More than 18 years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to try an all-new form of fitness called pole dancing. I had just had my 3rd baby and was working as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor. I also have a background in classical dance and had trouble finding a dance class for adults. I can’t explain how much I loved what it did for me; my first spin around the pole made me feel like a superhero and a goddess at the same time. I loved what it did for my self-esteem as well as my body. I was hooked!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anywhere in the Midwest to continue the journey I knew I had to pursue. So after a few coast-to-coast travels, I started self-teaching.
I found I had a real need to be able to express myself physically, emotionally, and sensually while getting a kick-butt workout and I was sure other women were searching for the same thing. So, I put up a few poles in my home and started teaching some friends who I knew would love pole fitness as much as I did. They ultimately started bringing their friends and before I knew it, Tease was born! We became an official company and started a life-changing movement in June of 2006. It’s been 16 years and I can look back and say that Tease was a pioneer in the industry of aerial and sensual dance and fitness.
Since 2006, Tease has had the privilege of teaching and empowering thousands of Chicagoland women in so many ways. Many of our students and instructors have gone on to become world-class competitive athletes and all of them have reshaped their bodies and self-images. Within this haven of self-expression and encouragement, we created a powerful, loving community that has fostered friendship, love and so much support in and out of the studio. Most importantly, Tease has always offered a safe, judgment-free space where women can come and celebrate all that their bodies can do.
In 2007, we added a burlesque dance program and 10 years ago we began teaching aerial arts. Today, Aerial Silks, Aerial Hoop, and Aerial yoga rival our signature pole fitness series in popularity. We also opened up our Aerial classes (not pole) to kids and teens. They are enjoying this high-flying form of fitness just as much as their moms do!
Today, we welcome over 500 women through our studio every week. It’s been an amazing journey of love and discovery for me. The words "female empowerment" has become popular in the last few years. I have lived it. I have experienced it. I have seen it. It is very real and sacred in our hallowed studio. I especially love watching a brand new student come in for their first class a little nervous, and leave a few hours later like she has learned the most delicious secret. That nervousness turns into excitement as she begins her journey with us. To be able to bear witness to the changes that take place in her body and self-confidence week after week is such an incredible gift. My gratitude and love to you as you begin your own journey. I hope you decide to bring Tease into this journey. Maybe you don’t even know what that path is yet. Please let us walk alongside you as you find it. It would be my greatest honor. With all my heart I promise you will be welcomed and loved by us along the way.
with so much love and excitement for you!
Lynzhi is also our lead pole fitness instructor. She spent most of her career in the private sector working for politicians. After graduating from Yale, she started to head to law school only to realize that politics and law were no longer her passions. She wanted to make a difference in the world, and yet often left trials feeling discouraged with the system. That was when Lynzhi moved back to Illinois to pursue her other loves- fitness, and nutrition. She was looking for a ballet or dance class when she found out about pole dancing and decided to try something new.
When Lynzhi went to her first Teaser, she was so nervous that she couldn't drive herself to class. Six years later and she teaches 5 days a week, and affectionately calls the studio "home." She loves Tease not only because of the awesome group of smart, supportive, beautiful women but because for the first time in her life, she can tell that she's helping empower women and making the world a better place.