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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 – Alexandra

We are pleased to introduce our amazing student Alexandra!

We love featuring Aradia Fitness Calgary students on our blog. These women embody our community and demonstrate that they are positive, supportive and powerful. For May, we are featuring Alexandra! She is so much of an inspiration to our instructors that she was the overwhelming favourite this month! Alexandra took her first pole class with us in January 2019 and since then has been committed and focused on her progression (which is outstanding by the way). While remaining focused on her pre-med studies, she has tried out just about every single Aradia class. We are all envious of her perfect toe-point, definitely a ballet background! She is an absolute joy to have in the studio and always has a smile on her face.  Here is her story.

Where are you from? 

I’m from Calgary – not too interesting in my mind, but during university, I’ve lived in England for a year and Ontario for a semester.

Favourite pastime (outside of pole and aerial)?

I feel like I’m almost passionate about too much sometimes! I’ve been involved in dance and music all my life. I’ve been involved in ballet, jazz, and modern dance, and I’ve played violin and trombone. (I don’t have many pictures unfortunately but here’s an old ballet picture)

I also love science. I’m hoping to go into medicine, as I’ve found it fascinating since childhood. I’m working on my undergraduate Life Sciences degree, then hoping for med school! 

What do you love most about the aerial arts?

I’ve wanted to try pole dance and aerial arts for so many years and I’m so happy to have the opportunity. I find it gives me an opportunity to connect with my body in a meaningful way (after struggling with body image for many years I find that so important), as well as an opportunity to be artistic and creative.

What is your favourite move, pole or aerial?  What is your favourite class?

My favourite move in pole is the backwards spin, and my favourite Lyra move is probably mermaid, just because I know how to transition it well. My favourite class has to be Lyra – it hurts but it’s so worth it.

What keeps you motivated to come to your classes consistently?

What keeps me motivated is just the classes themselves! I look forward to it every day I go. The instructors are always so supportive and encouraging, while still pushing me to improve.

When did you first start coming to Aradia Fitness?

I started coming at the end of January and couldn’t get enough. I think I’ve gone to nearly every class I could since then – including some aerial hammock classes, some chair dance classes, and a FlexAbility class.

What surprised you about pole dance and aerial fitness?

Being someone that started in ballet at a young age, I was honestly surprised by how kind and welcoming the instructors were. Not to say that ballet teachers aren’t lovely people, they just tend to be a tad harsher – especially with exams and performances always on the horizon. Aradia has been an amazing experience for me. Also, I was surprised with how quickly I could pick it up – at the beginning of pole, I was convinced I’d never be able to move up a level, yet I’m nearly there now!

Why should someone join Aradia Fitness Calgary and start flying today?

If anyone is considering Aradia, I’d tell them to just go for it! I know all the barriers that seem to stand in the way – you’re not fit enough, skinny enough, strong enough – I was there just 1½ months ago. I love everything about the studio and it’s been an amazing experience – it genuinely brightens up my day knowing I have a class coming up.

Interested in taking Alexandra’s advice to just go for it? We’d love for you to come try a class. We currently have some special $10 day time classes and every other Friday! Check them out on our schedule.

Student Spotlight – Alyssia

At Aradia Fitness Calgary, we celebrate our students. This month, we chose Alyssia for her quiet determination. Stepping out of her comfort zone, Alyssia arrived at our studio, and stuck with it, always smiling, always supporting her fellow students. An artist by trade, she has expanded her skills to include pole and dancing with us and our beautiful community of strong women. Thank you, Alyssia!!!

1. Where are you from? Hometown?

I was born in Newfoundland! My boyfriend and I moved to Calgary a few years ago & I love it here, it’s definitely home to me now.

2.  Favourite pastime (outside of pole, including any other dancing you do)

My pastime outside of pole is work! I run an on online creative business, so spare time is pretty non-existent. I spend my days creating personalized hand bound journals, drinking too much coffee, answering emails & shipping orders. When I am not working on my business or at a pole class I am relaxing at home, sometimes I like to cook.

3.  What do you love most about pole? 

I love everything about pole. I love the physical and mental challenge as well as the confidence it has given me. I especially love the sense of accomplishment I feel after finally figuring out a difficult move!

4.  What is your favourite pole move? What is your favourite class at Aradia? 

I have a few favorites! I love handstands, the superman & the descending angel.

My favorite class is pole 4, it’s challenging!

5.  What keeps you motivated to come to your classes consistently?

I just love the way it makes me feel. It doesn’t matter how busy & stressful my day is going, when I walk into Aradia I instantly feel better. The instructors are so welcoming & the other students are always so nice & encouraging. I am always in a great mood & feel so refreshed when I leave. Plus it’s pretty great to see improvements in my strength & skill with each class, it’s addicting.

6.  When did you first start coming to Aradia Fitness?

I signed up for my first class at Aradia in October 2017. I was immediately impressed with the beautiful studio & talented instructors. I left feeling excited & inspired. It was way outside of my comfort zone, but turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love & look forward to every class.

7.  What surprised you about pole dance and fitness?

It’s hard & it hurts! I am usually bruised all over, but it’s so fun that I don’t mind one bit.

8.  Why should someone join Aradia Fitness Calgary and start pole today?

If you are on the fence about trying pole you just have to go for it!

Pole has added so much joy to my life. Before I began I was worried that I would feel out of place, but that was not the case at all. The community at Aradia is super supportive & you can really see that the instructors truly care about each of their students. I have gained so much strength & confidence, have made new friends & finally have a workout that I actually look forward to.

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