Off The Pole was born out of Sarah Scott’s desire to share her experience with as many people as possible. As a professional level pole dancer and instructor her travels around the globe had seen her come across the same questions and issues within the industry and so the concept of creating a shared space to help bridge these was born.
As the concept of Off The Pole gathered momentum so did the feeling of responsibility within the team to create a company that not only reflected the beliefs and passions of those involved but also to be a place that the team are proud to work. Coming from varied backgrounds we’d all worked in places that talked the talk but were more interested in the bottom line when it came down to it.
We’ve tried to remain true to our core values as we have grown. Some of these are represented through our:
• Facebook Community – A safe space for pole enthusiasts to share their inspiration and challenges and be supported by one another. The group currently services over 16,000 members and this is increasing every day.
• Inclusive clothing – We wanted high quality clothing at an affordable price that lasts. Our sizing aims to cater to all body shapes and sizes and the models we use to promote them also reflect this. We also regularly use customers’ images in our social media posts which we then feed into our website. The fabrics and designs are hand chosen by Sarah and are made to be hardwearing and functional without compromising on comfort and aesthetics.
• Listening! – It seems so obvious but we’ve made so many changes to our processes, website and clothing based on customer feedback and appreciate we wouldn’t be where we are today without it. Our customers know we listen and feel comfortable letting us know how we can improve our products and services. If ever there is a problem we try to resolve it quickly and make our service as friendly and easy as possible.
• Principles – we know we have a voice and that carries a responsibility with it. We stand up for what we believe in and try to create a positive impact and experience with our followers. These include supporting and donating to environmental initiatives, Mental health, disabilities and educational tutorials. We also endeavour to grow our own understanding of the issues we support and our customers often help us with that by tagging us in articles. It’s a two way street! When we decided to start our clothing line we felt it was important to fly and visit our manufacturer to ensure the production met our standards for working conditions.
• We can always do more! We are currently working on more free content for our customers with training videos, tips and tricks and member guest blogs to add to the masses of free content already available through our website. We are also working on reducing our environmental footprint.
How we show up for our customers and followers represents how we feel a business should be run. It’s a lovely position to be in; to be creating something that seems to matter to so many people. The feedback we get from our customers about how pole has changed their lives, the way they feel about themselves and the confidence it has given them keeps driving us forward. Hearing how our clothing and social presence has contributed to this makes our work so much more rewarding.
We are still a small team and would never have dreamed we would be in the position we are today in a few short years. There is still so much left to do but it’s exciting to see how far we have come and what we might be able to achieve tomorrow. To be a part of a community that genuinely wants you to succeed. That feels like you make a difference to them. It matters.
As a company grows it can be harder to stay true to your principles but it’s not impossible. It just requires a little more work. But it’s worth it.
Deb is a pioneer of the UK pole dance scene, whose list of firsts is as long as it is impressive.
Deb refrained from teaching for quite some time as she was very aware of the danger involved and at that time there wasn’t a pole safety mat available anywhere in the world. Eventually she gave up looking and designed her own which she had made and named it Pole O Mat. Safety has ALWAYS been top priority to her!
Deb also choreographed the very first pole routine that was ever performed live on prime time TV on Britain’s Got Talent as backing dancers, it was touch and go whether they were going to let the troupe perform right up till the very last second.
Starting her pole career as a showgirl, Deb’s signature style focuses on ‘heels and sex’, and as a competitor she won numerous titles including ‘Most entertaining’ for a few years running at Miss Pole Dance UK, as well as Best Tricks in 2009. She received a ‘World Contribution to Pole Dance Award’ at miss pole dance worlds in Jamaica 2009.
She’s an experienced judge, including judging at the World Pole Dance Championships three times. And since retiring from competition, has focussed on coaching future champions, setting up the British Pole Dance Academy. It is now one of the largest pole studios in the UK, with her students affectionately referred to as ‘Riley’s pole sluts’. Her highly regarded workshops have toured extensively and she’s taught her signature style and tricks to hundreds of instructors and studio owners, and thousands of students over the years.
Deb is the owner of one of the largest Pole Studios in the UK The British Pole Dance Academy.
TeamUp takes away the complexity of starting and managing a thriving pole studio. Managing class schedules, dealing with payments, and connecting with students is easier when you have the perfect software and team behind you. Build a brilliant community – focus on what you love doing and get TeamUp to help with the rest.
So…. writing about myself and my studio and passion for pole dance succinctly is probably my biggest life challenge to date. But here goes my best try…….
Hard work, self-belief and an ability to support and nurture others I learned very early in my life – eldest of 3 siblings I had no Father, he left us for greener pastures and I had to step up and support my blind mother who had MS to make something of our family. By age 13 I’d been working for a year, increased my wage from £2.75 to £4.02 a day and knew then, you have to dream your best life before it can come true!
I’ve had some lucky breaks in my younger days, as a better than average dancer I was lucky enough to be picked up by the Hitman and Her Team, where Jason Orange of Take That and Jimmy and Spike from 911 were also born. Using this as my platform I managed to bag several great TV and dance jobs. My career had moved on by this point (thankfully so had my wages) and I was a scientist by day and a club cage dancer by night. I saw many dancers treated unfairly and paid poorly in the dance industry so I set up my entertainment agency and a small dance studio to change this tide. I trained and supplied many dancers each week across the country and overseas making sure they were safe and earned what they were worth. I started working for Peter Stringfellow at his Angels Club and that’s where I met a new breed of dancers: pole dancers! Wow, I had discovered and fallen in love with this new thing called pole dance.
When I first started teaching pole dance, it was so difficult, there was no social media so newspaper ads and door to door flyers it was. Pole dance still had a seedy reputation and in a small town like Stockport, changing that perception was hard. With 2 new shiny Xpoles and a lot of passion and fight I launched Tiva Pole Studios. We started with 4 loyal students a week and slowly we grew. Some of those early students went on to pole at Tiva for 10 plus years. As our reputation grew, I started to form my team from those girls in class who were natural instructors, supporters of others and talented pole dancers. I invested in them – paying for training and qualifications. We were a team. The Tiva Team.
There had been others since then too, all who have gone on to become successful instructors in their own right, playing their part in the continued development of our industry.
I see the Pole Industry as being built on millions of tiny foundations which go beyond the studio. The moments where somebody believes in themselves for the first time, fights back in their personal life because you’ve helped them find their confidence, where girls blossom from caterpillar to butterfly or grow into the super sexy competition winning performer they never believed they could be, or when they just achieve something they never thought was possible for them.
I am proud to have opened my doors in Stockport for 15 years to what is now 1000s of girls, gaining their trust and showing them what their mind and body is capable of. This is what I live for. The success of others. There have been days in business and life when opening those doors was hard, but never once did I want to give up on what had been built at Tiva. I may own the studio, but it truly belongs to my girls as their safe haven.
Tiva is a place where girls are supported can thrive and find themselves, where they grow strong in both mind and body and change their lives. No matter who they are, tall, small, large, older it doesn’t matter who you are, my motto is “anyone can learn to pole dance” and to date I have always found a way to teach every single girl.
As the industry has developed, so has Tiva – keeping pace with the latest new pole moves (I remember when a Pantera Gemini was the biggest trick we all needed to get from the pole tricks 101) and we’ve investing in supporting the wider industry through pole events, festivals and hosting international pole dancers. Creating a network of pole friendships locally, across studios and the country and more recently in the Virtual Pole Industry we have all come together to form.
I am immensely proud of my role as an early pioneer and supporter of the pole industry who fought back against the prejudice that pole dancers faced 15 years ago. I quietly created my studio as a supportive and welcoming place where girls learn to love themselves, instructors thrive, every moment is celebrated. From the first class I ever held we have created ambassadors for everything the pole industry stands for – confidence, strength and the belief anything in life is possible (and knowing the best life is truly upside down!)
Studio Facebook @tivapolestockport
Instagram @tivapoledance9816 and @trulyyouimagesbytiva
During the global lockdown for Covid-19, we wanted to do something that would lift the spirits of our pole community and support instructors who had lost income due to workshops/events being cancelled. Over the course of lockdown we partnered with 8 pole stars to run a weekly giveaway where polers could win a PJ voucher and an online private with that week’s pole star (All privates were paid for by Pole Junkie at the instructors regular private rate). Each week was themed around a household task and required no pole to ensure anyone could take part. While this was initially planned to run for 4 weeks, we extended the time frame due to the immense positive feedback from our instagram followers.
We also adapted our warehouse operations immediately to meet Government guidelines on social distancing to ensure we could continue distribution throughout lockdown. We recognised that closing would also have a knock on effect on all of the brands we stock, all of whom are small businesses within the pole industry.
Aside from the Coronavirus pandemic, in light of the recent events in the US, Pole Junkie has been vocal in how they wish to help the BLM movement by donating over £1200 so far to multiple BLM charities, using their platforms to amplify Black voices within our industry (so far partnering with Kheanna Walker, Jessica Deebank and Leila Davies) and opening the conversation with their brands to increase diversity and inclusion in future shoots and campaigns.
In support of Pride month, Pole Junkie donated 10% of all sales taken on the 51st Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising to Stonewall UK and Mermaids who campaign for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across Britain and supports gender variant and transgender youth respectively. We were delighted to donate £420 to each charity and are now working with the marketing departments at both charities on future support.
Pole Junkie is the pole industry’s leading clothing, shoes & accessory reseller, stocking 23 polewear brands from around the world. The founders, Kirsten and Heather immediately became pole sisters when they met at a University careers event, and sussed out they both went to the same pole studio. Standing in the corner with a glass of free wine and ignoring everyone else, they bonded over tricks they were dreaming of mastering and decided to do their first routine together – the video of which is buried and shall never be mentioned again!
Fast forward three years to October 2014. Although both had graduated with one working in finance and the other in sales, their pole game was still as strong as ever. Chatting about their latest pole swag bought from overseas, they had a moan about customs and shipping charges and the serious lack of choice in the UK. The idea of bringing it into the UK and somehow creating a website was brought up and they couldn’t stop talking about it. That day, potential suppliers were contacted and they went from walking to running. Since then they haven’t stopped.
Three months later, Pole Junkie was launched. Running out of Kirsten’s spare bedroom, suddenly orders were coming in from all over the world. Both still working full time jobs and packing orders and keeping up with admin at night, they were exhausted but full of enthusiasm. Within 9 months, they moved to a new premises that was far too big and took the terrifying leap of quitting their full time jobs. Pole Junkie HAD to work and suddenly, with all their attention on it, it did.
Now, they run out of a 4000sqft warehouse and have eight members of staff to make sure orders go out as quickly as possible and customer queries can be dealt with effectively. With over 1500 different products in stock, you can aim high with your pole wear goals. Team Pole Junkie are here for you every step of your pole journey. So wear your worth and spread the #polejunkielove. You deserve it.
I started The Pole Studio in 2008 with two poles in my living room but 12 years on I now have 8 studios, 4 of which are full time. But more importantly I have 14 loyal instructors (most of whom have been with me for over 8 years) and I like to think I am not only their ‘boss’ but their mentor and friend. My team have always been close but due to the distance between each studios it is often impossible for them see each other so at the start of lockdown I created a Whatsapp group where anything goes. We are now even closer and we speak every day to keep spirits up and encourage each other to train however we can, including the instructors attending each other’s group classes. I also actively encourage them to go to other teachers from different schools and this is something I have always done.
Four of my studios are actually franchised by my instructors, offering them the opportunity to be proud owners of their own businesses and I support them in every way I can. I have halted any franchise payments during this time despite my own income taking a massive hit. I feel lucky every day to have a team who are an extended family and support me and my two children, allowing me to be consistently entrepreneurial for the benefit of us all.
I not only obsess over my own business but I like to think I have become an Ambassador for the pole industry by creating The PoleSafe Federation 5 years ago. I saw an increasing need to prioritise and endorse safe teaching and training and my aim was to try and shift the emphasis back to clean, simple pole achieved in a safe and progressive way rather than the ‘fast trick wins for Instagram’ which many people were watching and trying to emulate.
This focus is reflected in my syllabus, my instructors and within the EMDP and PDC approved Instructor Training we offer in the hope to continue The PoleSafe ethos into many more studios not only UK wide but globally. I’ve even spread the word as far as Hollywood (one of my students is a stuntwoman and she taught Tom Cruise how to Shouldermount hop for Mission Impossible 4!). My aim is to get pole out there in the world and this certainly helped to do so!
I am so proud of this industry, of all the amazing performers, of the strength it shows not only physically but mentally. I love my business. I love that my instructors are all different and quirky but supportive of each other and me. I love how I’ve grown and how I can see the industry growing with me. I love PoleSafe and the passion it has ignited in the spectacular names in the business who have come on board to help. I will keep pushing forward because the instructors, the students, the supporters and the performers deserve to be seen and respected and I try to show this when I judge pole competitions. I have had the honour to judge Heir to the Chrome, the National Pole Champs in South Africa (one of my franchisees is in Pretoria), Pole Theatre and Southern Pole Champs.
So to sum up, I have two fantastic businesses in this industry, I am a pole judge, I am a very proud pole mummy to 14 amazing instructors and hundreds of students as well as a mummy to two wonderful children, who have often had to suffer due to my businesses so the one good thing about the Covid crisis was the time I got to spend with them. But I also tried even harder during the last 4 months to support pupils and instructors with discounted classes, more social media content, allowing PoleSafe members to renew with a payment deferral and generally trying to stay positive for everyone.
Hey! I’m Ray, an upside down enthusiast & self belief coach. As instructors we play a huge part in building our students body confidence & courage – I’m very grateful to have supported & helped them all grow in these life changing areas!
I feel truly honoured to be shortlisted & be held in such high regard by my students & to appear in these awards alongside some of the industries top & my idols. It’s a truly humbling experience.
My love of pole began in 2005 when I attended a class where there was one pole & a class of at least 20 students! We got 5 minutes each on the pole…but we were immediately hooked.
In March 2009 I started teaching with my now sister in law, Sammi. We ran classes for 6 years together. In that time had had two wee boys, so it was a juggle at times but pole gave me so much, especially in terms of “me time”. I am so grateful pole in my life,it gave me identity other than “mummy”.
We closed the doors on our pole school in July 2015 & I took a short break before a good friend offered me the opportunity to teach for her pole school. By Jan 2016 i was teaching again & loving it more than ever. I was where i was meant to be. I soon had two classes with a range of student abilities… i was back in my happy place.
Over the last 11 years I’ve had many students come through the doors, in fact some of the girls i teach now are from my first pole school & they travel pretty far each week to attend my classes. Their loyalty keeps me pushing me to be better & I adore each member of my little pole family.
I love that a student can walk through the doors with very little confidence or self belief but by week 3 or 4 their feeling really accomplished. As they learn to love pole the slowly start to love themselves & their self belief soars.
I LOVE how empowering pole is. It’s completely unique & like no other sport.
I know every instructor would say this, but my students are the most incredible souls & I’m very grateful for their trust in my abilities & their determination & commitment each & every week.
I’m an instructor for Rachel Meredith at her school https://www.chromespinnerspolefitness.co.uk/
My Instagram handle is
Feelin’ Peachy is a pole dancing studio about three things above all else: Fun, Freedom, Self-Love.
A space based in Wirral UK to be playful, to overcome our limiting beliefs, and to develop authentic self-confidence.
Ran by Peach Lee Ray, it is a studio designed to promote pole for all body shapes and sizes, and she is passionate about advocating for body inclusivity in the pole dance industry. When the studio opened Peach made a public pledge to never market based on weight loss, body transformation, or making people think they needed to change their appearance in order to love themselves.
This ethos is also reflected in her Pole with Peach blog and the work she does on social media to promote body acceptance and self-confidence. Many of her classes are designed to suit all levels, and this is reflected in the diverse range of student body types in the wonderful Feelin’ Peachy community, and her studio’s teaching and trainee staff which includes a range of body shapes, heights, ages, health and fitness backgrounds.
The exotic dance, themed pole classes, and unique workshops are some of their trademark classes.
Peach also works as a business and confidence coach when she isn’t teaching her classes. Her mission in life is to empower people to believe in themselves, pursue their life path, and live courageously and authentically. She aims to achieve this in everything she does, whether it is teaching pole, writing a book, or giving a seminar.
Websites and social:
Facebook: Feelin’ Peachy – Pole Dancing Classes Wirral
Facebook: Peach Lee Ray