The Equity Pledge
As a boutique pole dance studio, our business benefits from historically marginalized cultures that have created many of the artistic qualities that pole dancing is grounded in and founded on. These include Black, trans & queer, and sex worker communities. Because of this, we’ve been rethinking the way that we give back to our local community.
We believe it is our duty to consciously build our organization in a way that creates equity in the world rather than upholding systems of oppression based on class, race, sexuality, gender, physical ability and more. We want to weave that community focus more deeply into the fabric of our studios with the following pledges and direct action:
- We pledge to create a Scholarship Fund that increases access to our services for low-income clients and those working in secular non-profits that build equity through policy, art, rights for marginalized people, and progressive movements
- We pledge to expand our Domestic Violence Survivors programming to provide a monthly class for Domestic Violence survivors to dance together.
- We pledge to create programming for underserved queer and trans people to provide a space where members of the LGBTQ+ community can be celebrated as their full selves. This includes one free monthly class for underserved queer and trans people.
- We pledge to dedicate 30% of our bi-annual Student Showcase profits towards local movements and causes that make the world more equitable
- We pledge to use our social media platforms to speak our support for progressive social movements
- We pledge to continue educating ourselves and our communities about local, national, and international organizations working to increase equity between people around the world.
The Scholarship Fund
The Bay Area has the largest wealth disparity in the United States. This means that without intervention, our student population risks becoming increasingly homogenous – available only to those who are high income earners – unless we take action to make our services more broadly accessible.
As we look at models for how to create equity within our communities, and to increase access to our services to people within the Bay Area who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them, today we are proud to launch the Pole & Dance Scholarship Fund, which is funded in two ways: (i) Our studio give back program, and (ii) Donations.
Here’s how it works.
Through our studio give-back program, we invest 10% of one studios’ net profit (the studio with the largest profit) back into a Scholarship Fund to provide class slots for low income students and/or students working on behalf of secular non-profit organizations.
The Scholarship Fund will also be funded with donations from people within our community. For every dollar donated, 100% of those dollars are reinvested into classes for low income applicants. If you are interested in supporting the diversity of our community and want to donate, click the “below Donate Now” button and we will use those dollars to provide classes to those who apply for the Scholarship. We will also apply unused class credits to our Scholarship Fund. If you are interested in donating your unused class credits to our fund, please email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply for the Scholarship fund, you must be over 18 years old and earn under $52,000 per year. Please click below to apply. Note that our Scholarship Fund is anonymous. Each year, we will publish data sets explaining how many people our Scholarship Program serves but all personally identifying information will be kept strictly confidential.
The Internship Program
We are developing an internship program where we partner with local nonprofits in the Bay Area to provide on-site career development for underserved and at-risk youths aged 18-24 with a focus on BIPOC and queer youth. Interns will work alongside our Front Desk Management team to learn skills such as how to use GSuite and MindBody, provide exceptional customer service, and facilities maintenance. We will work with our community members to help find permanent work for our interns at the end of their time with us.
*During COVID-19 we are focusing on building partnerships and logistics for this program. Once it is safe to launch we will do so.
The Teacher Training Scholarship Program
At Pole & Dance Studios, all instructors without prior teaching experience are required to take a Pole & Dance teacher training in order to start the process of becoming an instructor. We run several teacher trainings a year across many disciplines (pole, flexibility, lyra, etc.). We will offer one full scholarship to a low-income participant in each training. All Scholarship recipients’ personally identifying information will be kept strictly confidential.
After the teacher training we will continue the mentorship process by having the trainee work with our experienced instructors as they develop their teaching skills. Once the mentorship is complete we will bring on the new instructor as an equal team member and employee with their own class or classes on the schedule according to our transparent and equitable pay structure.