Pole dancing for pit bulls

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Staff photo by Hillary Gavan

Pure Gravity Fitness instructor Chelsea Nicholson demonstrates dancing using aerial silks with her loyal pitbull Taz. A benefit for pitbulls called Pole for Pitbulls will be held on Aug. 29 showcasing pole fitness, dances with aerial silks and lyra, or dance moves through a hoop.

Pole fitness enthusiasts say they have more than just a little in common with pit bulls.

“He just has a little spark in him. I can relate to him. He’s my best friend,” said Pure Gravity Fitness pole and aerial silks fitness instructor Chelsea Nicholson about her pit bull Taz.

“Pole dancers are misunderstood, and so are pit bulls,” said Kyra Wieland, owner of Pure Gravity Fitness.

It’s why those at Pure Gravity Fitness decided to hold an event to raise funds for the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin. Wieland said many in the pole fitness industry have pit bulls and love them.

The Pole for Pit Bulls Aerial Art Charity Showcase will be held at 4 p.m. on Aug. 29 at Bushel & Peck’s Local Market, 328 State St. The event will include performances of pole fitness, dancing with aerial silks and lyra — dancing through a suspended hoop. The event is free, although donations will be accepted.

Nicholson said she’s always had pit bulls, most recently her “big baby” Taz.

“He’s not my first and not my last. They (pit bulls) are kind of like family. Other dogs are like dogs,” she said.

Wieland opened Pure Gravity Fitness in February of 2014 in downtown Beloit at 312 State St. It offers pole fitness, aerial silks and ballet barre lessons. Pole fitness increases core strength and features up to 600 moves.

Women have a variety of reasons for joining such as wanting a new element in their fitness routine, showing off pole moves to a partner or trying something new. Beginners to pole fitness can expect to learn moves such as the fireman’s spin or a simple-yet-elegant walk around the pole.

Nicholson said she discovered pole fitness and it never let her go.

“It found me. I was looking for something different. I’m not the kind of girl who goes to the gym, it’s too repetitive,” Nicholson said.

Wieland said most students who come to Pure Gravity Fitness are looking to try an alternative workout. Attending the upcoming event is a great way for people to learn about pole fitness moves or just enjoy an aerial arts show.

Several students will be performing on a free standing pole which will be set up. The youngest dancer will be 9-years-old with her mother Anneliese Hartman, a competitive poler, dancing as well.

For Wieland, poling helped her increase her core strength and gain more self-confidence with its graceful moves. Not only does poling increase strength and flexibility, but it can also improve self-esteem and mind-body awareness. She said dancing gives her a sense of freedom, feelings which sometimes get suppressed as one ages.

Pure Gravity Fitness also will be hosting circus camp for kids age 5 to 11, with aerial silks teacher Eva Wieland. It will be held Monday, Aug. 17, Wednesday, Aug. 19 and Friday, Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. - noon. Circus camp will teach kids Chinese pole acrobatics, outdoor juggling, costuming and more. The cost is $85.

Those who want more information can visit www.puregravityfitness.com or call 608-751-1330.

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