‘Dancing is in my blood’ – Tanya Cogle

Tanya Cogle. PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

The principal instructor and owner of Vertitude Pole Studio, Tanya Cogle, who is passionate about dance and body movement in its entirety, was born to dance. She comes from a long tradition of dancers in her family. Pole fitness was about her wanting to try something out of the ordinary, and with dedication and commitment, it moved into her being elated to create and educate the public about the benefits and the misconceptions surrounding pole fitness.

“I was born into a dancing family, my grandmother is a dance teacher (she still teaches), and my mother and my sister are dance teachers too. I have been dancing all my life. After school, I wanted to try something different and gave pole fitness a try, and that’s where it all started,” expressed Tanya.

As a result, she founded her dance studio in 2016 which is currently based in Pellissier. “This passion eventually led me to pursue a career in dance and more so pole fitness, where I have had the opportunity to train award winning pole fitness dancers and be acknowledged as a leader in my industry.”

Aware that pole fitness is often met with bad connotations, and a stripper stigma, Tanya mentioned that through explanation and education people will realise that it serves beneficial to people of all ages and races. “Anyone can do it whether you are 6 or 65-years-old. It is fun and never boring, improves your mood and your health,” she explained.

Tanya highlighted that pole fitness is about combining strength and flexibility. Which means the use of your own body weight to train.

“The aim is to give you self-confidence, to trust yourself and believe in yourself while training. It’s not easy for most people to climb up high, go upside down or to spin around the pole. But each accomplishment is a step closer to our aim. Pole fitness is not easy and needs dedication, commitment, and endurance to continue as it gets tough. Most people stop as it gets difficult, but that’s where dedication and willingness to get ‘that’ move right, comes in.” 

How does a typical class work then? “In my pole fitness class, we would start with jumping jacks/rope skipping to get the heart pumping and to activate the muscles. We will do a general warm up and include specific warm up/conditioning for what will be taught on that day. A recap of the previous class moves and then a new move/spin or combination will be taught, or we will just work on a challenges from the previous week. A cool down and stretch during the last 10 minutes end the class,” she explained.

She mentioned that although one is not always up for an exercise or for class, once you’ve started a routine, you almost never regret it as it is a great stress outlet. “We all motivate each other. If you get a move right, the class will always celebrate with you by clapping hands/cheering. We laugh together and no one judges anyone. The feeling of getting ‘that’ move right, which you have been practicing for a month or so, is like winning a battle, you get a sense of accomplishment and feel so proud.”

Tanya concluded by saying that pole fitness is for anyone who wants to become a part of an uplifting community, where they can create friends and have fun while exercising. “Progress isn’t always about learning something new; sometimes, it’s about mastering what we already know,” she said. 

Text and photography: GYPSEENIA LION