Wigan pole dancing studio climbing to better and healthier lifestyles
A Wigan pole dance studio has set itself far more ambitious goals than simply introducing borough residents to a new hobby.
Chrome Dance in Hindley is looking to use the alternative and increasingly-popular form of fitness to transform the lives of its students and also help the environment.
That’s because studio owner Andrew Farrall, from Ince, says the performance art form is excellent for boosting body confidence and tackling a host of mental health issues.
Indeed the business is something of a personal quest for Andrew after pole fitness helped him when he suffered severe anxiety.
As a vegan he is also using students’ questions about nutrition to discuss the benefits of a plant-based diet.
The 26-year-old says so far Wiganers have proved extremely receptive and he has already seen major changes in some of those coming for classes in the year since he opened in the Market Street location.
Andrew said: “I’m looking for Chrome Dance to be about empowerment and healthy eating and lifestyles. It’s my base to promote veganism and wellbeing.
“A lot of people have got anxiety, depression or other mental health problems but pole is about learning to love your own body and trying to be the best you can.
“In six weeks people are able to do things they never thought they would. It really boosts their confidence. I’ve got a couple of girls who are now entering competitions.
“I’m also vegan so I try to encourage and educate people about the diet. I want to give people the information about it because I do believe it is a healthier diet.
“People in Wigan have been really open to it so far, I’ve actually been quite shocked. I’ve had a really good reaction, though I think you have to be quite open-minded to try pole so that possibly helps.”
Andrew is well aware of the possibility pole can have for improving lives as it greatly assisted him when he found himself in a dark place.
He says because of that he always intended Chrome Dance to make a real impact on his students.
He said: “I had really bad anxiety and it got to the point where I couldn’t leave the house. I knew this wasn’t right so got myself to the doctors.
“I went for counselling but also started doing pole when I got a tiny bit better. It wasn’t really about the fitness for me, though pole is a really good workout which often you don’t realise you’ve had until afterwards, it was boosting my confidence.
“It was the only place where I felt like I could do things and I wasn’t being judged while doing something I really liked.
“You also get to join a great community which is really supportive of each other when you start doing pole.
“There are people from all different walks of life doing pole and meeting and being friends with people from all sorts of backgrounds is also good for wellbeing.”
Students say Andrew’s approach is paying off, speaking of how Chrome Dance has improved their outlook and even raised their curiosity about cutting out animal-based products from their diets.
Katie Atkinson, 28, said: “I started pole fitness at Chrome Dance after a difficult start to 2018.
“Pole has helped my confidence and self esteem so much and Andrew is so supportive.
“I look forward to my class every week and feel like my mental health has improved immensely. Andrew has even supported me through Veganuary this month too.”
For more information visit www.chromedance.co.uk