Working The Pole: Kelly Yvonne and Phoenix Kazree Have Made A Career Out Of Pole Fitness
MN: Why do you think it has grown as an exercise?
KY: In addition to being an effective workout, students develop camaraderie with other dancers at your studio as well as the international pole community at large. There is a strong sense of being a part of global network of strong, supportive and committed people and this draw is both alluring and engaging for dancers of all walks of life.
PZ: It’s grown because it’s so different from other forms of exercise. Many women, like myself, give it a try out of curiosity, not knowing how strong and proud it will make them feel. When you walk away from something feeling like this, all you can think about is doing it again. And when you do have the opportunity to give it another go, you’re hooked.
MN: Typically, what can a pole fitness instructor earn?
KY: A pole fitness instructor can earn a variety salaries depending on championship titles, performance experience, and other accolades. Some instructors earn a minimum wage salary and teach as a part-time activity outside of their full-time job while others travel around the globe teaching workshops as their primary occupation. It really just depends on the dancer.
PZ: As a competitive professional, teaching workshops and private lessons, I have earned as little as $100 a day and up to $1,900 a day.
MN: On average, what should a class cost?
KY: Based on basic supply and demand principal of economics, if a pole studio is regionally scarce, then classes tend to cost approximately $50 per session. If there are number of studios within a small locality, then a class can cost as low as $20 each. A number of other factors can also affect costs, such as maximum class size, total number of poles, teachers’ credentials, etc.
PZ: Some studios and schools offer packages where you can take multiple classes per week or month for a set discount price.
MN: Did you need a lot of start up money to start your businesses?
KY: Like any business, money and a vision are required to start. My journey started back in 2009 when I started the first pole dance revue in the nation, Girl Next Door. The Choreography House pole dance studio was a byproduct of this effort. The most expensive part of this start up was the show, which premieres once per month and is now entering its fourth consecutive season in Hollywood.
PZ: I did not need much start up money. All I needed to pay for was the domain and hosting of my website, a photo shoot for promotional photos, and business cards. I currently need to update my iPad to a model with a camera so that I can conduct online sessions anywhere without the need of a Wifi connection.
MN: How did you raise your start up money?
KY: To raise money for the start up, I used my personal funds. Over time I attracted several silent investors and corporate sponsors.
PZ: Since it didn’t require much, I already had the funds needed for my start up.
MN: Why is pole fitness a good business?
KY: Pole fitness is a good business to be in because in a lot of ways it’s just now starting up! Each year we make strides to improve the industry and it’s exciting to see how far it has progressed in such a short amount of time. As we create more awareness of the sport and the artistry, it will continue to evolve and I am proud to be a contributor.
PZ: The travel opportunities are awesome. I enjoy working for myself and being able to set my own hours. I’ve been teaching dance and gymnastics since I was 11, so I’m able to do take what I know and love and create a lucrative business from it.
MN: In the exercise industry, trends come and go. Why do you feel pole fitness has staying power?
KY: Pole fitness has staying power because there is a strong fitness component as well as artistic. If a trend is strong in only one aspect, it tends to have a sunset. Pole fitness, like other forms of dance, can be transformed, reinterpreted, and integrated into various aspects of commercial media and pop culture which, in my opinion, means it will be here for the long haul.
PZ: It’s both fun and therapeutic, while doing wonders for your body. More and more people are finding pole fitness every day. I have met very few who give it up.