From England to Egypt, Diving to Dancing: A Q&A with Pole Fitness Instructor Mia Carter
Though pole fitness is one of the more unconventional workouts you can find in Cairo, it’s slowly but surely becoming one of the most popular in the realm of alternative excercise. The newest addition to the pole fitness scene in Egypt is Pole Project, which already has branches in Maadi and Mohandiseen.
We got the chance to sit down with Pole Project founder, Mia Carter, who talked to us about what pole fitness is, people’s perception towards the workout and what makes Pole Project stand out amongst its competitors.
Tell us more about yourself…
I actually came to Egypt as a diver, before moving to Cairo where I opened my own pole studio in Zamalek two years ago. I then moved to a studio to Mohandiseen and, after a while, I opened a second and bigger branch in Maadi.
Tell us a little bit about Project Pole? How did it all start?
I have a pole in my house and I used to use it for fun, but then I thought of teaching others and that’s when I started giving private lessons at my house. With more people wanting to enroll themselves in my private classes, I bought a studio and decided to make it a business.
How did you get into pole fitness as an activity? How long have you been doing it?
I taught myself but I wanted to be more qualified, which is why I submitted my skills to PDC – a professional pole dance instructors hub. They have programs for teaching trainers and qualifying them to teach pole fitness as well as giving training in CPR and first aid – which I already knew because of my diving background.
What kind of challenges did you face in opening something like Project Pole in Egypt?
Doing it all by myself was my biggest challenge; I had no money or any kind of support from those close to me. Basically; I taught myself how to open and run a business. Another challenge was the reaction of people towards pole fitness; I didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about Project Pole – at the time, I didn’t even know if it was legal here in Egypt!
Do you think there will ever be a time where there won’t be a taboo attached to pole fitness?
People either know it or they don’t at all, so I don’t think it is actually a taboo here in Egypt.
Do you think pole fitness is something that can catch on in Egypt?
Yes! Pole fitness is really challenging and interesting. I always say it’s the workout for people who don’t like working out!
What are the advantages that pole fitness has over other more traditional forms of exercise?
For one, it’s not repetitive. There are thousands of moves and every class offers something different. It’s not like running and jogging, for instance; you can run and run and run, but it’s still the same exercise. With pole fitness, it’s always different.
For a complete newbie who wants to start pole fitness, what can they expect from the first few classes?
For newbies, I start with level one which is exotic dance moves just to get their bodies working.
Project Pole isn’t all about pole fitness classes, though; what are the other activities you provide?
I do bachelorette parties at the Maadi branch, which is much bigger than the Mohandiseen studio. I also custom make poles and sell them for homes.
Can anyone practice pole fitness or is there a body shape requirements that a person should have in order to be able to enroll in the classes?
I had zero muscles and I was so weak, but I just kept trying repeatedly until I started developing strong arms and then the rest just followed.
What makes your studio stand out?
The atmosphere and the versatility offered by our studios is what make us unique. For example, we arrange our classes according to the client’s timetable to make it as easy as possible for people to attend classes regularly.
Another thing is that I very deliberately never overcrowd my classes; the maximum is two girls per pole in spinning classes, while other classes I only allow one girl per pole giving them all equal attention.
What can we expect from Project Pole in the future?
We are going to start a new class very soon called Naughty Forty. Ladies above 40 won’t have to do all these crazy fitness moves, it’ll just be a time for them to have fun with their friends, relax, forget about life’s troubles and just have a giggle!
For more information about Project Pole classes and packages, click here.