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DOING "it" WEEKLY: Interview #2 - Christine Boyer


This is the second installment of a series of articles that will run each week involving interviews with inspiring artists, musicians, writers and other go-getters. It is a blog post - interview style - about the people doing the things they only previously dreamed about.

This week's interview features one of the Co-Founders, Christine Boyer, of Aradia Fitness - a company that specializes in pole and lap dancing fitness classes.

Despite the obvious biases surrounding the basic idea of what their company teaches, women are lining up to register for these classes. Aradia Fitness promises a safe, comfortable environment where women can 'get in touch with their sexy side!' The classes are catered to women of all body types, sizes and strengths.

Aradia Fitness started with one studio in January of this year, based in Vancouver. Since then, they have opened up ten franchise-owned studios across the country. The newest one just opened up in Toronto in August and has been booked solid ever since.

Our interview was over two hours long and I've been mulling over what parts to cut and which parts to edit. Despite the fact that I've cut it up, I've still divided it into three parts: yikes! Part One: THE DREAM and Part Two: DOING IT and Part Three: LIVING IT. Here's hoping that what's left of the interview will inspire each of you, at least in one way or another, to go after your dreams - no matter how crazy or impossible - they may seem.

PART ONE: THE DREAM

You had an idea - you went from one career path to something totally different.

I have a commerce degree and I lived in England for five years. So when I lived in England I started working in the city because it's pretty much the finance capital of the world. I worked there for a year and a half and I hated the finance industry. I'm good with numbers, and I like it, but it just didn't interest me at all.

I started doing yoga, studying nutrition, then I started working in the website industry as a New Media Producer and Project Manager. That was great, I learned a lot from that. So, then when I moved back to Canada four years ago, I wanted to do something that meant more to me, so I became a Pilates Instructor.

What changed?

Well still, at the back of my mind I was like ok, I know this is all leading me somewhere. I wanted to do something really cool and really exciting, to have my own business, but I didn't know what it was. Then two and a half years ago Tracy (Gray - Co-Founder of Aradia Fitness) was watching DATELINE. She told me about that, and then we were in Seattle on her birthday and she was like look, there's that pole-dancing thing again. I want to do that!

When we got back to Vancouver we did research and there was no place where we could learn except for going to a strip club. We ordered a pole from the United States and ordered some DVDs.

There really wasn't that much else (besides the DVDS), so we went and watched strippers. Now, I had never been to a strip club before so it was really cool, I was like this is my research and this is how they do it! You quickly get used to it because you're watching it for the entertainment value and the strength and moves and stuff like that.

Did you bring a note pad into the clubs?

I did a couple of times, although people would look at me really strangely! So I stopped taking notes and tried to remember things.

And we started teaching ourselves. We started setting goals for ourselves. We loved it so much. I was teaching Pilates at the time, and Yoga, and nothing had ever made me feel this good. I felt like this crazy confidence, I mean, I'm a pretty confident person anyways, but there was this crazy confidence I had never felt before. My muscles were coming out that I never felt before. I could actually feel my abs better. It was great!

How did you develop that idea?

We gave ourselves some goals, and said this is great - we need to start teaching women. When do we want to start? We gave ourselves six months. We were like - can we be ready in six months? We developed - we needed to master it as much as we possibly could. So everyday we were on the pole. I was living in Tracy's apartment because I had just bought this condo so both of us were living in her one bedroom apartment with this pole. I slept next to this pole every night.

Talk about living, breathing and sleeping the dream!

It was crazy. We were spotting each other. We'd end up with bruises and we were like, okay, no we can't let our students do this or that. It was a really hard workout. We needed to find out what people could do in what amount of time...

Part Two: DOING IT will talk more about some of the hurdles the girls jumped over, how these girls are managing the rapid growth of their company, their newly custom-designed poles, and some of their future plans.


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