Categories > Pole Experience

elevatED Experience

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!)


ElevatED training for Aradia Fitness Calgary instructor. Improving your pole dance experience.

Continuing to improve our pole dancing classes at Aradia Fitness Calgary with elevatED instructor training.

Pole instructor training in Houston, TX. A great weekend with Michelle Stanek from elevatED.


What Everyone Should Know about Pole Fitness

While pole fitness is gaining a lot of popularity and attention, you may not be entirely familiar with form of exercise. Here is a list of what everyone should know about pole fitness.

“Not Having Upper Body Strength” is no problem!

This is the most common concern I hear from people that haven’t tried pole fitness yet. The beauty of this sport is that it trains your upper body (as well as the rest of it) to build the strength necessary to progress. Before pole, I could barely do 10 lbs. bicep curls. Now I’m able to lift my full body weight. It’s a natural progression that begins from the first class you take.

Regardless of Age, People that do Pole Fitness are in the Best Shape of their Lives.

We always get emails about weight and age limitations. My response? There are none! Did you know that the World Pole Sport Champion in the Masters 50+ division in 2013 was 62 years old? Did you know there was a Masters 50+ division?Regarding different sizes, we all start somewhere and again it is about working hard to achieve your goals. Anyone can do it! I am in the best shape of my life and it makes me happy just thinking about it. My 40 year old self could kick my 20 year old self’s butt any day!

There are Many Different Types of Pole Dancing

While most enjoy all forms, there are three main areas of pole: Sport, Art and Sexy. At Aradia, we incorporate all three to give everyone the opportunity to express themselves and be as creative as possible.

Celebrities do Pole Fitness too

Yes they do!   Is has become increasingly popular and stars like, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Aniston, Amy Adams, Kate Moss, Heather Graham, Kate Hudson, Brittany Spears and Miley Cyrus have all gotten into the action!

Pole Dancing is an Effective Fitness Regiment

This workout is a FULL BODY workout no question about it! From the floor work to the pole, it will build your strength while burning calories. It provides resistance training and cardio and helps improve flexibility and balance at the same time. From my experience, pole fitness was the quickest and easiest way to lose weight and gain strength and muscle.

It Boosts your Confidence and Sex Life!

A confident woman is a sexy woman! When you feel sexy, you are confident and self-assured. One of the fun side effects? More sexy time with your partner!

It’s an Internationally Recognized Competition Sport

There are Pole Championships in hundreds of countries in the world including Canada. Competitors compete in regional divisions (such as Alberta, BC, etc.) and the winners of each division move on to Nationals. There is even a strong push to include Pole Sport in the Olympics.

Men do Pole Fitness too

Of course! The number of men continues to grow every year and most competitions include a Men’s Division. The ancient form of Chinese pole for example has been performed throughout history and almost exclusively by men.


The benefits are unlimited. Read our students’ testimonials to see how pole fitness can change your life! It is a fun and different way to get in shape and be part of a supportive community. It’s also a great way to spend time with your friends and meet new ones. We can’t wait to see you and be part of your fitness journey with Aradia.

Travelling? A Guide to Picking a Pole Studio!

When I’m travelling, I always look to see if I can book a private pole lesson in that city if there isn’t an Aradia studio. There are so many options, especially in large cities like New York, Chicago and LA for example, that it can get confusing. Here is a cheat sheet that can help when picking a pole studio:
– Location: This is the most important factor in my opinion. You don’t need to go to the closest studio, but you do want to find a studio that is convenient to get to (e.g. subway, taxi, car). There are definitely examples where I have not taken this into account because I really wanted to go to a specific studio/instructor. If that’s not the case, figuring out a convenient plan is definitely something to consider.
– Website: When checking a studios website look for the following: design, professionalism, instructor bios and pictures of the studio. You should have an overall feel of the studio through how their website is displayed as well as what to expect. It’s helpful if the website is mobile friendly.
– Pricing: Always know your budget and stick to it. Remember to take into consideration that you might find some cute shorts that you want to buy on the way out!
– Response Time: If the studio you contact via email or phone does not respond within 24 hours, this may be an indication of what is to come in terms of customer service. With a private lesson, keep in mind that they may need a couple of days to confirm an instructor after you have given them the date or dates you would like. Give them some options to accommodate you. For example in New York I requested a specific date but I was flexible within a four hour time period.
– Confirm your goals: In order to get the best experience out of your private lesson, you should confirm with the studio in advance what you can do (ask your Aradia instructor for the terminology if you are unsure) and also let them know what you would like to work on. I truly believe that learning from different instructors is a good thing. Everyone has their own style and strengths. I personally was taught by four Aradia Instructors when I was a student and I have taken over 15 private lessons or workshops in the US and Europe in the last four years. Committing to your home base studio is important but adding some outside learning can help you grow as an athlete as well.

We have also provided private lessons for people travelling to Calgary, and local students have requested our services as well. If you are or become a VIP membership client, don’t forget you have a one hour private lesson included at no charge.
Hope this helps and happy international poling!

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