The Benefits of Pole Dancing for Your Mental Health

Pole dancers are happy people!
Pole dancers … they’re happy people!

Let the Healing Begin! Pole and Mental Health

In this tumultuous political climate, where it’s often hard to come to grips with the state of the world, many people are yearning for that strong sense of community and acceptance that somehow became scattered in recent years. And now more than ever, people are turning to an unlikely place to find it … their local pole studio.

A Pole Dancer’s Brain

Is pole dancing the solution? Maybe not entirely, but it sure can help—a lot.

Symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and postpartum depression, and even low self-esteem are all issues that can be alleviated by partaking in physical activities like pole dancing.

You see, while it may seem a little unconventional, pole dancing has a unique and powerful way of helping people to restore their confidence and reclaim their sensuality, all while building incredible strength.

Yep—it really can!

As pole instructors, we help create a culture of movement. We’ll support you as you figuratively move out of unhealthy thought patterns and move away from negative self-talk—and as you literally, physically move, dance, fly and tumble. 

The pole community is made up of people from all walks of life: from the gender non-conforming to the stay-at-home mom, from those battling eating disorders to those overcoming addiction. Pole forces you to be vulnerable in a loving, judgment-free zone. 

A community of girls at Kinetic Arts Tucson pose with pole star Jenyne Butterfly.

When you commit to something like pole fitness classes, you’re committing to challenging yourself, to stepping out of your comfort zone, and to having fun socializing with accepting, like-minded peers. 

So often we hear phrases like, “Leave your issues at the door” in a half-hearted attempt at encouraging mindfulness. Instead, what if we accepted people as they are, in the moment, allowing them to be their authentic self? This is the culture we strive to create. This is where healing begins.

The positive effects of pole dancing for mental and physical health has been clear to its participants for years, and now researchers are taking notice, too. Learn more about the science behind pole dancing here.

Top 5 Tips to Get Stronger in Pole

Top 5 Tips to Get Stronger in Pole

We’ve all been there before … browsing through the Instagram feeds of our pole idols, watching wide-eyed in amazement as they spin effortlessly from one epic trick to the next, thinking to ourselves, “I have to learn that!  I want to get stronger—like, now!”

Kinetic Arts Tucson - Top 5 Tips to Get Stronger for Pole.

While there’s no “quick fix” in the dance and fitness world, there are some sure-fire ways that you can use to supplement—and even speed up—your progress. Read on and as we share our top five industry-approved tips for building strength, power and stamina for pole dancing.

1. Improve Your Overall Fitness 

Cardio and strengthening exercises are a fantastic way to boost metabolism, shed body fat, and increase stamina. Stamina is important when you’re working up to dancing for an entire routine.

Kinetic Arts Tucson has several class options for off-the-pole cardio and strength training. One of our most popular is Aerial Conditioning. Aerial Conditioning is a floor-based, low-impact, aerobic and calisthenic workout. It’s expertly designed to complement the specific needs of pole dancers. 

2. Body Weight Exercises

Kinetic Arts Tucson exercising for pole.

For the days you can’t make it to the studio, pick a few of these tried-and-true exercises. They’re efficient and don’t require any special equipment.

Start by choosing one exercise each for your upper body, your core, and your lower body. Cycle through 8-10 reps of each exercise set and do them three times with minimal rest in between. As you progress, add more reps—and if you’re feeling particularly frisky, throw a few burpees in between sets.

  • Push-ups 
  • Planks/side planks 
  • Handstands
  • Russian twists
  • Crunches 
  • Tricep dips 
  • Squats 
  • Lunges 
  • Burpees

    Remember, even when you’re working out at home, it’s important to spend a few minutes warming up to avoid injury. 

3. Yoga 

This woman doing yoga just might be great at pole dancing. The move she's doing, called "mermaid," helps with shoulder flexibility, which many polers covet.
This woman doing yoga just might be great at pole dancing. The move she’s doing, called “mermaid,” helps with shoulder flexibility, which many polers covet.

The health benefits of this ancient practice are well documented and extensive. Not only does yoga enhance your fitness and flexibility, but when practiced regularly it can also reduce stress, improve sleep and bring balance to your life. Oh, it just might improve your splits and inversions, too! 

4. Nutrition 

Kinetic Arts Tucson nutrition for pole.

Our bodies are the vehicles that drive us, so it’s important to be mindful of what we put into them. Eating a nutrient-rich, balanced diet will ensure your body has the fuel that it requires to function properly. And of course, stay hydrated. Drinking water will help flush out toxins, raise energy levels, and has even been said to improve flexibility. 

4. Consistency Is Key 

Kinetic Arts Tucson - consistency is key.
Spoil yourself with consistency and you’ll get the results you want.

No matter what combination of workouts you enjoy doing, one thing is for certain: consistency and commitment is key. A strong commitment to your practice will allow you to steadily improve. As you continue to move forward, set new goals for yourself along the way. With hard work and dedication, you’ll amaze yourself with what you can achieve.

5. Rest 

Pole dancers tend to want to hit the studio 24/7. But, alas, we’re not super-humans (we’re unicorns—duh!), and we need rest. Taking a couple of rest days each week allows our muscles to build, repair themselves, and adapt to their new capabilities. Listen to your body, cherish it, and be kind to it. 

Kinetic Arts Tucson - Top 5 Tips to Get Stronger in Pole

The Takeaway 

The fact of the matter is: the journey of pole dancing is a marathon, not a sprint. The tips listed above are just a small selection of practices that will round-out your training regimen and help you get stronger over time. If you’d like help structuring a personalized training program, let’s chat! . We also offer customized private lessons—learn more.

No Pain, No Gain: Does Pole Fitness Hurt?

You’ve heard the saying “No pain, no gain!” But what if I told you that the battle wounds you’ll likely endure during pole classes will make you feel more like a warrior and less like a worrier?

Bruises and Blisters and Pinching … Oh, My!

Yes, there’s some pain involved in pole. Think of it as a badge of honor for a job well done. If it hurts, you’re probably doing it right! (That’s another saying—in the pole world!)

You shouldn’t feel like you’ve broken a bone. But if your skin feels uncomfortably pinched as you learn your first pole sits, then you’re on the right track. As you continue to train, you’ll condition the sensitive areas and build up a pain tolerance. You’ll welcome the developing calluses on your hands, because they’ll help you grip the pole. You’re transforming from a “regular person” into a “superhero poler!” (And  the discomfort subsides—I promise!)

Pole dancer in the “Superman” pose

Gimmie More of That Sore

Pole is truly a full-body workout. You’ll likely feel soreness in muscles that you didn’t even know existed. Of course, if you’re beginning your pole journey with a strong fitness background, that will help—but even the fittest of athletes have told us they felt some soreness after their first pole class. And that’s OK! It means you’ve gotten a good workout. And the more often you exercise, the less sore you’ll feel in the long run.

If you do feel sore after you pole, it’s important to get up and moving a bit the next day. Even a a light yoga sesh or a quick walk around the neighborhood to get the blood flowing will have you feeling better in no time. For more relaxation, make yourself a nice, hot Epsom-salt bath. Epsom salt helps soothe aching muscles.

Remember: it’s important to stay hydrated and fuel your body with nourishing foods.

A beautiful Remi sit by pole dancer @akrosja, via Instagram.

The Good News

Pole is unlike other workouts largely because it doesn’t really feel like you’re working out. You’re having so much fun that the time flies by.

Most students at our studio end up taking a couple classes in a row without planning to because they enjoyed the first class so much!

The Takeaway

Once you have the basics figured out, the strength you begin to develop will let you progress much more quickly and feel less sore. As the muscle soreness subsides, you’ll be focused on your new skills (and the next ones you want to rack up!). The incredible rewards pole brings, both physically and mentally, will make you feel more confident and empowered than ever. And no wonder—you’re walking around holding your head a little higher on top of a body you’re more and more proud of! (For lots of polers, newly sculpted muscles pop up amazingly quickly. For others, they take a little longer to show. No matter which stage you’re in along the journey, though, you’ll be proud of your body for what it can do.)

Kinetic Arts Tucson student Natalie shows off her incredible back muscles.

It’s easy to lose the motivation to stick to a mundane fitness routine. That’s the beauty of the novel, absorbing classes offered at pole and aerial-arts studios (ahem, like Kinetic Arts Tucson!). Pole fitness … well, let’s just say “mundane” is the last adjective it can claim.

Happy poling!

—Rori Chacon


Common Misconceptions About Pole Fitness

Do I Need to be Strong or Have a Dance or Gymnastics Background to Start Pole Fitness?

Myth: ”I’m not strong enough to pole dance.”

This is one of the most common misconceptions about pole fitness and the number-one question we get asked at the studio. And it’s no wonder, since awe-inspiring pole stars are increasingly present on platforms like Instagram, YouTube and even TV talent shows. Their flawless displays of strength and grace leave us mesmerized.

While there’s no doubt these performers are strong, they’ve also likely been training on the pole for years. Remember: Everyone starts somewhere.

Keep reading to learn about how pole can be accessible to just about anyone .

Since pole is relatively new to mainstream dance and fitness circles, you might take comfort in knowing that the vast majority of students who attend classes at Kinetic Arts Tucson (or KAT, as we like to call it!) are new to the sport. It’s an activity that people of all ages, body types, and genders truly can and do enjoy. And because pole can be low-impact and versatile, even those who have certain physical restrictions can participate in the fun.*

Do I Need be “In Shape” Before I Start Pole?

The short answer is … Nope! Pole works your muscles truly unique ways. You use your own body weight as resistance to create beautiful spins, poses, and tricks.

So while someone with a weight-lifting background might find certain moves a bit easier than, say, someone who doesn’t consider themselves athletic at all, the truth is that most people new to pole start on a pretty even playing field. Beginning classes at Kinetic Arts Tucson are truly for beginners.

What Can I Expect at My First Class?

At Kinetic Arts Tucson, we’re serious and passionate about helping you build your strength and technique safely from the start.

Classes generally begin with a light cardio warmup to get your blood flowing; some active and passive stretches to have you feeling nice and limber, followed by a “power set” of conditioning exercises. We usually condition using the pole, light hand weights, and calisthenics.

These exercise sets take only a few minutes, but the impact they have on the success of your pole training should not be underestimated.

Once our bodies are all warmed up, your instructor will guide you through some fundamental pole moves. Newbies can expect to learn things like how to do a pole walk, different types of grips, and how to sit, and some basic spins.

Once you become comfortable with the spins and poses you learned, you will be shown how to put them together into a sequence. Congrats! Your first pole combo! Class ends with a brief cool down, and there’s usually some time to take a picture or video, if you wish .

Progress at Your Own Pace

Our curriculum is expertly designed to gradually build up your strength. You’ll be challenged, but you’ll have fun.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re coming in with a background in fitness or you haven’t been to the gym in years—your instructor at KAT will offer the proper adaptations, spotting, and support as you embark on your epic pole journey (and it will. be epic!) Over time you’ll feel an incredible sense of accomplishment as you notice yourself getting better and stronger. Your confidence will soar as you start to nail new spins and tricks that you once struggled with, and your fellow students will cheer when you unlock each new goal.

So Where Do I Sign Up?

We’re thrilled you’re interested in joining the KAT family. Hop over to our store to check out our various class packages. You can pay and book right here on our website, or you can send us a message at [email protected] and we’ll happily help you get started.

For your first class, dress in workout shorts and a sports bra and/or tank top. Heels are totally optional in our leveled classes (we also offer a heels-specific class called “Flirty Flow” for when you’re feeling frisky). Please skip any oils or lotions on your skin the day of class (in order to let you grip the pole), and no exposed jewelry that could scratch the pole.

We can’t wait to meet you!

*As you should with any physical activity, check with your doctor before participating in pole if you’re injured or have any other conditions that might affect your pole journey.

Coach Rori Chacon is always happy to answer any questions that you may have about modifying your pole workout. Contact her at


Summer Events at Kinetic Arts

Greetings and salutations to all our students, supporters and event attendees! We’re incredibly thankful to be your home for aerial arts, acrobatics, ballet, art gatherings and so much more. From workouts to wellness workshops, Kinetic Arts Tucson (KAT for short) is the place to be. Read on to learn about some of the events we have planned this summer. 

Our class schedule will update slightly over the summer. Current class listings can be found on our website, on Facebook, on our Meetup Page, and in the Wellness Living app. To access your Wellness Living account, enter the same email you provided in your registration form when you signed up for your first class. The app should prompt you to create a password. Let us know if you need any assistance.

Here at KAT, we’re always striving to enhance our studio and your training opportunities. Have you seen our gorgeous new tumbling floor? How about our newest X-Pole? That’s right—Kinetic Arts is growing in beautiful ways, with much more in store for our incredible Tucson community. If you haven’t taken a class in a while, we invite you to get back in the swing of things and soar with us all summer long! 

Join us this summer as we continue our gymnastics sessions on Saturday mornings with instructor Shawn Calendine. The Kids Gymnastics is from 10 – 11 AM, which is perfect for any parents that would like to take Pole Fundamentals. Parents and kids can stretch and play at the same time!

Pole Fundamentals is the Intro to Pole class that we believe anyone and everyone can do! If you have injuries or restrictions, please let the instructor know. We will guide and support you accordingly. Our dance studio is a space for people of all levels to condition and connect with their body and lean into the beauty of self-expression through dance and movement. Try a class today!

We’re doing it again! Clean out those closets and shelves and bring stuff to swap to KAT for our Studio Appreciation Day & Clothing Exchange

This event also features… a food drive! A potluck! Fitness and pole “teaser” classes! It’s free and open to the public. Invite your friends and family to the studio for a fun afternoon. 

Kinetic Arts Tucson presents MonSwoon: Live at the KAT Club, our next quarterly showcase! Our previous showcase was a sold-out event featuring incredible dances, choreographed by our amazing instructors and students. Please, mark your calendars and join us for our next performance. This is a family-friendly event and open to the public.

This is a Call to Artists across all mediums and creative platforms to contact us with ideas and artwork. We invite you to work in the theme of the monsoon season of our beloved Tucson!

Desert landscapes and desert sounds! We have an art installation we’d like to construct as a collaborative piece. There is tons of room for art to display on our walls, hang from the ceiling, display on tabletops and so on and so forth. Lots of possibilities.

DEADLINE TO APPLY IS: June 21st. Please contact us early on to let us know you’re interested so we can begin to capture your vision for what you’d like to create in the space or to send us images of your work for consideration. THANK YOU KINDLY!

July 13th will be the opening night, which will be our quarterly showcase of choreographed dances by our instructors and students. This Call to Artists includes our deep desires to collaborate with spoken word artists, poets, prose and storytellers! We would love to feature you in the interludes of our dances!

Much more info available on these ideas and more. Please contact us by email at: [email protected]. Looking forward to hearing from you ♥

The Daily Wildcat Visits Kinetic Arts Tucson

We’re so happy to share this article in the University of Arizona’s paper, The Daily Wildcat, all about our studio—with a special emphasis on how great pole can be.

In “Empowering Women Through the Art of Pole Fitness,” local journalist Taylor Gleeson does a great job of expressing how pole dance and pole sport has personally empowered the two KAT women she interviewed, owner Brenna Mirae and pole teacher Anna Mirocha.

“Both Mirocha and Mirae stressed the importance of body confidence in women, and both agreed that pole is a great way for women of all ages to feel empowered and more confident with their bodies.

“KAT offers a variety of classes, including flexibility, aerial hoops and cardio, all with the goal of making the studio a ‘fun place to work out’ while also being a welcoming place for women and men.

“Both said they hope that this studio and the classes help grow each customers self-confidence and become part of a family.

“‘There’s just something about it [when] girls help each other,’ Mirocha said.”

When Gleeson came to the studio for the interview, she even tried a pole class herself—along with an enthusiastic friend she brought along. Both young women loved the class, agreeing it was fun and satisfying (and declaring they’d be back!). We can’t wait to meet more University of Arizona students at Kinetic Arts Tucson. KAT is a perfect place for Wildcats, after all.

Kinetic Arts’ New Student 3-Class Pass


Pole is for all genders, of course, though this article takes the opportunity to mention how beneficial it can be for women, especially young women (like all you college women out there, hint hint!), who may be still developing their sense of self—or, hey, girls who just want to have fun!

And fun is definitely one of our goals in each of our classes. At Kinetic Arts Tucson, lovingly referred to as KAT, you can “get your pole on” seven days a week. We have an incredibly affordable introductory class package for new students: 3 classes for just $23. This is our way to really encourage those who are new to pole fitness, or just new to the KAT studio, to really give our pole classes a spin.

The New Student 3-Class Pass can be used for any of the eighteen classes we currently offer—which, besides pole, include two lyra (aerial hoop) classes and four aerial-conditioning classes.

Our conditioning classes are basically fitness classes anyone can take, whether or not they’re pursuing pole classes. But these classes are specially designed to help students strengthen and condition muscles that are absolutely crucial for performing with skill and ease on the pole and hoop. They’re also choreographed, which helps students improve coordination, loosen up, and naturally gain confidence and grace while moving. (Besides making the workouts incredibly fun… Not a single fitness class goes by without laughter and smiles.)

All our classes are leveled, and all our instructors are trained and ready to help each student progress in the art of pole. Brand-new students usually start with our Pole FUNdamentals class, which we offer three times a week, and progress naturally into Pole 1, Pole 2, and then more advanced classes as they master specific skills in each level.

Come by today and take your first class with our New Student 3-Class Pass! We guarantee you’ll get hooked on this empowering and fun fitness phenomenon.

December Events at Kinetic Arts Tucson

On Saturday, December 8, we hosted a fabulous Chair Dancing Workshop. Kinetic Arts Tucson (KAT) instructor Katie Ottley brought her flirty & fun expertise of chair-dancing tricks and choreography to students and members for a 2-hour workshop. This was our featured workshop of the month. Every month we aim to bring our students dynamic workshops to add to your performer portfolio! 

“This workshop was so much fun. Can’t wait to see more workshops led by all of our talented staff.” – Chair Dance Workshop Instructor, Katie Ottley

Friendship is Magic

"Friendship is Magic" show at Kinetic Arts Tucson, December 21st.

You’re invited to a magic show like none other! Join us this holiday season for an all-ages, original act with Tucson-born and world-traveling performers Special Head and Clay Mazing.

In 2013, Special Head was featured on America’s Got Talent performing his awe-inspiring levitation act. Clay Mazing, founder of Emergency Circus, and Special Head have traveled the country performing at state fairs and rodeos. Emergency Circus is a nonprofit that has traveled near and far to bring “the best medicine” — laughter — to the “under-circused.” You won’t want to miss seeing their show at Kinetic Arts Tucson! 

The show starts at 7pm, $10 entry, free for kids 12 and younger.
There will be an opening performance before “Friendship is Magic.”

Following the magic show, stay for a funky dance party for all ages to enjoy. Bring your squiggle feet and let’s boogie! 

Artist PUTRIDroaches and original art work. On display now at KAT for viewing and purchasing. Join us for the Closing Reception on Dec. 29th.
The artist, PUTRIDroaches, and her work. On display now at KAT for viewing and purchasing.

Kinetic Arts Featured Artist: PUTRIDroaches
Closing Reception, SATURDAY, December 29, 6-8 pm 
FREE EVENT INCLUDES: Aerial performances, hot chocolate and example copy of PUTRIDroaches NEW coloring book 2019 calendar will be available for ordering.

Artist Bio: 
PUTRIDroaches has been creating art since she was a very young girl. She has experimented with many different mediums finding that her favorites have been illustration, fiber arts and metal work. She is currently focusing her attention towards developing science fiction coloring books. Surrealist monsters and humanoid creatures are her specialties. 

Her latest book serves as not only a therapeutic coloring experience but also a monthly calendar. Order your copy at the closing reception on December 29th!

See more work by PUTRIDroaches at

We’re excited to announce that next month we’re hosting an AcroYoga Workshop with Serena Tang! Saturday, January 19, 1-3 pm

Unlimited membership at Kinetic Arts Tucson for $100 a month.

KAT Quarterly – Issue no. 1


We hope  you enjoy our first-ever quarterly e-newsletter, which will hit your inbox every season (in addition to other must-know email updates on all things KAT). We’re so excited to share what’s happened since our opening—plus, of course, to announce what you can look forward to this fall.

First, thank you all so much for your support during this amazing opening season. We took a big leap of faith by launching in the heat of a southern Arizona summer, but you all really showed up for us. After arriving in droves to inspect our new space during our June 22 grand-opening gala, you approvingly followed up with a likewise impressive attendance of our Roaring ‘20s–themed event, “Speakeasy: Live at the Kat Club.” Our favorite Speakeasy memories include a raffle, a cakewalk, a vaudeville variety show boasting talent of all ages, the acrobatic antics of the lovely Kat Crew performance troupe, and live music by Bam! The band.

And if you missed either event, don’t worry—there are plenty more fun, family-friendly happenings coming up. For proof, just read on.


  • Sat., Sept. 29: Join us for the classy burlesque workshop “Flourish: Dance Fitness for the Fabulous” with professional performer and bikini bodybuilder Sonia Rita. Put on your dancing shoes and let your inner showgirl shine during this evening of vintage dance instruction and inspiration focused around feminine empowerment, to take place 6 to 8 p.m. at the KAT studio (17 E. Toole Ave.). Visit for more information.
  • Sat., Oct. 13: We’re excited to be a spotlight of a show dubbed “the Call of the Fairies,” a spectacle to behold on a large outdoor stage near our downtown headquarters—specifically, behind Hotel Congress, 55 N. Fifth Ave. We won’t give away all the deets yet … but we do want you to join us in dressing up in fairy wings! No wings? No worries: We’re also hosting a wing-making workshop that same week, on Mon., Oct 8, inside the KAT studio starting at 4 p.m. (Trust us—these wings will look so cool you’ll want to wear them on Halloween and maybe even for November’s All Souls Procession too.)
  • Oct, 27, from 7 to 11 p.m., We’re excited to bring to you, Spirit House- Live at the Kat Club. The inspiration for this title came from the southeast Asian tradition of a spirit house as a shrine to the protective spirit of a place. A spirit house is a dedicated structure to honor the guardians of the land. Kinetic Arts Tucson is at it again with event that will leave you spellbound. Join us in honoring the spirits and become entranced in dance and live performances. We will offer food and beverage. Cakewalk, bob for apples and sign up for the raffle and art opening featuring local Tucson artist. A night to remember and of remembrance. Bring an item to place on the altar. The Altar will stay up till after All Souls as a tribute to The Spirit House and to honor the season.
    Admission is $10- $25 Sliding Scale
    Doors open 6:30
    7:00 Art Opening Live Music by Hatpin Duo
    8:00 The Spirit House Vaudeville Show
    9:30 Dancing and Revelry

Fall Schedule

We opened with a bang, offering as many classes as often as we could so we’d learn about your preferences. We knew we’d need to make adjustments some time down the road.

Well, that time has come! But don’t worry, we still have the great classes you’ve grown to love and lots of time slots to choose from … not to mention new classes, too!

Starting Sept. 1, we’ll offer more pole level 1 and 2 classes than before, including one called Flirty Flow (bring your heels if want, or borrow ours!). Off the pole, new instructor Katie Ottley—a super fun woman with an extensive dance, fitness, and teaching background—will be teaching a free class Saturdays at 9 a.m. called Cardio Dance Groove, offering a great way for you (and your friends) to enjoy our space while getting your blood moving and your heart pumping.

Katie is also offering a new class Tuesdays at 6 p.m. specifically designed with parents in mind—grownups can come take a fitness class at the same time as their aspiring superstar polers attend Kids Pole Sport, taught by Rori Chacon, a mother and a USPF pole sport regional champion. We’re still in the process of writing our curriculum for an entire kids’ program, so look for a full list of kids’ classes late fall, when we plan to offer kids’ tumbling, yoga and ballet. For more information on the kids’ program and to get a taster of what Kids Pole Sport is all about, come to our Kids Pole Sport open house on Tues., Sept. 4, at 5 p.m.

Our updated schedule is always live at Sign up for classes today.

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for our next email, and keep dancing your art out with us!

Brenna Bean
Kinetic Arts Tucson
Owner/Artistic Director

Kinetic Arts Tucson is a progressive and inclusive pole, dance, and acrobatics studio located in the heart of downtown Tucson. Our cutting-edge aerial programs push the boundaries of dance, art, and fitness as our award-winning, certified teachers passionately bring you the best instruction and opportunities in the industry, helping you boost your wellbeing while having fun.

We offer a wide range of recreational and competitive classes in a variety of disciplines for adults and children alike … and for those who love the spotlight, our spacious studio doubles as a performance venue. We regularly host community events giving local artists, musicians and dancers—like you—a chance to shine.

So if you’re searching for an effective workout, a creative outlet, or just a new experience, come on in. Our friendly staff and encouraging group of students form a fitness family waiting to help make it happen.