Charmaine Ristow, Ballet Instructor/Studio Owner – Madison, WI
Many gifted artists lack functional teaching skills, but Lori Huett is blessed with both. She also has a notable background and personal experience at the professional level that, along with her psychologist’s education, give her unparalleled skills in working safely and holistically with a wide range of students to nurture each one of them into finding their highest potential…whatever their ultimate goals.
Tina A., Environmental Technology - Denver, CO
Thank you again, Lori, for all you have done for me and my confidence and making me realize I am a sexy woman. I have never felt this way about myself, I guess because of the low self-esteem I have had because of my weight. This is what I meant when I told you that I had not dressed up or worn heels in quite some time. You taught me so much about myself and the woman I am inside who was just waiting to come out. Learning how to walk like a lady and dance inspired me to wear heels again. (It may turn out to be an expensive thing, since I have been buying lots of shoes since....but I love it!) You are an inspiration to so many women!
Hillary Ran, M.Ed - Denver, CO
Forget any preconceived notions you may have about pole dancing...this dance form, taught through Lori’s teaching philosophy, has healed pieces of me that I thought were irreparable. I originally joined the studio because I was bored with my traditional workout regiment and wanted a new athletic challenge. Also, being new to Denver, I thought it would be a great way to meet people in a healthy and supportive environment. But I started noticing benefits I was not specifically looking to gain through these classes…I felt OK in my skin again, I was standing up straighter, I caught the self-loathing comments in my head being replaced with self-assuring ones.
Lori has such an elegant way of challenging you to transform your mind’s negativity into acceptance through movement. Through this dance’s athletic, sensual and rebellious nature, I am finding myself prancing over boundaries I never thought I would have the emotional or physical strength to push. Thank you so much to Lori for creating such a safe and supportive environment in which to rebuild, grow and dance!
Dr. Tony Bandele, Clinical Psychologist – Denver, CO
Lori has contributed to the expansion of our field in ways that include blending traditional psychology with a variety of disciplines. This includes developing programs that merge exercise with therapy and working as part of an interdisciplinary team to provide holistic treatment.
Judy, Financial Services – Denver, CO
Lori has a way of lovingly and quietly handing you back your self-esteem. I never expected that thru a ‘pole dancing’ class, I would venture into a journey of self discovery and love.
Theresa, Business Owner - Denver, CO
Hi Lori. Just wanted to say congrats on the new studio, it looks beautiful. I'm still dancing and loving it! I get a lot of compliments on my dancing style and apart from the fact that I've had dance experience, I tell people that I started at Tranzendance where you nurture the soul of the dance. I have and continue to dance at several dance studios and there isn't a teacher I have encountered that teaches students how to get in touch with their inner dancer. It seems that most teachers focus on tricks and technique, yet the soul of the dance is hardly ever touched upon. I've had one other teacher (from a different style of dance) who also focused on nurturing everyone's individual inner dancer. This seems so rare, I know many dance teachers that simply create "cookie cut" images of themselves out of their students, which is unfortunate. However, I remember the great teachers I had fondly. I wish you the best in your new studio. :)
Sabrina K., Fullbright Scholar & Ph.D. Candidate - Denver, CO
I came to Lori’s studio looking for a fun new way to work out. I had heard about pole dancing as the new “in” way to work out, and wanted to give it a try. But what I found at the studio was a lot more than just a fun, new way to exercise.
Lori’s studio is a place for self-reflection and self care. The positive energy that drives the class and the teaching re-energizes my body, mind and spirit every week. At a first glance, the negative stigma attached to pole dancing may make people wonder how this is possible, but the truth is that Lori has really taught us to dance from the soul, and for no one but ourselves. The backgrounds of the women at the studio are all very different, and that is what makes the dance even more special -each women brings to the dance her own experience.
I work as a community organizer, working with the immigrant population in the Denver metro area. I received my masters in Forced Migration from Oxford University in England. I have lived and traveled all around the world in places such as Japan, Bangladesh, Ecuador, and England. I have spent much of life trying to help other people and only recently realized that you can only truly help someone else if you first take care of yourself and are true to yourself. This dance has really opened up my spirit and Lori provides the perfect, safe setting for us to explore our souls through the dance.
Sadly, I will be leaving Lori’s studio in February to complete a Fulbright fellowship in Peru. When I return, I can’t wait to continue expressing myself through the dance.
Kara – Exercise Physiologist, Denver, CO
Twenty-nine years old and “newly” out of a 4 year relationship (soon to be followed by meeting the love of my life), I decided that it was time to “LIVE” my life! That meant doing all of the things that I had always wanted to do, but never done for one reason or another. On that list of “desires” was pole dancing. At first mention, friends laughed, telling me that I was crazy. I have always been into working out, but the last dance class I took was when I was 5 and in a little kids ballet class!
Exercise is a large part of my life. By trade, I am an Exercise Physiologist at a hospital in Northern Colorado, where I test patients for/with heart disease. A large component of my personal life is training for and competing in Figure Competitions. This consists of daily weight training and cardiovascular training out of season, focusing on gaining muscle mass, while staying lean.
When I started pole dancing, I justified my desires by telling everyone, and myself, that this would help me be more graceful on stage. Thus, I would do better in my shows! As time has progressed, I have realized how much I truly love this dance for the dance itself and how free it makes me feel. Every week I look forward to “class”. I look forward to escaping life, mind deep in “meditation” and spending time with some GREAT women. Pole dancing has not only taught me “how to move”, but also “how to stand tall and be myself”! I never thought that pole dancing would be as life lifting as it has been!
Thank you Lori and all the girls at TranZenDance…love you all!
Mellanie Webb, Mother, Communications Specialist, Broomfield, CO
When I was a little girl I did the typical ballet/tap/jazz and in college I was on the dance team. I've always loved it but disappointed that as I grew older in life I lost that connection with a dance and with myself. As women we juggle so many things in our lives, marriage, work, children and it is so easy to lose ourselves. I too experienced that loss - I completely gave up on myself, I too have "a dress" (like Lori's!) and even more powerful to me -to describe my disconnect - I found myself at a point where I wasn't even shaving my armpits anymore!!! Its one thing to not shave your legs as much in the winter - but for me to not even care if my armpits were shaved really shows the massive neglect and disregard I had for myself. So there I was 80+ lbs overweight, no self-esteem and hairy armpits!! Many years ago I saw an Oprah show where she was spotlighting pole dancing and I found it so intriguing - dance and exercise all rolled up into a sensual experience, but being so lost I didn't pursue it, didn't feel like I was worthy to be in a class like that.
I was so blessed to have an amazing friend come into my life and literally save my life - "get busy living or get busy dying" they would quote from Shawshank Redemption. With their help I was able to tackle my lifelong weight loss battle, begin to discover my spiritual connection with the Universe, and pick myself up. Although I came a long way and I'm incredibly proud of my physical accomplishments there was still a piece that was missing - who am I and can I believe in her? Earlier this year I finally had enough courage to stand up and say, I want to be a dancer - and a pole dancer at that. There was lots of skepticism and not really a lot of support, but I was determined to do something for myself!! At first the search for a studio was disappointing, I came up with many excuses, there are no studios near my home or the money or the studios I found were 30 min "punch card" classes and seemed "slut-ed" out as I would call it. Then one day I stumbled on the TranZenDance website. I instantly knew this was the place for me, the beauty and physical awe of Lori's dance and the Mind-Body-Spirit connection.
When I first started dancing I would come and be stuck in my head, closing my eyes and imaging some man that I would be performing for. But through the coaching of Marguerite and Lori I discovered that this dance is for me, an expression of who I am - not what I think someone else wants to see. My biggest struggle through life has been my self-confidence and you could always see that in my hunched over shoulders. My mother use to tell me not to slouch and roll my shoulders and of course my excuse would be that it's a physical limitation of mine I can't do anything about that (as told to me by my pediatrician years ago!!!). Last month my mother said to me - I've noticed that lately you've been holding your shoulders back and your head up more. There are no physical limitations - it's mental, and through this dance I've found the greatest gift - the missing piece - me, and I believe in her.
As Lori will quote we have 3 responsibilities in life "show up, pay attention, and tell the truth". In the past couple of years, with the help of my friend I had finally started to show up and pay attention - but with my lack of self confidence I was too afraid to tell the truth. With the dance, with this studio, with the support of all of you I found the missing piece so I could tell the truth. It's been a crazy year, I've made some difficult choices, it is not easy being a single mom, but I've never felt better - wow, so this is what living feels like! I'm a pretty cool girl, I've never had more confidence before in my whole life, and being true to myself, believing in myself makes me the best woman and mother that I can be.
I believe that what makes us so unique as human beings is that we are a species that interacts with each other. Our acts of service to each other is what brings miracles to our lives. I am so grateful for all the people in my life who continue to bring me miracles everyday. Thank you to Lori, Marguerite and the ENTIRE TranZenDance studio, you have touched my life, and I hope that I can do the same for you.
Jen H., MBA (Systems Management) - Denver, CO
“Pole Dancing” raises automatic visualizations of strippers gyrating for money. But, visit the TranZenDance Studio website & see just one of Dr Lori Huett’s videos and your opinion of pole dancing will change.
My (now) ex-boyfriend wanted me to try pole dancing. I confess, I had a derogatory opinion of pole-dancing. But, when I saw a TV Health report about the physical & emotional benefits of pole-dancing, I decided to look into it. I found TranZenDance’s webpage, but decided to not “settle” on the first studio I found. Instead, I found other studios, which stated students should bring their own shoes. I even saw “nudity optional” on one website. I quickly realized IF I did this, TranZenDance would likely be the best studio.
Now, normally, I don’t just sign up for long-term expenses without weighing the decision heavily. Much to my surprise, I didn’t hesitate to hand Lori my credit card & sign up immediately after my Intro class.
At TranZenDance, I lose myself in the relaxing & energizing warm-up. I can feel the week’s stresses in my body just lift away. And, since I do occasionally miss class, I can feel it in my body when I miss class.
When I walk into the studio, I leave my normally competitive nature at the door – I take as much joy seeing a classmate accomplish something new as if I had done it, myself. Lori has taught me to tap into my artistic side. Most importantly, the dance is just FUN! It is FUN to find your own rhythm to music, allow the beat and sound to push your next move. It is FUN to watch Lori demonstrate a new move and actually do it, yourself. I love our freestyle time – I find myself sitting in awe of classmates as they move to their music. And, I love playing to the music, having fun with it.
I adore the women I’ve met at the studio – I love the laughter, the encouragement. TranZenDance allows us all to bring forward the naturally nurturing side of women – helping each other & ourselves. We encourage each other through cheers, positive feedback & giving each other ideas of new things to try, new ways of approaching turns & moves.
Lori, I can’t thank you enough for all that you’ve given me & my fellow students. I know my life is better since joining the studio. My hope is that women will continue to be drawn to all that TranZenDance can offer. You can’t know what you’ve been missing until you come to TranZenDance and find yourself hooked to a pole. Or climbing it. Or flying around it.
Lisa H., Writer -- Denver, CO
I have never seen a dance studio as positive, supportive and amazing as Tranzendance. Lori, Marguerite and everyone are just incredible. What a marvelous group! It's impossible to have a bad day at Tranzendance -- no matter how klutzy or awkward I felt the students and teachers were always there to cheer me on. There are many things that set this studio apart but the biggest to my mind is the loving spirit, professionalism and sense of fun. The other is the rapid progression. After years of struggling as an
adult to learn ballet I was amazed at how quickly I was actually DANCING! I can't say enough about Tranzendance. We are so lucky to have a place of this caliber in our community. Truly a Denver jewel. Thank you, Lori!"
Kristen, Teacher - Denver, CO
I have battled weight issues my whole life. To finally reach a place in my life where I can "release" unnecessary baggage - including pounds is a turning point. I cannot thank you enough and all the women I dance with each week who have supported my success.
Heather Mann – Boulder, CO
I’ve always been extremely shy and would avoid dancing at all cost (unless I had a lot to drink…). For years, something in me told me I shouldn’t because I didn’t know how, I wasn’t any good, and people would make fun of me. I knew deep inside I could dance because I was able to dance when no one was around; however, the minute people were around, I froze up. I didn’t know what to do with my arms, my legs wouldn’t move and my head and neck might as well have been in a surgical collar. After learning about pole dancing from my sister, I wanted to learn but even more so I wanted to learn to let go and dance. I chose Lori’s studio based on her website biography because it seemed like she had the experience and knowledge to help me.
Lori creates an environment that is fun, non-judgmental and safe. She repeatedly introduces everyone at the beginning of class so everyone knows each other and she keeps the same group of girls together in one class so everyone feels comfortable and supported. Lori’s classes helped me peel away years of fear and discomfort. In each class, she subtlety encouraged me to reconnect with my true self, the true self you have when you’re a kid and you dance without fear and concern. Over time, the negative dialog (I had on repeat in my head) began to fade and a healthy form of indifference and self assurance grew in its place. Everything Lori does from the warm-up to the free-style dancing re-enforces the fact that everything you need is already inside of you, you just have to relax and go to that place where you are dancing for you and nothing else matters. Often in warm up when I thought I was relaxed enough to dance, she would kindly touch my arm or head getting me to relax even more. She never said anything about my awkwardness or need to relax, she just put me/us through 5 million and one different activities that helped me practice letting go… in each class, it’s as if she is saying, it’s ok, you can let go now… which reinforced the fact that it was finally ok to let go… and not only that it’s ok to “take up space” too! (one of her favorite sayings I’m still working on but is now the more healthy mantra on repeat in my head). If you truly let go and take up space you aren’t going to look arrogant or stupid, you’re going to feel and look beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with feeling and acting beautiful because everyone is beautiful and everyone can dance.
Sarah J., University Student - Denver, CO
Just three months ago, nervous and unsure, I stepped into new territory, fully clothed in sweatpants and a t-shirt. As I moved through class, I was asked to "step out of my mind and listen to my body," not easy for a Psychology major. The fluidity of the class, enthusiastic encouragements, and sound knowledge of this new movement comforted me. When my first class came to an end, I knew I was hooked. Over the last few months, I've not only gained the obvious muscle strength and flexibility, but more importantly, a better sense of self. I've learned to respect myself and my body--feeling much more secure in who I am today.
Kelly, Physical Therapist - Denver, CO
I came for a workout which speaks for itself. (My muscles are still sore for 3-4 days after class despite the fact I have been here for over a year now.) I am in the best shape of my life at age 43. What I did not expect, and what I have come away with is a stronger ME, all the way around. For so many years raising kids and being "mom," I wrestled with the thought that I could be "sexy." I feel strong, sexy, and even graceful. For someone who was neither an athlete nor a dancer, this is a real accomplishment.
Allison H., Graduate Student in Social Work - Denver, CO
When I moved to Colorado from out of state over a year ago I was eager to find a studio to continue taking pole dancing lessons. When I began dancing at Tranzendance I realized that my prior dance experience was missing something crucial…me and my intuition. Before coming to Tranzendance I was accustomed to dancing to tightly choreographed routines and attempting to learn the various pole “tricks” at a quick pace. This left little room for self-expression or exploration of the different moves.
Dancing at Tranzendance has a different rhythm, one that encourages my own. I feel safe in experimenting and playing around with the different turns and moves that we learn because they are broken-down and demonstrated in such a way that I understand them fundamentally and as a result can be creative and make them my own. I have learned to dance in a way that requires no choreography, but comes from being present with the music, the moment, and myself. At first this was intimidating, but then became liberating as I learned that I do know how to move and communicate with my body.
Throughout this process I have felt supported by the amazing instructors I have worked with and the community of women I dance with on a weekly basis. This support fosters an environment where taking risks and being playful with movement is welcomed and encouraged. I feel that as a result, I “own” my dancing and this translates into other areas of my life. I am beginning to trust that I innately know how to move through life.
Koko H., Financial Services - Denver, CO
Lori is amazing! Our warm ups kick my butt, but I love them! Even without the pole, Lori guides us toward becoming more in tune with our mind body connection and instills confidence with the quietest affirmations. She is always present; you may think that she is deep in guiding the group warm up exercise, but you will quietly hear your name coupled with, “good,” “excellent,” or you will quietly feel her presence and then hear a gentle suggestion on how to make the movement more comfortable or safe.
I find myself wishing my weekends away so I can go to class on Monday nights! Dancing with Lori and the new friends I have made while at Tranzendance feeds my soul at its deepest level. At Tranzendance it’s not about the bump and grind or dirty dancing of what one might understand as “pole dancing,” it’s about reclaiming our femininity, reclaiming our self-esteem, reclaiming the confidence to walk through each day with our heads held high – reclaiming whole body health! Lori and the women at Tranzendance have been a godsend. I heard my mother say the other day, “I think Koko has her groove back!”
Christa H., Mom - Broomfield, CO
Ok, so, I have to share - you may appreciate it:
So, for work, I do disaster planning for Charles Schwab. I have an MBA in finance and do fairly well in corporate (have been on an executive management track). Over the past year, everything has just been struggle due to the amount of time my job has required. I manage a team of people and have been bringing a lot of new processes online. But, my little kids (2 and 4) haven't been getting the time they needed, and my marriage has seriously struggled. (Hubby and I have been married 9 years) We started marriage counseling and it looked like divorce was eminent in August.
While at this point, I was struggling with how far out of alignment my values in life were with what I was actually doing. In an attempt to do more things that plugged into my creative side (which was far more dominant before corporate) I signed up for this dance class. And an interesting question was posed the same week in a counseling session: "Without your job providing validation, who ARE you?"
It was a profound question as I'd slipped to a point where, without my job, I wasn't really sure who I was anymore. Without going into long boring detail, there were direct linkages to everything else suffering for how much I was pouring into my career. For really nothing more than monetary reward.
While dancing hasn't been the ONLY thing contributing to a shift in my perception of who I am, it has certainly been a contributing factor. It's why I had to start dancing at home. Letting go of my constant swirl of responsibilities and re centering with who I am at my core, reexamining my values. And a single answer kept surfacing. Over and over again the ultimate incompatibility of my current job with a family life became a reoccurring theme to my thoughts. Though it had been on my thoughts before, there was a certain lack of courage to making any decision about it. Every time I seriously considered leaving there was another raise, another promotion, another person added to my team...etc. however, for every accolade added at the job, another notch slipped at home.
November 2nd is my last day at Schwab. I'm quitting to come home and focus on my kids, my husband, and me. No other job lined up, no other goals than to start nourishing that which I put on the back burner for far too long. And, it's a GREAT decision. The right one.
And, it feels a bit silly saying it, but this dance class has been a direct link to actually allowing me to plug back into myself and go after what I want. Rediscovering my center, and having that center gather enough courage to walk away from something that the rest of the world would say is a very worthy pursuit.
(Hubby is very supportive of my quitting - that's worth mentioning too!)
Anyways, just thought you'd be interested in hearing that - big week this week. :)
Thanks for being so open and supportive of all our dance attempts and so aware of when we get out of our heads and plug into something much deeper. For me, that experience has been invaluable. I absolutely LOVE our Thursday nights. Thanks for all you do.
Have a great rest of the weekend!
L.J. – Public Health Administrator, Denver - CO
I began dancing at TranZenDance while I was battling a health crisis with a chronic illness. I am not sure what made me agree to taking the class, as it was asking more of my body then I ever thought was possible, especially at this time. Little did I know that it would so dynamically impact the progression of my health.
Through the instruction and the dance, I cried at my limitations, rejoiced at my small progress forward and reveled in the friendships and support I felt from my classmates. I have to admit, there was more frustration and crying in the first few months as I berated myself for being so tight, so closed and afraid of what was being asked of my body and mind. But, with the gentle guidance and encouragement of the instructor, I found myself begin to open up to the possibility that both mind and body could expand into a space I had not seen possible before.
It isn’t about the pole or stripping. It is about sensuality, trust in one’s body and the music- the music that has always been a guide for me. At this studio, it is possible to become lost in the music and comfortable in my body- enough to follow that music and let it take me to another place where limits are not my adversary. Illness is a distant influence that can wait on the sidelines for once.
I am now stronger and healthier in mind and body then I can ever remember. As one feeds the other, they have both found a voice, solace and friendship here at TranZenDance.
Jen Lyman, Jewelry Designer & Graphic Designer – Denver, CO
I love taking classes at the TranZenDance Studio! The studio décor has an inviting, comfortable feeling and the classes kick my butt. Literally! My butt, thighs, and abs hurt from the conditioning class, but in the best possible way. We work on all the core muscles, including muscles I didn’t even know I have. After I leave the class, I feel very relaxed, as if I had a deep tissue massage.
Lori is an excellent and patient teacher. She meets the students at their level and pushes them to do the best they can. I have increased my strength and flexibility dramatically in a very short amount of time. My posture is better and I feel more confident and beautiful.
In the pole dancing classes, not only do we work on strength and flexibility, we get to practice being sexy in a supportive environment. Who couldn’t benefit from that! Lori is bringing Sexy back to Denver, and it’s wonderful.
Silvia Sanchez, Dentist’s Assistant - Denver, CO
I turned 26 and decided it was time to stop being insecure about myself and become more confident in who I am and comfortable in my skin. But what could I do…dye my hair—a new color, start a diet, go on a shopping spree (again). I’ve done them all before and they helped but only for a short time. Then, I remembered reading an article in a magazine about pole dancing. When I called Tranzendance and spoke with Lori for a little over ten minutes, I knew that pole dancing was what I needed to do.
The first couple classes I was shy, and I am not usually a shy person, but it was something new. After a few classes, I began to let my reservations go and just let my body be free. I began to move in ways and do things with my body I never imagined I could. This movement has helped my body to change, helped me to tone areas that were always difficult. My clothes fit better and more important than that, I feel better in them.
Lori not only taught me how to move, she gave me my confidence back. She helped me become more in tune with my femininity and to become a happier person. I now have confidence in myself. I walk with my head held high and shoulders back, like a woman proud of her body. I am a nicer person to people in my life and to others I am just meeting. I no longer allow negativity from other people to get in my way of becoming who I am meant to be. I make it a point to wake up every day with a smile on my face.
Jessica Lilly, CU Boulder Student - Denver, CO
I want you to know the extent to which your dance classes have impacted my life. The freedom that I feel while dancing is unbelievably therapeutic. In a culture that so emphasizes stress and self-consciousness, it is truly beautiful to be able to escape that and just BE. I know we are all on a communal journey to discover "self."
This class has enabled me to do that by learning to surrender. Not my power, but my lack OF power. By allowing my soul to be free, I am surrendering to the true wonder of this life. When I sit in your class, when I dance in your class I feel free. I can truly abandon the negativity that has been imprinted into my thinking and into my self image. And I must say that in a world where oppression exists in SO much of our daily lives, that freedom has been nothing less than a true blessing to my spirit. I feel blessed to be a part of this amazing community. Thank you, Lori.
Alex Thomas, Real Estate Construction Management - Denver, CO
Pole Dancing, specifically, TranZenDancing, has taught me to be a more confident and secure person. I don't have to have the perfect body to execute some really spectacular moves. When the lights go out, everyone becomes their alter-ego, and embodiment of female confidence. I've become a much stronger person, both physically and emotionally, in the short two years at the studio.
I would like to thank you, Lori. I cannot put into words how much every one of us women appreciates your friendly face and reassuring attitude when we walk into the studio. You've created something special, a support group where we can escape our problems and build confidence while getting strong. It feels like last week that I walked into the studio afraid to do hip circles in front of everyone, and now I'm looking forward to helping teach bachelorette pole dancing parties. It's been a very short two years and I hope that it will be many more
Rebecca F., Medical Device Sales – Denver, CO
I had heard about “pole dancing,” and certainly understood that it bolstered confidence…but my attraction was to the sport of it. I went to build my core. I went for fitness. However, here is what I got in return: all of the above, but much more. I now have a great boyfriend, a more quiet sense of ‘self-esteem’ and more confidence than I can ever recall having.
What I never expected is that I would also feel sexier in everything that I do. I don’t feel like I am a ‘fatty’ if something that I shop for doesn’t fit. I realize that different designers’ clothing is cut differently…but I could never trust this before. I feel powerful, sexy, complete, happy, and…BONUS…in love! At the very least, you will fall in love with yourself. Find out what you need to love about Y-O-U, and sign up for a series which will forever change your experience of yourself for the better.
Stephanie G., 5280 & 303 Magazine Journalist – Denver, CO
Bare legs, pointed toes and a silky, fluid body spin around the metal pole as Amy Lee and Seether’s soulful voices punctuate the air. Lori Huett’s dance is mesmorizing. She’s beautiful, obviously. She speaks in an earnest, engaging manner, which makes each person feel like they finally are important, interesting and the center of Lori’s world. The ease with which she floats across her studio, helping each student along the way, before settling crossleggedly-zen onto her matt on the floor highlights the passion and love Lori has for her craft, her dance, her life.
I moved to Denver almost three years ago. I wanted a way to meet fun, cool, open-minded people. Pole dance seemed like a sure-fire way to engage with that type of crowd, and I was not looking for much more.
And then I met Lori.
She changed the way I view my body, the way I move, the way I look at myself. Through her incredibly positive attitude and careful guidance, I have developed a strong sense of self. Pole dance has made me finally feel beautiful. When I close my eyes and dance, I am able to forget the pressures and stress from school, work and my daily life. It’s the one time I no longer feel the need to be perfect. This dance form is sloppy and messy—like life. And through the mistakes and “imperfections” a true sense of inner beauty and peace prevails.
This dance form is not about stripping, overt sexualization of women, huge boobs and pin-thin legs. It’s about movement as the ultimate form of self-expression, and it’s beautiful. Pole dance combines the best of ballet with the physical prowess of aerial acrobatics.
I cannot thank Lori and Tranzendance enough for giving me such self-confidence. The community Lori has built is full of the most amazing, strong, and positive people. Pole dance has become an essential pillar of my life, and I could not be happier about it. Thank you, Lori.
S. H. – ICU Nurse – Denver, CO
Anyone that has any exposure to the media could accept the dictated protocol for being sexy. However, this dance form in the format that Lori lays it out is an experimental playground for how you define your own sexiness and womanhood. This could mean letting out your coy ballerina, your mysterious diva or even your fun, nasty side. I have found that I come head on with my inner vulnerability, faced with choosing to be authentic to myself in my expression from the inside-out. One can act out love, joy, sadness, anger, hurt and everything else we’re taught to keep under wraps. It is so emotionally feeing to be just where you are. I found after six months that my emotional strength gained equally with my physical strength.
After my mother’s death two years ago, I felt afloat. This is a strange phenomenon I cannot fully express, but I had to almost completely redefine myself and question the origin of all my attitudes and beliefs. Counseling and yoga were good for me, but these things didn’t necessarily allow for the creative process. Dancing at Tranzendance does. Lori provides a calming environment and gives you room to grow, but also pushes your physical boundaries and gives permission to break out of the box you’ve created for yourself. I am learning to stand on my own, that I am worth the investment of learning this art form and that no one is going to take care of me but me. My mother, who was my main support, is not in this physical plane any longer. Tranzendance provides scaffolding for me to support myself. I am very grateful.
Agatha Diaz, Medical Sales - Calabasas, CA
Lori’s dance is poetic! Shortly after seeing Lori perform and working with her to learn a few moves, I bought a pole for my house. In the last two years, Lori has instructed several parties that I have thrown for friends. This is an incredibly fun, sensual, and social workout—enjoyed by all!
Ana, Graduate Student - Oxford, England
While visiting on holiday, I was fortunate to find and train with Lori in a series of five privates at TranZenDance Studio. I've studied pole dancing for over three years now and in several countries: England, Australia and France. Lori is utterly perspicacious! It is rare to find an instructor who processes this movement on so many different levels. Her comprehension of the physics of this dance have lent to me being able to do some aerial moves that I have attempted for months now. I am astounded that I found "world-class" pole dance training in Denver, of all places.
Jessica Rogers, Law Student - Richmond, VA
"TranZenDance Studio offers an entirely different attitude from other pole studios I've attended. Lori's classes focus on listening to your body and being in the moment. The classes are my favorite part of the week, and something I'm constantly looking forward to! After being pent up in an office in front of a computer during work, it's incredibly refreshing to reconnect with my body and to get out of my mind.
Everything about Lori's studio feels organic. The warm-up is a constantly changing mix of yoga, stretching, and conditioning, that is challenging, yet Lori always encourages students to dance through the movements and connect with the music. Lori is open and receptive to students' requests, and her vast knowledge of dance and fitness makes her an extremely capable instructor to help students safely improve in both basic fitness and pole tricks. Each class she challenges students in new and different ways.
Tracy H., MA Counselor, Denver, CO
My name is Tracy and I am a professional woman with a Masters degree and 32 years experience of counseling and teaching in health and human services. I teach how important it is to be alive and present in this moment and in your body. I, myself am on that very journey of self discovery and am a living example of the consequences of the "dis-ease" created when we are not present with ourselves as well as the wonder, strength and excitement when we begin to "find ourselves" again.
It finally occurred to me to honor my body for getting me through the last 49 years. I have asked it to drag me around without proper fuel, rest, attention or maintenance and been resentful that it is not the shape, size or strength I "wished" for but did not inherently have. So, with a new attitude, and perspective I set out on a path to look for ways to strengthen my body without abusing it further and rediscovered dance. After a few years of Argentine Tango, (very feminine) I felt I was ready to step it up an notch and was looking around for another dance form. Never did it occur to me to even look at pole dancing, until I saw a segment on TV where these contestants talked about how powerful pole dancing was for them, not only as a physical workout but as a mental and attitude work out as well.
So, here I am, and so far, I'm discovering amazing things about me and my body. I am a strong, sensual woman who is learning more about how to enjoy and move and strengthen the skin and body I live in, while spending time with other amazing women on their personal journeys. No judgments, and tons of support and appreciation.
Amy, Physician – Denver, CO
Lori, I cannot thank you enough for everything! Taking the intro class at your studio 11 months ago was one of the best decisions of my life! You probably don't remember our first phone call - but myself and a girl friend were inquiring about classes - specifically, private lessons. You encouraged us to do group classes - which I enrolled in. She, on the other hand, ran it by her husband and his response was, "If you're going to enroll in an exercise class, let's do something together." Well, they both regret that decision - as they've heard me go on and on about how much I absolutely love it! And, they never enrolled in another class together;-) I've told her it's not too late to start...
I feel that I've really found my passion. Really, I have a great life - I love my job (at least the "seeing patients" part!), I have great friends, dogs and boyfriend. But, pole dancing is just for "me" - and it brings me such joy. I know that I wouldn't have been comfortable in just any studio, either - it's you that makes it so special. You have such a way with making women feel comfortable with their bodies and the movement. So, thank you for everything!
Jennifer, Nurse – Denver, CO
Who was I to be a smart, beautiful, sexy, strong, and intelligent woman? Who was I to deserve best? This is what I have asked myself since I was a teenager.
Then I started dancing at TranZenDance. The first time I ever walked in to the studio I was going to an introductory class, not knowing what to expect, I caught the very end of the advanced class. I was terrified, as my eyes welled up with tears I thought to myself “I could never be that strong or beautiful or sexy for that matter".
I have now been dancing for 11 months with Lori, and this is the happiest I have ever been for myself. Through the empowerment of the dance and the wisdom, support, and acceptance from Lori, co-students, and the people I am honored to call my friends, I have not only realized my own greatness, but I have chosen to step into that greatness and own it! I now believe that I do deserve the very best I can have for myself. I no longer ask myself the previous questions, I ask myself who am I NOT to be the smart, beautiful, sexy, strong, and intelligent woman that I was born to be. At 21 years old I have finally jumped into my life with both feet. Not looking back on the past, or trying to live in the future, but being fully in the present with a new embodiment of perspective and knowledge that I have learned though the power of the dance.
Melissa - Denver, CO
My name is Melissa; I am a 20 year old full time accounting student in my senior year at The University of Colorado at Denver. I currently have two jobs; working full time as a nanny and part time as a Mary Kay Consultant.
My friend introduced me to TranZen Dance at a very tough time in my life. I was beginning yet another string of court dates to pursue a permanent restraining order from an abusive relationship from the year prior. Between the stress of court, school and working three jobs I ended up sick all the time and at one point my doctor told me if I didn’t reduce my stress levels I’d end up hospitalized. I began making some pretty drastic changes in my life to reduce stress. I quit my summer job and a month before quitting my job of 5 years; I was talking to a friend about finding something fun and new to do. That’s when she told me about a pole dance class she was taking on Wednesday nights. She said it was fun, a great workout and a fun group of people so I decided to sign up for an intro class.
The moment I walked in I was impressed with the atmosphere, there was a single mirror that faced towards a corner of the studio, the lights were dim and the music was playing. The environment was relaxing and I found the mat warm-up alone to be a great workout. I thought pole dancing would be difficult, especially after watching the end of an upper level class, but was pleasantly surprised how quickly I caught on. I signed up for the Tuesday night class looking forward to the workout, increased flexibility and the opportunity to get back into some form of dance.
I had no idea how much the class and people would help me get my confidence and self-esteem back. Dancing has allowed me to feel reconnected with myself and has made me healthier overall. I have been eating and sleeping better and find I am not getting sick as often. Mentally I find that I am not so exhausted when it comes to work and school. I’ve even found on days that I am tired and not feeling myself, going to dance gives me a new boost of energy and makes the rest of the week better. The encouraging, relaxing environment within the studio is refreshing in a world that is always stressed and on the go. I also love that Lori recognizes where I need to be challenged and helps me to become a better dancer, relax and slow down. I definitely would not be in such a good place mentally or physically without dancing and am so grateful for what Lori is doing here at TranZen Dance.
TranZenDance Pole Dance Instruction in Panama City, Panama - March, 2010: