ATLANTA — One Metro Atlanta business owner started her very own pole fitness studio after an interest in pole dance was sparked seven years ago.
Natasha Davis, owner of Twirl N Shape Fitness, wanted to create a space for women of all shapes, sizes and ages to be confident.
Pole fitness is an extended form of pole dancing that uses strength to guide people. The Lilburn owner claimed that even some personal trainers also have trouble getting on the pole.
"You have to be one with yourself. It's not your typical form, which we would think of gym and lifting weights, but our body is a weight," Davis said. "We do use that to also condition tone and become stronger."
Originally from Miami, Davis wanted to start her business in Gwinnett County, the place she moved to when she was just 11 years old.
"I want to stay true to the county that kind of raised me," Davis said. "I want to stay true to my community."
Although Twirl N Shape Fitness has a focus on pole fitness, other classes are offered. The center, which lives on Pleasant Hill Road, also offers silk classes, floor chair flexibility and stretch yoga. The pole fitness owner said that many women are trying to find themselves and start their fitness journey when they first try pole exercises.
"In so many different walks of life we end up having this same reason that brought us in the door which is self. We all have a background in a story that we come from and within life we tend to lose ourselves," said Davis.
Davis even mentioned that one of her instructors who started as a student transformed pole fitness into a weight loss journey, taking her life back after having four children.
"She was well over 350 pounds. She has five wonderful children of four big boys. She lost all of that weight. She said, 'You know what? I'm going to do something for myself. I dedicated the last 18 years to my children.' And she's 55 years old," said Davis.
Even with the inspiring stories and improved confidence coming from the walls of Twirl N Shape Fitness, Davis faces struggles as a Black business owner. Her main challenge, especially as the first business owner in her family, was getting the funding she needed to continue building and growing.
"The financial support is the hard portion. Not having a foundation of knowledge and finances to kind of help build that background or that backbone the was my hardest struggle," Davis said.
Although financial obstacles have tested the Lilburn pole fitness owner, Davis said her boyfriend and her kids supported her through the process of getting the business off the ground.
Davis hopes to expand her fitness warehouse five years from now offering different avenues of exercises besides pole. She would also like to own a funeral home, which she studied in school.
Metro Atlanta business owner helps women build confidence
This story is a part of a series highlighting local Black businesses and their embodiment of Black excellence in light of Black History Month. To view more stories, visit 11alive.com/blackhistory