Darielle Williams aerial arts and pole fitness instructor here at Polestars doing a Machine Gun pose.
Darielle Williams aerial arts and pole fitness instructor here at Polestars doing a Machine Gun pose.
Featured Student Post Written by Tanya Ryan
In Feb of 2009 a friend of mine invited me to an introductory pole dance class. Not having a clue what I was getting into, I agreed to go. I was completely uncoordinated, and my arms felt like spaghetti, and I had no idea what I was doing. But something clicked, and I fell in love. My friend never took another class, and I never left the pole. Much to my dismay, and distress, the studio closed after six months of my newly found passion. What in the world was I going to do now? I had finally found a form of exercise that made me want to move my body, and now it was gone.
Nine months later, I came across POLESTARS, in my backyard. I could not believe my eyes. I immediately called and set up an appointment for a lesson. This is when I met Susana. We had an instant connection, and to this day POLESTARS is my home.
I am a 52 year old woman, who suffers from severe inflammation in my body due to a hormonal condition. Most of the tricks in pole are very hard for me to do, and it takes me a very long time to correctly execute them, but that does not matter. At 52 years old, I am stronger and healthier than I was at 20 or 30, and it is thanks to the last three years I have spent at Polestars, unwilling to give up. Mastering the pole is a personal quest for me, because for over 20 years I lived in a very overweight body I did not recognize nor function in, and no amount of exercise helped me. When I was finally able to lose weight, I made the decision that I was going to make up for two decades this condition robbed my physical abilities of. I needed to find an activity that excited me physically, emotionally and spiritually. Pole does exactly that for me. It is hard work, and many days I leave the studio in tears because my body just is not cooperating. But I have never given up. I am still very far behind most of the other women in ability, but as I am here for my own journey, I don’t let that faze me. Also, each week I have the pleasure of poling with women of all ages, sizes and ability, and the one thing I admire most about the women who come to Polestars is that no one judges anyone. We all help each other. It’s a real family atmosphere. That puts me at ease, and allows me to really challenge myself at my own pace.
I feel a great sense of confidence and accomplishment each time I complete a class, and everyday I get stronger and stronger. I feel more connected to my body and my strength because I trust myself. After four years of hard work I feel like I am finally ready to take on the really tough challenges of pole. I don’t need to be an acrobat or anything like that, but honestly the best feeling ever, is being able to hang from a pole upside down.
I am living proof that one can accomplish anything they want to; it just takes determination and a lot of patience and practice. I see the confidence it puts into the lives of the women I pole with, and myself. I would love to see more women my age coming out and taking themselves on. It’s really worth it.
Want to try pole classes? New students any 3 classes for $39
You might be thinking: Why Jump? There are hundreds of other exercises out there I can do to lose weight.
You are right, there are hundreds of exercises that you can do to lose weight but jumping with Kangoo boots is actually FUN! You don't have to know any fancy dance moves to join a class that incorporates Kangoo boots, which means anyone can join. Here at Polestars we provide the boots in our Jumpstars class so you don't even have to own your own boots to reap in the benefits.
Women and men of all shapes and sizes can use Kangoo boots and studies actually show that if you use Kangoo boots to jog that you reduce your risk of injury because they are designed to decrease impact on your joints.
Most people are concerned with aging, heck the story of Snow White is all about one woman's obsession with staying young and beautiful. The entire Snow White evil step mother fiasco could have been avoided with Kangoo boots, who knew? (Joke).
People today really want to look young, what if I told you that doing exercise while wearing Kangoo boots is actually putting your skin to exercise. When you Jump, the rebounding movement is teaching your skin to rebound. What in the world does skin rebounding mean? It means your skin is training its ability to be elastic (flexible), it is learning to stretch and contract. As we age, the elasticity of our skin begins to diminish causing sagging and loose skin. Don't call the plastic surgeon just yet, take Jumpstars instead : )
Jumpstars = weight loss, muscle tone, firm skin and fun
or as I like to put it
Jumpstars = Longevity
Feeling down or depressed? Go use some Kangoo boots with friends or join a class and watch that frown turn upside down. I can tell you many stories about times I have been down and taking a Jumpstars class has helped in just one hour. I call it the one hour to happiness, it feels like you sweat and jump your troubles away.
Let me know in the comments about your experience with Kangoo boots or if you have any questions, I am more than happy to answer them for you.
Kangoo Boots are a product of Kangoo Jumps, here at Polestars we use Kangoo boots for our Jumpstars program.
One of my favorite things about pole dancing, and any of the different fitness classes we have, is music. I love, love, love music, and without it, fitness in general would be the most boring thing and we'd all be out of shape (70% joke). Here is my playlist of what I like to pole to... it consists of a mix of, sexy, slow, electronic dance music; some of this which you've probably heard at our studio, Polestars.
Recently an Instagram friend commented that she was interested in trying pole but that she was also “too intimated and scared”. I remember those feelings all too well. I can’t pinpoint the origins of my initial fears. Whether it be from hearing random stories of women needing a neck brace after falling on their head while trying to impress their significant other with a trick, my slight fear of heights that sometimes leaves me in a panic when rock climbing, my aversion towards bruising and how it’s just not pretty, or that somehow I can imagine myself being the one flying off the pole and hurting myself. Whatever it was, I had my fears.
I remember thinking that perhaps others would judge me for not looking like a “pole dancer” or worse yet that I’d judge myself, but pole has taught me to focus on myself. I realized that if I spent less time being concerned about others and what they’re doing then I’d have more time to enjoy, learn from and transform myself. I also realized that pole dancers come in all shapes, sizes and even ages. From college age to happy grandma age, from size 2 to size 10, from Amazonian tall to shorties like me; everyone has their own pizazz and beauty because as the saying goes it “enables you to find yourself and lose yourselfat the same time”.
It also crossed my mind that I could never be that good at pole, but at this point I enjoy it so much that it is a daily challenge. When you do something enough times you will improve at it. I am challenged to continue, to get stronger, to see how far I’ve come and can go. I haven’t hit myself as I feared. I haven’t fallen. I have bruised, but I look back now and see progression. Pole is a keeper (see “Pole’s Lucy’s Keeper”). My friend’s a new mommy. That’s a part of her now, plus if she can survive pregnancy then why let a little doubt hinder her curiosity?
When did doubt not stop you before?
What were some of your initial fears about pole and how did you overcome them? Let me know in the comments below.
A few updates, last week I was crowned the Pole Poet, a title I was very flattered to accept. I have also been out of town for a week and experienced intense Pole withdrawal. Mainly I want to put you lovely ladies on to a few laws I've learned:
No. 5 is the so important, for your safety, and others. I do not care how good your skin looks in your body shimmer from Bath & Body Works or how great you smell in your Viva La Juicy lotion. I promise you this, you WILL NOT look good when you slip off your pole and come crashing to the ground and you will feel like the worst person ever when the woman who uses the pole after you does the same thing. Now, you may think I am being funny and I am because, funny anecdotes stick with people but this really is a matter of life and death. Just the other day I was at class and doing a fallback from about 6 or 7 feet above the ground – a move I literally have been doing perfectly for a year now – and the pole slipped right out of my thighs and slid down! I could have seriously injured myself but since I had been practicing my hand stands for a few months I was able to catch myself at the final second. Between you and me it still wasn’t even a full catch, my arms felt like spaghetti; all because of a slippery pole. I hope this blog stands out enough in your minds to remind you NOT to wear lotion to the studio... And before practicing, be sure to clean the pole with the high alcohol proof you can find. Polestars provides 91% proof alcohol. Clean your poles!
Note to Newbies:
Do not wear lotion/oil on pole training days... Not on your skin or hair!
Have a pole and lotion story to share with me? Leave your story in the comments : )
Recently my friend commented that his friend also does pole, but I was surprised that his studio only offered co-ed classes on certain days of the week. It was also the only studio in Jacksonville that offered that option for men. It made me wonder, “Why not?” The only answer I could think of was sexual orientation.
I can’t quite remember a straight man seriously wanting to partake in pole that didn’t involve the opposite sex. Whether it’s ogling her splits, lusting after her bare skin, somehow capturing a future date or being smitten by her sensuality it usually involved an incentive of some kind. I can see why some women are turned off by the idea of having straight men spectate their pole classes.
Gay men, however, wouldn’t hit on or want a woman in that same sense so that’s not an issue, and if it was a matter of sexual orientation then what about gay women? Pole classes aren’t offered based on a sexual orientation checkbox. It shouldn’t be, and consider that men are naturally and physically built with more upper body strength than women. If anything men have an easier ability to perform fancier and stronger pole moves. Granted, women can do so too, but likely with more practice. Men could teach women a thing or two and likewise, vice versa. So what else could it be?
Are women threatened by gay men? I doubt this because they are both interested in different men. What if a gay man was more confident than a woman; could this be an issue? If a gay man, despite not having the same rights as a woman, can be confident then women should applaud his example. Why be threatened, jealous or have an issue when someone else has twice as many obstacles to bypass than you? If anything applaud such perseverance because it’s not easy being a woman either.
And finally, does it have anything to do with religion or beliefs? If so, then consider that there is someone out there right now who probably believes that you shouldn’t or don’t deserve something in this life. This person could even be your mother or sister. Remember that this is about the greatness that is pole because quite frankly I believe some people aren’t qualified to work at my office, but I still have to work with them. So really, why not co-ed?
Ready to learn to pole? Here at Polestars we offer a co-ed environment. Sign up!
You’ve started pole dancing classes and you’re pretty much addicted. Addicted to the point that while you’re walking down the street or driving you’re scoping out the neighborhood for a pole that will fulfill your needs (pole dancing needs that is, ha-ha). Well look no further because you can take the pole home with you! In fact, you can take the pole just about anywhere that has a floor and ceiling, and you’re in luck because most places do have floors and usually ceilings!
After I started pole dancing, it only took me one month to convince me to buy an X-Pole for myself. I researched online, looked up a few YouTube videos, because I was wary on how stable it would be and how hard it would be to set up. Well, my results proved that it would be worth the investment, and it definitely is! Here are some advantages and disadvantages on the X-Pole.
-You can take it just about anywhere that has a floor and ceiling up to 9’
-You can still put it on popcorn ceiling; it’ll come off a little but no real damage
-Because you can take it anywhere, you can leave it in your car, and show off to your friends every chance you get (I do this because I’m weird, and super addicted. Someone should just make a pole dancer’s anonymous)
-If you’re feeling too lazy to drive to class, just work out at home
-It’s very easy to set up, the first time takes about 15 minutes, but once you understand how to put it together it takes less than 5 minutes
-It’s easy to transport and store away
-It can be stationary or spin
-It can support from 250-300LBS
-You can also get a vaulted ceiling adapter if you have a pesky slanted ceiling in your home
-It’ll make you a bomb pole dancer because you can practice it more at home
-You can teach your mom, grandma, or your boyfriend might hop on it (surprisingly, guys like pole fitness as well)
-You must make sure your home is very cold throughout the day because the one thing I’ve come into trouble with is that if its hot during the day and you decide to turn the air on at night, the condensation will make your pole slightly slippery and hard to grip, even without lotion and applying a lot of Dry Hands, or other grip products. (On those days you may not be able to invert without slipping, but you can still do conditioning exercises)
-(This one isn’t necessarily a disadvantage, but rather a warning) Make sure you use a leveler to install the X-Pole to insure it’s installed straight because if its slightly slanted and you are spinning a lot or pulling it in one direction too much it might fall, it won’t be crazy, but just be careful!
As you can see there are little disadvantages, so it’s an awesome investment for your inner pole-addict. I unfortunately have it bad that I still seek out random poles on the street and get on. I’m not sure if my friends get embarrassed or impressed but I know I do have a problem.
Hi, my name is Myo, and I’m a pole dancing addict.
Ready to buy an X-Pole of your own? Call 888-Polestars we are an official X-Pole Dealer in South Florida
Hello fellow polestars and the fabulous people of South Florida! I want to introduce myself. I am Lucy, a not so recent graduate of FIU’s School of Journalism but currently employed as a Compliance Analyst, and as of a week ago engaged to my significant other of six years and 8 months. My hobbies include bargain hunting, organizing, watching movies, writing, traveling and my ever enduring love for food which also means more eating out, working out, cooking and traveling so that I may find and eat more exotic and delicious food!
Because of my obsession with food I was never a thin person, but I was never obese either. I was my heaviest during my early twenties when I weighed between 142 and 145 pounds. I am only 5’2 ft. I would periodically exercise but never changed my diet or kept the weight off long-term. I yo-yoed between 132 and 135. I’m pretty obsessive compulsive and have probably read about 85% of the dieting do’s and don’ts, but I looked at exercise as a chore and not a “weigh of life” until 2013.
My now fiancé had then left for Tallahassee to finish Law School so I was to live alone with my adorable and furry companion, my cat Houdini. I vowed to lose weight because it was always a lingering goal and now I had no excuses. I realized that I did not want to enter into my 30s overweight because it’s easier to lose weight while you’re young than later, when you’re older.
I knew that to make exercise a priority that I would have to make it a part of my lifestyle. I bought an elliptical and spinning bike. I joined a gym and went during my lunch hour. I joined fitness classes including kickboxing, yoga, spinning, step aerobics, Pilates, Cross Fit and eventually pole. I knew I had to get moving!
I’ve found pole to be the most fascinating and delightful. See my blog on “What Poled You in”. I also enjoyed kickboxing and spinning but pole was the most interesting, graceful, challenge consistent and fun. I found that as I increased my strength from other activities that it all assisted me in becoming stronger and better at pole.
I don’t consider myself great at pole but with every practice, week and month I am becoming stronger, healthier and more energetic. I now look at exercise as a priority for longevity, energy, health and feeling and being great! Being able to perform the cool pole moves and being at a healthy weight is just a bonus! Psst, I now weigh between 122 and 125 pounds. What are some of your struggles with exercise and what would make it a keeper? Let me know in the comments below.
Want to learn pole and live in South Florida?
Take a class, first timers get one week unlimited classes for $39
About two months ago I was slightly intoxicated, overly-confident, and wanted to show off that I could do my right side split. Which, I definitely accomplished, with a consequence of pulling my hamstring in my right thigh. Ouch! I thought, “Okay, it didn’t hurt too bad”, but I felt tension and pain by just walking around for a couple weeks. The obvious pain disappeared, but the injury still prevented me from even doing basic lunge stretches. One month later I came to the unfortunate and sad conclusion that I will no longer be able to split… Or so I thought.
So I talked to one of the instructors at Polestars, Katie. She told me she’s done the same thing, and it took over 6 months for her injury to heal. At first, hearing this story was very discouraging to think I wouldn’t be able to be as flexible for months, and the thought that my pretty tricks, like doing a jade split would become ugly. Fortunately, there is an upside to the story, as well as two lessons I’ve learned from this experience: always stretch, and to work hard to make your bad side better.
We all know how difficult it is to work on your bad side, or how reluctant some of us can be because becoming more flexible can be painful itself. Slowly but surely, I’ve kept off my right thigh, and focused more on pushing my left side more than I used to. I don’t have a completely clean left side split yet, but it’s so close I can feel the cold wood on my skin. When I look in the mirror, I look as if I’m about only 2” away from the floor, which is much closer than I have ever been. Hopefully, after my right side heals, I will be able to achieve both side splits. Then onto the most dreadful straddle split.