With its origins in adult entertainment venues and exotic dance clubs, there’s no short list of misconceptions on the subject of pole dancing, pole dancers and their classes. However this isn’t pole dancing—it’s pole fitness—and this isn’t 1998.
Over three hundred women (ages 20-45) filled the sizeable studio at Shannon Champagne’s “A Lil Pole Fitness” open house. The studio corralled with several poles, hardwood floor and a modern welcoming décor, was swarmed with excited women curious about the concept of pole fitness.
“We’re teaching pole fitness. We’re taking that dance aspect as well as putting in that fitness aspect, so we’re strengthening the upper body and core”.
Demonstrating various techniques of this vertical workout, women looked on with smiles and already feeling great about themselves—something Shannon believes is what attracts women to pole fitness.
The backstory: How did Shannon Champagne (Then Fourney), get involved in pole fitness?
“I actually got involved six years ago. I was always interested [in pole fitness]. I would see it on YouTube or TV and I wanted to try it”.
Shannon began travelling to Ottawa weekly to take classes paying over three hundred dollars once a month. After gaining enough experience in pole fitness, and a background in teaching Zumba, Shannon decided it was time to bring this new form of workout to Cornwall.
What about the negativity and stigma that surrounds pole dancing? Correction. It’s pole fitness!
“We’re definitely trying to strip away from that negativity—that stigma. We’re putting a new spin on it by basically making it sexy and not dirty. We’re not teaching erotic dancing. We’re teaching fitness but in a comfortable and clothed environment. You’re having fun with a bunch of ladies and it’s all laughs—it’s that breakaway from the everyday”.
Oh yes, it definitely is a breakaway from something different. It’s a place where women can group together in a closed environment and feel sexy about themselves. So men and women living in 1920, this isn’t women dressed in underwear thinner than dental floss or wearing school girl outfits. This is about fitness. A typical class involves warm-ups, stretching, strength techniques, and of course learning the choreography and pole techniques—not learning how to accept a five-dollar bill.
For Shannon, opening up a pole fitness studio was bringing something different and new to the city.
“I just wanted to bring something new and exciting to Cornwall. There’s tons of different classes, but Cornwall never had pole fitness”.
Shannon is quite passionate about pole fitness and breaking away from that negativity that surrounds the subject of the brass pole. For those interested in learning more about this non-exotic, yet sexy and appealing fitness program, you can contact Shannon by calling 613-577-1900 or visit the Facebook Page at A Lil’ Pole Fitness.
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