5 FABULOUS Pole Wear companies you've probably never heard of.

If you're like me, many late nights have been spent perusing the internet for new pole clothes and shoes. My collection of beautiful prints and styles is quickly growing and I am always looking for new companies who make quality pole apparel. Besides the usuals such as Bad Kitty, Mika, Titika and Lululemon, there are wonderful and unique pole wear companies popping up all the time! 

Polers need special attention when it comes to their workout apparel, not any old item can do. Quality is one of the premiere concerns for a poler, as well as coverage. All of the companies we will be talking about today have specific pole apparel lines. 


 

Shoe Freaks (Canadian) - Website
With FREE Shipping what's not to love about Canadian shoe retailers ShoeFreaks.ca. With many brands to choose from including Pleaser shoes, you're sure to find something you love. The only downside would be the inability to try shoes on before delivery, however you have 60 Days to return your pair of shoes for a different size of the same style. 

Indi Pole Wear (Australian) - Website
Indie Pole Wear's collections are all ethically made by hand in Australia, by "dressmakers with expert skill & a wealth of knowledge." They release new collections periodically that are meant to work with your existing pieces to update your wardrobe. IPW's styles are designed for "real bodies with muscles & curves, with a focus on comfort, perfect fit & beauty." Their minimum for free shipping is rather steep, but the rate for international shipping is reasonable at $15 USD and they also have a 365 days return policy to sweeten the deal, just in case something doesn't fit 

Vekker LA (American) - Website
VEKKER brand activewear is made in Los Angeles, California and they work exclusively with local vendors and support small businesses. Their shorts are cut to flatter all figures and balances skin exposure to enhance performance while still incorporating fun patterns and fabrics. Their signature item the Ruffle Short adds the perfect amount of girly flair to any pole outfit. 

Hey Hey & Co (Canadian) - Website
If you're looking for one of a kind pieces and custom made pole wear, Hey Hey & Co has you covered. Specializing in competition wear and fun fabrics, everyone is sure to find something they like. Shipping costs are a little on the expensive side, however, Hey Hey & Co often sets up at various competitions and showcases where you can buy your pole wear directly at the event. 

Superflyhoney (Australian) - Website
New to the pole scene this past October, Superflyhoney has a modern and minimalistic style. Their first collection of beautiful monochrome sets with mesh windows make them classic and flattering on all shapes and sizes. With only a $9 flat shipping rate from Australia, this new company is surely worth trying. 



Studio Chic Boutique 

From Mika + Bad Kitty to Studio Chic Branded items the Boutique has everything you need to get your wardrobe started. We also carry Grip Aids, Yoga Blocks, accessories, and of course, our very popular "Point Your F***ing Toes" shirts. Don't see any item you're looking for? Just ask! We are always looking for ways to keep the Boutique fresh. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on all our latest sales and promotions. 

Are there any we missed? Let us know what brands you swear by or if you've tried any of these! 


Instructor Spotlight - Kelly

We are so excited to share our first Instructor Spotlight with you all, featuring SC Instructor Kelly! Kelly teaches pole, chair fit and cardio hoop at Studio Chic and has been pole dancing for over eight years. Watch our video to learn more about the FABULOUS Kelly!

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.

TWERKSHOP with Shani Haynes


Twerkshop_TV


IT'S TIME TO TWERK


Shani Haynes from Toronto is back at SC.. and this time with a new workshop..
Sunday May 15th 2016

TWERKSHOP
3:30-5pm, $45+HST.
This workshop will teach you all you need to know to twerk. It's for all levels, and everyone is welcome.

BOOTY N' POLE -
5-6pm $45+HST. This workshop kicks it up a notch by adding in the pole. Not for pole beginners. Must have pole experience, climb & sit recommended.

Want to take BOTH workshops?? Combo them up and SAVE!
Register for both workshops for only $75+HST.
*Only if you meet the prerequisites for BootyN'Pole.

Contact us to get your savings!


www.studiochiclondon.com
355 Richmond Street - 2nd Floor
London, ON
(519) 902-7653
studiochiclondon@gmail.com

Celebrate Mother's Day at Studio Chic!

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Treat the wonderful mother in your life to an afternoon filled with fun, fitness and little bit of sass!

During this workshop you will do a 20 minute sample in Pole Fitness, Hula Hoop and Chair Dance. During this hour and a half long class, you will learn a short routine in both pole and chair, as well as some of the fundamentals of Hula Hoop.

When you aren't on the dance floor, you'll be welcomed into our kitchen to enjoy refreshments and to spend some time shopping in our Chic Boutique.
Only $29.00 + HST per person

BUY NOW

We welcome ALL Mothers and Daughters join us for this special workshop. Enjoy the day with Mom or buy this special gift for that special someone. Beginners are welcome and there is no experience required.
Register online before we sell out!

366 Richmond Street, London Ontario. 519 902-POLE (7653)
www.studiochiclondon.com

April Open House • 9th Anniversary Birthday Bash • Sunday April 17th

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What's in my Pole Bag?

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What's in my Pole Bag?

When I am hitting up the studio there are certain things I just simply need with me. When I forget them or sign up for a class last minute, I honestly feel a little lost.

However, if you forget grip aid you'll never be told by when asking to share (cause that's how generous our #Pole Fam is). So just for fun, here's what's in my Pole Bag!



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Choreo Notebook and Pen
- Right now I am working on my routine for the "Taste of Summer" Party at the studio April 2nd so this book comes with me every time now. (RSVP here!)



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Shoes - A great pair of heels. Make sure they are comfortable enough for you to dance in!

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Legwarmers - For stretching or knee protection.


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Towel - obviously for when I get sweaty at BootyBarre or during pole.

Grip Aid - Personally, I've always used Dry Hands but there are lots of other brands for different purposes (and we sell a few of them in the Chic Boutique!). Some include TiteGrip, Dirty Girl and Dew Point, some are for sweaty hands and others for dry skin. Whatever your nemesis, for some of us Grip Aid is a must have.


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Knee Pads - Especially for Choreo classes...

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Water Bottle - Gotta keep hydrated! (insert fact about water intake during workouts here ;) )

Granola Bar - Sometimes I am in need of a pick me up mid-practice (or class) and a granola bar normally gets the trick done




What's in your Pole Bag Pole Fam? 


The Benefits of Cross Training for Pole with BootyBarre

Hey there Pole Fam, 

As I sit here with a heat pack on my thighs, I can’t help but think about something that Studio Chic instructor Heather said in class the other day; “BootyBarre is a great way to cross train for pole.”

Clearly she's right! My workout was a few days ago already and I can still feel that wonderful burn in my leg muscles. But what exactly makes Barre so efficient for cross training for pole fitness?

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It’s the total package

The hour long class consists of a warm up and upper body work with free weights followed by approximately 30 minutes at the barre with cardio blasts to keep the heart rate elevated. The class concludes with abdominal and back work, followed by a wonderful stretch. If you attend Barre on a regular basis you’ll see physical improvements in everything from flexibility, to endurance, core, balance and coordination. The combination of strength, cardio, and stretching means you can pack in a full body workout in only an hour.

As you move on in your pole journey, there is less of a focus during class time on strength foundation training and Barre is a fantastic way to supplement this (Combine it with TRX classes and you won’t know what to do with all that strength!). This is especially true for building core and lower body muscles which is something we often miss in pole classes as we tend to focus on upper body strength development.

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Shoulders DOWN and BACK


Have you been having shoulder or back problems during your pole classes? As the foundations of Barre are rooted in Pilates, Yoga, Fitness, Ballet, and Dance, regular attendance can have a significant impact on your overall posture and the elongation of your muscles. This will help you with everything from spirals to inverts and making sure you are bringing your shoulders down and back. Say it with me, DOWN and BACK. Another benefit for polers is that Barre helps you with lines and extension which are some of the more technical aspects of dance. "Long lines" will help you take your spins and poses to the next level.

"The class starts by using one-inch incremental movements called isometric movements. Isometric movements can help strengthen muscles without straining tendons or ligaments, so there is less risk of injury in comparison to traditional strength training methods, such as heavy weight lifting. The class then moves into compound movements that help in increasing flexibility, such as long, sweeping Grande Battements (kicks). They are put in right after all the tight squeezing of the iso's to help lengthen and stretch the muscles out. If you’re prone to injury, this may be the perfect class for you."

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Barre is for everyone

Anyone—no matter their age, weight, or fitness level—can get results and there is ZERO dance experience required. One of my favourite parts about Barre is the ability to customize your workout. Increasing the weight of your hand weights, going into relevé or tree pose, or simply squeezing your muscles harder allows you to create and control your own resistance. This will help keep you from plateauing during your Barre workouts and encourages you to listen to your own body. Not feeling strong today? No problem, stay flat footed. Do you feel like superman today? Awesome, use the 3lb weights instead and squeeze like crazy. And of course, you can always further challenge yourself by focussing on your form and posture, there is always room for improvement in this category.

Other Benefits:
  • It will force you to practice “pointing your f***ing toes!”
  • You. Will. Sweat. (There’s a reason that Studio Chic provides all its barre students with sweat towels!)
  • Your legs will shake too.
  • The high-energy music will help you get through your workout and put you in a happy mood for the rest of your day.
  • Another opportunity to work on your splits
  • Endurance building
  • No dance experience required
  • Anyone—no matter their age, weight, or fitness level—can hit the bar and get results

Bottom line: If you’re seriously in love with pole you should sign up for a Barre class right now, I promise you’ll love it!

- Emily 



NYE Resolutions vs. Goals

Hey there Pole Fam!

 
Along with being the warmest holiday since 1957, it was probably one of the busiest in my life. I made it through, though, with a little help from some cake and wine. (But that is totally okay, remember?)

Today I want to talk about our next hurdle in the obstacle course we call the holidays - New Year's Eve. While the same suggestions apply in regards to eating habits from my previous post (which you can find here), I want to explore the idea of the New Years Resolutions

However, I don't want you to look at the subject in the stereotypical "resolutions-will-change-my-life-forever" lens because in my opinion, resolutions are kind of useless. Instead, I want you to think of them as New Years Goals.

Here's why:

1) "Resolutions" suggest that you should CHANGE something about yourself, whereas;

2) A "goal" is something that you WORK towards. (see what I did there?)

 
Resolutions get a bad rep, that's for sure. There is a lot of negativity surrounding the concept because most efforts at resolutions end up bearing zero results. There is a lot of pressure when you say "resolutions " and in my opinion, this is because many people commit to  "resolutions" are very vague - for example, I want to "lose weight" or "read more" or "be happier."


These statements are a great start, but they don’t outline the desired result that the individual will be working to accomplish – thus creating more room for disappointment.. Once again the aforementioned “resolutions” all suggest that you need to change something about yourself, which you shouldn’t- I promise. (No matter what others say, for what it's worth, I truly think you're fabulous just the way you are!). Instead, you should be setting realistic and specific goals. For example, "I want to make it to the studio at least twice per week, and stretch at home once a week." By doing this you are keeping your expectations for yourself in check, and you are more likely to be successful. Try to be as consistent as possible and these goals could become great healthy habits. By setting specific and realistic goals, you will be able to hold yourself accountable for completing your goals, you will be able to assess your progress throughout the upcoming year, and you are more likely to be successful.

 
You should also aim to set both short term and long-term goals. Short-term goals are wonderful ego boosts and can help you to better tackle your bigger, long-term goals by breaking them down into more manageable pieces and tasks.
 

Another great tool to help you reach your goals is to get your friends involved. You’d be surprised at how many of us share similar desires for the future and we can be more successful by working together! Friends can help motivate, solve problems, and assist in completing your desired tasks and in return, you can reciprocate and help them to achieve their goal! There is strength in numbers!


Most importantly, don't forget to reward yourself. Positive reinforcement is an effective method for creating healthy habits and it doesn't have to be anything crazy or expensive. Consider taking a walk in the park, taking a special workshop at the studio, a night at the movie theatre, buy a new nail polish or even a hot bubble bath. But also keep in mind healthy eating when choosing food as your reward. Healthy eating promotes a healthy mind and body!


Whatever your goals are, always remember to believe in yourself and work hard. I believe in you! I wish you luck and the best in the New Year.

 

 - Emily



 

What are your goals for 2016? Is there any way we can help? Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know what you think in the comments!

 

 


Healthy Holiday Habits

Healthy holiday habits

Holy Chic Pole Fam!

The holidays have arrived in full force.

With so much to celebrate during this time of year many of us often forget to take care of ourselves. Between traveling, preparing, working, spending time with family and the actual events themselves, it is easy to fall into some not-so-great habits that may make that second piece of pie a little less worth it.

To give you some suggestions, I have come up with some strategies I use to stay energized and healthy (-ish) during this festive season, while still indulging in all the wonderful pleasures the holidays have to offer such as candied sweet potatoes and After Eight Mints; but that might just be me.

Sneak in exercise as often as you can, any way you can.

Obviously, the more exercise the better during the holidays. Not only are we eating unusually larger meals with a larger variety of items during the holidays, we are also eating them more often and many of these recipes feature rich ingredients. Butter, sugar, lard, and many other ingredients are what cause many of us to see negative changes in our bodies this time of year.

To combat this I am planning to hit the studio as often as I can between holiday commitments. Booty Barre, Cardio Hoop and TRX (and obviously pole!) are all great full body workouts that feature both strength and cardio exercises. There is also a few open practice times available through the holidays for a little bit of flexibility for your very busy schedule. When I can’t get to the studio I plan on stretching at least every other day, if not every day at home. Failing to stretch for a prolonged period during the holidays could result in a reversal of flexibility progress for and though stretching is only a low impact form of exercise, at least I’m getting off the couch! Stretching is also a great stress reliever (which for some of us, is necessary during the holidays). If you challenge yourself to stretch this often, you’ll have a bendy start to the new year.

To incorporate more opportunities to get moving, this year we have planned to go skating in Victoria Park when the family comes to visit and have planned “Reindeer Games” and a Rock Band tournament for the kids (Feel free to take these ideas!) If you’re doing an activity together instead of simply watching the television, the whole family is less likely to start snacking out of boredom. Plus, playing with the kids is awesome. No kids around? No problem. Take a walk after dinner or to an event in the city (especially if this mild weather keeps up!). In the end, whether its sneaking in a workout, walking, twerking or playing Rock Band, do as much as you can to just get up and move!

Yoga Pants + Holiday Dinners = <3

Nom nom nom, I love food. But really, who’s favourite part of the holidays isn’t the delicious food? It’s so easy to over-eat during the holidays leaving you in a food coma on the couch and your stomach in knots. For the actual meals, I start by drinking a full glass of water before eating to help me stay full. Keeping hydrated is something I struggle with regularly, so I try aiming for two litres of water a day. I make it easier to control my portions by using a smaller plate and by taking smaller portions of each item the first time around the buffet table. (You can always go back for seconds!) Speaking of seconds, I try wait between my first plate and second to give my stomach a chance to process and to decided if I am actually hungry still.

While eating your glorious feast, take your time. Slow down to enjoy the meal and the people around you. This will result in feeling fuller, faster. Try to space your drinks during the holidays too as we know how many empty calories that alcoholic beverages have. As well, alcohol prevents the body from being able to reabsorb water as easily, meaning you can become dehydrated very quickly. Try to drink a glass of water between each of your alcoholic ones and you’ll be thankful for the milder hangover in the morning. When it comes to dessert, you could opt to split a dessert with someone else or choose fruit instead. But, in all honesty, I am probably just going to eat the dessert.

As far as snacking goes, you’ll make your life a lot simpler by preparing some healthy snacks ahead of time, especially if you have plans to travel. Cut veggies and hummus, nuts, pretzels, and popcorn are all easy snacks for at home and on the go. By doing this, you can avoid unnecessary eating out especially during your busy days. (It will help save you money too!) Prepping slow cooker meals for dinners can also help you make healthier choices when you are short on time.

#TreatYoSelf

Remember, these suggestions are mostly about balance, instead of abstaining or eliminating the things you love about the holidays. No matter what you’re celebrating, focus on those around you and being in the moment. And if you do end up having that extra piece of pie, who cares? The new year is only a few weeks away!

Do you have any tactics or suggestions to add? Share them with us in the comment section.

-Emily

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