Candice Tess always had a passion for fitness and the idea of a fitness-related business. She just didn't know where she fit. So when Tess happened upon pole fitness, she worked hard to dispel the eyebrow raisers and bring a pole fitness studio to Lansing.
"It's the most amazing form of strength training I have ever done and it's awesome," says Tess. "It's closely related to yoga, gymnastics and acrobatics and the only equipment needed is the pole and your own body weight as resistance."
In the next few weeks, Tess will open the doors on Stilettos and Steel Fitness
at 6400 W. St. Joseph Highway. Tess will teach and hold classes in various levels of pole fitness, applying her expertise as a certified instructor through the Pole Fitness Alliance.
Tess worked with friends, family members and her "crafty husband" to gut, move or install walls, put in new floors and ceilings, and paint the 1,100-square foot studio. With purple as a signature color, the studio is cozy, warm and inviting, with a private pole room outfitted with six poles.
"It's pretty," says Tess. "We have a chandelier and we dim the lights when we do the dance part of the workout."
Tess says the 90-minute classes involve meditation, a yoga-based warm-up, pole tricks and spins, and a dance routine. People unsure of whether pole fitness is right for them can check out a one-time intro class or sign up for a mini-session. Membership options are also available.
Tess says she learned pole fitness through studios in Grand Rapids and Detroit since she couldn't find a studio closer to home. As her confidence and abilities grew, she became a certified trainer so she could share her love of the discipline.
"One of my main goals is to take away the stigma attached to pole fitness," says Tess, citing that the American Council on Exercise accepted Pole Fitness as a form of exercise in 2009. "People don't understand that it's not the same as being a pole dancer. It's a workout that's totally for you that helps you feel strong, confident and sexy."
Source: Candice Tess, Owner, Stilettos and Steel Fitness
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor