Categories > Student Spotlight

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!

 

Student Spotlight – Leah

Our Student Spotlight for October 2019 is our amazing student Leah!

Every other month we spotlight an Aradia Fitness Calgary student who we feel embodies our community of positive, supportive, powerful, and fabulous men and women. Just about every day of the week, Leah can be found at our studio dancing on the pole, spinning on the Lyra, or flying on the silks. She is an absolute natural; her progress has been outrageous. Leah works so hard and always shows support and encouragement to her peers. Here is her story.

Where are you from?

I was born in Manitoba, but Calgary is essentially my home town!

What is your favourite past-time? (Besides pole of course, haha)

Leah’s paintings

It’s more than a pastime but I love painting and drawing! I am in my last year of art school, working towards my BFA in Drawing. I am also working on my Certification in Women’s Counselling and would love to find a way to incorporate the two in my future career.

What do you love the most about pole and aerial?

I love that it’s such a well-rounded means of getting healthier. The creative nature of the sport makes you reconnect with yourself and your body in such a unique way. I love that my fitness goals are no longer centered around aesthetic achievements that would often leave me feeling discouraged and ready to fall out of routine. Now I’m just focused on what I am capable of and the journey is so exciting, rewarding, and addictive! I also feel really supported and encouraged by the community, and am really honoured to be part of such an amazing group of people at Aradia and the pole community in general.

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

My favourite pole move lately is jade split! It’s one of the first moves I saw that I was really enamoured with, so it’s been really satisfying to work towards. It’s tough to choose a favourite class, I love my regular levelled pole classes because that’s where I see the most of my improvements and always learn something new! But I also love getting into my 8-inch platforms and doing Exotic Flow classes. I also like how restorative Aerial Flow is after a weeks’ worth of exhausting pole/silks/lyra classes.

What motivates you to keep coming to your classes consistently?

I would really like to try competing one day! As a kid I did vaulting competitively (for those who don’t know, vaulting is gymnastics on a moving horse. Yes, my mom liked putting me in unconventional sports lol) so I kind of missed competing and performing now that I’ve found a sport I absolutely love. It’s also just so easy to want to keep taking classes consistently. There’s a variety of different classes to take throughout the week and almost every day has a bit of something for everyone.

When did you start coming to Aradia Fitness?

I started at Aradia in May 2019 after living a very sedentary student life for multiple years and it has been exactly what I needed! Now I’m there almost every day and take multiple classes a day if I can, I wish I started sooner.

What surprised you about pole and aerial fitness?

I was surprised by how painful so many graceful and lovely looking moves were. It just goes to show how conditioned and powerful pole dancers really are both physically and mentally to make such intense moves look effortless. It’s a good feeling when previously painful positions become easier.

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

Pole and aerial sports have so much to offer, whatever it is you’re looking for! You will improve on whatever you perceive your weaknesses to be, and will find new strengths. The people at the studio come from all walks of life and everyone is very accepting and inclusive. I always leave the studio feeling inspired and energized (also very eager to come back). The atmosphere at Aradia is amazing and the classes are so fun and challenging! The studio is bright and beautiful, and the instructors and fellow students make it such a special and welcoming place. It’s improved my mental and physical health, and just my life in general drastically and I’m so thankful for Aradia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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