We are privileged to have Kelly as a part of our Aradia family. She is so much fun in class and we love watching her progress.

Where are you from?

I was born in South Africa and moved to Fort McMurray when I was 8 years old (just a little bit of a temperature adjustment) and my first time seeing snow! I’ve been living in Calgary for the last 12 years but would love to move somewhere warmer one day, maybe California!

What is your favourite past-time? (outside of pole)

Outside of pole, I enjoy a mix of travelling, photography, diving, snowboarding and golf…just a couple of expensive hobbies to keep me entertained.

What do you love the most about pole?

When I stopped playing sports at school, I never really found anything I liked to do to workout. I knew it was important to keep moving my body and I constantly tried to get into going the gym or running and it never stuck. I love pole because it’s so challenging yet you can see how much you improve every time you go. Finding pole and aerial has made me prioritize my time to make sure I get to class as often as possible. Not because I feel like I have to, but because I really want to. I love the range of classes Aradia offers. It allows you to expand your skills and improve your strength in so may different ways.

What is your favourite class at Aradia? What is your favourite move?

My favourite pole move right now is extended butterfly, it makes you feel so strong! My favourite classes are the exotic classes because they really allow for me to work on my “flow” and to feel a little bit sexy ;). The only previous experience I had with dance was tap dancing as a kid and I always found it to be more stiff and less “flowy”.

What motivates you to keep coming to your classes consistently?

I am so impressed with how strong aerial artists are, not only physically but also their ability to withstand pain! Who knew how painful pole could be? I’m motivated to improve my flexibility and strength and to be able to flow beautifully in exotic!

When did you start coming to Aradia Fitness?

I first started at Aradia in January 2019. I sporadically came to classes before committing to the membership once I realized how much I loved it. It’s not always easy making it to classes as I’m currently working 2 jobs and taking a few evening classes so I really enjoy my daytime pole classes and try to squeeze in as many as I can on the weekends!

What surprised you about pole and aerial fitness?

I had no idea how challenging it would be. I’m a yoga teacher and have always been pretty athletic so originally I thought it would be really easy for me to move up quickly, but it has been surprisingly difficult. I love that it continues to challenge me and that there are SO many different things to learn and to combine in new ways.


Why should someone join Aradia Fitness and start their pole and aerial journey today?

If you’re like me and have struggled to find routine in the gym or other forms of working out, I would highly recommend that you try coming to Aradia. The teachers and the students are all so amazing and so supportive, you don’t just get a workout, you get a community of beautiful friends who are as obsessed as you are with this extraordinary sport! I am very grateful to have found Aradia and I can’t imagine my life without it!


Instructor Feature – Angela

We hope you’ve been enjoying our instructor features and getting to know a bit more about the team that is taking you through your pole and aerial journeys. Our next instructor being showcased is one of our lovely pole instructors.

Angela Valiant joined our team in December of 2018. She started her pole journey at Aradia Fitness Calgary about five years ago, and when we were looking to expand our team, we knew we had to have her. Angela is fantastic with her students, always has a smile, and is especially good at making new students feel welcome. You don’t have to worry about small talk while you’re concentrating on this brand new activity you are trying for the first time, Angela is bound to keep you entertained. 

Angela also works as a radio host on x92.9 (tune into her show 10 am-2 pm) and an Arena Host with the Calgary Flames. One of her favourite actives (outside of the studio) is snowboarding. Follow her on Instagram to see all her adventures, and her adorable pup, Nymeria.

Aradia Fitness Calgary instructor Angela showing off a table move on pole

What surprised you the most about pole fitness?

The community! I always knew the challenges pole would have as a fitness and dance pursuit but I had no idea the friends I would make along the way, no idea how inviting and kind the people would be.

What is your current favourite pole/aerial move?

I have always liked laybacks – they are scary but it feels cool to do! As a tall, lanky individual I also LOVE plank.

Do you have a favourite off the pole conditioning exercise?

Elbow stands. I enjoy being inverted, because it’s tough but satisfying to accomplish! My elbow stands are far from perfect, but I like that I can practice them at home and the benefit of practicing balance, compression, and hip flexor strength has been really great for my body! 

What are your current pole and aerial goals for yourself and for your students?

My pole goals are to begin practicing more consistently. My aerial goals for myself are to learn more drops, and for my students to be able to put together combo’s by themselves in new ways! 

How would you describe your teaching style?

I would say it’s quite laid back – I like to open the door for students to work as hard as they can, but they have to choose it for themselves and some days are harder to give it the 110% you want. I like my classes to be challenged, but equally important, I want the class to have been a positive experience so that the next class is even easier to work at. 

What do you think students gain from being members at Aradia?

Aradia has SO much to offer in terms of not just pole and aerial classes, but the attention and care given to provide workshops like helping with inversions, climbing, flexibility and strength are SO helpful for any student on their fitness journey. Not to mention some pretty amazing guest workshops from celebrated professionals to really increase the learning opportunities. 

Can you provide one piece of advice for students working through their pole journey?

At some point – things will plateau. It’s frustrating and you’ll want to quit. But keep at it, maybe go back to training moves you love and just work to make them stronger and periodically revisit that ones that you can’t seem to wrap your head around; try other instructors’ classes who may have a slightly different idea to help you. But most importantly, don’t give up. Every journey is different but every journey is improved by training over time!


Aradia Fitness Calgary instructor Angela on lyra

Instructor Feature – Tianna

Tianna Gervais is the first of our aerial instructors being showcased in this series about our incredible team. She has such a calm and welcoming presence, perfect for her classes! 

Tianna is our aerial hammock instructor and has been training aerial hammock for over four years. When she came onto the Aradia team, she also started into pole fitness. Her experience also includes five years as a Yoga teacher, and she is part of an online training program, Sophrosync. We love how supportive and disciplined Tianna is when helping her students achieve the tangible benefits of her classes. In addition to the classes she teaches for us, Tianna offers Aerial Energize and Acro Aerial as daytime classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. You can get more information for these daytime classes, and register by emailing Tianna.

Show her some love and give her a follow on Instagram! You will get to see what she’s up to on the hammock, in the gym, and see her adorable puppy Edison.

Aradia Fitness Calgary instructor Tianna Gervais in pike pose on aerial hammock

What surprised you the most about pole fitness?

The thing that surprised me the most about pole is how much it hurts!

What is your current favourite pole/aerial move?

My favourite aerial move is cross back into straddle.

Do you have a favourite off the hammock conditioning exercise?

I like going to the gym.

What are your current pole and aerial goals for yourself and for your students?

My pole goals are to begin practicing more consistently. My aerial goals for myself are to learn more drops, and for my students to be able to put together combo’s by themselves in new ways!

How would you describe your teaching style?

My teaching style is a dance of yoga flow and acrobatics in, around and using the hammock. 

What do you think students gain from being members at Aradia?

Aradia takes every student and builds up their strength, and most importantly their confidence. Any person can walk in and feel free to express themselves, and own their movements to feel on top of the world. 

Can you provide one piece of advice for students working through their pole journey?

Obviously the #1 piece is get to practice as much as you can – but an important part is also to cross train! Yoga and climbing are good ones to improve grip strength, core, shoulder health and stamina.

Aradia Fitness Calgary instructor feature Tianna

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