Rachel – My Personal Pole Journey

Hello, my name is Rachel Skye. And I wanted to share my pole story with you. The moment I took a whirl around the pole in my first pole dance class, I knew that pole was going to be my life. I just never knew how much it would change my life (for the better)!

Rachel skating. Circa 1999.
Rachel skating. Circa 1999.

I’ve been a very active person my whole life. I took gymnastics as a kid; became an aggressive rollerblader as a young teenager; started getting involved with kickboxing and step aerobics as a young adult; and even taught aerobics classes at a summer camp. I’ve also been a very daring person, never afraid to try something new. So on my 18th birthday, my mother and I went skydiving. Being up in the air, flying, was the ultimate high. Nothing but air beneath my belly and the ground. It was truly an exhilarating experience for me.

I had to leave that world behind and begin college. College didn’t lend a whole lot of extra time for exercising. And the little bit of free time I did had, was devoted to cutting loose and going out with friends dancing. It could of been worse. Needless to say, I wasn’t in the best shape of my life.

After school, I worked in Hawaii on a cruise ship for a year. I took advantage of the ship’s fitness facility when I could, but it was still something I had to force myself to do. Following my time in Hawaii, I took a job in Philadelphia and finally settled down to a full-time career. Even though I maintained a decent amount of physical exercise in my life, I wasn’t completely happy with my body. I wanted to be stronger and leaner.

So in December of 2008, I was determined to get into better shape for the new year. And pole dance was going to help get me there. I got the idea in my head while watching a TV show. The line that stuck out in my head: “Strippers have the best bodies in town. If you want the body, this is how you get it.” I immediately began researching pole dance studios in Philadelphia. And it just so happened that a new pole studio opened up close to work and my home. I signed up for a 7-week session right away! I will never forget my first pole class at Flirtastic Fitness. I had a blast learning spins and transitions around the pole. I couldn’t wait to come home and tell my roommate all the fun moves I just learned while demonstrating on a broomstick!

Rachel at Flirtastic Fitness. June 2009.
Rachel at Flirtastic Fitness. June 2009. Pole dancing for 6 months.

I took to pole, like a fish to water. Everything came naturally to me. And before the end of the 7 weeks, I was climbing to the top of the pole! I was officially a pole junkie! I couldn’t get enough. I would arrive 15 minutes early to class just so I could practice. I was progressing so fast, that the studio owner asked if I would like to apply to be a pole instructor. I didn’t think that I was ready, but she evidently felt that I was. After four months of classes, I auditioned for the instructor position and I got it! Now I was no longer paying for classes, I was getting paid to train and teach! I spent a minimum of four days a week at the studio practicing, training and learning the pole curriculum. I may have been a full time Graphic Designer, but teaching Pole Dance became my passion.

I was feeling stronger than ever before. My pole skills exceeded beyond the pole curriculum at Flirtastic Fitness, so I began teaching myself the really advanced tricks. I endured a lot of bruises from learning new tricks. But I was determined. I would push past the pain. I was in love with the feeling of weightlessness. I could hold my body in positions that would defy gravity. And just like jumping out of that perfectly good airplane, I felt like I was flying again!

Rachel at the playground. June 2010.
Rachel at the playground. June 2010.

While I devoted ten years to fitness with mediocre results, pole dance whipped me into shape faster! I was losing weight and gaining muscle at a steady rate. I also noticed that my posture improved and my self-confidence flew through the roof. I was a new person. Inside and out.

After two years, I began performing and competing. It was thrilling to showcase my vertical acrobatic skills to the crowd. I felt like I had run away to the circus. I knew from the beginning, that pole dance would change my life. Because of pole dance, I have a strong, healthy body, I have showcased my skills on TV, music videos, concerts and art events and made close friendships with people from around the world.

I am extremely excited and honored to bring Pole Dance to Lancaster City, where I can share this phenomenal gift. Pole Dance can only change you for the better.

Rachel Skye
Rachel performing at the BPA Charm City showcase. November 2013.
Rachel Skye
Rachel competing at the Atlantic Pole Championships. May 2013.