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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.

Don’t Cut Yourself Short

After taking a year long hiatus from teaching pole classes (mainly because of having a baby and stuff like that…) I’m back at it!
And boy, did I miss it! But let me tell you something I didn’t miss – seeing women who cut themselves short. And even while I’ve been away from teaching, I’ve been busy promoting Aradia, and I see it in general discussion too. “Hey, what do you do?” “Oh, well I own a Pole Dancing studio.” “Oh Goodness, I could NEVER do that!”

In classes that I teach (especially parties, or trial classes), it often looks like this:

“Okay ladies. We’re going to try a strength move. This is how we do it!”
**Completes strength move**

BUT there’s always that one person – the one who you can tell – they’ve been cutting themselves short their entire lives. Not only do the moan and groan about the move, but they don’t even ATTEMPT it.
And I ask “but why?

Why do you cut yourself short? Are you in fear of risking not instantly being good at it? risk
I’ll let you in on a little secret – I wasn’t always good at it. And I’m not just talking about pole dancing here. I haven’t been good at cooking, mathematics, confrontation, running, swimming, painting my nails, or even perfecting my eyebrow shape. But I took the risk in trying all of these things. Some of them I hated, some of them I still suck at, but I do them anyways (apparently you need to cook in order to survive? Yeah, not a fan of that idea).

So yes, I’m biased, and I think that pole dancing is the best thing since sliced bread. Not only is it a great physical activity, but it has actually played a crucial role in my mental health, overall well-being, and confidence. While you’ll often hear me spreading the physical benefits of pole dancing, as I try to educate the general public that it’s much more than “sensual dancing,” I also do deeply appreciate the sensual side of it.

So many women are ashamed to allow themselves to feel sexy, and this makes me feel incredibly sad. They cut themselves short.


love yourself

Whether you’re a mom with extra skin and stretch marks, 60 years old and climbing, overweight, underweight, whatever label you want to paste on yourself – YOU DESERVE to feel sexy, and to feel good about yourself. You deserve to LOVE your body, and the skin that you’re in. You deserve to learn new skills at any age – to teach your body and mind new tricks, and to HAVE FUN.
This is truly your life. You write the story. You live the story.

Live it to the fullest, and dance on that pole. Dance!