Tammy Frazier of A Pole New You
Meet the amazing, incredible Tammy Frazier, owner of A Pole New You!
How did you get started pole dancing?
I co-owned and operated a traditional dance studio in 2006. A group of mommies from a local affluent community asked my business partner to bring pole fitness classes to the studio. Not familiar with the concept, we researched and thought the concept sounded great! It was difficult to find someone in our area at the time to teach a class. We found one person over an hour away that was willing to travel with her two stage poles to us to teach a beginner 6-week course. The first day of class, all of the movements felt awkward, as there was no other vertical apparatus I had ever worked on. But, a week later when I took class #2, everything fell into place, and I fell in love with a new fitness and dance form.
How did you make the leap to offering pole dancing classes and/or opening your own studio? What was that like?
I was so inspired by how pole made me feel, that there were only three months between the time I took my first class, decided to transition from my traditional dance studio business to my pole studio business, organized and incorporated my studio business, and started teaching beginner pole classes. It was amazing. I felt like everything I had ever done led me to owning and operating A Pole New You.
What has been the most important thing you’ve learned in running your business?
I am an independent person, but I had to learn that I can’t do it alone. I had to learn that admitting I need help is okay, and who to ask for it.
If you could help your students in just one way, what would you want to do?
Take them all to Pole Convention! What an incredible experience to be around so many like-minded, but unique people; to be around so many people in one place that are supportive and passionate about pole!
How do you take care of yourself, given all the pole dancing classes you teach?
Exercise is the best medicine. As long as I was in shape, my body did not have a negative response to teaching pole. Over the past two years, after foot surgery, I have become more about the business of running the business than teaching and training. Slowly, but surely, I am getting back to it … and my body (and body image) will love me for it!
How would you describe your personal style?
As dance has been my passion for over 20 years, I love expressive dance styles. Whether it was hip hop or lyrical, I enjoyed using the body as an instrument to emote the music/lyrics. Just like with any art form, the audience should be moved to feel something. So, in one word … expressive .
What is your biggest struggle as a pole dancer?
Wow, am I suppose to choose just one? Lack of flexibility in my hips, degenerating disc in my back, making time for self-improvement, and getting people to stop whispering the word pole at my full-time job (I am an 18-year veteran school teacher).
What was your most memorable pole moment? Why did that mean so much to you?
When I was told by a client who is a three-year breast cancer survivor that she hadn’t felt beautiful for a long time after chemo, but “I felt that way again after the first time I left your studio.” My mother and my husband’s mother both lost their battle to breast cancer, so this, in particular, is near and dear to my heart. To provide a service that promotes fitness and makes women feel good about themselves is a joy in itself, but to provide a service that can make a breast cancer survivor feel beautiful again … there are no words to describe that feeling.
What have you learned that has made the biggest difference to your pole dancing?
All things pole are possible if you keep training.
What do you wish more pole dancers knew?
If you could help your fellow pole dancers in just one way, what would you want to do?
Single handedly change the stigma of pole.
Who is the person who has had the most impact on your dancing? Why?
While Felix Cane was my first pole idol, Phoenix Kazree has had the greatest impact. She studied with my favorite dance company of all time (Ailey), and I love that her classical dance training is incredibly evident in every performance. Her lines are so clean and her performances so expressive. I want to be her when I grow up. ) My body tells me my prime as a dancer is over, but a girl can dream … and live vicariously through her, as her manager!
What are your favorite words of encouragement?
Everyone starts as a beginner.
Learning to pole is like learning to ride a bike (over and over again!). It doesn’t happen unless you keep trying. Then, one day, suddenly, for no reason that you necessarily understand, you get it, you don’t fall over, and you enjoy the ride!
Favorite pizza toppings:
Pepperoni, pineapple, black olives.
Cupcakes or ice cream?
Haven’t been a big fan of either in most of my adult years, but lately ice cream!
What do you like to do when you’re not pole dancing?
Read when I have time … and when it seems like there isn’t time for anything, schedule a Caribbean vacation and go scuba diving.
Anything else you’d like to share:
I would like to thank all of the boyfriends, husbands, friends and family that support their pole women. Women that don’t have that kind of support draw strength from those that do. Keep up the good work!
If you’re in Maryland and want to study pole dancing – or if you want to see the incredible Phoenix Kazree perform, get in touch with Tammy Frazier of A Pole New You!