The Pole Academy Instructors:
Have you ever wished you were someone else? No matter what age you are or what stage you are in your life, you wish some things were at least different. You can wish to be thinner, taller, or even more attractive. I ask because I went though this all my teenage years – which are especially traumatic. No matter where my confidence level was I would still look in the mirror and hope to see something different and one day, I did. Growing up I was insanely active and took a dance class including tap, jazz and ballet briefly. I guess I did not quite understand the art in it and was too focused on doing my “own thing” at the time. I was never a real dancer, a gymnast, or even a cheerleader. During my teenage years I became less active and my metabolism slowed. My diet turned drastically for the worse and the only exercise I got was walking or riding my bike to my destination before I learned to drive. I was quickly gaining weight and giving myself excuses as to why. I attempted to diet but cheated on it within a week and went back to living off fast food. I told myself that walking to my friends house a block away was my cardio for the day. High school was emotionally destructive and while I carried my weight well for my height I was overall unhappy when I looked in the mirror. After graduation I moved in with my boyfriend at the time. He was into dieting and exercising and really educated me on what I could do to improve my health and body. I wanted to change and finally had some support to start. I began watching what I put in my body – portions, carbs, sugars, etc. I bought fat free or low sodium groceries and cut back on the snacking. I ate 3 or 4 smaller portioned meals a day instead of 1 or 2 huge meals. I started to take a daily vitamin and involve cardio into my daily routine. Everything was going great for about a month – then I was bored. I began to hate my daily routine and eating the same things. I went back to cheating on my diet and skipping my work out sessions. I was on the fast track backwards. I re-gained my weight, my self esteem dropped, and I was back to being depressed. My then fiancee was slowly no help and I decided to move on with a couple different things in my life. Not shortly after I was out when a pole artist caught my eye. I was stunned; I couldn’t take my eyes off of her during her entire performance! I began to investigate the pole dancing and fitness community and to my surprise it was becoming more popular and less taboo. I concluded poling was an intense workout and after talking to many enthusiasts I was willing to give it a try! I bought my first XPOLE from Karol Helms’ site (my first pole crush and new friend). I began to watch YouTube videos of her and everyone that I could find to learn new transitions, tricks, and combos. Being self taught there was a lot of trial and error until I mastered everything I could. I found myself not wanting to get off the pole after hours of sweating and even some close calls of falling! I didn’t care – I wanted to perfect every move, every step, every flip! I didn’t get bored… After 4 years of dancing I can proudly admit I am a complete pole addict! I choose my own music to dance to which really elevates the mood. I get lost in it and feel my body do things I never knew it could! I’ve lost over 30lbs from getting back into dieting and exercising and incorporating pole fitness. It’s a workout but I have so much fun learning so many new tricks, transitions, and combos that it never gets boring. My body started to change and my friends took notice. They wanted to know what my so-called “secret” was and how they could do the same. I was always very open when poling came up in such discussions and my enthusiasm slowly started to entice others! Being self taught, I had to figure out on my own how to break every trick down. I had to become comfortable with the pole to dance gracefully with it – not just on it. This allowed me to understand the process of the fitness aspect of it which in turned helped me to help others. I soon had a high demand for myself to teach others and well, I just thought that was a brilliant idea. I thought, why shouldn’t I help others? It was always fun for me to learn but would have been great if someone was there when I first started! I began to work on a cirriculum that covered everything from dancing and floorwork to actual tricks and combinations. I love educating people about pole fitness and helping them with their fitness needs. I enjoy hearing how pole fitness had helped others and how happy my own students get when they see improvements in themselves. I was once at the same place as many of my students and I want them to know it can be done! I look and feel better than I ever did in high school and not a lot of people can say that! My clothes fit better and I’ve even had to buy new ones because none of my old clothes fit my anymore! My boyfriend of course doesn’t mind how I look in my bikini during summer but most of all when I look in the mirror – I stare – at myself! I flex my arms and don’t see that flabby mess underneath. I turn sideways and back just to check out my own stomach. I stare at my own legs in shorts just because of how lean they look. My self esteem has sky rocketed, I feel more energetic, and I never get bored with my workouts. I dream about pole dancing, I talk non-stop about pole dancing, I enjoy it so much that I teach it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
In today's world, society makes you question yourself in one way or another. It could be about a decision you may made or even your appearance. Back in the day Marilyn Monroe was an icon but in today’s time she would be considered a plus size model. I, like many others, did question myself and who I was many times from my appearance to personality. Back in high school I was boney. I believe I was a size 3 and all I was told was that I needed to gain weight or in other words - eat. So after graduation I moved far way from home and dealing with a husband who was deployed half the time. My solution was eating junk food since I didn’t feel the need to cook and I would be out to 3-4am and having a few drinks. After 4 years I moved back home and kept getting comments made to me that I finally had some meat on my bones and just shrugged it off. Years passed and before I knew it I was wearing a size 9 and I didn’t care. I just didn’t care about my appearance. Then I started to look at my photos and took a step back. The final straw was when I had someone ask me if I was pregnant and if I knew my due date numerous times. I knew I had to make a change in my life! My first experience with a pole was not a good one. While I was living out of state and my husband was deployed; I decided to purchase a gag gift. When he returned from deployment I had a pole from Spencers Gift set up in our 2nd bedroom. Years later I pulled it back out when we moved back home for the reactions from our guests. After a while it got boxed back up and never looked at it again. Then one day I overheard someone mention taking pole lessons and I was unsure about it due to my precious bubble I developed due to me being self conscious of my weight. I searched and found that Jax was an instructor and decided to check out her classes. Behold I was in for a surprise when I opened the door. I knew her!! Small world, right? I knew “Jax” from high school and our past was “immature”. We did not fully get along back then but hey it was high school; full of drama back then. We both were on edge during my first class and discussed the past and let bygones be bygones. We started fresh since we are adults, we were too mature for petty high school drama. My first class was interesting and boy did I feel it after I left. I still remember my 1st lesson consisted of: Fireman, Climb and Step and Drag but 2nd lesson was where I learned the dreaded Chair Spin; that move alone killed me for a week! It felt like someone took a knife stabbed me in core and twisted it and left it to rot. I knew that this is what I needed! I was addicted and within a few months I purchased my pole from her. Since then I was under her guidance not only as a “trainer” but also as a friend. I began to break out of my shell and living life again. Over the years I began to change in many ways from my strength which many people began to notice. I began to feel more confident and my beauty began to shine through. In 2012, I had the opportunity to go see Miss South Carolina Pole Dance America in Columbia and what a great eye opener! I got to see performers from the amateur to professional level. I got the bug to compete. I informed Jax as soon as I got back that I wanted to compete at least once in my life. We began my training and she kept planting the seed of me becoming an instructor. 2013 was one rough but yet interesting year. I had many plans in stored for myself. I did a 360 on my eating habits; training more in pole and was working out with my husband. The teaching seed that was planted kept growing and Jax kept working with me and getting more comfortable with breaking beginner moves down. A great experience was when I got to go Pole Con in West Palm Beach and meet fellow pole idols and they made me realize that this was the life for me and then August I got injured. I got injured at my day job and broke my left fibula and had to have surgery. They had to place a metal plate with screws. The first thought came through that I was unable to pole again. That didn’t last I was still poling with a cast on. I have the pictures to prove it! Even my doctor approved my fitness regime and told me if it wasn't for the life changes my recovery time would not have been so fast. As of 2014, I have been a poler for 3 years. I wanted to take my passion and love for pole and give back what pole has done for me to future polers of world. Thanks to the big push I received from Jax. I got Level 1 and 2 certified from X-Pole X-Pert program in June. With Jax's confidence I was given that big push I needed to become an instructor for the new facility location of The Pole Academy (TPA). TPA has paved the road for me to become the woman that I am today. I have become an avid Competitor and Performer since 2016. I also got CRNP Certified in Floor Rockers and Spinning Tricks in 2019.
Kilo has placed in the following Competitions:
2017 PSO Southern Level 4 Dramatic 3rd Place; 2018 PSO Triangle Level 4 Entertaainment 2nd Place; 2019 PSO Southern Level 5 Dramatic/Artistic 3rd Place; 2019 PSO Southern Level 5 Exotic 1st Place; 2019 PCS Georgia Pole Fitness Classic Novice 3rd Place; 2020 Pole Dance America 3rd Place.
Make sure to catch me in class and learn some awesome tricks, floor movements and get crazy!
My pole journey began in March 2015. Then, I expected to take the three classes that came with my Groupon, have a fun experience and story to tell, and that would be the end of that. But the energy and atmosphere Jax and Kilo brought to the classes hooked me. I’ve since earned the X-Pert instructor certification and teach classes regularly at TPA. My favorite thing about pole fitness is the infinite possibility to push yourself. There’s always something new to learn. And every person, regardless of their abilities or strengths can find something to interest them. The pole community and the TPA family are fun, crazy, inspiring, challenging, but best of all encouraging.
Skittles is XPERT Level 1/2 Certified
Hey! My names Ally /Ally Cat! I first started my pole journey with pole at The Pole Academy when they first opened their doors in Greenville . I wanted to try something different & something that was challenging - not to mention to get more confidence in myself ; inside & out. After taking a few classes little did I know I feel in love! Doing pole has opened a door in my life that I can’t go back too! I’ve been able to travel , compete in competitions , perform for fun, meet some awesome pole dancer friends on the way, & met some of my pole idols!! Not to mention I got my Xpole certification Lvl. 1 & 2 , along with CRNP for Floor Rockers! There’s still so much to learn & I want to keep learning as a teacher & student! I’m so excited to help the students thrive at The Pole Academy !
Ally is XPERT Level 1/2 Certified & is a Certified CRNP Floor Rocker
My name is Belle. I started taking pole classes on a whim when a friend invited me. I wanted to try something different and unexpected. From the moment I learned my first spin, I was hooked. And with each new spin, trick or pose I learned, I became even more addicted. I was amazed at the strength and stamina that pole required and I was motivated for the first time in my life to work on building strength and improving flexibility. Through consistent training at The Pole Academy since 2014, I have achieved so many physical feats I once thought were impossible. I have also had the opportunity to compete with Pole Sport Organization (including 2 second place finishes!) and perform at Metal Pole Mayhem which is quite an accomplishment for someone with no prior dance or performing experience. Pole has truly changed my life for the better!
I have received XPert certification for Pole Fitness Level 1&2 so that I can share my love of pole by teaching at The Pole Academy.
Hi, I’m Bubbalicious
A few years ago it dawned on me that I did not have a activity to keep my mind and body in shape. For so many years my identity directly correlated with a balancing act of creativity (dancing, acting, or cheering) and the mundane. I needed an outlet to avoid drowning in being a beginner adult; longing for the “good ole days” of my younger and more active self.
I begin searching for adult dance classes online. A few ballet classes or salsa lessons were available. However, neither of the options were intriguing. I then came across The Pole Academy! I combed through the website reading every tab. I must have read the schedule at least ten times before finally making a reservation for class (ahh commitment)! I was so nervous for my first class. I got lost on the way to the studio but had at-least made it to the mall. However, my knowledge of Greenville was limited but after a panicked call to the studio (cool down session with Jax via phone) I arrived just in time for the Intro to Pole class with Jax! It was awesome. I was instantly in love, so much so, that I stayed for the next class which was 101 with Kilo.
I just remember leaving thrilled that I followed through on a commitment that was just for me. For me, I have always found it easier to follow through for other people than to do something for myself. I even dubbed my training days at The Pole Academy as “Bubbalicious Time (insert jazz hands)!”
The best part of this journey is regaining poise in connecting my thoughts with my movement. I especially love all of the classes that allow me to create or learn a new flow. Not to mention, the beautiful heels that accentuate your style. Plus, they make your legs look amazing!
Ultimately, becoming a member of TPA has been the best creative decision I’ve made as an adult. I have the opportunity to learn and teach among a beautiful group of people that come from many walks of life. Yet, we have an undeniable bond of communicating through movement. TPA is one of the few spaces where you are more than enough. You can only get stronger. I hope to see YOU in class!
Hey there! I'm Niki and my pole journey began in December 2017. I've danced in one style or another since I was three years old, but I was introduced to the aerial community during a college internship.
I pursued it further once I graduated, and eventually started teaching in 2018. I didn't jump into pole right away though. I come from a conservative background, so I had a lot of negative associations with pole dancing. In the beginning, I stuck with hammock, lyra, and other non-aerial dance styles. However, the more I was around pole and saw performances, I realized it wasn't at all what I thought. It's a beautiful, artistic pursuit that takes a huge amount of strength.
So I finally tried a class and I fell in love. I started teaching pole in April 2019, and I competed in PSO Dramatic Level 2 that summer - earning 2nd place in my division. I love pole because it makes me feel strong and powerful and beautiful. And I hope I can help you feel that way, too.