Archives > December 2016

Pole Dance Instructor Spotlight – Josh V


Pole Dancing Classes instructor – Josh

 When did you start pole dancing classes?

J: I started Pole Dancing in June of 2014 at Aradia Fitness Sherwood Park with their first all-male pole dancing class!

What got you interested in trying a pole dancing class?

J: Many of my friends from work had been getting into pole fitness, including two of my closest friends. Seeing their pictures and moves inspired me to join, I had no idea how much of my life pole would take up.

How did it feel coming in to a sport that is predominately female-based? What were your feelings towards that?

J: I work as a swimming teacher and aquatics is predominately female, so this didn’t bother me. However, the societal restrictions on men to do anything considered female, pole dancing being one of those, does bother me. I have hoped to create an atmosphere that is not identity exclusive, and bring pole dancing to everyone.

What do you think are some of the main differences or challenges that men face in comparison to women in pole dancing, and vice versa?

J: I think that different challenges only exist due to the way we construct gender, but due to those contrictions many men tend to be less flexibily focused and more strength move focused. This leads to a very “Male style” of dance that is less flow and flexibility based. In contrast, I think women then are more flexibility based and tend to struggle more with gaining strength moves. However, these are generalizations based off of observations that I have seen in my classes. There is no outline and no list of what your challenges will be as a dancer. You can work towards whatever your personal goals are



Pole Dancing Classes instructor – Josh

What do you enjoy about being an instructor?

J: The biggest thing that I enjoy is seeing my students grow. When they succeed, I get to be proud and help them perfect their journey. I also really enjoy learning from my students. They challenge me to come up with harder and newer things everyday!

Have you ever felt like you’ve reached a “pole plateu”, or maybe even lost enjoyment in the sport? Did you find a way to overcome it? What is your advice for this?

J: Many times, and I know that this is not a unique milestone in my journey. Mine tend to occur after a performance or showcase. I have given a lot of effort and I have put in all I think I have and I get tired. The biggest thing for me is taking breaks. Pushing yourself too hard and too far in a short period of time will result in burn out. I also have to constantly remind myself of how far I have come, and to return back to some of the skills I have learned in my past, and repractice those rather than looking forward. The pole world grows so fast, it’s impossible to keep up and I don’t think we should expect ourselves to.

What have you learned about yourself through your pole journey?

J: Personally, I have learned that I can be confident in my body, and my own creativity… which is something I am still weirded out by to this day. I also learned that having a creative and physical outlet really helps me cope and maintain my mental and physical health!




-Josh V – Aradia Fitness Edmonton, Sherwood Park, and St. Albert instructor

Pole Instructor Spotlight – Betty L

changes-to-masters-2How long have you been Pole Dancing for? 
B: I got a taste of it in 2010 and started with classes in 2012! I think my poleversary (It’s a thing.) is in March.

What got you started in pole fitness?
B: A good college friend worked at my New Brunswick studio! At the time I was working in an office and was looking for a fun way to get into shape. I was too shy to join the studio at first. It took a few months to get me in!

What kept you interested in the sport?
B: Definitely the pole community! I have met some of my closest friends at my studios.

Why did you decide to become a pole fitness instructor?
B: My New Brunswick studio needed staff, so I was offered the job. I was so nervous! It only took one class for me to realize that teaching and coaching was something I was passionate about. I completely changed careers after that!

What is one of the most challenging things you find about being an instructor?
B: I love every minute I spend at the studio, and find myself spending my home time planning cool lessons and choreographing routines. I guess my biggest challenge is making myself step away from instructing to focus on my amazing life outside the studio!

What do you find rewarding about pole dancing?
B: I love hitting strength goals! I never knew what I was capable of doing before I started pole. It changed me both physically and mentally! A good strength trick can make me as happy as a full pizza.

Tell us more about your competitive spirit. What made you decide to start competing? What do you enjoy about it? Is there anything you dislike about it?
B: I am addicted to competing. I’ve had years that I question myself- but then with every new song I listen to, I find myself closing my eyes and beginning the choreography for my next piece. My first competition was in the doubles category- I had only been doing pole for a few months. I was asked to fill in last minute for a partner who had backed out! That was in 2012. I have since competed in several regional and national competitions, in the semi-pro and professional divisions. I love the crazy months of preparation, the bruises, and the rush of being obetty-photonstage knowing that I finally made it.

As for what I dislike- the 10 seconds before your music starts onstage are the WORST. I am lucky to have a fiancé who supports me through every step and pushes me to always be better!

If someone is interested in competing, do you have any tips you could provide them with?
B: I have a million! Most importantly though- put in the work. Listen to your song a million times, get a coach, cross-train, eat well, stretch a lot… do something every day for your piece. The people who win competitions are the people who are 200% committed for the full duration of their training season. Even if they don’t walk off stage with a medal, they walk off with pride.

Betty Leblanc – Aradia Fitness Edmonton/Sherwood Park/St. Albert Pole and Aerial Hoop Instructor