Pole dancing studio opening in Port Orchard

Pole dancing instructor Marie FC demonstrates a move at Dolphin Dance Studio, which will open this week on Bay Street. - Tim Kelly/Staff photo
Pole dancing instructor Marie FC demonstrates a move at Dolphin Dance Studio, which will open this week on Bay Street.
— image credit: Tim Kelly/Staff photo

Pole dancing is coming to Port Orchard.

And the dancers will be performing primarily to please men.

But don't get any ideas about some dive offering raunchy entertainment, because that just ain't what Dolphin Dance Studio is all about.

"It's all about the lady, the individual," says one of the instructors, who gives her name as Marie FC. "It's about building up self-esteem, and making the girl understand she is beautiful."

The studio is relocating from Poulsbo and will hold a grand opening from 6-9 p.m. Friday at its new location at 818 Bay St., next to Dragonfly Cinema. Classes will start next week.

Marie and the other instructor, Launa Sorensen, both started taking exotic and pole dancing lessons in the spring of 2010 at the Poulsbo studio that Emily Boberg-Courts operated for three years, until her husband's military transfer to South Carolina.

Though they didn't know each other before taking classes, Marie and Launa both live in Port Orchard, and their mentor, Boberg-Courts, helped find a location where they could keep Dolphin Dance Studio going.

They said some of the women who took classes in Poulsbo are from South Kitsap and have expressed interest in coming to the Port Orchard classes.Marie got started when her husband gave her a Dolphin Dance Studio gift card for her birthday.

"I was a bit curious before," she says, "but I never planned to act on it."

Sorenson said she needed a self-esteem boost when she signed up for pole dancing classes.

"I had lost about 100 pounds at the time, so my body was new to me," she says. "I wanted to try it for exercise but also for more confidence, and I ended up falling in love with it."

The instructors say women who take classes at the studio often want to dance for their husband or significant other, for a special occasion such as an anniversary or a return from an overseas military deployment. Other women try it just out of curiosity.

Since most homes don't have a dance pole, the classes also teach women exotic moves that can be performed against a wall or on a chair or the floor. Some lessons teach lap dances, too.

But don't get any ideas that the pole dancing studio is some sort of stripper training academy.

"We're not anti-stripper; it came from strip clubs," Sorensen says. "But it's a legitimate sport dance style now."

And it can be a very empowering experience for a woman to feel confident and sexy, they say, emphasizing that women of all shapes, sizes and shyness levels are welcome.

"A lot of it is self-awareness," Marie says. "Once you feel good about yourself, feel at ease, feel beautiful, then you can create are with your body."

As for the business of running a studio, the woman don't expect it to be a lucrative enterprise, but they think they can make it work.

"We're touching so many women in a positive way, it's become much more a labor of love than anything else," Marie says.


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