Minx and Muse...from the minute I watched the introductory video for this studio, I wanted to know more...the talk about being "part Heaven, part Hell" and "defying antiquated social standards and wielding their sexual power" hooked me right in!
So I did a little back and forth emailing with the beautiful Crimson Minx, founder of The Pole Parlour, a pole dance podcast that you MUST check out (click here to learn more) and dove right into the where, why and how she came up with this seductively magical spin on a pole studio.
So much came into play to make me want to open a studio! Briefly, after doing Pole Parlour for a couple of years, I got a small taste of building a business in the pole/dance community and I dug it!
Then I moved to Austin for personal reasons and that gave me the opportunity to actually be able to afford to open my own space.
And finally, I personally wanted a specific space that didn't exist and I believed there was a market for it so I thought, Why the hell not build it myself?
I should mention that I've been working in corporate America doing brand-building for years, so I did not come at this without any kind of business background, though I will admit, I am way less fear-adverse than most people!
Dance was completely new in my life when I discovered pole in 2013. I did some ballet as a young girl and cheerleading as a pre-teen, but after that it was all athletics. I was a total gym bunny but I would never claim to have a fitness background with technical training!
I am still a graphic designer and art director in terms of my real career, so trying to transition into this whole professional dance thing is new and unexpected.
That being said, I love the challenge, though ultimately I would like to excel at the role of creative director/business woman as opposed to dance instructor.
For real, being able to physically manifest my creative vision by opening Minx and Muse has been the most rewarding experience of my professional life! Though I should stress, I do LOVE teaching and actually teach 1/3 of the classes at the studio right now!
I think I have a have a unique perspective by not coming from a classically trained background (and being a slow learner myself), so I have a more tolerant, explorational approach to instruction. 99% of our students are complete newbies, so it's rewarding to witness them discovering their natural movement and sensual power!
Naming the studio was quite the project! Let's just say I went through countless options over many months and finally landed on Minx and Muse at the 11th hour after my trusted soundboard of homies couldn't come up with any opposition!
I like that it contains a part of me with the "Minx" and I also really like how it offers up two feminine archetypes to play with.
The Minx is more extroverted, brazen and unapologetically owns her sexuality, while the Muse is introverted, spiritual and mysteriously enigmatic.
We are in central Austin, Texas!
Our classes and workshops revolve around what I'm calling "esoerotic dance" (learn more here at www.minxandmuse.com/esoeroticism), transformative dance and mystical exploration. Some classes include Pole Alchemy, Tarot + Movement, Elemental Emotion, Spellbound Striptease, Nasty Woman, and Minx + Muse Coven.
Our classes are very unconventional and creatively inspired. I wanted to build something unique and grow a niche community rather than trying to compete with existing studios (since there are some rad ones here already!)
You can find class descriptions here: www.minxandmuse.com/classes/
Witch house opium den. Ha! For real though.
But beyond the visual aesthetic, I was interested in a community space not dedicated to fitness. I wanted to offer dance and movement in a way that was soulful and empowering, as well as offer classes that aren't movement based (such as our weekly coven where we sit in circle and do things such as read tarot and cast magic spells.) I think our studio philosophy sums it up well:
TO HELL WITH CONVENTIONS
We are not a fitness studio. Our self worth can't be measured on a scale.
We will not downplay our sexuality. We don't need approval.
We are curious. We want to explore - physically and consciously.
We ebb and flow. Sometimes we dance in wild ecstasy, sometimes we sit in silent meditation.
We value expression, transformation, and freedom.
We are not in competition. We inspire others with our passion.
We are multifaceted: tenacious, poetic, enchanting, boundless, brazen, and perfect in our imperfection.
And we seek to live a life filled with magic and endless possibility.
With Pole Parlour, I've always tried to be very diplomatic and all-encompassing. With Minx and Muse, I am embracing the opportunity to express myself creatively and serve a niche audience.
As of now, no, but never say never!
Our classes are very internal. We don't even allow phones or filming in the studio during classes. That being said, I am willing to see how things evolve.
We have some amazing students who actually put on shows around town, so I intend to do what I can to support them and get students and instructors involved with that! I do intend to use the space for public shows, but that's all I'm going to say about that for now ;)
We are unique in that we teach only pole dance in the sense of spins, choreo and low flow. No climbing, inversions or aerial tricks. I don't even consider us a pole studio. We just happen to offer a variety of open-level pole classes a few days a week as part of our larger curriculum, but we have the X-Pole Pole Away system, so our poles retract into the ceiling and we have an open floor space most days.
I think that to offer the advanced pole classes involving technical tricks and acrobatics, I would responsibly have to also offer strength and training classes and that does not interest me. Because of this, we don't get traditional pole students in our studio. And that's okay!
Dancing on and around the pole is hella fun and perfectly compliment our other classes. And we very openly suggest alternative studios for students to check out if they are looking for pole fitness!
For more info, to plan a visit, take a class or to follow on social media, here are the links:
All photographs by Shane Karns.