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What do you mean my fitness instructor doesn’t have rippling abs?


Chantelle’s pre-baby bod!

Chizzled body, toned arms, big booty cause she “clearly squats all day long!” – that’s what you pictured your group fitness instructor to look like, right? But, what if you came in to find that your instructor in fact didn’t look this way? You come to find that opposite of having a 6-pack, she had a 6-month postpartum mummy tummy!

That my friends, describes me – the owner of Aradia Fitness Edmonton. The owner of four fitness athletic facilities that promote total core and upperbody engagement, calisthenics, and aerobic workouts! I love fitness, I love strength building, but I’m also a huuuuuge foodie. And I’m not talking the cutesy “oh, I love cheesecake too!” – exclaimed by the portion controlled, only needing once slice a year, individuals. I’m talking… “please provide me with the largest piece of birthday cake possible, and I’ll dibs seconds while we’re at it.”  It’s been a roaring joke in my family, even – don’t worry, Chantelle will always eat it.

The reason I write the blog today stems from a recent incident that happened on a Facebook Moms’ Group. (The worst kind of group, I know). A close friend of mine had told me about some incredible results that her mom had achieved from a  particular diet. The diet certainly did seem extreme – guaranteeing that I would lose 20 pounds within a single month. Being a fitness instructor, I asked this soon-to-be vicious group of moms if anybody had any experience with it, and if so – would it be appropriate for a fitness instructor, or would I be losing muscle instead of fat on this diet?

(And let me add, I don’t like the word diet. I’m not trying to deny myself essential foods just to lose weight. Admittedly however, I do have terrible eating habits that I am looking to control – I am looking for a lifestyle change!)

To my surprise, the moms’ dived in full force. These were the comments that I received:

Mom A: I creeped your profile and noticed that you were the owner of Aradia. Does that mean that Aradia doesn’t work? That’s what it sounds like you’re saying

Well Mom A – I am not an expert in nutrition, but I do know that weight management is 70% what you eat, and 30% exercise. Aradia works to build muscle. If you continue to consume a large amount of calories each day, as I do, you won’t lose weight. Trust me, I have lots of strong muscle, but I also have a layer of insulation over top of that muscle!

Mom B: I creeped your profile, and I see you made a post telling your clients to love themselves. You need to practice what you preach:

Thank you for your honest input Mom B. I do have to ask however, how does me wanting to lose unnecessary body fat insinuate that I hate myself? Quite the opposite, I have lots of confidence and love for myself, and because of that, I realize that I need to put down the cheeseburger and invest in some leefy greens to properly fuel my body.

In this new “Body Positive” era, we are so terrified to talk about things that make us uncomfortable about our ownselves. I almost tend to think that denying it altogether actually makes it more difficult for us to admit it, and therefore work on it. I absolutely love my body – unlike when I was a teenaged girl, I no longer stand in front of the mirror and think “ugh. Nobody could love me like this.”
Just as sometimes my husband makes decisions that I’m not fond of, doesn’t mean that I would love him any less. As goes for my eating, I have made decisions for my body that I am not fond of – but I do not love it any less.

But I have to say that the worst comment came from Mom C: “Don’t do that diet. On the simple fact that your clients will find out, and think you are a farce, and a lot may leave. You may potentially lose your business. Like other’s said, be the example you want your clients to be.”

Lose my business? I don’t think that my clients are half as shallow as that, thankfully! The Aradia Family is an incredible community, and we all


Myself now – being an everyday woman!

support each other through the good times and the bad. I want my clients to know that I am a human! I am not the face full of make-up, and long curled hair that flips so well in a poleflow. I am a woman who mainly spends my day running my business behind my computer – in my PJ’s because I am too tired to get dressed, as I also have an 11 month child. Sometimes I can’t remember the last time I did my hair, or washed my face.

So there you have it – I am a fitness instructor who knows and has a lot to offer the pole fitness community and industry. I am confident in what I teach. Thankfully for you, I do not offer nutritional advice. Although it might seem related, they are completely two different worlds of knowledge, and I do not have the education, nor expertise in it – but this does not make me any less of a group fitness instructor.

I am strong. I am fit. I am confident – and nothing will change that.


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

Instructor Spotlight – Whitney C

When did you start Pole Dancing, Instructor Whitney? 
W: June 2014
Why did you decide to start pole dancing?
W: I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was advised by my Doctor that if I became more physically active, it would help me better cope with the pain. I was not interested in going to a conventional gym so I purchased a home pole. I managed a few spins on my own, but I wanted to have proper instruction and spotting before inverting. That’s when I found Aradia!

What kept your interest in the sport?
I started off being able to invert without any issues and it was fun learning all of the inverted tricks. I was slow to get on the flexibility train, but I advanced to a level where I needed to be more flexible. I don’t know if there is ever a dull moment with pole – from strength training and flexibility, to watching those instagram videos and trying to recreate a crazy combo!

What do you do outside of instructing pole classes? Hobbies? Interests? Work Life?
Outside of pole, I am an area sales manager and dealer business manager for a telecommunications company. I have 4 small dogs that keep me entertained. Something you may not know about me is that I like to sew once in a while


What is one of your fave pole moves that you can do, and why is it your fave?
Brass monkey split with no hands! Nothing like hanging on the pole with just your foot and using your hands to pull you into a full split 🙂

<———— CRAZY)

What is a common misconception you hear about pole dancing, and what are you thoughts and feelings towards that misconception?
“I’m not strong enough” or “I need to lose weight before I try pole”
As an instructor, it’s my job to ensure that you build strength. I like to design my classes focused on strength and flexibility so there’s no need to be “strong” before you sign up for classes. Pole classes are a great way to get into shape, all body types are accepted. You don’t need to lose any weight before coming out to class with us. At a minimum, I’d love for people to try out “Intro To Pole” to get a feel for it, and see that they CAN do it!

What do you enjoy most about being an instructor?
Off the pole – I love when my students first get their splits! There is nothing more rewarding than seeing their hard work pay off. On the pole – I love when students nail a trick! All of the positive energy that comes from teaching is an amazing feeling

Have you ever felt challenged and defeated by pole? If so, do you have any recommendations on how to defeat those challenges?
Absolutely!!!!! I remember my first move I couldn’t get right away was bow and arrow into Special K (butterfly). I remember thinking maybe this move just isn’t for me. I kept working on the move and a small tweak, and BAM… I nailed it. I tried a few more times just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Pole is a challenging sport – mentally and physically. Somedays you’re a superstar, and somedays you can’t even do the most basic things. Accepting where you are today and focusing on growth will help you pole better tomorrow.

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