Five Things You Need To Know: Debunking ATL’s “Mommy and Me” Pole Workshop
Mani-pedis. Matching outfits. Mommy-daughter shopping sprees. If you had a TV in the ’90s and ’00s, you’d know this was depicted as quintessential Mommy-and-me time. Tiajuanna ‘Tia’ Harris is spinning this trope on its head – one pole at a time.
Harris, owner of Pink Dance and Aerial Studio, hosts Atlanta’s FIRST and ONLY “Mommy and Me” pole fitness workshop where moms can unleash their inner child with their daughters (or sons!), exploring a variety of fun pole tricks and spins. Despite the overwhelmingly positive reception and sold-out class, some online accuse the workshop of potentially hypersexualizing young participants.
The age-old adage insists that “Kids should be kids.” At Pink Dance and Aerial Studio, the kids are doing just that – being KIDS! Back in the day, before iPads became babysitters, we relished carefree moments—swinging, hanging upside down from the monkey bars, climbing, and sliding down pole climbs and parallel bars at the playground.
Fast forward to 2024 at Pink Poles Studios: these children are doing the exact same thing! Having carefree fun and staying physically active without electronics — except now, they’re swinging, sliding and flipping on a pole, under the guidance of a trained children’s gymnast instructor (as a bunch of moms and peers cheer them on in the background!).
Behind Pink Poles Studios: A Decade-Long Journey
Understanding the cultural significance of Pink Poles’ “Mommy and Me” workshop involves knowing Harris’ journey to building her pole empire. Over a decade ago, Harris, who has no exotic dancer background or affiliation with stripping, opened Pink Poles Studios with the aim of turning it into a popular nightlife spot in Atlanta. Recognizing a diverse clientle base of stay-at-home moms, working professionals (from doctors to public servants), and college students, Harris quickly tapped into this under-served market in the cultural Mecca of the South.
As the studio flourished and garnered a diverse, supportive community, it became evident that Pink Poles Studios was evolving into more than just a nightlife venture – it was transforming into a hub where individuals from all walks of life could find empowerment through pole fitness.
The media often misrepresents pole fitness as being the same as pole dancing at strip clubs. POLE FITNESS IS NOT STRIPPING; the children wear age-appropriate gym wear, and adult students are fully clothed too.
Pole fitness is not done for the male gaze or monetary gain (sorry, you can’t drop it low to pay your tuition at Pink Poles!).
Pink Poles’ performances draw crowds of fellow students, boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, parents, grandparents, and even a couple of kids!
Without getting into semantics, yes—you’ll engage in pole dancing and get your workout in at the same time! Harris encourages students to diversify their routines with Pink Poles’ aerial, trapeze, silks, lyra, burlesque, and chair acrobatics classes!
Impact of Pole Fitness on Mental Health
Spinning into Childhood: Pole Fun in a Safe Environment for Kids
In 2023, Harris expanded the studio at its new Lee+White location to include kid-friendly workshops, fostering a fun, safe environment for parents and their kids to bond, run, tumble, spin, kick, and be free!