Judy grew up studying traditional dance but as an adult found it hard to take classes because of her work schedule. The gym was just a lot easier to find time for. A few years ago, she and a friend tried a pole class for those over 40 and it was love at first class. “I was so sore the next day and had so much fun.” Judy remembers. It really surprised her that she was sore because she was so active and always at the gym. After a while she reached the limit of what that studio could offer and decided to open her own studio. Thus, The Girl Spot was born! Pole is the main focus but chair dance classes are also taught. Fly gyms are coming soon too but she can see potential for so much more and is looking forward to expansion. “I see myself not so much as a Pole studio but a dance studio offering pole.”
Fun is definitely important at The Girl Spot. They give out “belts” for different advancements in Pole Skill- garter belts that is! White belt for pole basics, a blue belt, a black and white belt and then black belt for advanced.
You can’t help but be inspired and motivated when spending time with Judy. When asked about her age she said “I’m 55 and you can tell the whole world! I hope people realize that just because you hit a certain age that you don’t have to hang
yourself up. I have a personal Motto “I ain’t going down without a fight!” Some days I have to remind myself of that. Being 55 and being
very physically active my whole life, there are days when I just hurt. I’d rather just keep pushing through and keep going. I can’t imagine not doing that. I just can’t imagine it. You never know what you are going to accomplish so go out there and try!”
That attitude is partly why she competed last summer in the Midwest Pole Championships and placed 4th out of 10 in the Masters
Division. It was also motivated by a desire “to be able to guide and counsel (her students) from experience.” This is another perfect example of the “hands on” influence and dedication that people feel at The Girls Spot.
Talking with those who call The Girl Spot home, I got a real sense of why the studio has been and will continue to be so successful. Judy’s caring influence and amazing attitude is felt in every aspect of the studio especially with her students and other instructors.
Nicole Motzer has been teaching for about a year after having been one of Judy’s students.
When I asked her what keeps her coming back to The Girl Spot, environment and curriculum are at the top of list.
“It’s like a family, very warm and welcoming. Curriculum is very gradual, set up so it’s not frustrating. When it’s time to do that next transition, that next skill, you are conditioned and you nail it.” The focus not just on pole but also conditioning helps a lot with building skill and confidence. Nicole says she has visited other studios and while they are friendly, there was definitely a more “business” feel
and it didn’t feel like family. She also loves that Instructors at the Girl Spot (including Judy) are hands on; they help everyone instead of just standing at the front of the class. There is also no judgment and the students feel that right away. Everyone is awkward at the beginning but they get comfortable soon.
Nicole has a gift for sharing the enthusiasm of her students. She loves “when the student is working on something and they get it and the look on their face is like Ohhh I could do it. I jump up and down and clap my hands. It’s awesome to see them excel.”
When asked what it is like to have Judy as a boss, Nicole says “We call her mama pole. She is so genuine and nice and at the same time she is such a great instructor. She is very down to earth. She is engaged and hands on.”
Erika Formanek, a student at The Girl Spot says it’s the people, the atmosphere and the attention to safety that keeps her coming back. She makes a considerable drive but it is worth it to her. “People are really sweet. No judgment. Safety is the biggest, most important thing here.” Erika took her first class 2½ years ago with some friends and was hooked. She says “They thought it was just about doing something “naughty” it was totally not anything like we thought it was. It was so much more intense.”
Erika says the thing she wants people to know most about The Girl Spot is that it’s a nonjudgmental zone. It’s a warm, welcoming
environment no matter who you are or where you are at in your practice.
The Girl Spot just celebrated their 3rd anniversary and what could have made for a rocky start turned into a blessing in disguise. Initially another businesses in the same building was a bit “up in arms” about the logo. “It’s a bit on the cheeky side” Judy says. “The way the logo was designed, the G is very prominently featured so from a distance it looks like The G Spot instead of The Girl Spot.” They wound up having to redesign the exterior signage to appease the neighbors but not before a local newspaper got wind of the situation and did an article on them. It wound up being great marketing and made for an awesome launch. “People love the logo.” Judy says “Nobody minds us. No hate mail or anything. People (in the community) are starting to get it and change their perception of pole.”
While there are 5 instructors now, at one point Judy was teaching the Lion’s share of the classes. Now she teaches intermediate and advanced intermediate and while her favorite pole move is the Shoulder Mount Planche, she says she has too many nemesis moves to name. Judy is blessed to have family support. Her husband was amazing when she started. He is a great support and an integral part of running the studio. Her daughter sometimes has a hard time with all the time mom spends away from home but overall, life is good.
Judy’s favorite thing about owning a studio is the community. “We have no Divas. They are very supportive of each other and are wonderful warm kind human beings. There is no negative competition among the students.”
Her least favorite thing is being a solopreneur… doing it all by herself and trying to remember everything.
“Everything…We’re wonderful! We want people to have a studio where they can and learn things that are physically fun and also physically effective and know that it is a very relaxed, well not relaxed but comfortable environment. I am demanding in some respects. I have a foot fetish. I am always saying “point your toes.” Go have fun. Don’t be afraid to try it! That is what I would want the world know….. Don’t be afraid to try it. Just try it!”