Written by Lauren Red, studio founder and head instructor:
I started up the studio because I wanted to build a safe, creative space where people can become the best they can be, build a better more positive relationship with their bodies and showcase their skills to their friends and family if they want to. There is never any pressure to perform and the three showcases we run per year are always optional. I wanted people’s time at the studio to be a massive confidence boost, to encourage them to challenge themselves and conquer achievements they never thought possible while building more body confidence and self acceptance.
I found the location when I was walking down Great Central Way one day and all of a sudden this huge industrial estate appeared next to the walkway – I didn’t even know it was there until then! I had a look around and saw there were a few units available so I inquired about one that was previously used as a dance studio. It was absolutely huge and could have been daunting but as soon as I saw it I knew how I would use the space, I’ve never been one for thinking small! The studio had another unit attached to it, but this just didn’t fit into my vision of the potential use of the space. It took me 6 months to convince the landlord that he could put a wall up between the two and rent it out as a separate space, there was so much red tape! While I was waiting for this to happen I was still working my part time job and performing around the country. After my gigs had finished around 3 or 4am I would go and sit in my car in the industrial estate just seeing if it was safe enough to develop a studio there, the last thing I wanted was to set up a pole dance studio in a dodgy area! We have CCTV and good lighting here and I’ve never felt in any danger at any time of day or night.
The studio was a mess when I first signed the contract and I had to do an awful lot of work to get it looking like it does today. I hired professional electricians and builders to put all the beams in and make sure everything was tested, rated and as safe as possible. I did all the painting myself and made the first set of curtains by hand to save money. Now I’ve had blackout blinds installed with the studio logo on – I have come a long way! I had to rip up all the lino and chip off self leveling concrete that the previous tenants had poured all over the beautiful wooden floor, but luckily it was still salvageable. My family pitched in to help me knock all the nails in, sand and varnish the floor and then hand sand it for the best possible finish – it took about 6 weeks to do this and it felt like forever! I’ve completed this twice more since opening to make sure the floor is the best it can be for dancing and rolling around on! I also dismantled a big stage that had a steel girder running through the middle of it with a life electrical cable next to it! I installed the kitchen and changing room as well, to make sure people had everything they needed.
When I first opened I only had 4 small 2.5 metre poles as I had a lot of difficulty installing the taller poles and making sure they were safe enough to use. I have never been happy to cut corners especially when it comes to safety! I eventually found a solution after a year of testing: six 6 metre static only 52mm poles made from the same tubing as ship handrails! They had a lot of flex in them so I poured fine sand into each of them to make them more stable. Over time pole technology moved on and I ditched the ship handrails to invest in six stainless steel 45mm competition standard double lined X Poles that are both spinning and static. This is a massive improvement and has opened up so many more possibilities for the intermediate / advanced students. For beginners we have four shorter 2.5 metre poles that are both spinning and static in a separate part of the studio. At full capacity I can put up 20 poles with all other equipment down so everyone can have a pole in dance workshops and get the most out of their time with me.
The aerial equipment has also developed over time. I started with two higher rigging points in the beginning so could only teach a maximum of four students at a time. After I’d saved up I invested in two X Pole A Frames giving us 4 riggings points – two at 5 metres and two at 3 metres. We offer a range of classes including aerial hoop, aerial silks, aerial cube, static trapeze, tippy hoop and aerial sling. The equipment is checked every month for wear and tear. There is something for everybody and everybody is welcome to fly with us.
What drives me every day is that I love giving people the opportunity to achieve things they never thought possible. I believe that whatever size, shape, background, age, style etc etc you are you can give any of the things we offer a go. Stepping through the front door is often the hardest part but once people are in the studio they are hanging upside down and twirling around like never before! I feel honoured to have been a part of so many people’s fitness journeys and love assisting people to make new friends and step out of their comfort zones a little bit. It’s incredible watching people become more confident in their abilities and build a more positive relationship with their bodies. What’s great about what we offer here is that it is not about what we look like – it’s about what we can do and how we feel! This is what’s truly important in my opinion.
I love to learn, I find the way the body works fascinating and I love seeing how different people do different things – I love it when someone comes up with a new way to do something as nothing is set in stone! I encourage people to be confident enough in their own abilities to experiment and try new things (safely of course!). I want everyone here to be happy in their own success – I don’t encourage comparison and I love to celebrate everyone for their own individual triumphs. We are all so different and that’s what makes the world such a fantastic place. It’s an absolute joy hearing that classes at Flight Fitness are the highlights of people’s weeks – it makes all the hard work completely worthwhile.
About Lauren Red
Lauren Red is an award winning pole dancer and aerialist who has performed across the country and internationally. Lauren teaches pole dance / pole fitness, aerial hoop, aerial cube, floorwork, dance in heels and aerial silks at Flight Fitness and is the studio’s admin person, cleaner, event organiser, event manager, building manager and marketing manager. Lauren manages all social media and responds to every message sent through all platforms. Lauren also tours the country performing in shows and teaching workshops in other studios.
Lauren Red’s titles and accolades
- Performed aerial hoop on Tom Daley’s Splash!
- Performed alongside James Corden on A League of Their Own
- Performed as a mermaid in the largest aquarium in Turkey
- YFF 2023 Professional Runner Up
- Teacher at Cyprus Pole Camp 2022
- Dance Filthy UK National Pro Winner 2019
- Dance Filthy Northern Heat Pro Winner 2019
- Miss Pole Dance UK Runner Up x 2, Best Entertainer x 2 and Best Costume
- UK Pro Pole Championships (UKPPC) Runner Up
- UK Amateur Pole Performer (UKAPP) Advanced Runner Up
- Judge for YFA competition, Great British Pole Championships, Yorkshire Pole Championships
- Performed several times for Lady Wildflower’s Live ‘n’ Stripping Cabaret alongside a live band
- Organises and manages 1 – 3 shows a year at Flight Fitness
Lauren Red’s qualifications
- Rigging Fundamentals for Performance two day course
- Xpert Children’s Aerial and Pole Teacher Qualification
- Spin City Aerial Silks Fundamentals Qualification
- Spin City extra modules: Belays, Catchers, Climbs, Footlocks 1 and 2, Hiplocks, Cross Back Skills, Working in the Hitch (pass on all eight exams)
- Spin City Intermediate Pole Qualification
- Spin City Aerial Hoop Qualification
- Gym instructor level 3
- DBS checked
Want to learn from Lauren Red? Have a look at our private classes section!