Today we’d like to introduce you to Joye Strickland.
Joye, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Looking back it’s funny how things fall into place. Ten years ago, I was in a totally different career path, dealing with Product Development and trend forecasting but also going through the changes we all experience in life, marriage, babies, etc… I had hit that point when you realize the dream you’ve been sold as your reality really isn’t where you are fulfilled. At the time, I had been under a lot of emotional stress which led to physical stresses ultimately affecting my health and well-being.
Being a person who is always optimistic and has always believed the best treatment for any individual is to first self-heal I knew I had to find an outlet. Who knew that outlet would become starting a business in a niche category such as pole fitness/dance. While doing some trend research, I came across a woman KT Coates (Vertical Dance Online) overseas that was instructing this thing called pole fitness, and I was very intrigued. Intrigue lead me to become addicted shortly after purchasing a pole that I installed in my garage and started training myself. Now, reality set in real quick after realizing that pole fitness was not as easy as the pictures/videos looked, however, there were no classes to go to or individuals here in the states offering options to learn and I was not going to be defeated. After an initial three month hiatus (from purchasing my pole and practicing a couple of weeks), I jumped back in, this time with an added vision of helping other women learn because I wanted to become an entrepreneur.
There were a lot of hurdles to maneuver, my family initially thought I had lost my mind. I remember my husband saying he did not want me being associated with stripping/exotic dancing. Most people associated pole dancing (fitness had not evolved yet) with the seedy side of the male entertainment industry, the crazy thing was even local clubs didn’t have holes in them because poles were considered distasteful for that industry. As I got more resistance about pursuing my interest and physically stronger, I knew I was on to something that other women would hopefully find beneficial. The fact that I wasn’t an exotic dancer actually helped me mold the style of instructing I wanted to focus on and how that would be represented which has held strong for the past 10 years and has never changed the Strickly A Tease mission.
I ended up approaching pole for the fitness aspect and became a nationally certified personal trainer/group exercise instructor/wellness coach. All these things helped me to establish a program that speaks to body mechanics and well-being aspects of what pole fitness can do mentally and physically for women. Our oldest participant is 60 years old and has been coming to sessions for the past five years (we secretly have been trying to get her to instruct, lol.) At Strickly A Tease, we also love the fun side and offer parties and workshops which works well because of our central location to everything Dallas has to offer.
It’s definitely been a relationship of ups/downs, twists/turns, climbs/drops and that’s not just on the pole! but one I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Has it been a smooth road?
I think the hardest part has been getting people to understand that you don’t have to sexualize sensuality. Pole fitness/dance does involve embracing the movement that most are not comfortable with, individuals also have to be comfortable with body image to pole because of the lack of clothing required.
We don’t wear a lot of clothing and most of society has a very negative outlook on body image, this can be a struggle to help them out of that mode of thinking.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Strickly A Tease is a studio dedicated to what we call the sensual side of fitness. We offer our classes for pole, chair, yoga, and boxing basically all or our apparatuses hag from the ceiling and we are located inside The Bodee Shop Dallas Design District.
At Strickly A Tease, our formatting is structured to help individuals acclimate pole fitness/dance into a program that is not just about the tricks most commonly seen being done by pole competitors but the everyday women/men who may be just starting a fitness program and want to spice things up. Our instructors are certified to not just instruct workouts but also carry out CPR/AED as we want to ensure the safety of all of our participants.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I believe Dallas is growing and with that bringing more open-minded individuals who do not find a business like Strickly A Tease offensive. I think starting out would be more about figuring out a specific location and how that relates to what a person would want to focus on. Classes would probably do better in more suburban areas, whereas if you were wanting to focus more on parties or workshops it might be better to be in a populated area where people are looking for things to do.
- $10 Intro 2 Pole Drop In (this is our group x style formatting for beginners)
- $150 party Special (this is our FB special found on our Page)
- Free Birthday Class (found on our website)
- Address: 1350 Manufacturing St #219, Dallas, TX 75207 (The Bodee Shop)
- Website: www.stricklyatease.com
- Phone: 469-826-9354
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: stricklyatease.as.me
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stricklyatease/
- Twitter: @stricklyatease
Eryk G Photography