How Pole Twisters was created By Lisa Broughton

  • By Carla & Lisa Broughton
  • 01 Mar, 2016

 So how did it all start? How did Pole Twisters come to life you ask? 

 In 2005 I noticed that there was a pole dancing, dance competition due to take place in Hammersmith, London. I bought tickets for myself and my sister to go to watch the show. We were intrigued to see what they could do, especially as a few months earlier I wondered how I could pole dance without having to work in a lap dancing club. I researched on the internet and there was nowhere to learn how to pole dance in Cardiff, or Wales!

 

 The show was brilliant; it inspired us to want to do it! Of course 10 years ago they were performing fabulous tricks & skills but nothing on the level they are doing today. The hardest move I remember was a lady climbed to the top of the pole and slid down very fast head first. It shocked the ordinance & us. Now performers are doing circus-style moves which you need to be very strong & flexible to accomplish.

 

 I arrived back home beaming, with my brain working overtime. How can I do this? How can I teach this? How can I set this up?

 

 Over the next few weeks I searched high and low on the newly Google website search engine. I contacted pole dance companies in the UK that were already set up. There were not many and they were all located in London or other areas in England. Most did not reply to me apart from one so I asked the question ‘does your pole school teach people how to teach so that I can teach it in Cardiff’. One London Company finally replied and said I could teach for their company in Cardiff but they were asking me to gain experience first! I was back to square one so I looked into a different angle. I searched for pole dancing poles for sale. Back then there was no such thing as the famous company X-pole which sells our professional poles of today. I found a metal company called Metalfast which sold one piece poles and I ordered one.  It arrived so I arranged for a friend to fix it in my bedroom, by doing this he drilled a hole through my ceiling & put it up best he could lol. I turned my room into a dance room. I mirrored the walls and laminated the floor. I was ready to go but I still did not know where to start on how to pole dance so I then researched on Google again, typed in .COM, which scanned a wider search and it led me to a DVD from America that teaches pole dancing, BINGO!

 

 The DVD arrived, I was well away. I started learning the simple moves at first. I took pictures and showed my friends from Canton. Some were very supportive. Then my sister became interested so we both used to practice together and challenge each-other. Finally we got to an intermediate level of pole dancing so I got back in touch with the London firm and this time had my sister on tow. They booked a date for us to visit, train and stay with them. It was a great weekend.

 

 Buzzing with ideas when we arrived back in Cardiff, we began to email and pop into local venues to see if we could get this started up on behalf of the London company. People did not take us seriously. They implied, ‘you want to teach lap dancing’, etc, It was a little off putting and made us feel small but I had a dream & a goal, and nothing or nobody was going to put me down or stop us! However the knock backs were hard, even off some close family and friends. I remember somebody saying, ‘it will never work’.

 

A few weeks passed, then Inncognitos in central Cardiff, on Park Place were happy for us to run the classes upstairs. Yay!! We got the ball rolling. The London company sent us the poles after we got the measurements and soon the courses and parties started flowing. We taught for 2 years in the small room at Inncognito’s which only managed to fit two poles. Somewhere in the back of my mind I kept reminding myself of my original goal and dream.

 

 We decided it was time to do this on our own and for ourselves. We contacted the London Company and explained that we wanted to set up our own business but were happy to continue teaching for them. They were ok with this for the time being due to our honesty, plus they knew from the start this was always on the cards.

 

 Thinking of the name for our company at my parents’ house didn’t take too long. We thought of things relating to spinning, twisting, etc. including Twisted Sisters. We originally called our company Welsh Mobile Pole but after a few months we decided to alter the name. POLE TWISTERS was invented in July 2007

 

 6 weeks after, I gave birth to my son! Starting a new business was challenging, but with a newborn, even more. Looking back, I do not know how I did it. I suppose I wanted to still be me and prove that even if you become a mother your life doesn’t stop, it just changes.

 

 Six months passed and the London Company made us an ultimatum. Of course we decided to keep our own business going. By this time Carla also decided to give in her notice to her full time office job(with my prompting lol) to concentrate and put her all into Pole Twisters. It was all systems go! We located a larger pole dance studio and started running classes in Passion on city road. This was going great., more poles, more space and more people. Another year passed and we needed more time slots however Passion could not offer us any more slots.

 

Getting a venue

 We had been hiring Inncognitos and Passion on City Road for some time and we needed more hours. They could not accommodate. We started to look at estate agents for commercial properties, viewing some online & went to visit some. Most places the ceilings were not suitable.  Also we needed parking. I noticed an industrial unit for rent in Splott near the Magic Roundabout which is well known & close to the city centre. We viewed Unit 5 first. Wow! I was in love! I wanted it!!! But it was too big and too expensive. Then the estate agent quickly showed us next door, Unit 4. We both agreed it would be perfect. It had lots of different separate rooms and one large one. Our heads started working overtime. Over the next few weeks we decided we wanted it, applied and got a loan, the recession was in full swing but we decided to take a chance and obtain a £25,000 loan from the bank, WTF lol!!  We needed a new ceiling put in and x19 brand new poles (the upstairs studio, smaller room and large room) as well as equipment, painting and more. We had to fork solicitor fees, landlord fees, the first 3 months rent, which was an expensive chunk and paid a few other things before getting in & having our very own set of keys. We had one month’s rent free so we could set up the place. Carla & I painted every room. Even at times Carla’s young son & my baby were there. We were juggling motherhood into all of this! We moved furniture in, purchased the poles, had a ceiling made in our large dance studio. Looking back now it was a whirlwind.

Up to date the place looks better than ever! We have had so much custom and it continues to grow. At least one of your friends has heard of Pole Twisters now if you live in Cardiff.  

 

I think we were the only business to start and open a dance studio in an industrial estate at that time. When I look now, I notice many other pole dance schools, gyms and dance companies have followed suit… proud moment.

 

 After a year of running, we had to come up with new plans fast though as pole dancing lessons, parties and courses started to open everywhere, plus we noticed it wasn’t as popular as it first started. Also customers had more choice on different places to go. We couldn’t up our prices too high as it was the recession, even though we boast the best school with the most poles, detailed course structures and certificates. We had other companies hiring our dance studios but it wasn’t enough. We had to find £1000 each month to pay our rent alone. Carla came up with the idea of other dance themed Hen parties at our studios which got us though and helped keep Pole Twisters’ bills at bay…. just.

 

 

 Staff

 We have employed a lot of staff, from part time to adhoc or self-employed. We have over 300 plus those are still working for us or have worked for us. We have a lovely team of people helping to keep this business run tip top, so we thank you with all our hearts for this!

 

 Years passed & we had to borrow money from our mother. We were behind on rent and wondered why we were working so many hours without not getting paid ☹

There were so many knock backs it was unbelievable. So many bills to pay, insurances, licences… it was drowning. We pressed on and on. The thing that kept us going was the praise we had from our customers, friends and family. Then the last two years we started to see some progress… We were slowly noticing that we were achieving the goals we had written down on our check list.

 

Course structures

When we set up we sat up most nights till early hours of the morning writing up our very own unique course structures. So unique that all over, pole schools did not offer all x8 stages of different levels. They have been changed over the years twice and hopefully they are now spot on and will remain like this as we now have them perfect. Fingers crossed anyway lol

 

 Events & Competitions

 In between all this we hosted a brilliant event at Lava Lounge in central Cardiff. The night was a huge success with many people coming to watch the show. We had pole dancers, burlesque performers, an exotic dance show, naked butlers, ice luges and more. We later held another three shows. One being in the Millennium Music Hall, another in the Casino down the bay and the last one in the Ladybird Lounge. The performances and our event planning improved and were spot on with the whole event being a lot more professional. It was a lot of hard work however. The more shows we did, the less money we made, so have held the odd event at our studio afterwards to keep hire costs down which made things easier by not having to lug the heavy equipment around. We have run two pole dancing competitions at our studio for our staff and instructors. We have the footage on YouTube and pictures on our Facebook page or group.

 

Stag do’s

 Time was passing by and we needed to make some more money to stay afloat. We now had car loans to pay off as well as our loan and other bills/debts. We decided to think about offering entertainment for the males. We came up with many cool unique ideas including mud wrestling, eat me or drink me (food or drink platter on a girl), sexy waitresses, amongst other ideas. At first it was slow to start but now we are covering all over the UK and have over 200 plus beautiful, professional and well-spoken girls on our books. Since we started this side of the business about 5 years ago, other companies have copied and followed suit, not only doing the same, but charging less and even stoop as low as having similar designed websites and wordings. Nevertheless, we are still doing very well and get a lot of amazing feedback and referrals. This has no doubt kept the pole dancing studio going!

 

 Hens across the UK

 Then we decided to offer hens parties all over the UK, not just at our studio in Cardiff, providing our entertainment too.   So now even if you are in Scotland, London or over in Dublin, Twisted Hen & Stag Parties will get the party started and make it one to remember.

 

Hard times

 At times it has been so hard. We get constant phone calls, emails and Facebook messages, even on our personal accounts at unsociable times. Even on our days off, there are no such thing!

Also when we are ill, at a wedding or have lost a family member and needed to work on these businesses in the day as rarely no-one could cover us, so it has pushed us and our stress levels to our limits! Over time we have improved our managerial roles, have learnt how to deal with things better, to try to not take last minute bookings and be as best prepared as we can to avoid complication.

 

We now have a fantastic day PA who has helped us out tremendously. Wish we could have afforded someone sooner!

We also have a great team of lovelies. Pole Twisters Team rule!!!! ;-)

 

 I really hope you enjoyed the read and now have knowledge of our companies. We have lots of exciting plans to move us bigger and better but for now we are happy and its ticking on by.... 8 years on!!!

 

 Written by Lisa Marie Broughton

 Director

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 25 Jul, 2017
Flexibility At Pole Twisters

Our Flexy & Stretch class is a brilliant way of pushing that little bit further and training harder. Flexibility and correct stretching is so very important in pole, especially for improving and advancing students where certain moves can be
quite demanding on the body - as our Tricks class found out this week!

Our classes aid in improving your range of motion which in turn makes getting into moves easier as well as putting less stress on other areas of your body, but there are many more benefits to flexibility training! Some of the most important benefits to regular stretching include:

  • Posture - Whether you practice pole or not, correct stretching techniques are also known to improve posture and release tension in areas where we carry a lot of stress, like our lower backs. Due to the sedentary lifestyles many of us live today, we spend a lot of time sitting down, which often results in poor posture that can lead to health problems later in life, and so improving posture and training our bodies into the correct alignment is not only beneficial to our well-being, it can also make us appear and feel more confident.
  • Recovery - It's also a perfect way to end a workout or pole training session, as our classes are gentle and can even be a relaxing wind down. Plus, stretching helps to clear out the lactic acid that builds up around our muscles and makes us ache the next day! It's always important to cool down after exercise but you can also use this cool down to continue your training in a more gentle way by working on those splits or back bends!
  • Injury Prevention – Being more flexible can also help prevent injury by limbering up the joints and enabling us to recover from any falls or mistakes without pulling muscles. It is proven that regular stretching aids in developing our muscle memory, enabling faster progression on the pole as our bodies adjust quickly to new techniques, and it also helps to develop our kin-aesthetic sense, meaning we have a greater awareness of our bodies and how they are moving through the space around us.
So whether you practice pole or not, there are so many benefits to getting flexy! Our classes are open to anyone of any level and ability and run at 8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (subject to change so check out our website calendar before you head out that evening) – occasionally on Saturdays for the cost of £5. Check out our website for info how to book!

Hope you all have an amazing week, we'll see you at the studio!
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 13 Jul, 2017

Some of our lovely students completed their Stage 2 pole course and we couldn't be prouder! We also ran our ever popular mixed ability sessions where some of our more experienced twisters got to show off their super strength with some new and challenging moves.

Some lovely ladies popped around for a Dancehall session with our professional dance teacher. It's always so great to see our students feel confident, sexy and powerful while they're dancing and having fun!

Coming up in the next seven days, we have a six week beginners course due to start where some brand new students will be starting their pole journey!

Our Flexy & Stretch sessions are back and available to book for Mon, Tues & Wednesday at 8pm. No pole experience needed! Come get stretchy with us as we spend an hour going through some flexibility training and yoga moves – perfect for training those annoying splits!

Have a great week everyone, and hopefully we'll see you at the studio!

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 10 Jul, 2017

Pole Dance

If you haven't already, why not try out our pole classes? Pole is a fantastic way to get strong and toned, whilst also gaining confidence and feeling sexy. You don't need to be strong or super fit to start classes either! We teach absolute beginners all the way up to stage 10 through our structured program.

If you fancy taking the plunge and trying out a new skill, you can book into our 1 hour taster class which runs Monday to Wednesdays at 6pm, 7pm or 8pm.

Street Dance

We also offer street dance classes designed for adults! Learn a new routine each week with styles ranging from hip-hop, shuffle, and commercial in these weekly 1 hour classes. A perfect way of getting some cardio in and burning fat whilst having fun, and also suitable for beginners as the moves will all be broken down and explained or modified for more experienced dancers.  Wednesdays 7-8pm.

Twerk and Dancehall

If you'd like to try a different style of dance, why not try our twerk and dancehall class? These hip-rocking, booty-popping, crowd-stopping, up & coming new weekly fitness/dance classes will introduce you to using your body in ways you may not be used to, and muscles you may not have known you even had. You'll be surprised by how much of a work out this class is! (You can read about our experience taking the class in last week's blog post!)

You can come and shake yo thing with us on Wednesdays 6-7, right before our street dance classes. Wanna do both classes back to back? Double your fun for an extra £2.50

Burlesque

Lastly but not least, another alternative way of getting fit and gaining confidence is through our burlesque private lessons! Taught by Flossie Smalls or another great performer, this lesson will guide you through the basics of burlesque and the art of tease. Come channel your inner showgirl, gain body confidence and learn a routine with us! Props are provided, but why not dress up too?

For information on booking your workshop, contact us or refer to our website.

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 09 Jun, 2017
So I decided to finally give our Twerking and Dancehall weekly lessons a try and I couldn't believe how many muscles are involved as you shake ya thang!

The warm-up included stretching and some of the twerking moves that we would be adding into our routine later.

The routine was epic.  To a suitable dancehall song, the moves weren't too difficult even though the song was fast.

I'd also like to mention the huge group of booty bopping girls who made this class so much fun with your funny comments along the way.  We also have some regulars, you know who you are!

I'd definitely recommend this to all ages, sizes and abilities.  Learn a new skill.  Shake that ass and come on down to Cardiff Dance Studios on Wednesdays at 6pm.  £5 pp

We need at least 2 people to pre-pay online no later than 24 hours before so we can book Martyna in so if you can make it, please get this awesome class running by booking online!

Also like street dance?  Attend this afterwards for just £2.50 extra
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 02 Nov, 2016

My journey into the world of pole dancing was through a very good and extremely persuasive friend who saw a Groupon offer and thought it would be fun and a brilliant way to get fit and learn something new.
It was with some trepidation that we arrived at our first lesson. Whilst the first lesson was really enjoyable  I suffered for the next couple of days as my arms ached so much I could hardly lift them.  However we preserved and came back for the second and subsequent weeks. As the weeks passed my aches and pains largely passed and we learnt so much the frog princess, the sun wheel, the chair to name but a few.  Each week I could feel my muscles getting used to supporting my weight and my confidence grew.  Then came the "upside down" week and this is an area  I've really struggled with. All the instructors were really helpful and patient with me and eventually I cracked it and literally turned my world upside down.
While I'm still not as good as some of the girls on my course the other girls have been very supportive and really encouraging. We've had a lot of fun in class and have occasionally dissolved into laughter when one of us has ended up in a heap on the floor unable to move due to the amount we are laughing at our mishap.  It's been just over a year since I started on this adventure and I have almost completed level 8, I can't believe I've got this far.  
I'm so glad that I kept going as I've learned a lot about my abilities and I've surprised quite a few friends and colleagues who initially had no idea that at the age of 43 I'd taken up pole dancing. would recommend this as a method to get fit?  Yes I would it's an excellent way to improve your all round fitness. I've discovered muscle groups I didn't know I had and that's quite impressive as I've been a member of the gym on and off for years.  I have throughly enjoyed learning to pole dance and would certainly recommend pole dancing as its s really good experience regardless of how easy or hard you find the different moves.


By Carla & Lisa Broughton 25 Apr, 2016
Our shutters are officially up at Cardiff Dance Studios letting in the beautiful sunlight at your lessons giving you a feel of the outdoors whilst on your pole!

Our lovely Stage 7 girls just completed their course and ended their lesson dressed as schoolgirls.  Some fantastic pictures have been posted on Facebook and well done, just Stage 8 and you'll be moving on to Tricks.  Doesn't time fly?  Also well done to the beginners completing they're course dressed as Super Heroes and continuing with their Stage 2 course tomorrow.

Mixed ability has been great this week with students having a go at pole doubles.

Our new printed stock has arrived so get your joggers, hot pants or leggings, pop into the office to take a look.

Nice to see a few more turn up to pole jam on Saturday, its great to see you are working hard on the pole on a weekend but why not stay on for Flexy & Stretch afterwards, its great to stretch out properly and improve on your splits and back bends when you are still warm.

We have a few new pole 6x week courses starting this week and can't wait to meet some new faces at our beginners taster.
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 19 Apr, 2016
Well done to Benedicts beginners pole fitness course students!  You all did fantastic at your first Stage in pole fitness and are booked on to Stage 2, keep spinning!  Plus lots of new courses starting this week so if you need to re-do a Stage or have forgotten to book on, please get in touch, don't miss out!

What a great move our tricks girls practiced last week called The Icarus...  take a look on our Facebook group videos or type into a search engine and see this beautiful trick / pose in action.  Also some great Flag splits action.

Our dance routines for higher levels workshop last Friday was so much fun.  A lovely turn-out with some great teamwork and ideas thrown in by everybody.  90 minutes just wasn't enough so watch this space as we will be running a follow-up workshop to hopefully complete the song and end up designing a great sequenced routine.  Watch the routine so far here .

Again, thanks to everyone leaving they're feedback regarding our course structures and moves, we have taken everything on-board and are in the process of re-designing every course structure, plus increasing from Stage 8 right up to Stage 10!

We've got a talented photographer attending the end of most of your courses to take some shots for you.  This is a great way of mapping your progress.  You are not obliged to purchase the pictures but I'm sure you will want to keep some of your awesome poses in a frame on your wall!

We are also just introduced £5 discount if you book a private lesson with us but you must be attending or booked on to one of our 6x week courses, take advantage guys!  One on one tuition with an instructor is great for focusing on those tricky moves.  Plus privates can be shared with a friend to cut the cost.

Don't forget you've got until the end of April to take advantage of our half price tricks and mixed ability classes.  Just £4!  We recommend that you attend pole at least twice a week so if you attend a course, pop along to mixed ability to improve on your current moves and perhaps learn some new ones!

We've created a new promo video at Cardiff Dance Studios!  Check it out here
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 04 Apr, 2016
Tricks classes run every Monday at 8-9pm with me (Carla) who plans a different and exciting class for you every week including spinny pole, fantastic combinations, new tricks and focusing on some stretch ending.  I've even enjoyed starting training back up for myself with Charlotte (our brand girl - Charlie Twist) on a Thursday at her tricks classes, which I am loving.  Really great to learn some new floor-work and a trick combination last week.  This helps me gain more experience, strength and new ideas for my own classes, thanks Charl!

Our new Dancehall and Twerking classes run every Wednesday so if you want to try something new and energetic then why not give it a try!  Ideal if you already attend street dance, why not come along to Dancehall the hour before?

Well done to our beginners and Stage 4's on completing they're courses, onward & upwards!

Thank you to everybody who gives us feedback on our surveys that we send out to students at the end of they're course. Whether it be good or bad, without these, we wouldn't know how you are feeling and help make improvements.

We've also got a fantastic March special offer where all pole classes are just £4 so come and get some extra training in for cheap!

Hope you enjoyed the read
By Carla & Lisa Broughton 04 Apr, 2016

I have attended 3x pole strengthening classes already and I love every moment of it!  I love the fact I have become stronger, working my abs and core and I can now hold more pole variations for longer.  Most important I see a lot more body definition!  We also have a great laugh with the girls at the classes which makes it a lot of fun and at the same time achieve a great workout!  I will definitely recommend to my friends!

By student - Afroditi - 31/03/16

By Carla & Lisa Broughton 22 Mar, 2016

Being a judge on Saturday 12th March 2016 for Welsh Dragon University Pole Competition was an amazing experience.

Welsh Dragon University Competition was made up of competitors from Cardiff University, Swansea University and Bangor University. 

There were 3 levels - Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced, along side a Doubles category as well. 

The competition was extremely high and all contestants had fantastic techniques for their levels and I could really see some of the girls from the advanced category going into becoming a professional competitor at Pole. 

The organisers for the event were brilliant and always kept you up to date leading up to the event with weekly emails and the event was very well organised and everything went to plan and like clockwork during the competition. 

It's definitely something that I would do again and judge more competitions. 

It's exciting that Pole Sport is now being recognised as a sport and this is the first year that is will be in the Varsity University Sport. 

It makes me proud to have been in this industry for so long and now have people's views change and appreciate it as a physical sport.

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