On Sunday, May 15, a handful of students and teachers from Muse Pole Fitness filtered in to The Blue Note to assemble poles, run routines, put on costumes and tack their body and hands with chalk and grip aids similar to those used by gymnasts. The dancers were a mix of nervous and excited. For most of them, it would be their first performance at The Blue Note. However, it wasn’t the studio’s first show and instructors Jordan Mazur and Leah Franklin were no strangers to the stage.
Whether it be the Vertical Desires show at Rose Music Hall in February 2016 or various acts in shows at The Blue Note featuring Mazur and Franklin (including the Suicide Girls, Lola Van Ella and Show-Me Burlesque masquerade balls, and a Rose Risqué), there’s a good chance you’ve seen or heard about Muse Pole Fitness.
For those who haven’t been to a pole show, it’s hard to imagine what to expect. To give a general idea, they fall somewhere between a dance performance, a play, a circus and a gymnastics meet. They’re the kind of thing that you have to see to fully understand. Even after having been to a few pole shows and competitions, I continue to find myself in awe of the back-bending, leg-splitting and gravity-defying moves. Pole dancing is evolving and while sexy routines and 8″ high heels will always be a central part of it, more and more styles of pole are making it increasingly hard to define.
This showcase featured over 20 male and female performers that ranged from those at a beginning/intermediate level to national competitors. There were solos, group numbers, a couple’s routine, (which was adorable), and props, costumes, twerking, pirouettes and flips. The style of the pieces ranged from sexy to athletic to acrobatic, and any combination thereof.
This was Muse’s fourth annual Spring Showcase. The showcases give Muse students an opportunity to display their skills and achievements. Past showcases have been held at other venues, but as interest grew and the shows began selling out, it was decided that it was time for the Muses to take center stage at The Blue Note.
After countless points in the showcase when the cheers from the crowd were louder than the music, it became clear that this was just the beginning of Muse performing at the Note. So if you weren’t able to make it to this show, don’t fret because the Muses will most certainly be back.
For those of you who don’t know about Muse or the rising popularity of pole fitness, here’s a little background…
Muse Pole Fitness was born out of Jordan Mazur’s passion for dance that began when she was just three years old. Mazur studied dance at the Indiana University School of Kinesiology, while developing an interest in pole dancing. She started taking classes and was instantly gravitated toward it. Mazur then moved to Columbia, Mo., where she danced professionally with the Missouri Contemporary Ballet for four years. After looking for an outlet to continue her passion in pole dance and being unable to find one, she began teaching small pole classes out of her own living room.
As more people became interested in her classes, Mazur opened a studio located off Nifong and Providence. Soon, classes were overflowing with students and the original studio proved too small. In early 2016, Muse added another studio room in an adjacent space. Muse Pole Fitness offers classes leveled from beginner to advanced, as well flexibility classes, strength building classes, twerk classes, and even occasional lap dance classes.
This post was written by Cameron Evans, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose.
Photos by Scott Peterson.