The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
Shanyn’s Artistic Strength Studio (SASS) is a fitness studio for those looking for something different, something challenging and something that works.
And it’s all done on a pole.
Opened in June 2010, SASS is a place where anybody, of any age or gender, can get a total body workout in a unique way. SASS offers stretch and conditioning classes alongside pole dance fitness, aerial silk and Lyra (hoop) dance.
Shanyn Pollard is the owner and instructor and says she started pole dancing in 2005 after the birth of her second child, and she is her own walking testimonial of its effects.
"At age 30, after having two children, I’m in the best shape of my life."
Pollard says pole dance fitness is for everyone and the benefits are "endless."
"I’ve had all sizes, shapes and ages come into my studio, and with persistence and motivation they were able to see results. [SASS] is able to give you challenges that are achievable in order to make you feel successful."
Pollard invites those who want to try pole fitness to a free class before committing. As well, SASS hosts "pole jams," where one can come and see the action without obligation.
"Pole jams are great for beginners and will give an opportunity to experience all the different levels of pole dance by either
watching or partaking in the events."
Sheena Winger, 28, started pole dancing for fitness in January 2009, after she got married.
"I was getting really bored of the gym and not seeing results. It’s now been over two years and the pole is still my addiction."
Winger says she purchased a pole for her home and started learning advanced moves and tricks on her own.
After a year, she says, she felt she couldn’t learn any more by herself, started searching the Internet and found SASS.
"I don’t know if was fate or destiny, but one day I googled ‘Ontario pole dancing’ and accidently found a forum on a pole jam event at a new studio down the street from [where I live.]"
"So I tried out SASS, met Shanyn and now SASS is my second home. I feel like I am blessed to have found someone who will teach me at my own level, at the pace I want."
Winger encourages everyone to try pole fitness.
"My 50-year-old mother-in-law tried it out and she loves it. If she can do it, anyone can."
SASS is at 687 Barton St. in Stoney Creek off Fruitland Road.
Pole jam events are scheduled for March 19 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. and April 10 from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.
A full list of class options and dates is available on their website at www.polefit.ca or call 905-992-9395 for details or to register for classes.