Pole fitness, the newest fitness option on the Eastern Shore

By Melanie LeCroy
Lifestyle Editor
melanie@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 4/6/22

The Eastern Shore has a wide range of fitness studios ranging from national chains to locally owned offering everything from weightlifting and cross-fit to yoga and ballet barre. But if you are …

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Pole fitness, the newest fitness option on the Eastern Shore

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The Eastern Shore has a wide range of fitness studios ranging from national chains to locally owned offering everything from weightlifting and cross-fit to yoga and ballet barre. But if you are looking for a new challenge or something different Gemini Studioz in Daphne and their pole fitness classes might be what you desire.

First things first. You may ask yourself, 'What is pole fitness and what will it do for my body?'. Webster's dictionary does not have a definition for pole fitness. According to polemotion.com pole fitness "works the whole body, improving muscle tone, flexibility, coordination, posture as well as upper body and core strength."

Ayla Goodson, owner of Gemini Studioz, started taking pole fitness classes while living and working in Houston, Texas after college in 2012. The classes incorporated her background in gymnastics and collegiate cheerleading while challenging her. She was hooked.
Goodson realized the life as a corporate accountant was not what she wanted so she took a leap of faith.

"I jumped. I thought I could move back to Mobile and open a pole fitness studio. I quit my job. It wasn't like I had all this money saved up. I went into ridiculous debt. They don't tell you that no one gives start up business loans unless you have been in business for three to five years," Goodson said.

In 2015, Gemini Studioz opened in Mobile offering pole, hip-hop cardio, yoga, kid dance, kid tumbling and gymnastics. Goodson also started doing public performances at art shows and galleries to show people how beautiful pole dancing is.

Over the years the studio has moved to various locations, but the clientele has continued to grow and the request for classes on the Eastern Shore increased. In 2021, Goodson decided to look into finding a location she could sublease but had no luck. She decided to wait for the location to come to her and it did.

Goodson happened upon a location in Daphne that she could sublease during the businesses' closed hours. Vivacious Vibes Nutrition on Highway 98 in Daphne was situated in the middle of the Eastern Shore with high visibility. Gemini Studioz Daphne opened in January 2022 offering classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m.

"The reception in Daphne has been amazing and it is something people want. Initially this was a January through March thing to see how it would go. The people were telling us we had to stay," Goodson said. And stay they will after a move to Kayotic Fitness starting April 6.

Goodson's top priority has always been creating a safe space for her clients where they can feel empowered, encouraged and free of judgement. And Goodson said to leave your "can't do" attitude at home.

"You can't say can't. My client is anyone who is willing to step out and try. When you first come in you may be in a space in your life where you are not happy with yourself or life in general. You may look in the mirror and have disgust. My goal is to get you to keep coming and step out of your box and eventually when you look in the mirror you like what you see," Goodson said.

Her clientele ranges from physicians, lawyers and teachers to strippers (yes even strippers need to learn new moves). She also has an array of women that are white, black, Hispanic and Asian. Young and old.

"My oldest client was 72-years-old and she was good. She had lost her husband and decided to live and do everything she had ever wanted to do," Goodson said.

Many people may be apprehensive when starting a new work out, but Goodson said you will surprise yourself.

"Most people shy away from pole because they think they are too big or they don't think they are strong enough. I always compare pole to kindergarten. You don't go to first grade already knowing what to do. You learn it in kindergarten and progress and that's pole. I teach you how to get comfortable with the pole, touch it and walking around the pole. We teach you what you need to know. You don't have to come in being macho woman or man," Goodson said.

Yes, men are welcome and according to Goodson come in often.

To book a class or find out more about Gemini Studioz, visit geministudioz.com. Classes in Daphne are held Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Kayotic Fitness facility located at 8720 Rand Avenue, Daphne.

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