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February 23, 2017

All I Need in This Life of Sin, Is me and My Pole Friends

All I Need in This Life of Sin, Is me and My Pole Friends
By Sara

One year ago I started pole classes because I got distracted Christmas shopping online. I was looking for a gym membership I could buy for my mother on Groupon. I ended up buying a one-month membership to Studio 3SixT for myself. This turned out to be the best 2 am online shopping decision I’ve made.

I’m not sure when I first learned to hate my body. What middle school crush taught me that my hips were too wide. What movie taught me that my thighs were too thick, my feet to big. Or more scarily, I’m not sure when I internalized that every perceived “flaw” I had made me unworthy of love or respect.

Prior to starting pole classes, I would exercise almost exclusively out of self-hate. I would go to the gym everyday motivated by my anger towards and desire to change my body. There was no feminist theory or pep talk from friends that had ever broke that evil cycle. My inner monologue was always “you aren’t pretty/skinny/normal yet, but if we keep going to the gym…” or “10 more minutes on the elliptical and maybe I’ll lose weight today”.

Missy was the instructor for the first class I took. She was fire. Her confidence was contagious and I was in awe of her strength. I wanted to move like she did, grounded in herself, confident in her body. Every class I went to I became more and more addicted. Not just to the pole dancing itself, but also to the supporting and inclusive space the studio offered.

Unlike other exercise classes, the instructors never emphasize weight loss or “getting hotter” as a goal. Instead it is regularly reinforced that everyone is already sexy.

I never attended a class because of what my body could be, only because of what it could do. I now measure my athletic accomplishments in mastering new tricks and building the strength to advance, not in how much weight I’ve lost or gained.

In pole, I’ve found an almost exclusively women family that celebrates each other’s bodies. In our world where women are taught to cut each other down, our pole family builds each other up. This goes beyond issues of body image. When I was going through a lot of abuse at work, my pole sisters reminded me that I was a strong and passionate person who could find a better job somewhere else. They gave me the courage to apply for other jobs. Over this past year, I’ve watched my pole family fill each other with courage many times. The courage to release your hands for the first time into a crucifix. The courage to strip down into a sexy bikini bottom and do body rolls in 8 inch heels. Or sometimes the courage to take risks, make hard decisions, or even just get out of bed when things feel rough.

I took 200 classes in one year. That was 200 acts of self-care. 200 moments of resistance to our patriarchal society that tries to cut women down. 200 times I defied the notion that good girls don’t dance on poles. Here’s the cut, If good girls are supposed to fight each other, hate themselves, and deny their sexuality, I’m done being a good girl. Instead I’ll be a pole warrior with the 3SixT Family, and we’ll break down these unhealthy expectations together.

And just you wait and see all the cool pole moves I’ll learn along the way!

Sarah studio 3sixt blog photo

June 12, 2015

Fitness Tips and Injury Prevention

Hey pole addicts! So many of us get seriously addicted to pole dancing for many reasons. It’s definitely one of the most fun and unique workouts I’ve ever done and easy to see why people want to do it again and again and again.

One thing that I think needs to be addressed with pole dancers is injuries due to overtraining. We get those little kinks in our forearms, maybe our back hurts just a little bit, a twinge in the shoulder…all things I’ve heard from clients and also experienced myself. I think the problem is that we just don’t listen and take the time to take care of our bodies. It’s definitely hard to walk away from that trick you’ve been working on for months to give your joints a break. What it comes down to though is if you do not take care of your body, your body will not heal therefore you will be out from pole classes longer!

Here are some tips to hopefully help keep you from overtraining:

1. Know your limits – if you are trying to work through the pain, your body will overcompensate and end up injuring you and other places as well.

2. Try a stretch class – loosen up those muscles and joints and tell your body you are taking care of it.

3. Myofascial release – grab a lacrosse ball or a roller and work out those kinks. I roll the bottom of my feet and it releases my back believe it or not!

4. Consult with a personal trainer, bodyworker, massage therapist, etc. – if you are getting injured over and over, there is probably something in your body that you need to strengthen and/or release. Having an outside eye will help you recognize your body’s patterns of dysfunction.

5. Try crosstraining – weightlifting, yoga, dance, and pole conditioning exercises are just a few examples of how you can supplement your pole fitness regimen.

6. Fuel your body -make sure you are getting a mix of healthy fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Nutrition plays a large part of recovery.

So, pay attention to those beautiful bodies! Lack of injuries due to overtraining will keep you on the pole longer and stronger!!!

February 5, 2015

Body Alignment – the Secret Weapon in Pole Fitness!

Your alignment affects how you move!

By Ashley Greninger (Pole Instructor at Studio 3sixT & Alignment Therapist at Lotus Heart)

When your body is aligned your muscles, bones, and joints are BALANCED. What I mean by this is your shoulders are the same height, your feet face the same direction, and your hips are level. Your alignment comes from your body in your environment. Do you sit all day? Do you stand with weight more on one leg than another? Are you right hand dominant? All of these things contribute to your body alignment; your unique posture.

Lets debunk 3 common pole myths that relate to alignment!

Myth 1: “I’m just not flexible…”

Putting the genetically gifted aside (you know who you are-you lucky ducks) body alignment affects how you move and your ability to move. I am suggesting your alignment maybe affecting your flexibility. If your alignment is off balance your body interprets that imbalance as unstable and will tighten or even lock down the muscles in that area. A great example of this that many polers can relate to is the elusive front or middle splits. If one of your hips is chronically higher than the other your body will often tighten the muscles of the hips to create stability therefore making your splits almost impossible!

Myth 2: “You need to strengthen an area to prevent injury…”

Just because you are strong doesn’t mean you are free from the risk of an injury. There are plenty of very strong athletes with big injuries that keep them from doing what they love. What puts you at a greater risk for injury is your alignment. If you are misaligned you are moving in dysfunctional and compensating ways, which puts more strain on muscles, tendons, and joints making you more vulnerable to injury.

Myth 3: “ I don’t have enough power (strength & endurance) for that trick…”

Granted strength does play a role in pole fitness but since alignment affects the way you move and your ability to move misalignment maybe messing with your ability to achieve certain tricks.
For example “stuck “ or VERY tight shoulders that are not functionally moving in a full range of motion. When doing a pole trick that requires shoulder mobility -your body will do its best to move everything else to complete that trick. This is exhausting and an inefficient way to move. Your body is expending so much energy when what you really need is shoulder mobility.

Pole fitness is a newer sport and not that many people know about the benefits of an aligned-balanced body for pole. In the world of pole where so many polers want to “get that trick so bad”, where polers want to excel, and where polers want their bodies to support them in doing what they love ALIGNMENT is a very effective secret weapon.

Curious about your alignment? Ashley offers Body Alignment Assessments and Therapy Program in person or via Skype. Contact Ashley@lotusheartposture to find out more!

pole dance fitness instructor Studio 3sixT

Ashley is an alignment specialist, advanced exercises therapist, and rehabilitation massage therapist with over 13 years working with the body. She teaches Level 3 and Hustle and Pole at Studio 3sixT!

May 15, 2014

Splits Challenge

I have always wanted to be one of those dancers who could naturally slide into a full split or a strong and graceful backbend, but my body always felt more like a folded lawn chair than a bendy rubber band.

Splits are just like that. They almost seem … unattainable to many of us. Very few people just naturally have their splits. For most of us, we have to work at them.

So that’s what I decided to do this summer. Rather than feel like the inflexible dancer in the corner for one more minute, I’m dedicating this summer to tackling the splits. I may or may not get them, but I will get closer. I turn forty in August, and I’d love to be able to do a split before that happens.

I’m giving myself ninety days to make it happen, which at this point is roughly July 4th weekend. And since it’s always more fun to do these things in a group, I’ve started a Facebook group rather glibly titled “Splits! We’ve Got This – 90 Day Challenge.”

I’m stoked. Want to join us?


The group content is totally private and it’s just a place for us to share before and after pics, and some tips and tricks on what’s working for us and what isn’t.

I’ve got some strategies of what I’ll do on my own, and I’m also planning to attend several of Studio 3sixT’s weekend stretch classes to maximize what I’m doing. Also, my Intro and Level 1+ Transition classes on Tuesday nights will offer a little more stretching than usual.

I keep reminding myself that it’s not super difficult, it doesn’t require some amazing talent; it just takes time and effort. We’ve got that. And we’ve got the support of each other.

If you’ve ever wanted to be more flexible, and haven’t found the time to do it, please jump in and join us!


April 11, 2014

“Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy!”

This silly line from one of my guilty pleasure movies – Legally Blonde- is seriously true. In high school I was on the dance team and did gymnastics. After graduating I went from working out 3 hours a day to nothing at all. It didn’t take me long to realize the toll my laziness was taking on my body. In college I learned really fast that if I worked out regularly I would look and feel better. Then I started to get older, had a desk job, and got lazy again. I tried going to the gym, but I hated the elliptical and treadmill. I love yoga, but that didn’t always fit in my budget. Finally I signed up for some dance classes at a local studio and a local community college. It amazed me that I had forgotten what a great workout I could get from doing something I have always loved. Flash forward a few more years and I have stuck with my routine of regularly attending dance classes. Even when I don’t feel like it, I know I will always feel better after attending a dance class, because I enjoy it. When I first started dating my now fiancé, he could tell when I hadn’t been to dance in week. That just goes to show how much those exercise endorphins boost your mood and attitude. So whenever you are feeling down, hop in your car, step into the studio, and get those endorphins pumping. Your mind and body will thank you. – Larissa

March 18, 2014

Just Dance by Kristen

Webster’s dictionary defines dance as “to move your body in a way that goes with the rhythm and style of music that is being played”. However, I think it goes beyond that. Each person finds something different in dance. To me dance means many different things. It is more than just the rhythm and style of the music. It is the emotion behind it. Dance can be therapy-helping you express physically what you may not be able to express verbally. Whether that expression is of sadness, anger, angst, happiness or yes, even lust, each piece of music is an opportunity to let that one part of you express itself fully. You may find yourself head banging to some heavy metal/punk music, moving your hips to a Latin beat, reaching out for a lost love in a lyrical piece or even getting your “sexy on” to a song your pole teacher picks. Whatever it is, I challenge you: find a song/style of music and move. Pick something that speaks to you and OWN IT!! It doesn’t matter if you are the most uncoordinated person in the world or the most gifted dancer on the planet. Your bathroom mirror doesn’t judge (believe I do a lot of choreography there). Move and enjoy it! So that is my challenge to you my kittens. I can’t wait to hear about your creations or your reactions to what you find out about yourself. Love, dance and light darlings! – Kristen

January 28, 2014

Play Time by Virginia

I have a confession to make…I can’t do a Handspring…I just can’t…yet. And you know, I’ve been playing on the pole for over 6 years now and teaching for 4.

As pole, the sport and our dance obsession becomes more popular I know that you might have noticed more and more pictures on social media sites, more news and story coverage, just more attention in general being given to what an amazing sport and work out and art form pole fitness is and has “become”. AND, not everyone is at the Cirqu Du Soleil level, but you wouldn’t know it because the majority of what’s depicted out there are the badass chicks and dudes that we all look up to, skip dessert for, and secretly aspire to be as we stretch on the living room floor while watching TV, instead of lounging. OK, ok it’s not all about “those” levels of ultimate fitness, and that’s why I’m writing this, because the best part about pole is that it’s ALL INCLUSIVE.

Here’s what I mean: if you were to move to a new city and had no friends and you went to try out a few pole fitness studios, I guarantee within a week or two you’d have a handful new homies to kick it (and kick up into that handstand) with. See? It’s international…Universal! But also, and this is the big message here…it’s SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!!! Are you guys having fun out there? Here’s my call to action to you all, darlings: No matter what level you are GO out there and play…and maybe take a few pics 🙂 Grab a friend and dork (safely) around at a playground or jungle gym. To show you what I mean, I’m including a few pics from my recent vacation to Belize. These are a few pole tricks I did on a lamp pole right outside of our beach house…

Beach pole dance fitness     beach pole dance fitness

You know me – if I’m going to be gone from the studio for 2 weeks, I’ll find something to climb 🙂
These trick aren’t crazy complicated (in fact one hold was the a move Missie had taught just the week before in L2) but I know that years later when I look at those pictures I’ll have one of two reactions: “Man, I’ve come a long way since then!!” or “Cool, I’m so glad I once had the body strength and gumption to pull that off!!” Either way, there are no regrets, only fun.

So, who’s with me? Street Polers unite!! Oh, and let’s give some love to the 3sixT Facebook page and show off those photos. Ready…GO!


October 7, 2013

Jen’s Journey in the 1st Annual Colorado Pole Championship

Colorado Pole Championships – Jen West’s personal experience

I wanted to share my personal experience (although not extensive) with participating in pole competitions. The first competition I submitted for was the Great Midwest Pole Competition in Tinley Park, IL in 2011. I had literally no idea what to expect for the competitors in the Masters Division (over 40) and I was incredibly impressed with the talent and strength! I had trained hard but was incredibly nervous. At that point in my pole experience, I did not think to engage the audience so I looked down for most of the routine and the one time I did look at the audience, I completely lost my focus and ended up having to freestyle the last minute; and that rocked my world. I was so down on myself for forgetting. After I got over it a bit, I realized that it would not have made much difference in my result which was 5th out of 6. I had some work to do with my style!

The next large competition I was accepted to was the Colorado Pole Championships in Denver, CO. This time I chose a song that I knew would make me smile, however it was a challenging song to choreograph. I think I changed it at least 6 times! I had learned to look up, smile and use my arms much better than in 2011 so I was happy with that but I needed to set some goals for myself this time: do it for myself, be ok with not winning and to do unique tricks. I feel that I accomplished all three and for that I am proud. The one trick I really wanted to hit was the fonji, since not many people do it, and after I did it, I was sort of out of my body. I freestyled a few things on spin because I got going too fast but it did not freak me out this time. I did not have to focus so hard on the toe point or the straight legs because it was happening naturally. I ended up slipping out of the last trick but it did not bother me because I achieved my goals and ended with the music ha ha!!!

This time what I am taking away is that I have a unique style that I need to develop more. Transitions are my next goal! I ended up 3rd out of 5 and I am so proud. I have to add that the support I received from both friends and strangers was touching and unexpected from strangers especially. It tells me that I put on a good show for you. It also tells me that for you “polers” that I get the pleasure of seeing at Studio 3sixT or other studios, you get to share in my pole journey as much as I get to share in yours.

One last thing that I want to add about the Masters Division, because that is what I compete in, is that the friendly competition is so unique. It feels nice being able to train with competitors, give words of encouragement and receive them, truly be happy for the winners and make new friends. Although I do not consider us to be old, I am still amazed at what our aging bodies can do on the pole.

January 2, 2013

Pole Dance Fitness Freestyling Tips

As an instructor, I hear from students quite often that they have trouble freestyling because they don’t know what to do.  Practice is probably the easiest answer to that, but I wanted to give everyone some freestyling tips from how I learned and improved.

Studio 3sixT Pole Dance Fitness

Studio 3sixT in Denver, CO Pole Dance Fitness

1.  Pick a song you can really get into

2.  Think about what style of pole dance you want it to be…slow, sexy, fast, contemporary, full of powerful tricks, etc

3.  Pick three different pole dance spins and/or tricks you have perfected and want to incorporate

4.  Start from different positions like on the floor, pole, wall, etc

5.  Look at yourself in the mirror when you can or even better, VIDEO!  This will help you see what the audience sees from multiple angles and help improve your movement

Freestyling is a very important part of pole dance fitness.  It helps with your overall movement, endurance and flow.  It also helps you to form your own, unique dance style so have fun with it!

October 9, 2012

First Post and Some Fitness Tips to Get You Started

Jen and her AyshaWelcome to the Studio 3sixT blog! Here are some fitness tips: pole dancing burns calories but don’t forget that you need to fuel your body. Eating small meals 5-6 times per day boosts metabolism. Pole dancing also builds strength! Building lean muscle burns more calories while at rest which helps you lose weight. Come see us soon and let us help kickstart your fitness regimen in a fun way!