NIZHNEVARTOVSK: A 25-year old IT specialist, Ksenia teaches athletic pole dancing on Monday afternoons during her work lunch break. Her classes is held at a dance studio in a new shopping mall in Nizhnevartovsk, Siberia. Her student today was a 35-year old woman - also on her lunch break - who decided to try something new in life. Ksenia teaches a few days a week after work as well and has 16 students in total. Another pole dance teacher at the school has just as many students. Ksenia said she got into athletic pole dancing over a year ago after randomly coming across a video on Youtube and plans to take part in a regional competition. Pole dancing was more interesting and challenging than just working out at a gym, she said.
NIZHNY NOVGOROD: ''It was a hobby that became a business. This is not striptease. It is a sport and I want to get it across to people that this is a serious activity that requires a lot of physical strength,’’ said Snezhana, 41. She was offering pole dancing lessons with her colleague Masha, 41, at an outdoor EDM festival near Nizhny Novgorod as a way to promote their year-old school. I asked Snezhana how she got into the business. She said she signed up for World Class Gym in Nizhny at about age 35, right after she gave birth to her second daughter. Later, she decided to join the pole dancing class offered by the gym. Snezhana was one of four students in the class. After two years, she and classmate Masha, decided to open their own pole dancing school, which they did last September. They teach four to five lessons a day, said Masha. Some are group classes, some are individual lessons. Among the students are Snezhana’s 7 year-old daughter (the youngest student) as well as Masha’s 22 year-old daughter. The eldest student is a 46 years-old.