When co-owners Anna and Melanie started learning pole in 2012, there were only 2 local pole studios, and pole was still considered a female-centric activity that needed to be hidden from the world. The duo started VRV3 Pole Dance and Fitness in an attempt to bring pole into the mainstream. Anna and Melanie quickly realized that pole could be more than a means for exercise and artistic expression, but also the basis of a strong, supportive community for all genders,. They wanted a pole home, and so they created VRV3.
What Makes a Pole Home?
The small size of their studio makes it easier to foster a sense connectedness among students. To help create an encouraging, inclusive community, VRV3 hosts monthly social events including pole jams, holiday parties, photoshoots, and movie nights. Especially popular is their annual Halloween party.
What's in a Name?
Recently renamed, “VRV3 is our twist on the word "verve." Verve means vigor, spirit or enthusiasm, which embodies the spirit of our studio.”
Happiness Officer Merlyn Reporting for Duty!
“Come for the pole, stay for the puppy kisses.” VRV3’s hypoallergenic studio mascot Merlyn is always excited to share the love and give you some extra encouragement.
VRV3 offers regular level classes, along with specialty focus classes to suit each level. These focus classes include Floor Fluidity, Ayesha and Handsprings, Spin Pole Classes, and more.
To accommodate the diverse needs of their students, dancers can choose from a particularly wide range of payment options, including both series and drop-in classes. Additionally, VRV3 has open studio hours daily, which students can attend free with unlimited memberships, or pay by the hour. Membership options include an unlimited option, a weekend unlimited option, and an open pole only option.
The studio is fully stocked with competition height and spaced poles, a crash mat for each pole, yoga mats, and yoga blocks for each student.
I dropped in to a Saturday morning Level ¾ Spinning Pole class. As a tourist, I enjoyed my bike ride through San Francisco China Town, where the studio is located. When I arrived, studio owner Melanie was there to greet me and give me a tour of their gorgeous studio space, which included a small lounge area in back with a refrigerator and filtered water. (It’s always nice when a studio has an easy way to fill a water bottle, which surprisingly isn’t always the case!)
As I mentioned in my AEROspace post, my training in spinning combos is lacking, so I got a lot out of this class. We didn’t do any inversions, and yet the class was incredibly challenging. By the end of class I was out of breath and dripping sweat, barely able to manage the pole sit pictured to the right.
The class size was small, allowing our instructor Allison to assist each student and give us either extra challenges or easier variations to suit our exact level.
VRV3 specializes in helping students find their pole style, which is something I’m still developing. At the end of warm ups, we did some climbs, including a carousel climb, which was new to me. I’ve been appreciating having a stylized climb in my repertoire that isn’t terribly strenuous.
Peak into my Pole Journal
- Start by putting your inside arm and leg on the pole as you would for a basic climb.
- Rather than immediately wrapping your outside leg around the pole, it first kicks up while your upper body leans back
- Ideally, your leg doesn’t touch the pole during the kick.
- The kick is usually just done for the first climb off the ground, as it’s much more difficult aerial
- Be sure your shoulders are warmed up before attempting this move!
- Reach down low with your inside arm and position your top arm in a twisted grip.
- Be sure that your hips are facing forward and your head is far away from the pole, which may require you to lower your top hand and create more space.
- Push off with your inside leg to begin walking forward, pushing with your bottom arm and pulling with your top arm.
- This move will probably be very difficult on one side, but it’s important to practice both to stay even.
- The air walk is great dead lift prep. Once your air walk is comfortable, you can begin working on deadlifts.
- Position yourself the same way you did for the air walk, but instead of walking forward, lean backwards so your hips are up to the ceiling.
- Pull your outside leg straight up, bending your inside leg.
Be sure to look up at your hand
- I’ve had a few people try to teach me how to deadlift, and this method felt by far the most doable, though I still need to build some strength before deadlifting successfully!
Want more from VRV3?
THIS STUDIO REVIEW IS A PART OF MY POLE DANCE TOURISM PROJECT TO HELP POLE STUDIOS AND COMMUNITIES THRIVE.
IN ORDER FOR THIS PROJECT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, I NEED LOTS OF PEOPLE TO SHARE ALL THE POLE KNOWLEDGE I GAIN DURING MY TRAVELS WITH!
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