How to start a pole dancing fitness studio

Pole dancing and aerial studios are becoming extremely popular amongst those wanting a new way to keep fit and have fun at the same time. 

Once seen negatively by many, pole dancing is having a resurgence in popularity in recent years as participants enjoy the benefits of three forms of exercise while having fun in a tight-knit, inclusive and body positive environment.

“The negative judgement from outsiders seems to strengthen the bond of those within the pole dancing community and when people do start classes they form strong bonds with fellow participants that helps them continue their pole dancing journey,” said Joanna Nicholas, from the UWA School of Human Sciences in a media statement about her research into the sport.

“Classes facilitate an environment in which there is a strong sense of inclusion and acceptance, including body appreciation. One huge benefit for women that we can see from our research is that it is great for increasing women’s esteem, confidence and a healthy body image.”

Dr Nicholas said the activity also had multiple physical benefits, not to mention the social and emotional benefits of group exercise:

“Pole dancing is unique as it combines three forms of exercise - cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and flexibility – so it’s a good choice for achieving different types of exercise in one work out.”

Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering opening up your own studio. 

1. Do your market research

Market research is vital to ensuring that your business has the potential to be profitable. 

Compare similar-themed classes and decide what you like and don’t like, keeping track of what they do right and what you’d like to avoid. 

2. Ensure you’re confident with your teaching skills or engage qualified teachers 

This one should go without saying: make sure your skills are where they need to be for a teaching environment and if not, hire people who can teach. 

You’ll need to be able to answer questions around safety, attend injuries, help build skills and most of all host an engaging, fun and safe class. 

3. Check the requirements for licenses and qualifications 

Check with the local council and state government websites to make sure you hold all the necessary permissions prior to opening the space. 

4. Find a studio space

Finding the right studio space is something you’ll have a gut feeling about. The space would benefit from a reception desk, a bathroom, change room and shower for your clients to freshen up after their session. 

Paramount on your list of requirements should be ensuring the space is safe for clients and staff with adequate fire exits, and ventilation. 

5. Ensure you have adequate insurance 

When it comes to business insurance it’s best to seek advice from a provider and compare their offerings. 

Read more in our complete guide to insurance coverage for gyms and dojos

6. Secure adequate equipment 

Make sure you’ve got all the facilities and equipment required for a quality class. 

For example, typical equipment would include properly fitted poles and safety gear like mats and knee pads. 

7. Set up a website

If you’re handy with setting up websites then this will be a cinch, otherwise there are professionals you can engage to set up a website for you. 

Here’s everything your website needs

Setting up a website will allow clients to find you online.

8. Formulate a marketing plan

Marketing is a necessary tool for getting the word out about your new business but it doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Here’s our guide for marketing to different types of people at the gym

9. Minimise admin stress by using gym management software

Let Clubworx handle the scheduling and member management while you focus on doing what you love. You'll have all the tools you need in one place to manage your fitness studio as well as ongoing technical support and advice.

From managing contracts and processing payments, to performance measuring and business analysis, Clubworx will support your fitness business journey.

10. Set achievable business goals

Setting business goals is great for any business at any time but especially those in their first few years of operation. 

Here’s our guide for setting achievable goals

Dance studios
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