To our valued community members,

We wanted to address a topic being brought up in the pole community. It is important to educate our community as thoroughly as possible when it comes to our most popular class genre, pole dancing, and to hold ourselves accountable as well.

Conversations are popping up about the use of the words “exotic” in the pole industry. Specifically, the use of the word in reference to class names & descriptions for the sexier or more erotic styles of movement. These conversations are highlighting that the use of such terms have discriminatory origins. Additionally, these terms are a specific example of cultural appropriation for strippers, in particular black strippers. We hold the history of pole dancing and the persons who created it in the highest regard. Aradia Fitness (and pole studios everywhere) would not exist without them. 



We take pride in striving to always learn, grow, and listen to the experiences of our community. The rebranding of our logo & mission statement a few years ago sought to address the verbiage we used as a company; to be more inclusive of persons of all genders & gender identifications, sexual orientations, cultures, race, and lifestyles. We believe that diversity is a beautiful & essential part of life

However when the terminology we use detracts from the values we promise to uphold, we must pay attention and act.

Aradia Fitness Triangle has a unique ability to reach, connect, and educate others in more than just physical movement.  As a company, we must continue to strengthen ourselves allies to the BIPOC and LGBT communities – as well as in the #BlackLivesMatters, #BOPO, and #YesAStripper movements. We are not perfect, but we have been working hard to empower our staff & studio community to reflect that mission. This includes past & future education, conduct refreshers, and policies updates for our staff.

If we have unintentionally contributed to the pervasiveness of a cultural appropriation issue, then we owe it to our community to apologize and do better.

Effective immediately, Aradia Fitness Triangle will stop using the word “exotic” for class names or in class descriptions. If the course is specifically about stripping or stripper-style movement we affirm that we will act honestly in paying homage to the movement style used & provide positive commentary as to the history of it.

We will begin using the following verbiage to describe our standard sexier style classes – HeelWerk. This is a class name we have already used in the past for a non-apparatus, stiletto dance class. This decision was NOT made to disassociate ourselves with stripper-style. That is always going to be at the heart of pole dance classes everywhere and an important part of our industry history.

Aradia Fitness Triangle has chosen this name so that in the future we can use the word “exotic” in the most accurate & appropriate manner possible in the future. HeelWerk as a general category will include the following sub-categories:

  • HeelWerk: Pole (formerly called Exotic Pole)
  • HeelWerk: Floor (formerly called FloorPlay)
  • HeelWerk: Dance (a non-appartus stiletto dance class)
  • HeelWerk: Lyra (formerly known as Exotic Lyra)

We know that for some change can sometimes be confusing or unwanted… but often it is necessary. It is important for Aradia Fitness Triangle to accountability for any participation we have had in this industry-wide issue; especially to any persons who may have been negatively affected by this.

Aradia Fitness Triangle will be working this week to update our websites, literature, and staff training accordingly. Your experience is, and shall remain, our priority – that includes everything from the quality of instruction you receive to the physical & emotional influence your time with us may have.

From all the staff at Aradia Fitness Triangle, we are grateful for this vibrant, strong, & diverse community that each of you have helped create. We thank you for your continued trust in us as we remain vigilant in doing our part to serve you better each & every day! 

Images in light pink have been reposted from Kitty Velour who took the time to research & present the history behind the use of the word exotic. You can view her full post on Instagram.