For some of us dedicated to our pole dance journey, it’s important to keep conditioned and limber while traveling. Aside from the fact that muscle memory is notoriously short, there’s nothing easy about manipulating your body up, down, and around a vertical apparatus. The same can be said of other aerial art forms such as hoop and silks, and learning basic techniques is crucial before safely attempting more challenging ones. Even those who come from a fitness background, no matter how strong they are, are humbled when they take their first pole class. There’s nothing quite like it, and there’s no way to cut corners.

A misconception about pole dance is that it’s something you only see in certain nightclubs and therefore, that makes it inherently sexual. While some of the moves can be on the suggestive side, such as violator, they require a degree of athleticism that doesn’t come overnight. Not only are you fighting gravity to become airborne, but you’re also fighting to stay on the pole as long as possible. Only with time (and bruises) can transitioning from one move to the next look effortless.

Some credit pole dance for helping them regain confidence lost due to trauma and neglect, and Black people have carved a space for themselves within that world. Organizations such as Black Men Pole and Black Girls Pole, infuse this unique dance form with some much-needed melanin. Instructors like Roz Mays, Zen Oasis, and Dey Phoenix are letting folks know that no matter what your shape or size, you can learn to pole dance.

If you want to keep your pole skills sharp during your domestic travels, here are 10 Black-owned pole studios in the U.S. that you should visit.

Secret Garden Pole Fitness Boutique- Georgia

Atlanta, sometimes called the strip club capital of the U.S., is home to Secret Garden Pole Fitness Boutique.

Located within the Atlanta Industrial West Office Park, it’s owned and founded by two Black women, Hennessy and Cherokee.

The studio takes pride in being friendly and welcoming of all students regardless of skill level. After all, everybody has to start somewhere.

The studio offers group classes, private sessions, and private parties. You can find the list of drop-in classes and sign up here

Brooklyn's Finest Pole Dancing Studio- New York


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vel (@brooklynsfinestpole)

This New York studio is open exclusively to women aged 21 and over.

Classes are divided into: Poletry Newbies, Beginner Poletry, and Intermediate/Advanced Poletry.

It’s recommended that you take at least 3-4 newbie classes before advancing unless you feel you could benefit from more. Each class is an hour long.

A common question concerns attire. While you don’t have to wear the most revealing clothes available, exposed skin helps you stay on the pole. Just be sure not to put on lotion or oil prior to class!

As for footwear? Beginners generally prefer barefoot, while others like wearing high-heeled shoes. It depends on your comfort level.

Fempress Fitness- Illinois


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Fempress Fit (@fempressfit)

This pole studio in Chicago is Black and woman-owned/operated, and it celebrates femininity.

The name is a portmanteau of “feminine” and “empress.”

As explained on the website, “in folklore, the image of the empress is our deep connection with femininity. Femininity translates in many ways – beauty, sensuality, creative expression, nurturing – and is necessary for creating balance. The empress calls you to connect with your energy, create beauty in your life, and get in touch with your sensuality using all of your senses.”

In addition to pole, consider aerial hoop or hammock classes. If you’d prefer something that is more connected to the ground, take a twerk workshop.

Posh Fitness- Ohio


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Posh Fitness (@poshfitness)

If you’re Ohio bound, take your pick of the following classes courtesy of Posh Fitness.

The Pole Classes are: Intro, Beginner, Mixed and Pole Climbax, intended to challenge the muscles of the lower body.

There are also general conditioning classes including Absession and Assets, Bootique, and Chairplay.

My Pink Cherry Pole Studio- North Carolina

Located in Raleigh, this studio’s staff consists of professionals of color.

Aside from pole, there are other dance classes including Feelz With Kahlil and Twerk And Werk.

If you’re looking for a more traditional fitness class with a dance twist, check out Dance HIIT, Booty Bootcamp and Limitless Fitness.

There are also the Cherry Series courses, pop-up classes and workshops.


Foxy Fitness and Pole- New York and New Jersey

The New York studio is conveniently close to Penn Station and several train lines in Manhattan.

The founders are Ashley Fox and Virgil Avery, and all of the instructors are women.

If you take the Low Flow Pole class, which entails a lot of floor work, consider bringing kneepads. Heels make for a nice accent, but they are optional.

On the third Friday of every month, there’s Foxy After Dark, an open-level class. The website describes it as follows:

“Crawl, clack, twerk, and wave your way through a sexy routine with your friends – throw back some drinks and unwind for a complete Girls Night Out NYC strip club experience! Pull out your sexiest outfits and heels; don’t be shy and get ready to get LIT!”

Sign us up!

Hourglass Exercise Studio- California

This Los Angeles studio opened in September of 2020- the first year of the pandemic. The founder, Shafonda Atkins, was actually a cheer competition coach, and this spawned her love of fitness.

Whether you’re taking a pole class, Stretch & Flex, Core & More or a personal training session, the goal is to make you feel as confident as possible in your body and your skin.

Kiki Dance Studio- Arkansas

This lively pole studio is located in Jonesboro, and was created by Kyjione “Kiki” King.

While weight loss is almost guaranteed when undertaking any aerial fitness class, this isn’t the only benefit.

As indicated by the website, “you’ll strengthen your core, increase flexibility, tone and increase overall strength. Most importantly, you’ll build confidence and relieve stress.”

Outside of classes, this dance studio hosts two kinds of parties: The Hotties Party, which is billed as the most popular and the KDS Exclusive Party.


Teazers Pole Fitness- South Carolina


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Teazers (@teazerspolefitness)

This “adult playground” invites students to put some joy and laughter into their pole journey. Sure, some discomfort is bound to happen, especially for newbies. Embrace it as part of the journey.

Teazers has been the premier studio of its kind in Myrtle Beach since it opened in 2013.

In observance of pandemic-related social distancing, there isn’t any pole sharing allowed and masks are required. Make no mistake, wearing a mask makes pole tricks challenging, but it can be done.


Pole Felony Fitness- Florida

When you aren’t spending the day at the beach, enjoy a vertical adventure at Pole Felony Fitness in Miami.

The studio centers safety above all things and all body types and fitness levels are welcome.

Beyond pole classes with catchy names like Crime Climbs & Invert Infractions, there’s yoga, twerking classes, and Flexy Felon, designed to stretch out those sore muscles.