Local woman opening pole fitness company in eastern Idaho
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IDAHO FALLS – A new type of exercise experience is coming to eastern Idaho this spring.
Pre-registration is now open for pole fitness classes at The Pole Experience, a new tenant moving into Patriot Park at 2295 North Yellowstone Highway in Idaho Falls the first week of May.
Owner Chelsea Barnes tells EastIdahoNews.com there are sometimes misconceptions about this type of business. She says The Pole Experience is about fitness, and is not related to strip clubs, dancing or anything of a sexual nature.
“I’ve gotten that question a lot,” Barnes says. “A lot of the classes are similar to Zumba, very upbeat and fun. We’ll be (using a pole) and doing squats and lunges and things like that to build body strength, not any kind of dance routines.”
There are three levels of classes focused on developing full-body strength, muscle definition and flexibility. Those who graduate from these classes will move on to more advanced instruction in Inversion 1 and 2.
“Inversion is kind of like what you see on TikTok and Instagram — people flipping upside down, doing crazy spins, climbing a 12-foot pole, and back bending down the pole. Those are things you should not try to attempt right off the bat,” says Barnes.
Barnes was introduced to pole fitness in 2011 after graduating from Ririe High School and moving to New York City. One of her friends had lived in Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada, where pole fitness gyms were fairly common.
They drove past a pole fitness gym while on a road trip in New York and decided to take some classes.
“They had six levels at the studio I went to. I was at level four when we moved back here (in 2014),” Barnes says. “A lot of the very high up, aerial stuff, I had a little bit of experience with but I hadn’t gotten quite to that stage.”
With no place to practice in eastern Idaho, Barnes tried continuing with her own pole at home but was ultimately forced to give it up because the space wasn’t big enough.
She first thought about opening a pole fitness business of her own several years ago.
“I was probably seeing five posts a week on social media asking if there were any pole fitness or pole dancing places. We’d been sitting on a business plan for two years and decided we just need to do it,” says Barnes.
Just as the project was gaining momentum, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and put a halt on everything.
But she’s excited the project is moving forward again and is happy others seem to be interested as well.
“We already have three classes that are full. Registration is open for seven others … and they’re at least half full,” Barnes says.
Classes are open to anyone 18 and older. Barnes is eager to share something she’s passionate about with others and invites locals to give it a try.
“I want to emphasize you don’t have to have the perfect body strength (to participate). Any stage you’re in with weight or age, you’re welcome to come,” she says.
Barnes worked with Randy Waters at SVN High Desert Commercial and Century 21 High Desert in acquiring the 1,400-square-foot space. Patriot Park is next to State Trailer RV and Outdoor Supply.