Guelph dancer Jordan Vaughan has tried many exercise regimes to stay in shape but none have offered her the fun and fitness benefits of pole dancing.
“It’s the only way I will work out anymore,” said Vaughan. “It’s not only a workout, it is really fun and you don’t notice you are working out until you’re done. It is a different form of training your body than going to a gym. I just really hate lifting weights over and over again. I find that really boring.”
The fitness aspect is less important for Vaughan than making friends and building a poler community in Guelph.
“Since I got involved in the pole community, which is not just in Guelph but all over the world, I have traveled to other studios and they are all so welcoming,” she said. “Anybody who is a poler is so excited to meet a new poler.”
She hopes her studio will encourage would-be polers in Guelph to join the wave.
“It is so underground still but I will go to Milton to see other studio owners and they are like ‘come on in,” said Vaughan. “Let’s take some pictures and do some promo.’ It’s not a competition. We work together. We have groups on Facebook. We give each other advice and support.”
Vaughan was born in London, Ontario in 1993, the youngest daughter of Jeni Vaughan of Guelph. She grew up in Rockwood and Guelph where she developed a love for dance.
“I have been a dancer my whole life,” said Vaughan. “I started with hip hop when I was very young, probably about 10 or 12.”
She considered a career in the hospitality business and even trained with a chef at a popular downtown restaurant but her lifelong passion for dancing won out.
“I went to Strictly Rhythm for a few years and then I changed to Flying Dance Company,” said Vaughan. “I danced there until I was probably 19. I did belly dance and salsa and all the Latin dances pretty much.”
Her interest moved to pole dancing and when she couldn’t find a studio in Guelph she decided to start one of her own.
“In 2016 I opened my doors at Flying Dance Studio renting by the hour,” said Vaughan. “I had about 250 clients. Some of them were one-time clients but on my list I had about 250.”
There was a bit of a learning curve in the beginning.
“The first six poles I bought came with weighted stages that were about 300 lbs each,” she said. “You have to put each one together and take it apart at the end of each class. I was doing that all by myself with six poles.”
In June of last year she decided to scale back and teach from her home.
“I have been running private and semi-private lessons but it is really hard to have a business in your home,” she said. “I only have two poles in my room so I could only have tops, two students. Now I have the proper poles. I have a business plan. I have my own space. My sign is going up the first week of June.”
The studio on the main floor of the Royal Inn & Suites on Carden Street will allow her to teach group classes and introduce more people to the benefits of pole dancing.
“I love dancing and it is a new form of dancing,” she said. “I have always been a little bit of a black sheep in my family and I have always been an artist and so I am trying something new and it clicked and I love it.”
Classes are open to everyone and will not be limited to pole dancing.
“We will be offering twerk classes, choreo classes, pole dance classes, conditioning classes and we will definitely be doing heels classes,” she said. “We will have some classes that are female only, some that are male only because we want everybody to feel like they have a safe space. Otherwise there is no age limit, no weight limit, no sex limit and I want to be really open to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Her business plan is simple.
“I want the business to sustain itself and honestly, I want to see a larger pole community in Guelph,” she said. “It's a good way of socializing, meeting new people and making lasting friendships.”