Student Spotlight: Danielle

October 2022

Like most young girls who love to dance, I started dancing at an early age. When I was three years old I began taking ballet classes, not long after I added jazz, and eventually ended up on toe shoes. I loved to dance and perform. Then when I was seven I started competitive figure skating. My years of dance seamlessly transitioned to the ice. I was dancing twice a week, skating up to four times a week and competing on weekends. Dance and skating were my world.

Student spotlight Danielle doing a pose on the lyra

I also grew up in an aviation family. My father and grandfather were pilots, and my dad started teaching me how to fly when I was eleven. Flying was something I always loved to do, I just didn’t know back then how much my love for flying would shape my world. As I got older my priorities changed and this new love for flying consumed me. It was my love for flying that pulled me away from dancing and skating. As I focused on my flight training, education and building flight time I found myself dancing less and less.

A few years ago I found myself halfway into my career, I’m an airline captain and have reached all of my carrier goals, yet something was missing. I have spent the last twenty years doing exactly what I loved, dancing among the clouds, if you will, but I was still looking for something. I wanted to dance again. I ask myself where can I do this and how can I do this with my lack of schedule. Maintaining any sort of set schedule, however, was not really feasible. I’m gone half the month and it never seems to be the same days from month to month. All I was finding were weekly dance classes that I knew if I signed up for them I’d miss half the classes.

In 2020 a friend of mine suggested I try a pole class. She said it was something I can do on a drop in bases and it might fulfill the dance void I was looking for. I was skeptical at first, not knowing anything about pole fitness, but after a few strong nudges from a woman I trust, I thought what’s the worst that can happen. Well, it only took one class and I was hooked. I had found a new form of expressive movement that I had been longing for. It didn’t take long to try other classes as well. Spin was next. My strong legs from years of skating gave me the strength to hold shapes while gracefully spinning on the pole. Holy cow, it’s like being on the ice again! Next came Lyra. This what my new addiction. Once I got the hang of getting into the hoop and moving from shape to shape I felt a sense of flying. Did I really just find a way to fly when I wasn’t actually flying? My worlds were colliding in all the best ways.

Thanks to Pole and Aerial Fitness and all the amazing instructors, I have found my love for movement again. I have gained a whole new level of confidence that I never knew existed in me. And I have met a group of wonderfully supportive women who make up an empowering community. Now that I have found my dance I’ll never let it go again!