Photography by Lauren Eldik of Studio Clicks
Pole Fitness Studio: Transforming your body physically and sensually
Pole Fitness is not just a craze or fad. Pole Fitness is a fun, empowering way to connect internally both physically and emotionally. After the holidays comes the desire to make THIS the year to eat better, get into better shape and just improve in all areas of life. But many look at gyms, research workout routines, talk to personal trainers and just get overwhelmed. Pole Fitness allows women (and men) to explore their strength, agility, sensuality and develop a mind and body connection.
Continuing to expand this concept is Fawnia Mondey, owner of Pole Fitness Studio and Pole Expo, who has pioneered Pole Fitness and the art of pole dancing. Mondey is also a world-renowned pole dance instructor and performer.
“Pole dancing is a great way to lose weight and build muscle while having fun,” Mondey stated. “It is definitely a challenge, and it doesn’t get old and boring. It is creative as well.” As she explained, it is the chance to find an “inner dancer” that people may have forgot as they grew older as well as the chance to explore the joy of moving to the beat of song. “With pole dancing, you are challenged by lifting your own body weight on the pole, so it is very anaerobic. You are also moving constantly, so it becomes an aerobic activity. Pole Fitness is also great for flexibility.”
Originally from Canada, Mondey loved to run, draw, perform and dance. While she never took any formal training and was not hardcore about physical fitness, Mondey worked as an exotic dancer. It was during this period that she discovered the art form and skill needed to create beautiful routines using the pole and, in the process, lost 40 pounds and developed a passion for fitness. Mondey also realized that training could enhance not only her skills but other pole dancers as well. Unable to find any instruction, she established the world’s first pole dancing school.
“I was teaching in my home studio and the clubs,” she explained. “Many of the women coming to my classes were not exotic dancers. Thanks to the Internet, it was catching on that people could learn for fun and fitness. Everyday women were finding my website and instructional videos and coming to me.”
A decade ago, Mondey made the move to Las Vegas, opening up a studio in a retail center. She then wanted to create an event involving pole dancing where people from around the world could participate in one location. “I had been to so many fitness trade shows and competitions, so I combined everything into one event, Pole Expo.” Attendees from over 50 countries travel to Las Vegas to attend workshops and seminars as well as shop at vendors’ booths plus watch performances at the Pole Classic Competition.
Mondey is devoted to creating recognition for Pole Fitness as a sport. Arnold Schwarzenegger features pole fitness in his annual Arnold Sports Festival. She is also working with other pioneers to make pole fitness an Olympic sport. Mondey is active in the community helping to combat breast cancer along with other charitable initiatives and donation programs. Pole Fitness Studio was the recipient of the Community Pillar of Strength Award as a 2015 Honorary Community Awareness Campaign Sponsor in recognition of her and her staff’s efforts.
Classes, parties, private events and instructor certifications are all offered at Pole Fitness Studio, and Pole Expo is held annually every September. Children’s Vertical Gym classes (age 7 and older) are also offered. Mondey continues her dedication to her career, sport and passion while sharing with others.