August 15, 2022

Bernieh

Art and Entertainment

St. George woman provides female empowerment classes through

ST. GEORGE —When one woman danced her way to self-confidence, she set out on a mission to create a community full of acceptance and love, empowering women to love their bodies just the way they are.

Jane Haynie stands with a hula hoop, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Jane Haynie by William Henry Photography, St. George News

While the idea of pole dancing may have a stigma attached, Janie Haynie, owner of CirqueFit Southern Utah, hopes to change the narrative by encouraging women of all sizes to embrace their beautiful bodies and discover a different side of themselves through dance.

“To me, the pole is just the mechanism. It’s more about building a community where women, and men if they’re interested, can feel open and accepting of each other and build strength and get exercise without necessarily going to the gym,” Haynie said.

Haynie, originally from Colorado, said she grew up in a very religious and conservative home. As she began to break free from her own insecurities and ideas, she was led on a path of self-discovery. Her world opened up as she saw confidence in other women she wished she had.

“I noticed that other women were really confident and felt OK being themselves,” Haynie said. “They could have fun with other girls and dance in sensual ways, which was new to me, so I wanted to find that confidence for myself.”

Girls pose during a pole fitness class, St. George, Utah, June 29, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
Girls pose during a pole fitness class, St. George, Utah, June 29, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

When a friend told her about pole fitness and chair dancing classes, Haynie said she was extremely apprehensive, but decided to attend a class anyway. To her own surprise, she found herself instantly hooked. As she began to build strength and learn new things, she also discovered the sensual component of it, which opened her up to new ways of moving her body. This quickly transitioned into the way she looked and thought about her own body and herself.

“It enabled me to think more about what my body could do more than how it looked. It also enabled me to see that I was graceful and sexy and can be expressive in all these other ways,” Haynie said.

Jane Haynie poses for the camera in her CirqueFit studio, St. George, Utah, June 29, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
Jane Haynie poses for the camera in her CirqueFit studio, St. George, Utah, June 29, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Since sensual and sexual expression was not encouraged in her upbringing, Haynie felt it was a part of her that needed to be brought into the atmosphere. Not only did she love the confidence she gained, but she loved the community she discovered along with it, which was very open and accepting of people from all walks of life and sexual orientations. She saw how freeing it was to see people be completely themselves without judgment. While still in Colorado, she learned a variety of different dance practices including pole, chair, and hoop dancing.

When Haynie moved to Southern Utah three years ago, she took a few classes from a pole fitness studio in town which ultimately closed during the pandemic. She felt the community was in need of the empowerment she felt, and in May of 2021 built an entire studio in her Hurricane garage and taught hoop classes. The classes expanded into pole dancing when she saw many online posts last fall inquiring about a place available to take the classes. She met a friend through a Facebook group that taught aerial silks and pole dance who then started teaching at her home studio.

“This is a very conservative town, so just having a place where it’s okay to be whoever you are; there are no restrictions or rules and no one is going to look at you weird if you act or feel a certain way.,” Haynie said.

Jane Haynie poses for the camera in her CirqueFit studio, St. George, Utah, June 29, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
Jane Haynie poses for the camera in her CirqueFit studio, St. George, Utah, June 29, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

With a second location now open in St. George, Haynie was excited to find a shared space to rent with a boudoir studio – a company that also shares the same goals of female empowerment. The studio opened in March of last year and offered beginner and intermediate pole and chair dancing classes. Other instructors and classes have been added since, including Bombshell Booty, Yoga Twerk, a Stilettos and Silhouette class that teaches how to dance in high heels, along with lap-dancing classes.

Haynie said the studio goal is to create a place that’s fun, with complete acceptance where women can come together and laugh, make fun of each other and cheer each other on. All walks of life are welcome and the studio is also LGBTQ-friendly.

Jane Haynie smiles for the camera in her dance studio, June 29, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
Jane Haynie smiles for the camera in her dance studio, June 29, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

“We know not everyone in St. George will be interested in this, but there will be a pocket full of people that will really connect with this and those are the people we want to find,” Haynie said.

Haynie said they have many moms attend who don’t feel quite like themselves anymore. She’s had many tell her afterward that the class helped them feel good about themselves and their post-pregnancy bodies. As a mother of two when she began pole dancing, she loves to receive messages from other women that say they were able to remember who they are again,

“Sometimes you just need to do something for yourself,” Haynie said. “You need to reconnect with your body and feel like you’re a complete human.”

As for live performances, students in CirqueFit Southern Utah have performed both chair and hoop dances at Music, Magic, and Mayhem. They are also preparing for an upcoming showcase for Halloween in October, which will allow students to perform whatever they want in a space that will include a variety of dance apparatuses and an aerial show. Because Haynie loves performing, she wants to provide others with the same opportunity. 

“When I came here I wanted everyone to know that plus-sized bodies, small bodies, big bodies, tall bodies, short bodies, any skin color, and sexual orientation can do this and look amazing while doing it,” Haynie said. 

For more information on CirqueFit Southern Utah, visit their website, or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

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