It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant and close minded people can be.
We are working on expanding our reach in the area, and decided to host an open house for local wedding planners to come by and see the pole studio and what we have to offer. Charleston, SC is a huge wedding destination, and with our Bridal Pole Boot Camps and Bachelorette Party offerings, what better way for us to collaborate and bring more customers to both businesses through referrals?
We began by compiling a list of planners in the area. We then composed an email, inviting them to the open house, and followed up to the email with phone calls, working to get a head count of how many we might expect to attend.
The first call we made, we got an immediate response of, “why would I want to attend an event that promotes stripping?” Click.
Ok now. If you had taken 5 minutes to either read the email or look at our website, you would learn that pole fitness has nothing to do with stripping. It is growing increasingly popular as an alternative exercise option, and is a great way for a bride and her friends to have some fun before a night out on the town.
And this is not the first time we’ve encountered this type of attitude. Just the other night I was with one of my instructors at an event and we started to have a conversation with a gentleman who appeared to be somewhere in his 50s. He asked what my instructor did for a living. When she responded with, “I am a pole fitness instructor,” he chuckled and said, “how does a Clemson graduate go from being an EMS ambulance driver to a pole fitness instructor?” I stood back and listened to the conversation. I wanted to ask him, “how does a College of Charleston graduate go from that to an entrepreneur, to a small business owner? That business just happens to be a pole fitness studio.
His next question was, “I have to ask, were you ever a stripper?” I just laughed and told him I was not. Then I proceeded to ramble off facts and figures about pole fitness and the overall results our clients gain from taking our fitness classes, all the while thinking, “I am a 37 year old, strong, smart, well-respected business woman who thrives in helping other women set goals, exercise, eat right, feel good and feel purposeful.”
I opened a studio because I am passionate about pole fitness and wanted to share that love with others. Was I ever a stripper? No. In fact, I have been in corporate America for over 13 years working in sales in addition to operating a full time dance studio for the last three. Do I have a college education? Yes! Am I in it for the money? No! I am doing what I do because I believe in helping other people live healthy, happy lives. I am passionate about fitness and 6 years ago I found pole fitness and fell in love. The Inversions studio is my happy place. The culture there is how the rest of the world SHOULD be.
When I think about the phone call the other day with the wedding planner, I ask myself what is it about a confident woman that is so intimidating to other women? There’s enough negative attitudes towards women in general in the world—we certainly don’t need to be bringing each other down. The sooner we can support each other, the sooner we can embrace strength and grace and beauty and all the things that come with pole fitness. The stripper mentality is not only ingrained in the male mind but also in many women’s minds as well. We have a long way to go.
The women that now call Inversions home have created a culture of their own. The students are so supportive of one another. We cheer & clap when someone finally lands a move for the first time, no matter how big or small. We push each other to do better. We inspire each other to try harder. And we come out at the end of the day with an amazing group of women, of friends, who are championing each other, lifting each other up, instead of tearing each other down. And the achievements people make because of this support system is so awesome to watch.
Women of the world-take note. Support each other. Lift each other up. It truly is the only way we will make it. And as for pole fitness? As with all things in life, don’t jump to conclusions or make judgements before you’ve done your own research. Know what you’re talking about before you speak. Otherwise, you risk looking ignorant. And no one wants that.