Leigh Ann grew up as an actor who was also an athlete: when she was offstage, the SoCal native dove off springboards, jumped hurdles, and fought on the kickboxing mat. Her knack for blending art with athleticism led her to found BeSpun at the age of 25. Leigh Ann competes and receives top honors at national and regional pole-dance competitions, and she has produced and starred in a series of instructional DVDs.
At BeSpun, Leigh Ann and her fellow instructors—also pole-dance champions—teach an extensive array of classes that include single-session and multiweek workshops. Classes’ subject matter ranges from beginners' lessons to master workshops led by special guests. There’s also open-studio time, as well as classes that focus on specialties such as spinning, stretching, and whittling your own pole from a chrome tree trunk. Instructors focus on leading thorough sessions that use time efficiently, and they’re committed to blending fitness with dance training. A lighthearted FAQ page answers potential questions while giving a taste of the studio’s fun-loving atmosphere.
Regardless of dress size or dance background, each woman who enters one of The Secret Pole Dance Studios becomes a part of a supportive community. At both the original Culver City studio and the brand new Hawthorne location, instructors dish out compliments as they guide women through choreographed fitness routines, empowering dancers to overcome inhibitions and let loose along the way. During the Pole Diva and Sensual Movement classes, instructors also encourage camaraderie, occasionally breaking participants into groups and have them perform for one another. Though it may seem intimidating, this opportunity to show off in front of a nurturing audience provides students with the opportunity to build self-esteem.
In addition to boosting mental fortitude, the studio's sensual fitness routines also build physical strength; pole-dancing classes sculpt arms and cores, and chair-dancing classes firm up glutes, quads, and newly emerged dorsal fins. Classes unfold in the studios or on location, but the fun doesn't necessarily end once the imaginary bell rings; groups of gals can even reserve the spaces for private dance parties.
Evolve Dance Studio's sultry dance classes have earned Pop Sugar?s praise for their ability to cultivate strength, flexibility, and confidence. Inside the naturally lit studio, talented instructors lead sessions that cover climbs, poses, and more spins than a laundromat filled with pinwheels. The studio recruits decorated dancers to teach many of its classes, including Sasja Lee, 2014 National Aerial Pole Art Champion, 2014 Queen Mary Champion, and 2013 California Pole Dance Champion; and Brynn Route, 2014 Pole World News Up and Coming Artist and 2013 California Pole Dance Championship 3rd Place and Most Flexible winner. The dance location was featured on an episode of the Lifetime show, Dance Moms and was considered for a place for the show participants to practice their routines. Evolve Dance Studio has also appeared on A&E's Storage Wars, WeTV's Marriage Bootcamp, and TV One's R&B Divas.
Personal trainer Nicole Williams founded Allure Dance & Fitness Studio to bring clients closer to their health goals through fitness classes, personal-training sessions, and intense, empowering pole-dancing lessons. Having dubbed the pole "the new dumbbell," Nicole now draws on more than 10 years of experience training everyone from housewives to celebrities as she brings full-body pole workouts to the masses. Nicole and her coterie of instructors specialize in pole dancing, but also lead personal-training sessions and classes that incorporate kickboxing, plyometric, and cardio techniques. Along with classes, Allure hosts private pole parties to sprinkle some spice into birthdays, bachelorette parties, and routine training for streetlight cleaners.
When famed dancer Richard Giorla fused cardiovascular workouts with ballet barre techniques for a small class he taught, he couldn't have known how fast it would spread across California. The low impact exercise blends barre work and lightweights with high-energy movements, resulting in toned bodies similar to those of dancers. At Cardio Barre Eagle Rock, sisters Suzanne Caffey and Nancy Montgomery stay true to Giorla's original vision by leading cardio barre sessions for exercisers of all skill levels. The schedule features classes seven days a week with expert instructors.
Founder Katie Marie and her team of certified instructors draw on expertise in dance, fitness, and anatomy as they inspire women of all ages to flaunt their curves with élan. Guests sashay from the chandelier-lit lobby into a studio, where low lighting illuminates hardwood floors and shimmering poles sprouted from watered rhinestones. Sexy Pilates, lap-dance, and burlesque instruction supplement the schedule of pole-dance classes, also making appearances in bachelorette and birthday parties fueled by snacks and champagne. Polistic's boutique outfits dancers with saucy apparel, and staff member Antsise offers her photography talents for sensual shoots and insurance-claim photos of poles damaged in storms.