Positive Spin: One Year after IMPACT Pitch Win

This time last year Positive Spin Pole Dance Fitness was operating out of a home studio and at capacity. On the hunt for a commercial space, founder Alyssa Taubin kept running into road blocks as many landlords were weary of renting to a pole dance business. Small business ownership comes with a unique set of challenges, but it’s proven to Alyssa what she’s capable of. Thanks to her persistence and the help of a trusted friend and commercial real estate agent for small businesses, Alyssa signed the lease on a studio space in Greenwood, four days before the live IMPACT Pitch competition she was set to compete in.

Positive Spin is a safe and inclusive studio that supports the discovery and celebration of each individual’s unique artistic and athletic abilities through pole fitness classes. With a 100% queer staff, Positive Spin, caters to LGBTQ+ and non-monogamous communities, people of color, plus size individuals and their allies seeking personal growth through dance. Alyssa’s community impact was clear and on October 4th, 2018, she took home two IMPACT Pitch awards totally $12,000 for the Best Startup Business and Best Women-Owned Business. Part of the money went toward her new space, but mainly it was used to hire two new staff members for the expanding studio and launch a work study program to make classes more accessible to the community. 

“There are other dance studios and fitness businesses that have work study programs that usually entail cleaning the studio or doing admin work. Ours is more like a community outreach based internship, where they propose a project and then we meet, figure out what funds they’d need for the project and give them the resources and the training that they need,” Alyssa explained. In exchange for their work, students receive classes, or membership discounts. “Ideally it will be a way to make pole more accessible for people who might not have the money, but might have the skills or ideas to support the studio and the community in different ways.”

Positive Spin also supports its members by providing them opportunities to shape the studio’s future. “I try to give them a lot of ownership over the space, so they get a say in how we progress,” she added. As the studio continues to grow, so does Alyssa’s responsibility, but she wouldn’t have it any other way and she said she can’t imagine going back to a normal job. “It’s a lot of responsibility – all of the components of the business – the students and the staff. And because we have such close relationships, I really feel that responsibility. When I make a decision, I’m not making it just for myself. I’m considering who it might affect. And the bigger the business gets, and the more successful it gets, the more I feel that responsibility. I want to make sure everyone we reach feels taken care of.”

To learn about Positive Spin Pole Dance Studio’s memberships, drop-in classes and work study program, visit positivespinpoledance.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram @positivespinpole. For more information about the 4th annual live IMPACT Pitch competition, presented by Harborstone Credit Union happening Thursday, September 19th, visit businessimpactnw.org/pitch.

About the author

Megan V. Torgerson

Megan is Business Impact NW's Communications & Outreach Officer and a candidate for Seattle University's Arts Leadership MFA program. She holds a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Montana and is passionate about storytelling of all forms, nature and cultivating community by elevating our unique stories. Megan grew up on a farm and ranch in Montana and is especially inspired by empowering small business owners from underserved rural communities.

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