A lot of people wake up every day and go to a job at an office that, while it isn't very exciting, at least pays the bills. Of course, most of those people have interests that are a lot more intriguing than database management and how to properly program a copy machine. Beneath the thin veneer of every accountant, copywriter or sales rep could be someone who juggles torches, moonlights as a trapeze artist, or even somebody who strives to master the art of the great American pole dance. Such was the case with Seattleite Krisha CatZen, the founder of the Pole for the Soul pole dancing studio.
CatZen worked in office administration for years before she developed a desire to learn how to pole dance, but when she searched around Seattle for a teacher there were none to be found. A short but intensive stint in Los Angeles with a host of talented mentors gave Krisha the skills necessary to bring the art of the pole back to the Emerald City where she decided to open her own studio so other women could benefit from her experience.
Today, Pole for the Soul is a thriving dance studio that aims to teach women of all ages and body types the methods and the mindset of modern pole dancing. The program is far from a "stripper school". The clothes stay on at Pole for the Soul's classes and the philosophy is significantly more student-centered. The studio exists as much for the wives, the soccer moms and the shy college students of Seattle as anyone else. It's a safe, private environment where women can learn how to feel strong and sexy for themselves, not just for other people.
"It's about transforming yourself," says CatZen. Like any workout program, Pole for the Soul is a method for attaining the health and body image you desire, so there are no prerequisites except a willingness to learn.
Pole for the Soul serves as a fine centerpiece for the discussion of the Sex Positive movement and its place in cities like Seattle that are so known for being environments that nurture it. In truth, there are two sides to the free, unashamed philosophy of self and sensuality, even in liberal bastions like Seattle. There is a core of vocal Sex Positive people in the community, but there are still many individuals who want to live an unashamed life but who simply don't know how to start. Pole for the Soul isn't just a place for the card-carrying Sex Positivists to pick up some new tricks, it's a gateway for others to the confidence and overall health at the foundation of the movement.
Pole for the Soul registers new classes monthly at a variety of skill levels, from the beginner's course to more advanced techniques. There are both afternoon and evening classes. All participants must be women and at least 18 years of age. The maximum class size is six people, so there's no getting lost in the shuffle (or getting out of participation by standing in the back). Pole for the Soul students should also be aware that it's one heck of a workout, especially for the abs and arms. Again, there is no nudity whatsoever in the classes and participants will never be forced to do anything that makes them uncomfortable.
So, if you happen to be a working stiff or a shy student in Seattle with a secret fascination with the sensual art of pole dancing, there's a studio on the north side of town where the principles of confidence and empowerment are as sturdy as the poles on which you will be swinging.