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Why We Wanted Kira and Evgeny as Guest Instructors

This blog is part two of a series about our time with Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov in July 2019. Here is the link to catch up on part 1, “Connecting Kira and Evgeny with Aradia Fitness Calgary“.

When I was deciding on who to bring to Aradia Fitness Calgary, there were a lot of things I needed to take into consideration. 

  1. What styles were most popular?
  2. What skills did we (the instructors) collectively need or want to work on?
  3. Which pole athletes (those who hadn’t been to Canada before) could bring the most value to students.  

All guest instructors we’ve brought to Calgary in previous years showcase amazing skills and are genuinely unbelievable instructors. However, some athletes seem unattainable because of all the red tape to get them into Canada. I wondered, “Should I take the risk and try to get it done?”. I decided it was worth the extensive hours of work and expense to achieve it. The pole athletes at the top of my list were Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov.

Kira started pole dancing in 2008, with no previous gymnastics or professional dance background, but her passion for pole was instant. After two years of practicing, she started to teach and compete in Russia, Europe, and then globally. In 2015, she partnered with Evgeny Greshilov in doubles competition. In 2017, the two of them started working with the biggest Russian Dance-Circus show at Leningrad Centre as pole artists. Kira now travels most of the year as a performer, judge, and instructor. Her awards include (but are not limited to): Winner of Pole Classic 2016 (Pole Expo), Ultimate Champion at IPC 2015 in doubles (Hong Kong), and Winner of Pole Art Cyprus 2014. 

Although her awards are impressive, what drew me to Kira was her dance ability and musicality. Exotic (Russian style) was something I was currently training in, and she is one of the best in the world. The technical aspects of it are difficult to master and, knowing our students loved this genre; I thought it was a no brainer. This would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for students and instructors to receive some of the best instruction on musicality, lines, pointe work, and seamless movement, melting from one to the next. If she accepted the invitation to Calgary, I knew her workshops would be in high demand.

Evgeny is a world-famous athlete who has changed the vision of male pole dancing. He started his career as a pole athlete in 2010, becoming a Russian triple champion in less than one year. In the spring of 2011, Evgeny won the male category of the Aerial Pole International and, by the fall, achieved the title of World Champion at the World Pole Sport & Fitness Championship in Budapest, Hungary. He became the first Male World Pole Champion in history. He continued to amaze and excite the pole community by becoming a three-time World Pole Champion and a seven-time International Pole Champion (among other achievements). Evgeny is so precise in his instruction that I couldn’t resist bringing them both! He honestly can get anyone into anything. He is that talented. 

Evgeny is also the founder and co-owner of the online school Open Dance Academy. To add to his long list of talents, Evgeny is a pole videographer, and I had followed his work for several years.  

I took a leap and reached out to both Kira and Evgeny, in hopes they would respond to my request and accept the invitation to come to Calgary. Thankfully, the gamble paid off. Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov were coming to Calgary!

Also, a dream of mine was that one day we would have the fortune of having Evgeny shoot and produce a video for us. When we announced the video shoot to our instructors, they were ecstatic! They knew this was a once in a lifetime experience, and we couldn’t contain our excitement.

This was going to be an unforgettable experience! 

Demetra

Kira and Evgeny with their Calgary host Ari the puppy

Kira and Evgeny with their Calgary host Ari the puppy.

Connecting Kira and Evgeny with Aradia Fitness Calgary

Last week, we premiered our studio feature video, and it had me thinking about the experience of the video shoot as well as having our special guests, Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov, at Aradia Fitness Calgary. This is the first part of a series of stories I will share with you about our time with Kira and Evgeny. I hope you enjoy following along!

In the fall of 2018, I found myself thinking about how our studio has grown over the last four years. When I bought the Aradia Fitness Calgary franchise in 2014, we were located in the northwest, but I thought it was time to move to the southwest; to build a studio I had always dreamed of. We started with four instructors and offered a total of 12 classes per week (operating only four days a week). Today, we have grown our team to 11 highly trained instructors, and offer 34 classes per week. I remember how we used to struggle booking pole athletes for workshops, and now, pole athletes contact us directly to come to our studio. We had expanded the business so much, but it made me think, “Should I be thinking even BIGGER?”.

The answer was, “YES!”.

Why couldn’t we take it to the next level? In my heart, I knew we could. It was just a matter of deciding what that meant. I thought long and hard about artists I would love to connect with and bring to Calgary, 

I had long been a follower of both Kira and Evgeny. Kira and Evgeny’s list of accomplishments is beyond lengthy. They both work with the biggest Russian Dance-Circus Show at Leningrad Centre, have won numerous international competitions, and are revered for their work around the world. 

Mesmerized by their talent, I had taken their workshops in the past and had experienced (first hand) their incredible instruction as well. I decided to take a leap and reach out to them. I nervously awaited a response, but I tempered my expectations. Why would they accept (knowing it would be their first time in Canada), and how would I even bring them over? Regardless, I got a response (within two days)! It was a resounding, “YES!”

I couldn’t believe Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov wanted to come to my studio!

The best part? Evgeny is also a pole videographer and photographer. Together with Kira’s help with choreography, I had hoped they would produce a video for Aradia Fitness Calgary. This was going to be BIG!

Check back next week to hear more about our time with Evgeny and Kira!

Demetra

Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov with Demetra Lykidis at Aradia Fitness Calgary

 

p.s. To celebrate the release of our video, and to build our family, our New Aradia Client Special is only $34+gst until October 15th! That gives you two weeks of unlimited classes.

Student Spotlight – Victoria

Every second month Aradia Fitness Calgary features an outstanding student in our Student Spotlight. Our Student Spotlight Superstar for August 2019 is Victoria!  She took her first class at Aradia Fitness Calgary in January of 2019. Like many others, she became instantly hooked.  It is a rare day that Victoria is not in the studio dancing and flying.

Victoria has been a fearless student. She was a brand new beginner and yet dove right into the pole and aerial lifestyle; trying absolutely everything from pole to silks, and Lyra to aerial hammock!

Thank you for being a part of the Aradia family, Victoria. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Where are you from?

I am from Toronto, Ontario.

Tell us about your life outside of pole – what are your favourite things?

Aradia Fitness Calgary Student Victoria on a paddle board wearing a life jacket.

Another one of Victoria’s favourite past-times, the paddle board!

I used to burn calories by going out to paddle board.

What do you love the most about pole? How does it make you feel?

Pole dancing accomplishes so many things at once, which I love! I don’t have to go to another form of fitness as it’s got the good core and upper body strength builder, as well as cardio and flexibility. I find all the classes really empowering!

Screen shot of students' instagram story expressing joy over the success of a move

She got it!

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

The exotic dance classes. I love exotic because the classes include flexibility, strength, and, of course, a lot of dancing. It doesn’t mean I can dance but I love it. Most part, I get to wear those heels!

As for my favorite move, I like to nominate body waves?! The move that includes waving the body towards and away from pole. I think it’s the most sensual move. I don’t have the body wave yet but I love it. Love and hate relationship.

What motivates you to keep coming to class?

For me accomplishment motivated me to come to classes consistently. When you succeed in something great that you never really thought you are possible to get a move or pose and when you do, you want that consistent great feeling awarding you.

When did you start coming to Aradia Fitness?

My very first Pole intro class was January 24, 2018 with Angela. After my very first class, I left feeling energized, empowered, and confident.

Student spotlight Victoria showing off an outside ankle hook on the pole

Outside Anke Hook!

What surprised you about pole and aerial fitness?

It is much harder than it looks!!!!! Pole dancing may look like it’s all about dance/attitude but it actually requires a lot of strength. 

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

Pole is an awesome work out! Pole dancing is great combination for all the possible training that are out there. Personally, I find pole classes are great for people who want to have fun while building strength. Plus, it’s a nice studio filled with fun instructors and friendly people. And please, don’t forget about Lyra and silks. I heart aerial fitness! It’s like you’ve got it all right here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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