When Phoenix Flight Studio was first opened, the foundation for the studio was female fitness. It opened almost 10 years ago, early in the history of the recreational pole industry and many studios that open during that time were looking for a way to separate the services studios offered from the sex industry that many associate with pole dancing. The idea of sensual movement and the sexy persona was shunned and instead images of women with adequate coverage and flexing their biceps were presented to the world. Memes expressly indicating “I’m not a stripper” with images of women inverting were circulating. Women wanted to be a part of the pole world but didn’t want to be confused with being a part of the sex industry due to shame and fear of retaliation by family, friends, and work.
But over the last ten years, we have seen an evolution in the recreational pole industry. Women are starting to embrace and celebrate the sexier side of pole and sensual forms of dance are taking over. We are starting to become better educated and better allies for sex workers. We have a long way to go and lots of conversations are still needed, but I’ve been in the industry for ten years and have seen it evolve and am happy for the direction we are heading.
When I bought Phoenix Flight Studio in 2017, I had seen sensual movement trending in the pole industry for quite a while. I knew that this was the future of recreational pole. So we started adding sensual pole classes to the schedule and they exploded! To be honest, I had no idea how popular they would become. It helped to have instructors that were passionate about that type of movement. But it’s only been in the last year or so where I’ve come to feel this as a higher calling for our studio. Having these types of classes is more than just good business. And as a studio owner, I am all about making good business decisions! But it is also about what I am passionate about.
I am passionate about is giving individual’s a space to reclaim something powerful. Whether its their strength, their confidence, or their sensuality, pole has this ability to invigorate the superhero in all of us. And a big part of that is embracing sensuality. Even if you never dance in a pair of pleasers, sensual movement is imperative to the soul. It’s about the mind/body connection to the emotions you are feeling, the music that is playing, and environment that you are inhabiting. We have been body-shamed and slut-shamed for too long; made to feel our feminine energy and our voice should not be shouted from the roof tops. It’s time we reclaimed it.