Brass Beauties empowers Hamiltonians with the art of pole-dancing
Seven years ago, Lisa Esposto started pole-dancing. She originally bought into it to strengthen her core. After a month of pole-dancing, she became hooked on taking daily classes.
“It helps me a lot mentally, helps me look at myself in a different way, [I] became more confident in my everyday life . . . It also helps with some physical appearance demons that most females deal with at some point,” said Esposto.
A year later, she purchased the studio from the owner, turning it into Brass Beauties. The name comes from the foundation of treating everyone equally beautiful, as explained by Esposto.
“Everyone creates their own beauty. You can see your instructor, but you’re never going to move like them; you’re going to find your own way. It may be a hybrid, but you’re going to put your own twist on it,” said Esposto.
As an owner, Esposto’s main responsibilities primarily look at the finances and management of the studio. But as an instructor, she helps women to feel more empowered in many different ways.
“Anybody can do it, you just have to put the time in like everything else in life . . . It’s just how much you want it,” said Esposto.
On a personal level, Esposto tries to ensure women are comfortable within the studio. She provides them with a space to dance that empowers and distracts them from what’s outside the studio’s four walls.
“Life is hard outside, it’s just a space to let them forget about the crappiness of life. If they’re having a bad day, they talk to me and we just go from there. I look at them as my family,” said Esposto.
Despite the studio not being your typical weights-based gym, Brass Beauties still provided a social atmosphere to its dancers.
“Not only are they getting a workout, but we also joke around. So they are missing the social aspect of it right now,” said Esposto.
Esposto also re-iterates how the dancers come together as a huge support system and thus, motivate each other.
“If someone catches you slacking, they’re going to call you out,” said Esposto.
Brass Beauties holds a variety of classes: fitness, dance, tricks, flexibility and hammocks.
The fitness class is all-levels whereas, for the dance classes, they vary by levels, from beginner pole-dancing with heavy instruction to more advanced classes where freestyle is available.
A popular trick class includes upside-down dancing. Flexibility classes include all types of stretching. There is also a floor dancing class, so dancers can transition from the pole to the floor and vice versa.
While the majority of the patrons are adult women, the studio has offered four-week hammock classes for children prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, due to the pandemic, the hammocks can’t be used due to public safety guidelines on cloth usage. With that being said, there are plans for the studio to expand its target audience.
“The plan is to, at some point in the future, incorporate male students. We’ll probably run another children’s program, which was a huge hit,” explained Esposto.
Aside from the classes, Brass Beauties holds two annual shows. Their last show was just before the March 2020 lockdown. They also participate in the Festival of Friends every year, where dancers perform with a portable pole. Two years ago, the studio had the opportunity to participate in Supercrawl.
In the pandemic, the studio had the opportunity to re-open from July to December, in accordance with the provincial government’s guidelines and restrictions.
“It’s a bit of a struggle to offer online classes because not everyone has the equipment [pole],” said Esposto.
When thinking about the long-term future of the studio, Esposto emphasized the importance of exposure to more festivals and accessibility to equipment.
“Right now, my main focus is getting out of COVID and getting the girls back on the poles,” said Esposto.