20 years ago, it would have sounded absurd to say, “I’m taking pole dancing classes.” Fortunately, pole fitness is becoming a more widely accepted form of exercise!
I’ve done pole for several years now and I absolutely love it. I actually have a pole installed in my garage!
Yes, it means bruises, sore muscles, and frustration, but pole has been a rewarding part of my own fitness journey.
There aren’t a lot of places to offer pole dancing classes in San Antonio, but fear not! I’ve tried both of our local studios and can give you an insider’s view on what you can expect at each studio.
Pole Dance Studios In San Antonio
The bad news is that there are just two major studios that offer pole dancing in town. For that reason, classes can fill up quickly!
At any rate, as long as you book your space ahead of time, you’ll be able to get in. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from San Antonio’s two pole dancing studios.
North Pole is, in my opinion, the biggest and most reputable pole dance studio in San Antonio. In 2021 they added a second location off of Bandera Road, making pole even more accessible to the Alamo City. And, thanks to their second location, you have more opportunities to sign up for a class without a waitlist.
- Address 1: 20626 Stone Oak Pkwy #104, San Antonio, TX 78258
- Address 2: 5417 Bandera Road, Suite 603, San Antonio, TX 78238
- Website: North Pole DS
Before 2021, you had to drive all the way out to Stone Oak to take a North Pole class. Depending on where you live, that means you’re making a 25 – 45 minute drive to pole class. And if there’s traffic, it’s even worse.
(Oh, and if you’re late, North Pole will lock the door on you!)
However, with the addition of a Bandera Road location, North Pole is WAY more accessible. Bandera Road is still an absolute nightmare during lunch and rush hour, but it’s still faster than driving to Stone Oak.
In terms of the studio itself, North Pole is immaculately clean, modern, and downright cool. If you attend classes at night, the instructors will even turn on mood lighting!
If you want to go to North Pole, I don’t think they do walk-ins, so you have to book a class through their online portal. North Pole currently offers packages for 10 classes for $150, or 4 classes for $90. They also have a $10 special for first-timers.
If you’re new to pole and aren’t sure if you’ll stick with it, I recommend paying the $20 single-class pass. If you decide pole is for you, then you have my blessing to buy one of North Pole’s class packs.
By the way, there aren’t any refunds here. So make sure you actually go after you sign up for a class!
I personally didn’t like the way North Pole operates, but I have several friends who are diehard North Pole fans.
If you attend a beginner class, you can expect to start the class with stretches and dynamic movement, like floor work (we did arabesques across the floor, for example). The instructor will then go through 7 – 10 different moves, which usually progress in difficulty. If you successfully master a move, the instructor will make a note in your file. After you master a certain number of moves, the studio will allow you to progress from beginner classes into intermediate classes.
You won’t learn choreography in a straight-up beginner pole class. If you want to learn sexy routines, you’ll need to sign up for the exoticPOLE class (heels are optional, but encouraged!).
I wasn’t a big fan of North Pole because I prefer a different instruction method. It can be intimidating because you’re in a room with much more experienced dancers, but if you stick with it, North Pole will definitely get you into shape!
Soft Sensuous Moves (SSM)
Soft Sensuous Moves, or SSM, might be a smaller pole dancing studio, but it’s actually my favorite. Their approach to pole fitness is completely different from North Pole, so depending on how you like to learn, you might prefer one studio over the other.
SSM also offers a wider variety of dance classes, so if you’re pole-curious but aren’t ready to take the plunge, you can try silks yoga or twerking classes first.
- Address: 6441 Blanco Road, San Antonio, TX 78216
- Website: SSM Fit
SSM has just one location in Castle Hills. It’s located just off 410 and not too far from Alamo Drafthouse, so it’s more accessible for people living in San Antonio. Since most of SSM’s classes are in the evening, it’s more doable to stop by here after work than North Pole.
SSM has a cozier feel than North Pole. It also has several rooms available, so they can have multiple classes going at once, unlike North Pole.
SSM is also designed for women-only, while North Pole is more gender-inclusive (they even have male instructors!). If you want a female-centered environment, this is the better option. SSM also completely blacks out its windows for privacy, while North Pole’s classes are visible from the outside.
I recommend trying out a pole class at SSM before committing to anything. Their drop-in rate is $25, which is $5 more expensive than North Pole.
Since SSM has a different model than North Pole – you pay $100 for 4 weeks of once-weekly classes. That puts each class at $25. Sure, this is more expensive than North Pole, but if you see the difference between the two studios, you’ll understand why.
I love this studio. In my experience, SSM is the friendliest pole studio in San Antonio. I felt like a number at North Pole, but at SSM, I felt like part of the family. My instructor was Tashi (AKA Brown Suga), but you can’t go wrong with any of the experienced teachers at SSM.
SSM’s model is a better fit for how I like to learn, too. With SSM, you go through a set “course” where you’re at the same experience level as everyone else in your class. That also means you’re with the same people every week, so it’s a great way to make friends!
You automatically advance to higher levels as you successfully complete a course. Each class also comes with choreography and a mini open-pole sesh, so it’s a great way to practice what you’ve learned!
The only downside to SSM is their payment options. They can’t process anything under $20 on credit cards, so if you choose to do a walk-in, it’s a good idea to come with cash. They also have an online booking system where you can pay for classes ahead of time, like North Pole.
Ready to try pole dancing? What to know before you go.
Keep in mind that pole dancing is a form of fitness. No matter which studio you go to, you’ll need to come prepared. Bring water and wear tight short-shorts so you can grip the pole. I know they don’t always feel flattering, but it’s a safety issue, ‘k?
I also recommend leaving all jewelry at home (especially rings). And don’t apply any lotions or creams 2 hours before your class; otherwise you won’t stick to the pole!
Final Thoughts on Pole Dance Options in San Antonio
Us San Antonio locals are lucky to have two different options for pole dancing in our city, each one providing a different experience.
If you’re looking for the biggest and most reputable pole dance studio in San Antonio, give North Pole a try. There, you’ll find flexible class packages and step by step instruction. And it all happens in a cool, clean, modern environment!
If you’re looking for a small, friendly studio that will help you make friends and feel like family, then, like me, you may prefer the female-centered environment at Soft Sensuous Moves.
Either way, get ready to enjoy one of the most fun fitness classes in town!