Pole Fitness Blog | Bittersweet Studios

Flexibility at Any Age

Increase Your Range of Motion

Some of the most frequent questions we hear from new students are in reference to flexibility.  Everyone wants to be as flexy as possible as quickly as they can so they can get into all of the fun new moves they’ve seen on the internet.  Just like it takes time to build your strength so that you can do new moves safely, it takes time & patience to improve your range of motion in a healthy manner.  Trying to force yourself into stretches improperly can lead to hypermobility rather than flexibility.

Flexibility vs. Hypermobility:  What does this mean?

When we stretch, our goal is to elongate our muscles.  After we elongate them, they return back to their original length.  This is a property called elasticity. Our ligaments are short bands of fibrous tissue that connect the bones of our joints together.  Unlike muscles, they have a very limited amount of elasticity. If they are stretched beyond that, they will not be able to return to their original length & will become “lax.”  Lax ligaments cannot properly stabilize joints & can lead to injury down the road. This is why it is imperative that your flexibility training is done slowly & safely.

Is there an expiration date on flexibility?

One of the most common misconceptions we encounter is that your ability to increase your flexibility decreases with age.  New members are often discouraged by younger students who have near contortionist abilities. They assume that they’re “too old” to be that flexible.  The good news is, this is false. You can improve your flexibility at any age! Obviously, as we age, becoming more flexible does not come as easily as it did when we were young.  As we progress through our 20s, 30s, 40s & up, we must listen to our bodies & take things at a pace that is conducive to our fitness level at the time. Like anything else, you must listen to your body.

Use it or lose it!  Consistency is key.

Increasing your range of flexibility takes time, patience & consistency.  Just like learning a new pole or aerial skills, you must consistently practice in order to improve.  We currently offer our Stretch & Flex class three times weekly. Tuesday nights at 6 PM, Wednesday nights at 6 PM & Saturdays at 12 PM.  Whether you have goals of becoming a contortionist, or just want to be able to touch your toes, we can help. Join us to learn safe, proven techniques to improve your range of motion!

Instructional Variety: The Spice of Training

Why only sticking with your favorite instructor could be holding you back…

Our instructors play an important role in our pole & aerial journeys.  They do so much more than just teach us moves & combos. Motivational speaker, drill sergeant, & therapist are just a few of the many hats an instructor sometimes wears.  Just like we do with all of the other categories of people we have in our lives, we tend to have favorites. It may be their personality, their style of teaching, or the style of music they play in their classes, but most of us tend to have one or two instructors that we gravitate towards.

This isn’t a bad thing.  Connecting with your coach on a personal level makes you more comfortable & can certainly benefit your training.  But there is just as much progress to be made outside of your comfort zone!

We’ll make all kinds of crazy excuses to ourselves about why we don’t want to take a particular instructor’s class. Maybe you don’t care for their warm-up, the music they play, or their particular style of teaching.  Perhaps your personalities don’t click or you just simply can’t stand the sound of their voice. There is a never ending laundry list of reasons that we can concoct when we are trying to stay in the safety of our comfort zones.  But the truth is, the list of benefits that we can reap outside that zone far outweigh any excuses we can come up with.

Breaking It Down

Switching up your instructors may help a move that you have been struggling with to finally click.  It could be their technique or simply how they break the move down & explain it, but sometimes just hearing it from a different perspective may get you the clarity you’ve needed.  Maybe a newer instructor will be able to relate to where you are in the learning process because she still remembers very vividly what it is like when you are just starting out. On the other hand, a more senior instructor may have better verbiage to break things down for those of us who are more technical.  If your goal is to someday become an instructor, it is of great benefit to be exposed to as many teaching styles as possible throughout your journey.


Does an instructor compete or perform?  Is their style sporty or sexy? These factors will likely carry over to what they teach & how they teach it.  Even if their style is on the completely opposite end of the spectrum from yours, they can still benefit your training.  They will be able to offer a fresh, new perspective on something that you may have been struggling with.

Building Blocks

While we spend a great deal of time learning & perfecting tricks & combos, we all know that there are many other factors that play equally important roles in our growth.  Warm ups, cool downs, conditioning, flexibility, nutrition & rest are important factors in our training. Don’t forget that your coaches can also offer a wealth of knowledge in these areas too.  What works wonders for your favorite instructor may not always go as well for you. Taking class with a variety of teachers will open up a whole new world of helpful training tips & techniques.

You know what they say…variety is the spice of life.  It is also the seasoning that can take your pole or aerial training from plain old instant rice to a nice, spicy paella.  So get out of that comfort zone & see just how much progress there is to be made!

Bungee Fitness is Here!

You Asked For It You Got It!

bungee class

Bungee fitness is here & we are so excited to have this brand new workout at our studio! Many new students are apprehensive about their current level of fitness when it comes to aerial arts like our pole fitness or aerial silks classes. The bungee workout will help students build their strength and fitness in order to feel more comfortable trying out something new & gravity-defying. Bungee fitness is for EVERYONE. Bungee training will help you gain strength, control, and cardio to build your total body fitness. No matter your current fitness level, you will be challenged in this invigorating and fun class.

The bungee attaches to a luxury, padded harness that goes around your waist and legs to keep you secure & comfortable throughout the workout. We have several different combinations of bungees to accommodate all of our students, so come in and give it a try!

Bungee Fitness is a low impact, high intensity workout that can burn up to 1200 calories in just 30 minutes. This anti-gravity based training stimulates muscles with less pressure being put on the joints. Bungee exercise targets core strength horizontally in a manner that vertical training just cannot match. Bungee training is a fun alternative to an everyday strength training workout that boosts muscle power, strength, balance, & agility.

We are excited to see how the bungee workout elevates our current students’ fitness foundations, as well as meeting more friendly faces that will benefit from the strength & confidence that bungee brings. Come join us in the future of fitness!

Bungee Fitness Class

Find Your Fitness

I’m not sure where the time goes, but somehow we are already three months in to 2018!  So…how are those new year’s resolutions going? By now you should be making great strides or, if you are like the vast majority, they’ve already been completely abandoned.  While that may sound a bit harsh, it’s true. Statistics show that the majority of resolutions never make it past the first quarter of the year…especially fitness related resolutions.

Why is that?  The most common answer is LIFE.  Life happens. We get busy & things just fall by the wayside.  Most of us are already so busy with our day to day lives that fitness just feels like another chore we are trying to cram into an already over-booked day.  It is tough to remember that fitness is a healthy, loving thing that we are doing for ourselves & our bodies. We are also not likely to make a priority out of activities that we don’t really enjoy.  The idea of fitness as an enjoyable activity sounds crazy to most people, but believe it or not, you can fall in love with fitness. You just have to find what works best for you!

Most of our members will tell you that they have tried numerous types of activities in the past to stay fit. Eventually, however, they just got bored & quit. Traditional fitness activities are not for everyone. Sometimes you have to step outside the box & get creative.  We decided to talk to a few of our members to find out what it is about pole fitness & aerial fitness that has kept them committed & consistently coming back for more.


How long have you been taking classes at BS?

I have been a Bittersweet member for somewhere around two and a half years.

What is your favorite thing about the studio?

The Bittersweet family is my favorite thing.  If I’m down and out or not feeling inspired, the BS family is there to pick me, make me laugh, motivate me, encourage me, and just over all be there for me.  

What about pole fitness has kept you consistent where traditional fitness has failed in the past?

One word, one syllable: FUN!  With pole I have so much fun learning new tricks and there is always something new or changing with the sport, so you always have a goal to strive for.  With traditional fitness I was always SO bored and I felt so limited by the workouts or weightlifting I could do. I would look up videos of new workouts and it is the same thing over and over.  The sky’s the limit with pole and aerial fitness.

What would you say to someone who is interested but has reservations?

“Oh my gawd!  I want to try that so bad.  I just need to lose a little weight (or gain upper body strength) first.”  I hear that ALL THE TIME! I tell them that the only thing they need to do is walk in that door.  Strength comes with the practice and time you put into it. The hardest step is just walking through the door to your first class.  Everyone is just so excited that you’ve taken the opportunity to come into our crazy little world and want to be apart of it. No one has fun on a treadmill, come dangle with us!


How long have you been taking classes at BS?

A little over 1 year.

What is your favorite thing about the studio?

The friends I’ve made and the uplifting/warm atmosphere.

What about pole fitness & aerial fitness has kept you consistent where traditional fitness has failed in the past?

Of course pole & aerial fitness is an amazing workout, but it’s so much more than that. It gives me an opportunity to express myself in a creative and fun way that I just couldn’t get with traditional fitness or in a regular gym.

What would you say to someone who is interested but has reservations?

Don’t be intimidated or hesitant at all and don’t compare yourself to others. We all have different strengths, and that’s what makes things interesting and awesome. There is a place for every body, everyone, every personality, etc!!


How long have you been taking classes at BS?

I’ve been taking them for about 10 months now.

What is your favorite thing about the studio?

I think it’s that there are so many different classes, you aren’t doing the same things over and over. And the very supportive atmosphere with the attendees and the teachers, I love that too!

What about pole fitness & aerial fitness has kept you consistent where traditional fitness has failed in the past?

The fact that it’s fun! It’s different every week, so it never gets boring, but you’re also doing things that help you see progress week after week. It’s very motivating to see that you’re not struggling as much with this spin or that aerial move. Both pole and aerial make you feel good about your body too, makes you feel strong and sexy, even if you don’t have the perfect body.

What would you say to someone who is interested but has reservations?

Don’t let your reservations hold you back! There are lots of people who have the same concerns: who have no upper body strength, who have never done anything like that, who think they don’t match what a pole or aerial artist looks like. Don’t let that stop you, there are lots of us who feel the same way, and we’ll be very welcoming! It’s a really warm community and we always help each other through everything. You’ll be so glad you came to join us!

Pole Sports and Arts World Federation (POSA) Championships 2017

On December 15th and 16th three of our youth athletes competed in Vaduz, Liechtenstein at the Pole Sports and Arts Association (POSA) World Championships. Haley Pafford, Athena Roberts, and Jayden Vyne spent months preparing for this international competition after qualifying in March 2017 at the US Pole Sports Federation Championships here in Jacksonville at the University of North Florida.


Haley, age 16, has been dancing her entire life and first started taking aerial classes with us, but soon fell in love with pole sports. Her incredible flexibility and grace are always inspiring and her performances are beautiful. She has taken classes at many dance studios throughout Jacksonville, FL, but her favorite is Bittersweet Studios!

How long have you been taking classes at Bittersweet? Almost4 years now.

What is your favorite aerial class? I enjoy Kat’s Lyraography class a lot.

What is the most fun part of competing? Definitely not the preparation! I love actually performing it on stage and showing everyone what I’ve built during hours of practice.

What advice do you have for someone taking a pole class for the first time? Take an Epsom salt bath afterwards!

Athena, age 11, began her athletic journey in figure skating and wanted to take aerial classes to improve her strength, balance, and flexibility. While taking aerial classes at Bittersweet Studios, she grew curious about what was happening on the other side of the curtain and took a pole class. She discovered the joy of dancing on and around the pole and her strength and flexibility have definitely improved in her two years of taking aerial classes.

How long have you been taking classes at Bittersweet? About 2 and a half years

What is your favorite aerial class? Silks.

What is the most fun part of competing? The relief of getting the routine done!

What advice do you have for someone taking a pole class for the first time? Try your best: it doesn’t come easily but you’ll get it!

Jayden, age 14, has worked tirelessly over the past several years to hone her skills in all areas of aerial dance at Bittersweet Studios. She loves both lyra and pole and always chooses unique music for her performances, using her extreme flexibility to create one-of-a-kind movements. She takes multiple aerial classes a week with us and we’ve loved seeing her strength grow!

How long have you been taking classes at Bittersweet? For about 2 years

What is your favorite aerial class? I love to take the Lyra classes

What is the most fun part of competing? I love meeting people on the team and from other countries.

What advice do you have for someone taking a pole class for the first time? Just try your best and don’t give up.

4 Year Anniversary Showcase

On Saturday, November 12th we had our four year anniversary showcase, and to make it even more fun, we had a 70s theme! Our students loved the theme and ran with it, dancing to music that ranged from “I Will Survive” to “Bad Company” to “Dancing Queen”! We loved all the neon colored costumes, and even a wig and gold accents from our guest performer, Sabrina Madsen! Check out all of the videos from the evening HERE! Our next showcase will be in the spring and we can’t wait to see what our students bring to the table!


Flirt Your Way to Weight Loss

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Aerial and Pole Dancing: Fun and Sexy Fitness

Did you know pole dancing develops your core strength and upper body more than most other sports? Aerial and pole dance are also great ways to develop endurance and maximize your flexibility. With professional competitors across the globe, pole dancing is more than just a sexy way to stay fit…it’s a serious work out!

Join the fun and watch our professional pole dancers perform their amazing routines when you get in touch with Bittersweet Fit Studios. We offer classes, performances and more! Visit us on the web to learn more.

Spring is Coming, Try Something New

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Pole dancing fitness classes in Jacksonville are perfect

Spring is on the way, and that means people all over the country will soon be knee deep in their spring cleaning projects. Don’t forget that along with your home, your body also needs to spruce up.
Exercise is an excellent way to clean up your body’s bad habits this spring. Of all the exercise regimens out there, pole dancing fitness is the best.

Intense, yet gentle

The benefits of pole dancing fitness are applicable to many parts of the body. As a beginner, you begin to notice improvements in your core strength and flexibility. As you progress, your confidence and self-esteem starts to come along, as you learn to master certain techniques. By the time you reach advanced classes, your coordination has enriched as you start to time moves with your newfound physique.
All of this is incredibly healthy for your mind and soul. When you begin to apply yourself to a practice like this, the information helps to remove and replace a lot of unnecessary stress.
We at Bittersweet Studios, understand how the start of spring is an opportune time to cast off the weight of the past and learn something new. That’s one reason why we provide quality pole dancing fitness in addition to our many other classes.
Visit our website or call (904)-451-2627 to sign up for a class, today!

Transform Your Body, Transform Your Life

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Aerial Silk Performance

There are so many ways these days to stay in good shape. The amount of exercises seems to multiplying by the minute. It is growing at such an astounding pace – it can be truly overwhelming at times. But going to the gym to lift weights, or getting outside to run can become boring and stale, and when they do, we have the perfect solution! The classes at Bittersweet Fit Studios are designed to help you get toned muscle, and increase your flexibility. Perhaps the best part about our classes is that they are infused with fun! It almost feels like you aren’t working out at times.

Jacksonville Aerial Skill Performances

If you or someone you know is looking for a new way to exercise, or perhaps is simply looking to try something new, send them on over to Bitter Sweet Fit Studios. Our classes can help you transform yourself, and get the body you’ve always dreamed of, and have a little fun on the way too! The various classes we offer are even great as a Bachelorette Party idea!

Sculpting a Summer Body

And keeping it all year long

If you’re chasing a summer body, you better hurry up! The famed season is only weeks away and there’s only three months of summer to show it off! For many people, the rush to attain a summer body is pressure-filled. It doesn’t have to be that stressful. There is one simple way to make that summer body yours.
Get your summer body and keep it! Once September hits, doesn’t mean you have to stop all exercise. You’ll find that maintaining a fit physique all year long will do wonders for your mental state. How do you accomplish this? Enroll yourself in an exercise class!
A pole dancing or aerial arts class to be exact. In the Jacksonville area, Bittersweet Studios offers the classes that can help shape you summer body. With commitment, you can keep it too. Visit our website or call (904)-451-2627 to sign up for a class, today!