Pole Passion Fitness – The History
• Pole Passion Ltd, Sussex based training provider company, founded in 2000 by Kay Penney, fitness professional and health and beauty therapist with over 20 years within the fitness industry. The company went Limited in 2005 as a recognition of professionalism. Pole Passion is primarily a health & fitness company mainly for women, although in the last 2 to 3 years more and more males have been attracted to our teachings
• Currently the Fitness Classes are inspired by fitness and dance movements from other genres and that of exotic and sensual dance moves, innovating and continually developing new forms of fitness for every day women
• Our main aim being providing FUN, different & exciting new ways to keep fit for the modern woman
• Statistics have shown that gym memberships are declining and that customers are looking for different style of motivation and classes
In 2003 there were but a handful of companies offering Pole fitness lessons and parties on and around a vertical bar – the pole. Pole Passion was one of those first companies in the world to offer classes for everyone despite their religion, fitness ability, body size or shape who were willing to supporting their motto:-
Empowerment, confidence, fitness & FUN!
In 2007 it was calculated that there were an astonishing 250 independent Pole schools in the UK and the number is still rising.
In 2007 Pole Passion created and wrote two REP’s accredited Instructor training programs for all qualified fitness professionals, being awarded the highest number of REP’s points ever for fitness certifications, supported by the government funded Skills Active program, in a quest to get Pole Fitness Qualified and recognised as a viable and socially acceptable form of fitness.
Tainted by it’s origins of gentleman’s clubs where ladies would do ‘lap dancing and striptease’ for money. Pole fitness now has its own recognition and identity with more formal gymnastics and flexibility and strength training programmes it is now supported by many local, national and international governments embracing the pole fitness classes in all areas of the world and across the UK.
These gyms include recognised names such as LA Fitness, Nuffield Health and Well Being & Cannons.
• Health & Safety considerations are paramount with our lessons and course delivery - all lessons have risk assessments on equipment
All their classes and content have a safety certificate confirming all classes comply with current health and safety standard with regards to Bio Mechanical & Musculo skeletal principal’s from one of the UK’s top accredited osteopath’s Steve Deadman.
Supporting the Pole Fitness classes Kay Penney created competitions as a place to advertise the techniques on a massive scale - Miss Pole Dance UK in 2005 introducing the first synchronised doubles category in 2007 - Pole fitness competition for ladies across the UK
World Pole Sport & Fitness competition was created in 2009 creating the first networking convention for pole enthusiasts across the world.
Creating the pole fitness Code of Pole Practice in 2006 was about setting professional standards and professional ethics. Creating a sound and ethical basis to demonstrate our athletic art without the fear of being wrongly judged.
My name is Kay Penney and I begun the foundations of Pole Passion (UK) back in the year 2000 soon after the birth of my third child, lost in the hum drum of my busy motherhood I had lost who I was. As a qualified health and beauty expert and therapist and qualified fitness professional and being within the fitness industry now for nearly 20 years I soon became committed to solely practice and innovate the art of pole here in the UK (I had got the bug from the very first time I touched the pole) With no where to learn other than gentleman clubs, at that time, my quest was to remove and expose the art of pole for all to see, without the fear of being wrongly judged. Due to the rapid expansion of my teachings, my business partner and I decided to take the company Limited in 2005.
In 2006 I was devastatingly diagnosed with cancer and immersed myself further in my own well-being and decided to take the techniques of pole, directly and indirectly helping us all through a very difficult and challenging time. Since that life changing experience I deciding to document everything (mainly through fear of not being a live to see my dream and reality coming true:- the dream of creating techniques that would be available to all without having to train behind closed doors as I did in the beginning for the fear of being wrongly judged – judged as a prostitute or easy person!! Giving sex to anyone who thought that’s what I was portraying.
From our teachings, we created pole parties, from pole parties we innovated pole fitness lessons, from pole fitness lessons we pioneered two accredited pole instructor training packages to coincide with our existing programmes– recognised as the highest awards within the UK fitness industry written in conjunction with the exercise to music qualifications (launched in July 2008). Attracting fitness and dance enthusiast across the world, so far from many parts of Europe, Brazil, Hungry, Portugal, America and all across the UK and Ireland and still continue to do this on a monthly basis.
We are also proud to own and operate, with our supporters, the most successful and largest pole competition within the UK, Miss Pole Dance UK (professional) now in its 7 successive year and believe these competitions have been very instrumental in educating the general public to change their perception of Pole technique and offering professional recognition for the athletes invloved. Innovating and introducing the pole synchronised doubles category in 2007. Owning and operating since 2007 Miss Pole Dance amateur competition too, for those individuals new to pole technique who predominately train in gym environments. Following on in 2009 introducing Mr Pole Fitness UK allowing for the first time a place for men to show their power around the pole too in a safe and non-judgemental and supportive environment.
Owing and operating World Pole Sport & Fitness competition was also a massive milestone for the history of the sport - introducing a networking opportunity and week long event to all countries to share and develop predominately pole techniques with each other, culminating in a competition, show case style to wow audiences from around the world, in an exotic exiting and suppportive environment. The venue, not being our preferred first choice as it still had links with sexual connotations of supporting Playboy and swingers holidays we focused more on the fact the resort also offered golfing weeks and tennis tournaments! So oftern forgotten about when mentioned the word Hedonism Jamaica!!, however as our first year we decided to take advantage of the resorts kind offer to support our ideas, again being supported with open minded risk taking people it worked. Our similarities that we both are about pushing the boundaries and innovating something new fun and exciting without the fear of being wrongly judged! We reiterate that our focuses are on professionalism, maintaining ethical and healthy standards which we have built up for many years, supported by strict rules and regulations and the supportive fitness environment they had on resort, and their element of fun supported our ethos too.
We currently support international Master Trainers and have created Master Class training here within the UK beginning with Pole Ikon Pantera from the USA, where upon our initial meeting with Pantera back in 2005 at the World finals in Amsterdam where I was an invited international judge. Pantera has now not only become an icon here within the UK but we are pleased to announce our personal friendship has reached a new level – I so wish she would stop calling me mum though!! (big sister please)
We have also revolutionised the pole fitness industry by innovated the first portable free standing pole with no ceiling fixtures exclusively designed for the gym (and home) environment, without a stage or platform and integrating a mat flooring, which we believe will unlock the teaching in gym environments, which subsequently and in time has become available for all ages.
we understand that networking and continual professional development is important, especially in a growing innovative sport and community and currently we support and promote this within our company structure and set up. I am currently studying A1 standard for assessment planning, judgement of evidence and candidate feedback for the National Vocational Qualification assessment process specific to pole techniques.
I’m using the information to continue to create more processional standards which will in turn help create more credibility for the pole community as a whole, creating further opportunities and avenues to share my knowledge.
I am also a member of Equity union, membership number M00281529
I am a qualified fitness professional and member of the UK Register of Fitness Professionals membership number R0026490
Member of the Fitness Industry Association
Our company is about educating, training safely and effectively, for all levels of participants, not forgetting the fun, fitness and performance elements too, all in an non-judgemental atmosphere.
Our motto being Empowerment confidence fitness & FUN!