Sunday, October 2, 2011

Studio Spotlight: Tantra Fitness!

 And our pole-circle widens!  This is Tammy from Tantra Fitness!

What is your fitness background?
I have been a Certified Group Fitness Instructor since 2003. I worked in Gym's while going to college and always loved taking group fitness classes to stay motivated.

What is your fitness routine (on and off the pole)?
I don't actually don't do anything outside of teaching other than play with my 2 year old.  I teach 12 classes a week, from all levels of Pole to Ball Fit, Cardio Striptease, Lap Dance, and Exotic Dance.

What kind of diet do you follow?
I am not going to lie, I eat terrible.  I am so busy that I figure fast food is better than nothing at all!  I do love sushi though and eat it at least 3 times a week.

Do you have a dance background?
I have no formal training in dance, I am completely self-taught.

Do you compete (pole fitness or any other kind of fitness competitions)?
I have won over 15 dance competitions including 1st Runner Up Miss Pole Dance World and Best Pole Tricks in 2005.

What interested you about pole dancing?
I was never very athletic as a young adult and Pole Dancing was something I actually picked up quite quickly.  As a young adult that wore big glasses and didn't weigh more than 75 pounds, I was always picked last for the sports teams.  I couldn't catch a ball, run very fast or jump very high lol.  Pole Dancing was one of the first things I was actually really good at.

Do you have a preference? "pole fitness" or "pole dancing"
I prefer Pole Dancing, as I think the dance and transitions in between the tricks are part of the beautiful artform.  I often use the term Pole Fitness just because I know the association people have with the term Pole Dancing, they instantly think stripper.

What do you think about the stripper vs. pole fitness debate?
I am constantly standing up for Pole Fitness as a sport.  I am not trying to fool anyone, Pole Dancing has predominately been for stripping but it has also been used in Cirque (Chinese Pole) and Mallakhamb (an traditional Indian Sport).  It is really just a vertical pole compared to a parallel bar.  If you do not take your
clothes off while you are on it, it's not stripping.  It's frustrating to me to know that people are so closed minded that they cannot see that.  The type of people involved in Pole Fitness are gymnasts, artists, computer techs, students, housewives, etc...  not strippers. We are slowly educating the public to see it as a sport and there will be a day that people see it as a fitness rather than something only for strippers.

What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole?
dry hands for my hands and shaving cream for my legs.

How do you deal with the dry skin on pole days (and on off-pole days)?
Aveno!!! I have tried all different lotions but I have really dry skin and Aveno actually helps me stick.  If I don't use it, I slide right off.  I don't know if it's the oatmeal in it or what but it's magical.

Where do you like to buy your pole clothes?
Lululemon, Bad Kitty and Light Activewear.

Do you like to dance in heels or barefoot?
Running shoes or heels, can't do barefoot.

What did you do before opening your pole studio?
I was an exotic dancer for 10 years.  In the beginning this was very tough for me when I was trying to convince people that Pole Dancing was for fitness, yet I was a stripper!  I really had to prove myself, I needed to be more professional, more articulate, more polite.... It really does add to my credentials as I have such a giant library to teach people.  This combined with my Fitness education really gives me the tools to be able to teach anyone from someone who wants to learn it for their loved one to someone who wants to get in shape and everything in between.

How did you come up with the name for your studio?
Tantra is a positive word embracing the vision of the whole of reality as an expression of a joyous divine consciousness. Tantric spiritual practices and rituals aim to bring about an inner realization of this truth, bringing freedom from ignorance and rebirth in the process. Many people mistake Tantra for a sexual meaning but it is not unless applied to that.

To me, this embarced the whole idea of what pole dancing is so this is
how I decided to call it Tantra Fitness.

What is your favorite thing about dancing on the pole?
I love the fact that there is always something new to learn.  After 17 years of Pole Dancing I am still learning new tricks.  It's not like going to the gym where you are always doing the same thing.  Your muscles are always being challenged in new ways.  Most of all, it's keeps my mind busy and doesn't feel like a work out.

What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?
Black Betty the remixed dance version.  So high energy!

Do you have any other upcoming events you'd like people to know about?
We just had the Miss Pole Dance Canada Competition that we held in a theater for the first time.  It was amazing!  We always invite the other studio's to be a part of it and we had such an amazing turn out. We are hoping to organize a Showcase for everyone to be a part of no matter what school they are from.  It is about individuals sharing the same passion rather than competing studios. We will announce it everywhere when we pick a date.  We will probably make it a fundraiser to give back to the community.

What else would you like people to know about you or your studio?
We just renovated and expanded our studio and will be adding an Aerial program in November that will include Silks, Hoop and Aerial Yoga.  We also just started franchising.


Tammy and Tantra Fitness are in Vancouver, Canada.  
Please visit their website, "like" them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter!

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