Vertical Fusion Studios, an aerial and pole dance fitness studio, held its soft opening of its Main Street location over the weekend.
The dance company which has its main studio in Boulder and a franchise location in Fort Collins expanded into Longmont on Sept. 11 for its open house and started classes the following day with intro pole dance classes. Vertical Fusion Longmont is located at 630 Main Street.
Though Vertical Fusion Longmont is now the company’s third location, it’s not the first time it’s been in Longmont. Owner and founder of Vertical Fusion Melanie Piek, who’s hometown is Longmont, started her studio on Second Avenue and Main Street when she launched nearly 10 years ago. She later moved the studio to 1240 Ken Pratt Blvd.
The Fort Collins sister-studio franchise opened shortly after Vertical Fusion founded in Longmont. The Boulder studio at 6655 Arapahoe Rd Suite E opened in 2013.
Piek decided to shutter Longmont’s studio after Boulder found a high demand. Though she had to cut her hometown location to focus on growing Boulder’s Vertical Fusion, it led to her return to Longmont.
“We decided to focus on Boulder and just recently decided to have a space in Longmont just because we have grown so much, fortunately, that our space in Boulder is pretty booked most of the time,” Piek said.
The two other Vertical Fusion locations offer aerial and pole dance, but Longmont will solely offer pole. Piek plans on still keeping Boulder as her main studio, but she needed a new location to accommodate Vertical Fusion’s needs.
In addition to offering beginner to expert level dance classes, Vertical Fusion puts on multiple performances throughout the year. Since the Boulder location is often booked, it’s difficult to find time to rehearse and have private lessons, Piek said. Right now, Vertical Fusion is prepping for its Oct. 9 aerial and pole dance showcase at the Boulder Theater.
Longmont won’t have as many classes so it can double as a rehearsal studio. Piek also plans to use the spot on Main Street for her boudoir and pole photography business Melanie Piek Photography.
Piek said she thinks there’s a higher demand for pole dance in Longmont than when she first started. The dance workout is becoming less stigmatized by the general public and recognized for its athleticism and self expression, she added.
Though fitness is a large part of pole dancing, she hopes her students will gain a new sense of confidence and find a safe space to express themselves. Students are welcomed to combine any kind of dance in their pole fitness, Piek said.
“I want them to feel like they're achieving their strength goals, their flexibility goals,” Piek said. “But more than anything I want them to, over time, develop a new confidence and enjoy self expression and freedom around their self expression.”
Piek said Vertical Fusion offers a wide array of classes for every skill level. Vertical Fusion eases newcomers into pole fitness and works with students to meet their goals.
Those new to pole dance are sometimes intimidated by it, she said, and they cite their weight and physical strength as reasons to not try it out.
“I like to kind of dispel those myths about pole dance,” Piek said. “You don't have to lose weight. You don't have to have a certain amount of strength. You don't have to be a certain age. You don't have to identify as any certain gender. Our doors are open to everybody who wants to give it a try.”