The Pole Barn swings into Stillwater

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Photo by Emily Lodahl

The Pole Barn is a new dance studio in downtown Stillwater. It is owned by Rochelle Jacobs. The studio features classes in pole moves for beginners and higher levels, hip hop hula hoop, flex appeal, ballet and many more. It provides a new and innovative way to stay in shape while having fun and working out.

The Pole Barn was added to historic downtown’s many small businesses in the middle of February. Located just behind Leo’s Malt Shop, this studio’s mission is to empower women regardless of their age, weight or previous dance experience.

Rochelle Jacobs, owner of The Pole Barn, features classes in pole moves for beginners and intermediate levels, hip hop hula hoop, flex appeal, silk, ballet and many more. This facility also hosts a variety of events including bachelorette parties and ladies night out.

Jacobs has been in dance since she was two and danced on Larkin’s non-competitive line during high school.  She started pole dancing three years ago.

Jacobs said, “It was challenging to find a class that replaced dance for adults. I tried zumba, step aerobics and kickboxing but I ran out of new moves to learn. My friend told me to come to a pole class with her and after my second class I’d already bought my first pole.”

“My mom, who is 69, visited the studio and spun around one of the poles and absolutely loved it.”

— Rochelle Jacobs

The poles in this studio have a 44 mm circumference, the ability to spin, are attached to the 120 year old building’s ceilings and are one of two in this state to use the small poles.

“Women have smaller hands and grab a smaller pole more easily,” said Jacobs. “It’s fun the only thing we currently don’t allow is men.”

From the zebra print lounge to the pink and rhinestone studded bathroom this building has obviously been marked as a women only environment. Do not be mistaken these classes are a suburb workout and leave participants sweating and sometimes with small bruises that people in the business call “pole kisses.”

Jacobs said that people have been overwhelming positive about the addition of the studio, even though she was nervous of how people would react at first.

Sophomore Megan Herrick said, “If that’s what you would like to do for a workout, I’m comfortable with that.”

This studio will never have any sort of strip tease classes, assured Jacobs. This club is solely for women wanting to shed fat, not clothing.

While the typical age for these classes is 30, people as young as 16 may join a class with parental permission.

Jacobs said, “My mom, who is 69, visited the studio and spun around one of the poles and absolutely loved it.”

These classes also help younger women increase their flexibility, become more graceful, maintain their balance more easily and have fun while working out.

Junior Lauryn Millard said, “I think taking the class for exercising reasons could be really fun. It would be something you and your friends could try out together. I think it would be a different experience and something you don’t usually try out everyday.”

While Jacobs is well aware of the controversy surrounding her business and said, “Gymnastics uses poles for their routines, they are simply turned the wrong way.”