It started with a dare.



A friend challenged me to try something completely out of my comfort zone. A pole class. My immediate reaction was fear and embarrassment. There’s a certain stigma surrounding pole dancing and what came to mind for me was what I think most people jump to - Stripper. Promiscuous. Degrading. Would everyone be staring at me? Would it be just me in a spotlight with everyone judging? I had been studying martial arts for years so envisioning myself doing pole was really difficult. What if I’m terrible? What if Im not sexy enough?

Even with all my craziest fears in tow, I never back down from a challenge. So I experienced a class and immediately, those fears where gone. No one was staring at me, or judging. In fact, the class encouraged me and cheered me on. I didn’t think about being sexy, or perfect. I lost myself in trying this new thing and my mind was not only clear, but I was having FUN!

After that first class, my associations with pole were turned upside down. Stripper became artist. Promiscuous became empowered. And Degrading became confident. After one month, I quit studying martial arts to focus solely on pole. A few months after that I started doing Lyra. After a year, I competed in the 2017 NAPDC and shortly after that, I became an instructor.

I love everything about Aerial Fitness and am passionate about welcoming in new students. I recommend it for people who hate working out because its something you can get lost in. Learning tricks is fun, being part of an inclusive environment is inspiring. Through this I’ve found friendships, confidence, and new challenges every day. If my story inspires one person who may have been timid or scared to try aerial arts, I’ve done my job.

Heather Veneziano