At SoMa's San Francisco Pole & Dance, Art, Dance & Competition Collide

Photo: San Francisco Pole & Dance/Facebook
By Blair Czarecki - Published on June 13, 2016.

If you’re looking for a place to acquire or hone pole dancing skills for fun, work or fitness, look no further than San Francisco Pole & Dance at 301 8th St.

Last month, the pole dancing studio—formerly Studio Botan—changed hands, names and focus. With pole dancing instructor Amy Bond now at the helm, the studio now aims to pay its respects to the traditions of art and dance, and the effect they've had on the evolution of pole dancing as a competitive sport. 

"You are seeing this explosive growth in people that are interested in focusing more on the artistic side of creating art through their dance," said Bond, a practicing lawyer who's been dancing for five and a half years, and plans to continue her legal work while running the studio. "I love that I get nourished by the work that I do and the people that I work with,” she said.

An SF Pole & Dance student prepares for class.
Photo: Blair Czarecki/Hoodline

Classes at SF Pole & Dance are taught by competitive pole dancers and performers from Bond's personal and professional repertoire. She also hopes to roll out new class offerings, such as gymnastics, hip-hop and classic ballet, to complement the pole work. 

"The one thing all new students should know is, you don't have to have great upper body strength to do pole: that's how you get upper body strength. I think that is the big misnomer, that pole dancers are so strong—we became strong by doing pole dancing," says Bond.  

A choreography class at SF Pole & Dance.  
Photo: San Francisco Pole & Dance/Facebook

Bond's focus is on building community at the studio, creating a safe space for people to feel welcome, to experiment and to leave "feeling loved." She hopes her studio will continue to attract a diverse subset of San Franciscans, and inspire others as it has inspired her.

"Everyone is represented in pole, and I think that is one of the most beautiful things," she said. "You meet all these people that you might not ordinarily meet.”

Check out the SF Pole & Dance website for class descriptions and schedules.

10 minutes ago
San Francisco Castro Duboce Triangle

Castro cocktail bar Blackbird reopens after four-month hiatus with expanded outdoor seating

After a four-month hiatus, Castro cocktail bar Blackbird reopened Wednesday with expanded outdoor seating. Read More

Apr 14, 2021
San Francisco Glen Park

Glen Park’s adorably quaint Tyger’s Coffee Shop has permanently closed

The unpretentious, old-school omelette destination at Diamond and Chenery Streets closed April 1, though another cafe will apparently replace it. Read More

Apr 14, 2021
San Francisco Divisadero NoPa

Bay Area bagel boom continues with opening of Schlok's in NoPa

After months of operating a wildly popular bagel pop-up, Schlok's is getting set to open a brick-and-mortar shop at 1263 Fell Street, in a former laundromat off Divisadero in NoPa (in the same complex as RT Rotisserie and Nopalito). Read More

Apr 13, 2021
San Francisco SoMa

30-bed drug sobering center proposed for Howard Street office building

SF Mayor London Breed on Tuesday announced a proposal to lease an empty office building at 1076 Howard Street for use as a 30-bed drug sobering center, making good on a promise first made before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The facility will focus on those living on the streets who are experiencing methamphetamine-induced psychosis. Read More