Female quartet launch pole and aerial fitness studio
There’s absolutely no limit to what women can accomplish. For four fierce women, who shared an ardent interest in wellness, an exciting journey led to the launch of a new business – pole and aerial fitness – and an unexpected yet inspiring sisterhood.
The Mall was abuzz with pole enthusiasts last Saturday as the owners and instructors of Ellani Aerial Fitness offered teasers with free half-hour beginner sessions, designed to introduce what the pole, aerial ring and hammock fitness were all about. “We started at 10 a.m. and went into half-hour increments back to 2 p.m.. The response was incredible. It’s great to be passionate about something, share with people and have them be passionate about it as well; it’s very rewarding,” Gabrielle Chung, one of the company’s owners and instructors, told Lifestyle.
Students got way more than they bargained for and had fun while exploring their flexibility, upper body and core strength, as well as confidence, all while breaking a sweat.
Chung continues to share this exhilarating sentiment, explaining that she got into pole fitness by chance after a friend of hers bought a Gustazos package to attend two-for-one class at a studio. Unsure of what the session would entail, they went with an open mind. Her friend, a male, was shocked beyond measure by his discovery, feeling awkward and out of place upon arrival. Chung was also surprised, but in a different way. Delighted by the new activity, she felt right at home as she embraced this exciting experience. And has been a pole queen ever since.
“[My friend] As the only male in the class, it was a big joke. But I was hooked. I kept going back,” she shared. After a year of going to classes, she decided to elevate her pole game by teaching herself. Before she knew it, Chung had actualised a mysterious talent, posting her tricks and treats on social media, connecting with the pole community, while sharing with other people.
Requests would come in from interested persons for Chung to teach and she was delighted to impart those unique skills to others. She began with family, teaching her cousin at the time and then she developed a clientèle, instructing a host of students from her living.
She sought certification with International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and is now a group personal trainer.
As her numbers grew, she realised that she outgrew her space, and needed an actual studio that could incorporate more students and more aerial features. And that’s when the idea of the business bore fruit.
During her pole adventures, Chung had crossed creative paths with three other beautiful souls at a studio, who were also ecstatic about the fitness form. Their names are Danielle Carr, Shanelle Sterling and Shani Forbes. And they would become her business partners.
“Two of us went overseas to study on the aerial hoop. And we found that there weren’t many places who offer hoop or hammock classes. And then we thought what if; what if we could create a space where it’s not just about pole classes, but it’s also about learning on the hoop and hammock as well. That’s how the four of us came together to open Ellani Aerial,” she told Lifestyle.
The company name is a combination of all the first names; the Ell in Shanell, Danielle and Garbielle and the ‘ani’ of Shani. The quartet actually had the moniker as the name for their group chat, so it was only fitting to extend that good vibes to the business.
Chung highlighted that there are a host of fitness benefits when it comes to pole and aerial dynamics. She had enrolled in the gym with the hope of doing a free hanging pull up one day. After two years, she found no luck in that department. With six months on pole, she was able to effortlessly do several pull up reps.
“You get stronger with each class. You will have more coordination. You will be more aware of your body and you will trust in yourself more. You will gain strength and see improvement in mobility and flexibility. But it also has a mental component. Seeing the confidence in yourself, what your body is capable of and how far you can push yourself are definitely beneficial,” she said, adding that it’s a real bonding experience for women in the class especially.
It was on that bonding foundation that the instructors were able to build their business and they foster that same level of harmony and support in their classes. The team provides a safe space to motivate others in focusing on their own personal journey. So it is highly recommended that you come for the experience – you won’t be sorry.