BY KAREN PACKER
Five years ago Katie Marie was helping her boyfriend find car racing sponsorships when she unexpectedly found herself in a strip club. Confronted with all her inhibitions and biases about the dance form and its participants, she decided to take a pole dancing class to face and conquer her phobias, and her “organic feminine movement” was born.
“It was the first time ever I was able to move my body freely without worrying about consequence [or] image,” says the 29 year-old owner of Polistic, a new dance and fitness studio in Studio City that uses pole dancing, feminine movement, and meditation to empower women by teaching them to fall in love with and strengthen their bodies. (see special offer for MDF readers below)
Katie says she was instantly addicted to the dance form and immersed herself in the pole dancing world and in researching authentic forms of movement. Always a bit of a rebel, Katie has created her own form instruction that doesn’t focus on pleasing an audience with choreographed sequences, but instead allows each woman to tap into her emotions and freely express herself through individual movement.
Katie guarantees women that their “experience here will be completely different from what they expect before they walk in.”
The first noticeable difference is the absence of mirrors in the room. “It’s not about what the performance looks like. It has nothing to do with what your body looks like, but how you feel in it,” says Katie who serves complimentary champagne and cucumber water to students before beginning instruction. She says her students come from varied backgrounds with different personalities, occupations, shapes, ages, and sizes.
She starts the class with meditation, focusing on the breath and senses, and then adds movement and stretching and finally improvisational dance that incorporates the actual pole.
Katie describes her students’ personal journeys as beautiful. She has seen anxiety levels dissipate and confidence levels rise.
“When they walk in here I can see how little room they’re taking up in the world. As they [take classes they] move more openly in every part of their bodies.”
In addition to pole dancing classes she offers a Sexy Pilates class and various monthly workshops that teach lap dancing, strip tease and burlesque. There are also women’s wellness classes.
Katie hopes to expand to additional locations in the near future and would like to schedule more student retreats like the one to Mexico in August of last year. But she’s open to however her mission of empowering women evolves.
“Can you imagine the entire world if every woman fully knew and embodied her strength and power?”
In addition to classes, check out Polistic Pole Dance Party Time: Birthday Parties, Bachelorette Parties, Girl’s Night Out. They provide all the wine, champagne, and snacks for your group. Depending on group size you will have 1-2 instructors; events are two hours in length and are completely customizable. Gift bags are available a an additional cost. Parties are usually $50 per person. Call for more details.
MY DAILY FIND readers receive half price Intro Classes. The 90 minute Intro to Pole Dance classes are regularly $40 and include Complimentary Champagne. With MDF mention, it’s only $20. Plus, book a pole dance party a—all guests will receive a complimentary party favor!
Karen Packer is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but now calls the San Fernando Valley home. She has spent the last 15 years working as a freelance writer, teacher, and publicist.