Cardiff Dance Studios We Love You

  • By Carla & Lisa Broughton
  • 01 Aug, 2017

End of An Era but the Beginning Of New Things

Happy Birthday, Pole Twisters!

This week has been very special for us, as we celebrated 10 years since Pole Twisters first opened our doors and we embarked on the journey of a lifetime!  But now its time to close Cardiff Dance Studios.  Our classes are still running but at a new venue.

We have posted the full story of how our business came about in a previous blog post, but we really wanted to celebrate this landmark by looking back at how the two of us managed to create our business and community from the ground up against all odds!

We remember seeing our first ever pole performance many years ago, way before it was recognised as a sport and whilst it was still very new as an art form. We simply knew we HAD to learn and knew one day we would both love to go into teaching. Nobody in Cardiff was teaching at the time but we were determined and so we had to learn from a DVD we ordered online!  We were able to eventually start teaching our own classes, renting out several small dance studios around Cardiff but after a couple of years more and more classes started popping up and we knew we needed to expand and open our own studio in order to survive – so we took the biggest risk of our lives and that's exactly what we did! We were in the midst of recession at the time, and we were also dealing with motherhood, both having young children to provide for.  It felt like the odds were stacked against us but we were resilient and knew that if we worked hard enough this would all work out and we would achieve the dream we had set out for.

The rest is history! 10 years, over 300 members of staff, and a countless amount of students after we remain Cardiff's premier pole dance studio, with more classes, courses and workshops available than anywhere else. Our studios have hosted dance teachers of all different styles, burlesque, twerk, Dancehall, street dance, hip hop and have become the regular home to a massive range of weekly lessons. We've even branched out into our own Hen and Stag party business, which has helped us keep our studios open.

Nothing makes us prouder than seeing students of all ages, genders and walks of life leave our studio with massive smiles on their faces, and watching them progress from their first ever class to advanced or even professional levels.

We could like to give our thanks to all of our supporters, students and staff past and present and also to Templar Parc for providing us with our Pole Twisters home for all these years but now is the time to move premises.  With too much space at the studios we have decided to downsize and begin renting another studio from next week.

Watch this space!
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 16 Oct, 2017
We are happy to announce that we are able to once again offer flexibility, street dance and twerk classes! Due to moving to a smaller studio we had to temporarily put non-pole classes on hold while we sorted out the logistics of how we would be able to accommodate the sessions without having to take down and reset all ten of our poles before and after each lesson. After some consideration we are now running these sessions as private group classes, which are now bookable on our website and are a great way to have fun and get a workout. For a one to one class the price is £30 per hour, or £15 each if shared with a friend.  If 6 or more persons wish to book a group private lesson, we are happy to offer this at £10 pp so for anyone hoping to take this class regularly it may be worth getting a group booking instead. Extra discounted deal offered if more than 10x of you. For full class information on what to expect, and how to book please visit our official Pole Twisters website. Other sessions now available are lap dance, balance & contortion and even burlesque for beginners each one offered on the same basis as those
above. You can also book private pole classes with us either at our studio or your home (we can even supply and set up a pole in your home for a
small extra fee if you don't have one) which are a perfect way to get some one to one time with an instructor to go over any specific moves or
techniques you'd like to work on!

This week we had a new group start up on our stage 9 advanced course and we ran another of our usual mixed ability classes for students of all stages.

We were also able to host a pole hen party last Saturday with 7x lovely ladies, plus 2x spectators, which was an absolute blast! Hen parties are one of our favourite kinds of private bookings because they're always such a laugh, and it's so rewarding getting to help the bride create some lifelong
memories of their special time. Our side company Twisted Hen and Stag parties are also available to hire for a huge range of parties and events!

We're super excited for a busy week of re-launching all these new sessions and can't wait to update you all next week! xxx
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 09 Oct, 2017

We'd like to thank everyone who took advantage of our half price student offer this month and signed on to our 6 week beginners courses! We love seeing new faces and it's been lovely to see so many freshers taking up pole as a new hobby. There are still spaces available on some of our beginner's courses which run evenings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and are bookable online!

If you missed out on our amazing offer this time around, be sure follow Pole Twisters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with any future deals we may have on offer!

This week saw one of our main instructors, Holly taking a well deserved break from teaching in order to go travelling! We'd all like to wish her safe travels and can't wait to hear about her adventures when she gets back. In the meantime, the Thursday beginners course was taken over by our new trainee instructor Hannah, who we introduced you to in last week's blog. With myself over looking the class, Hannah absolutely aced it and has proven herself to be a helpful, efficient and talented instructor.

We also had a lot of fun at our stage 9 class this week, teaching some new advanced moves to some of our more experienced students as well as our mixed ability class for all levels! We love watching our students grow and learn as they progress through each of our stages and it makes us so proud to witness our students from different levels all in one class learning from and helping one another and developing together.

We have another class full of beginners starting next week as well as more training for our new instructors and we can't wait to update you on how those turn out! 

Have an amazing week and we'll see you all at the studio! xx

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 25 Sep, 2017

This week we ran the first session of a new beginners 6 week course along with a taster session for yet another group of newbies.  It was taught by our wonderful instructor Holly, and it was also the first shadow training session for our new instructor Hannah, how exciting!  We're thrilled to have her as a part of the Pole Twisters family and can't wait to see how she progresses with her teacher training, we're certain that she's going to make an amazing instructor.

We also ran our mixed ability class which was taught by us for change! It's quite rare that we get to actually teach any more due to the pair of us being so busy on the admin side of running Pole Twisters but we always love having the opportunity to go back to where it all started, with us simply teaching pole classes.

Speaking of opportunities, following on from last week's blog, we are now running a HALF PRICE offer on our six-week beginner's pole dancing courses to all students with a valid NUS card, or proof of their enrollment! Our courses are available Mon-Friday evenings and you'll pay £30 for six one-hour classes (that's just £5 a lesson!) at our studio on Broadway in Cardiff. Grab yourself an amazing offer and a fun freshers activity asap!  To redeem this offer visit http://www.poletwisters.co.uk/special-offers . Why not spread the word and persuade some friends to come with you? We can't think of a better way to bond with your new course mates than learning a new skill and sweating it out together!

For those who aren't students, we're still looking for some fresh new faces on our beginners courses and welcome you to come take part too! Pole is a fantastic way to get fit, learn a new skill, and make some new friends so what better time to take the plunge and go for it than now?

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 18 Sep, 2017

Firstly we'd like to give a big warm welcome to our two new pole teachers Hannah and Lottie! We're so excited to be welcoming them into the Pole Twisters family after new teaching positions opening up with us recently, and can't wait for you guys to meet them! With all the recent changes we've been going through, we'd also love to thank all of our students for being to patient with us during this transitional time.

This week the two of us got to take part in a pole and floor-work workshop, followed by a pole tricks workshop taught by a talented instructor Miss Abby Claydon! We had an absolute blast as well as an amazing workout in which our strength, stamina and flexibility were put to the test in the most fun way possible!  KT Wild runs regular workshops so keep an eye on our Facebook group and page for regular workshop class updates.   

Also both Carla & Lisa occasionally like to pop into Pole Twisters classes to see how you students are getting along and always enjoy having a try of the moves and getting to experience what our students get up to! It makes us so proud to see the standard and quality of our teacher's work being so high and up to par with our expectations.

We're also on the look out for some fresh new faces to take part in our Stage 1 beginner courses and we're appealing to you guys to help by recommending us to your friends! With September bringing about the start of a new academic year and an influx of students moving to Cardiff, we think it would be amazing if you guys could suggest us to your student friends as a perfect way to meet new people and as a fun freshers activity!  Plus, did you know you receive 10% discount if you recommend a friend?  Even more reason to tell your friends about us and get them to book onto one of our fabulous courses. What better way to settle in to a new city than by making some like-minded friends while you work out and picking up a new skill and hobby whilst you're at it?

Our stage 1 beginners courses run throughout the week depending on demand and availability but there is the option to pick a time and day that suits you best on our website drop-down. Classes need a minimum of 4x students in order to go ahead, which means the more of your friends that you can rope in to come, the more likely it is for the sessions to run on your desired day! You can book your sessions quick and easy on the Pole Twisters website, and you even get a certificate and optional photo shoot on completion of the course!

We hope to see you guys there!

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 11 Sep, 2017

Specifically, exploring the difference between Chinese pole and modern day pole dancing. There are huge similarities between these two art forms, and the former of the two actually dates back around two thousand years! As modern day pole dancing has evolved and developed, it's borrowed a lot of technique and moves from it's older ancestor due to the fact that the apparatus is very similar. Although at face value they may appear to be almost the same thing, they are actually very different!

Nowadays you are likely to see the Chinese pole being performed at shows like Cirque Du Soleil, where groups of performers will climb, drop and even somersault around on an apparatus made up of several vertical poles, but there is also a long and interesting history behind it.

As you may have noticed, the two practices have a lot in common, but also a lot of notable differences, such as the fact that Chinese pole has been primarily practiced by men historically. In fact, many male athletes such as wrestlers and martial artists used pole as a way of training! We all know that pole is a great way of developing strength, flexibility and stamina and so it makes perfect sense. It's fascinating to discover that whilst pole today is often associated primarily with women and exotic dance, it's ancient roots are based with men and things like wrestling!

There are also finer differences in what is possible on each kind of pole. For example, the Chinese pole is often multiple times higher than a standard pole – often between 10 and 30 feet high! This is to allow for a wider range of moves such as drops and acrobatics which just aren't possible on shorter poles with less space. These kinds of poles are also coated in rubber to provide grip, and in order to prevent friction burns it is important to cover the skin and wear more clothes, the complete opposite of what you would wear pole dancing! Chinese pole routines are also often performed in groups, as the practice has also been adopted as a circus art in the modern day and is regularly included in circus performances.

So here was a quick history lesson about an ancient practice that has massively influenced what we do on the pole today! Both beautiful and fascinating in their own right, we are excited to see what other circus arts may go in to influence pole in the future. We are already seeing developments happening which merge together aspects of aerial dance, such as poles with silks attached to the top, or the “lollipop lyra” which is a pole with an aerial hoop attached to the top creating an interesting blend of the two. We can't wait to see what these developments will make possible!

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 05 Sep, 2017

Formally only ever seen in strip clubs, pole has transformed in recent years into a fitness phenomenon with it's own competitions and championships worldwide!

It's been interesting for us watching the way pole has developed in terms of its massive range of complex moves and the bar is constantly being set higher as dancers discover new and interesting ways of turning a simple metal pole into a piece of gymnastic apparatus. In the last ten years alone we have watched as pole slowly broke away from it's reputation as something only done by strippers and came into it's own as a sport. Pole practitioners went from being typically slim petite women to muscular athletes as more physically demanding moves were developed and more strength was required to keep up.

So much so has the discipline developed, that during the run up to the 2012 London Olympics there was even a petition for Pole Fitness to become part of the competition as a test event! Sadly, although the petition received thousands of signatures, the fact that it is still a relatively new sport and there is a lack of distinct and universal grading criteria for pole performances meant that we may have to wait a few more years until the dream of seeing pole at the Olympics is realised.

Despite that, the petition itself managed to bring a lot of attention to pole in a way that the public wasn't used to seeing, as a sport that requires strength, creativity, discipline, flexibility and co-ordination – just like every other Olympic category does. In fact, pole shares a lot in common with the gymnastic horizontal bar, so why should a vertical one so stigmatised?

Pole is also similar in a lot of circus skill disciplines, such as the Chinese Pole and Indian Pole which a lot of modern pole dance moves are borrowed from. It is strange in a sense that two very similar sports are viewed so differently by society! You'll be able to read more about the history and similarities between these art forms in next weeks blog, as it is such an interesting topic that it deserves a post of it's own.

Whilst we are in no way ashamed or embarrassed by our history and association with exotic dance, it is fantastic that pole is finally beginning to be recognised by society as a valid and challenging sport. We are incredibly proud to be part of such an exciting new movement and are proud of how the pole community has grown with the emergence of so many schools and competitions all over the world and have every confidence that one day we may very well achieve our place in the Olympics.

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 29 Aug, 2017

We hope you've all had a wonderful week and are settling in at our new location.

For this week's blog we wanted to address some changes to our timetable that a few of you have gotten in touch with us over.

At present our studio consists of only one room as opposed to the multiple rooms we had back at Templar Parc, and due to this we are currently unable to run our dance classes and non-pole workshops. This is due to the fact that if we did run them, it would require us to take down and re-fit all ten of the poles before and after every session which is incredibly time-consuming as each pole can take around 5-10 minutes to set up! We are really sorry to all the students who were enjoying our other dance classes and hope that you can find an alternative studio.

As of right now, we are running our courses and mixed ability classes on a new timetable with altered times - please refer to our website for more information. Our studio is also available to rent for one-to-one/group lessons or private hire. We hope to gradually re-introduce more of our old classes such as tricks and pole jam as and when we have enough space and teachers to run them because as well as being a little short on space, we are also on the look out to hire some new pole teachers to join our family! We are taking applications, and anyone who is interested and has relevant experience in pole can email us at: info@poletwisters.co.uk

We greatly appreciate your patience and continued support during these minor teething problems with the new location. We are working hard to get things back to normal and offer you all a broad range of classes to suit everybody’s tastes. You can keep up to date with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates, and for any enquiries about specific classes that may have been affected by these changes, please do drop us an email.

As there have been some adjustments to the sessions we have on offer, as well as the running times we realise that some students may not be able to accommodate these changes around work or other commitments. It can be difficult to fit hobbies around a busy schedule, but in situations like these a private session may be just the thing - as you can arrange these at a time and date to suit you (subject to teacher availability!).

There are a wealth of benefits to taking private classes both alongside or as a substitute to regular group classes. Many aspiring pole students may find themselves feeling too self-conscious or shy to train with strangers watching. Others also simply don't like being in groups and whilst the environments in our classes are always supportive and we all strive to encourage each other, some just feel more at ease when it's just them and the teacher.

Also, those who wish to progress quicker to more advanced levels will benefit greatly from paying a bit extra in order to have an hour of undivided attention from the teacher in which they can work on whatever areas they wish to improve. Be it nailing a certain pose, developing flow or focusing on creating routines, private sessions are perfect for students looking to take their skills to the next level. We would especially encourage any students aspiring to compete to consider taking private classes, as well as newbies who are hoping to improve quicker!

Although private lessons do cost more, we believe the benefits definitely make it worth it. At Pole Twisters, our private classes are priced at £30 per hour or you can book a 6 week private course for £170. If sharing your time with a friend you pay only half each and you can also decide where the lessons take place, be it our studio or even your own home. As an optional bonus if you don't have your own pole at home, we can bring one of ours and set it up for the lesson for a small fee!

If you would like to arrange private Pole Twisters sessions, please visit our website to inquire and we'll see you all soon!

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 14 Aug, 2017
After our big move to our new venue we are finally done and settling in, and feeling finally back to normal. There have been some slight changes to our weekly class timetables, so please be sure to take a look at that on our website.

This weeks blog is dedicated to dispelling a common myth that puts a lot of people off taking pole lessons – the myth that you need to be strong in order to start (and that if you're not, then there's no point) and also we're going to list a few tips and tricks for increasing your strength.

Whilst pole does require strength - particularly in the arms and core – you will find during you six week beginners course that you build strength rather quickly as your body adjusts to using muscles in new ways. This muscle memory helps greatly as you learn more beginner moves, and many of our students are surprised by how much they are capable of after just a few classes. The truth is, our bodies are much more powerful than we realise, and a lot of the initial difficulty is down to the fact that we are simply not used to using certain muscles in our day to day lives. As we train and develop these muscles, we develop faster and tricks that once seemed impossible, become easy. That's not to say there's no effort required if you want to become strong enough to progress to higher stages – you will need dedication and regular training in order to build the strength needed for advanced moves. Strength is also essential in ensuring your safety when inverting or climbing higher up on the pole, and also in creating a solid foundation of posture and body positioning awareness to prevent injury further down the line.

Here we've listed some advice on how to get started with this.

1. Consider getting a home pole to practice with!
If you have a space to spin in, why not invest in your very own pole for home training? We recommend the X-Pole which is the industry standard, and are the same poles used in most
competitions. Their range carries static poles and static poles with the option to spin, both of which you can purchase directly from us! For just £20 extra we also offer a fitting service where we will come and set the pole up for you. If you don't have the space for a home pole, there is always the option to attend our Mixed Ability sessions which are suitable for anyone with basic experience and cost only £8! Either of these options are a great way of getting extra practice in
between classes, and allow for quicker progression.

2. Pilates
Pilates is a perfect way of achieving a stable core, strong but bulk-free arms, and lean, elongated legs – perfect for pole! You can learn pilates exercises either in a class, or even online! YouTubers such as Bloglilates provide free home workouts designed to be done with no equipment and in minimal space – perfect for those on a budget and those who live in apartments and don't want to annoy their neighbours by jumping around! Even better, YouTube is full of mini workouts as short as 5 minutes for those of us who have a busy day ahead and need a super quick way to train whilst on the go.

3. Strength train with weights
A lot of women are afraid of touching weights, out of fear of “bulking” up or looking unfeminine. The truth is, that rarely happens. Most women will just develop leaner, harder muscles as opposed to the muscles becoming huge (and even if that does happen, strong is sexy!). Weight lifting is actually incredibly beneficial for pole dancers, as working the muscles will in turn increase stamina and allow you to train and hold moves for even longer. We recommend starting with a small set of dumbbells, either at a gym or at home.

4. Body weight exercises
Another that you can do at home, training with you body weight is a great alternative to weight lifting, or can be done alongside. As pole requires a lot of lifting your entire body weight exercises like planks and side-planks, pull ups/chin ups, tricep dips and even burpees are a fantastic way of working the exact same muscles you'll be using on the pole. Most of these are equipment-free, but you can also purchase pull-up bars to use at home that fit over your door
frame.

We hope that this post will encourage more people to take a pole class, because whether you're strong or not anyone can start as long as they're willing to work hard! Do you have any favourite strength training tips or tricks? Be sure to let us know!

Have a wonderful week, and we'll see you in class!
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 09 Aug, 2017

This week we closed the doors of our studios in Templar Parc.  Cardiff Dance Studios has been our home now for many years but as many of you know, the time has come for us to downsize and move to a new location. Our new studio is at Dance Fitness on Broadway and we love it, we hope you do too!

It has been emotional to say the least, painting over all the artwork we made ourselves when we first moved in, taking the poles down and transporting everything.  It's a long process, but we're confident it will all be worth it.  We are so proud to have been the first dance studios in Cardiff to be created within an industrial unit and over the years we've been lucky enough to have built up an amazing community of students.  We've shared joy, laughter, success and our fair share of set backs, but we hope our students and supporters will continue to support us in this new chapter of our journey.

In other news, entries are now open for the Welsh Aerial and Pole Championships which this year will be held in Cardiff on the 17th November! We are in no way directly associated with the competition, but we would highly recommend our students to enter and give it a go. The different categories range from beginners all the way up to pole professionals, and the competition is open to performers all over Wales.

Competitions are such a fun way of meeting other pole artists, showing off your skills and even getting feedback from industry experts. It was at a competition that we ourselves were first inspired to take up pole, and so they will always hold a special place for us. We are always thrilled to see the bar get raised higher and higher each year as the pole community continues to innovate and develop.

You can visit the official website for The Welsh Aerial and Pole Championships to find out how to enter, along with information on the categories, sponsors and judges.

We hope you all have a wonderful week, and we'll see you at our new location.

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 01 Aug, 2017
Happy Birthday, Pole Twisters!

This week has been very special for us, as we celebrated 10 years since Pole Twisters first opened our doors and we embarked on the journey of a lifetime!  But now its time to close Cardiff Dance Studios.  Our classes are still running but at a new venue.

We have posted the full story of how our business came about in a previous blog post, but we really wanted to celebrate this landmark by looking back at how the two of us managed to create our business and community from the ground up against all odds!

We remember seeing our first ever pole performance many years ago, way before it was recognised as a sport and whilst it was still very new as an art form. We simply knew we HAD to learn and knew one day we would both love to go into teaching. Nobody in Cardiff was teaching at the time but we were determined and so we had to learn from a DVD we ordered online!  We were able to eventually start teaching our own classes, renting out several small dance studios around Cardiff but after a couple of years more and more classes started popping up and we knew we needed to expand and open our own studio in order to survive – so we took the biggest risk of our lives and that's exactly what we did! We were in the midst of recession at the time, and we were also dealing with motherhood, both having young children to provide for.  It felt like the odds were stacked against us but we were resilient and knew that if we worked hard enough this would all work out and we would achieve the dream we had set out for.

The rest is history! 10 years, over 300 members of staff, and a countless amount of students after we remain Cardiff's premier pole dance studio, with more classes, courses and workshops available than anywhere else. Our studios have hosted dance teachers of all different styles, burlesque, twerk, Dancehall, street dance, hip hop and have become the regular home to a massive range of weekly lessons. We've even branched out into our own Hen and Stag party business, which has helped us keep our studios open.

Nothing makes us prouder than seeing students of all ages, genders and walks of life leave our studio with massive smiles on their faces, and watching them progress from their first ever class to advanced or even professional levels.

We could like to give our thanks to all of our supporters, students and staff past and present and also to Templar Parc for providing us with our Pole Twisters home for all these years but now is the time to move premises.  With too much space at the studios we have decided to downsize and begin renting another studio from next week.

Watch this space!
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