Oh hey, beauties!
It's me! Your OG Pole Mama, Erin Smith.
It's time for an evolution.
If you don't already know me, I've been a pole dancer since 2007 after the birth of my twins, and then quickly moved into an instructor position. Seeing a need in the community for a higher standard of safety, education and responsibility for our industry, I set out to start my own studio. Okanagan Pole Dance became my newest "baby" in 2013 and it's a project I put my heart and soul into to grow from a tiny baby nugget of studio. Initially, I rented an hourly space that I hauled six portable poles in and out of once a week for a few hours. When we had enough students, we moved into our first physical location at Spall Road in Kelowna. We also travelled to other close small communities to host workshops. Other aerial sports became incorporated into our programs including aerial hoop and hammock and our team kept growing. Finally, we moved into a bigger, beautiful location to accommodate our progressive growth, located on Hunter Road. It was beautiful and awesome.
During these years in the studio, I have seen thousands of students learn pole and aerial at my studio and I've personally apprenticed, and hired almost twenty different instructors over the years. I've hosted hundreds of private parties and private lessons, and watching each student is always like my own child progress at a new skill. Some of my "pole babies" turn into my instructors and then created their own pole babies... does that make me a pole grandmother now?? I prefer the term pole dino. :D
When COVID-19 hit our community, OPD+AF survived two very long government-mandated shutdowns. A third lengthy shut down came out of nowhere, and after being closed more than we were open, I had to made the extraordinarily hard decision to shut down the physical location of
Okanagan Pole Dance + Aerial Fitness in the spring of 2021. It was soul shattering. But protecting my family's financial stability was my first priority. I took a break to grieve and heal, then plan my wedding and get married. During this time, I had time to search my soul for a new direction, and learned that the connection and love that I have for seeing people succeed in pole + aerial is strong enough to survive anything.
I am evolving my "studio" to bring you pole + aerial empowerment in a new way.
A way that reaches farther than my own local community.
Join me in my metamorphosis and let's evolve to a beautiful, more resilient version of ourselves together.
I want to see my students succeed, and develop new strength and confidence in themselves, as I always have.
I want to show you how you can start over, start again, start now.
Now we evolve as a new project:
Okanagan Pole Dance + Aerial Fitness is moving ONLINE.
As time progresses, I will also be selecting students for online private lessons, and eventually, a select few for in-person private lessons.
I'm also focusing on a new facet of coaching that I'm currently in training for.
What is it?
It's a surprise, but it compliments my goals for my students in pole, aerial and life in general. So stay tuned for that!
Over time, you will see tutorials and lessons added to this website as they are ready. So make sure you stay connected on our socials and back here on the website. I'm excited to go on this new journey with you all and can't wait to teach you some new bada$$ skills again.
As I always have, I accept all students who want to learn pole. Age, size, shapes, gender.... everyone.
Pole, aerial and the empowerment that comes with it.... it is for everyBODY.
“I have been under the supervision and guidance of Erin for almost 2 years now. She is a fantastic teacher and coach, with an abundance of patience and knowledge. With her years of experience and abilities, Erin has accumulated quite a following here in the Okanagan. She teaches not only at a beginners level, helping those who need that extra encouragement at the start, but at all levels! She continues to be learning herself and is committed to making what she teaches diverse and as fun as possible.
In any given week during a class you can find yourself not just working on executing tricks and moves, but also working on fluidity in our movements and piecing together combos and routines. I know each week that Erin will have an objective for the lesson, be it working solely on floor moves, or a new trick she has discovered during the week, and this instils confidence in me and the rest of the class. We are here to learn and Erin's passion and dedication has us coming back week after week.
Sure, I may leave class some weeks feeling frustrated that my body isn't doing something I want it to - a trick that seems to want to defeat me - But the following class Erin will tell me this is the day I'm gonna do it. And even if I don't, she'll still tell me how I was so much better this week and how I've improved, even if I haven't! It's this encouragement and positive attitude that sees Erin’s class always fully booked.
From the high energy warm up and crazy dance moves, all the way to our fancy dress classes and disco ball, it's a fun filled class. You'll forget you are technically working out! Pole dancing has become my passion and a new way of thinking for me and I'm loving every second of it! Bruises and all!”