“MOM! Get off that pole!”


How Knockout Bodies makes pole dancing an art

The idea of middle aged women (or anyone, for that matter) getting on a pole can be terrifying. At Knockout Bodies, a Minneapolis pole dancing studio, it happens twice every weeknight, and it’s not scary, it’s an art. While the most recent craze in exercise includes antics historically reserved for nightclubs and stripper joints, the pole dancing classes at Knockout Bodies is far from the alcohol­-fueled jaunt your cousin tried at that bachelorette party.

Knockout Bodies offers a full range of pole dancing fitness classes from their 4­-week beginner session to their technique classes. Their classes are for women only, and you have to be over 18 to take one. In addition to classes, they also do private lessons and host private parties.

Before Knockout Bodies, owners Chris and Jen Cichon opened The Cellar Kickboxing Gym. When they were looking to expand, they added Knockout bodies to the adjacent space. The Cellar has classes in boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, jiu jitsu, and MMA, while Knockout Bodies covers aerial pilates and pole dancing. Both Jen and Chris work full­time at the gym and have owned The Cellar since 2006, and added on Knockout Bodies in 2011.

Since it only allows women, Knockout Bodies is the perfect spot to try a new workout without judgement. According to employee Katie Anderson, many of the women seeking out pole classes were once ballet or high kick dancers when they were younger. “It’s hard to find dancing as an adult. This is a way to do that,” Katie said.

Knockout Bodies offers two pole classes and one aerial pilates class every weeknight excluding Friday. The weekends are reserved for bachelorette parties or similar gatherings. “It’s kind of a niche. People really like it,” Katie said.

The “party package” includes an hour in their lounge area with an hour­long class. Weeknight classes take a maximum of 12 participants, since there are only 12 poles. Parties can include up to 24 people, as long as you’re willing take turns.

Although Katie started working at Knockout Bodies after starting in The Cellar, she has taken both the pole dancing class and the aerial pilates class to see what they were like. A trained mixed martial arts fighter, she has been working in and working out at the gym for nearly four years.

Their space is located in Northeast Minneapolis at 2828 Anthony Ln S. If you’re feeling frisky, or just looking for something new to try, go talk to Katie or one of the owners. Who doesn’t want to know their way around a pole?