Fitness and self-love: The art of pole dancing

Pole Level 5 instructor, Amanda Chown shows her students how to get out a pole technique safely.
Photo credit: Aaliyah Wilkerson


As the rhythmic pop music played, the women’s bodies clung to the steel silver poles. Letting their hair down as they used their thigh muscles to keep their bodies extended in the air, confidence graced their faces as the words of the pole instructor fell on their ears as whispers of encouragement.

This is a typical class at Queen of Hearts Fitness Studio.

Queen of Hearts Fitness is known for changing sexually extreme stigmas of pole dancing, one client at a time.

Offering pole classes that focus on a combination of dance and gymnastics, many of the women at the Queen of Hearts fitness studio end up turning their fitness hobby into second place pole art competition wins.

According to “Pole Level 5” instructor Amanda Chown and recent second place pole art competition winner, pole fitness has become her addiction.

“It’s very addictive, it is a fun cardio workout and you don’t even realize you are doing cardio,” Chown said. “What keeps me coming back is the challenge. There’s always something new to learn, there’s never an end and that’s what keeps me really drawn in.”

Pole classes are usually an hour long and begin with stretching, melting into the pole technique of the hour and concluding with a pool of cool-down stretching.

Queen of Heart Fitness does not limit its focus on the development of pole fitness techniques, but also on developing techniques used to encourage self-love.

For Desire Gaddes, Florida State University graduate student, pole fitness has been a cathartic experience since the day she first touched a pole.

“It (pole) helps those of us who have previous self-image disorders or eating disorders focus more on what our body can do, than what they look like.”

For pole students, Marquel Nakashaima, and Alexandra Krause, pole classes at Queen of Hearts Fitness has given them a clearer understanding of themselves and women empowerment.

“I have always been really shy – I’ve always been very introverted. It’s hard for me to get out there. And I also was in a damaging relationship. Pole really help me reclaim and own myself again,” explained Nakashaima.

Krause enjoyed how accepting pole fitness was when it dealt with the subject of diversity.

“The whole motivation behind pole fitness is women empowerment, loving the skin you’re in. It is open to all shapes, sizes and colors.”

Queen of Hearts Fitness studio has managed to aim at promoting fitness in a safe, confident and sexy way for women and has managed to change many lives.

According to Jones, though many of their students move away from Tallahassee, they never lose contact with the impact Queen of Hearts Fitness has had on them.

“The most exciting part is watching people grow and empower their inner queen-ism,” said Jones. “They always send us messages comments or emails, letting us know just how much Queen of Hearts has changed their lives. And that is what our pole and fitness – really atmosphere — is here: aim to empower their inner queen, so they can go out in the world and do bigger and better things.”