Happy Birthday Studio Chic!

This year we get to celebrate nine years of Pole Dancing in London and we wanted to take the time to learn a little bit about our Studio’s history and what has gone into making this place as incredible as it is.

Founded in 2007 by studio owner Andrea Fleury, Studio Chic has gone through a number of changes including a change in location and a re-branding.  With a dance background in jazz from her childhood and after spending some time in the fitness industry as an adult, Andrea was looking for something that combined her love of dance, and her desire for a fun workout that complimented her wild side.  She saw pole dancing for the first time on the Oprah Winfrey show and knew she had to try it. What drew Andrea to pole dancing was the expression of sensuality, dance and how challenging it looked. “I searched for a pole studio in London, and ended up branching out as far as Burlington.  I took a few private lessons- one where I invited  my best friendTracey (current Studio Chic Membership Coordinator) to come try it with me.  I was hooked instantly and knew it was something I had to bring to London to share with everyone.” After the class was done, Andrea asked Tracey if she liked pole and if she would be willing to teach if Andrea opened a studio in London. “We both had no real idea what we were getting into, but took the challenge head on.”

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In the early days of the studio, Andrea and Tracey ran classes out of a pilates studio with only two poles that were set up and taken down at the beginning of every class.  Sometimes they would take their instructor training only days before having to teach classes.  When the studio first started, Andrea had a full-time job as a police dispatcher, which she juggled for 7 years while running the studio and teaching classes.  “I would work a 12-hour shift, then teach 3 classes at night.  It was a crazy time, but I loved every minute of it.”  In 2011, she was able to leave her job and work at the studio full-time.  Tracey joined the studio as a full-time manager in 2014.  When asked about her favourite memories over the years Andrea said, “It was a crazy ride, but there's no one I would rather have gone through all of that with then Tracey.  She was there from the very beginning, and has always been supportive of my crazy ideas.”  (We sure love our Pole Mamas!)

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For many years, the studio was part of a pole dancing franchise system. “This was a great starting point for us, but didn't evolve as our studio and students evolved,” says Andrea. The studio needed something that Andrea and Tracey could run on their own, while having the freedom to add different types of classes and keep up with current fitness trends. The duo developed a new business model where they could offer our students memberships and more classes, adding in complementary classes to the pole dancing programs like TRX and BootyBarre. “We wanted our newly branded studio to represent not only pole dancing, but fun fitness.  Providing a high end atmosphere where students would feel comfortable and special, receive an amazing class experience, and leave feeling fabulous.” This is how our Studio Chic was born.

When asked about being an entrepreneur and small business owner, Andrea said, “Just loving pole dancing is not the secret to staying in business.  You need to have a strong will, be business savvy, and deliver one heck of an amazing service.” Andrea and Tracey, as well as the Studio Chic Staff, all work on improving these aspects every day. As far as challenges go, Andrea says “The most rewarding part of being a studio owner is sharing my love and passion for pole dancing and fitness with others and seeing them fall in love with it for their own reasons.”  However the stigmas associated with Pole Dancing have remained a challenge. “We embrace the sensuality of the art of pole dance, but have always focused more on the fitness and dance benefits of it.  Getting that message across has always been a priority but nine years later is still something we work at.” Andrea also had some words of advice for anyone else wishing to start their own business. “A true entrepreneur will have a driving passion that will never be satisfied unless they try.  If you can afford the risk, I think you just have to go for it.  Surround yourself with the best team of people that you can.  From professionals, to family members and friends, it's essential to have support.  Enjoy riding the wave as you grow.  Learn from your mistakes, and stick to your true passion.”

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Pole dancing attracts people for a variety of different reasons.  Whether it be for fitness, confidence, self expression or a mixture of all of it.  “I could not be more proud of what our studio stands for,” says Andrea,  “our message of pole dancing is for everyBODY, and welcoming a diverse group of people to share in our love of pole and fitness. I really believe in what we stand for and what we provide our students. “

At Studio Chic, we welcome students (women and men) of all shapes, sizes, and ages.  We believe that pole dancing and fitness at Studio Chic is for everyBODY.  We are a pole family, and welcome all with open arms.  Our supportive and encouraging environment is felt all the way from class level to our online student forum and social media.  Our instructors are highly trained, and have years of experience providing the safest and best class experience possible to our students.  Our studio is a sensual retreat that immediately feels like home, and students are welcomed with a smile from the moment they step in the door.  “There's a reason why after 9 years we are still going strong, it's our amazing students,” says Andrea. “They are the reason why we do what we do, and will always continue to improve and evolve to support them.”

As we celebrate our ninth year of fabulous in the Forest City, it’s important to look to the future. To anyone who would like to try pole dancing or start their fitness journey at Studio Chic Andrea has some simple advice. “You just need to go for it!  Taking your first class can always be intimidating.  Grab a friend, and get started.  Once you've taken one class you will be hooked and want to come back for more.  I really suggest trying all the classes that we have to offer, every class is unique and offers something.”

Happy Birthday Studio Chic!


Come join our #PoleFamily, we can’t wait to meet you.

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