Instructor, modifications specialist, person who believes in you
Molly Meru (she/her) is back from quarantine and back on her bullshit. This multicolored maven with moxxi is the mistress of modifications. Get ready for decending inverts and alternate entrances, exits and variations of all of your favorite weird shapes. A nerd and a scientist at heart she likes to teach with an ecclectic mix of physics breakdowns and geeky references.
Instructor, your spiritual bougie auntie
A Chicago burlesque performer, teacher and model, Shimmy LaRoux now adds "totally ripped pole dancer" to her list of talents. Shimmy brings a certain flair to her classes by adding an element of performance into every discussion, and espousing the idea that leopard print should be treated as a neutral. She is also one of the few pole instructors who can talk you through balancing your pole practice with fastidious moisturizing.
Shimmy hold awards and titles internationally, and producer of Shimmy's House Party in Chicago!
Shimmy LaRoux is sassy, classy…but never ashy!
When she's not tearin' it up on stage, Shimmy works professionally to build inclusive workplaces. Check that out at https://theprofessionaladult.com/
Instructor, dimples that should be illegal
Mateo has been a dancer for 7 years. Mateo’s passion for dance started in Colombia with hip/hop. There, he had the opportunity to dance, choreograph, compete, and teach for 4 years. he discovered a new way to create movement after finding pole 2 years ago. Mateo combines the fire and movement of hip/hop with the control of pole dance creating a unique movement style. He has also recently been developing a traditionally lyrical style, and has enjoyed the possibilities of exploring self-expression through pole. He draws from a degree in psychology to strive to connect with people of all backgrounds and experiences with an open mind. He believes strongly that this is the root for creating a safe space for everyone to experience the joys of dance.
Mateo ha sido un bailarín por 7 años. Su comienzo en danza fue en Colombia con hip/hop, aquí tuvo la oportunidad de bailar, crear coreografías, competir y enseñar por 3 años. Mateo descubrió pole dance hace 2 años y ha tenido la oportunidad de explorar una nueva manera de crear movimiento. Mateo ha competido y bailado como pole dancer intentado combinar la energía del hip/hop con el control del pole dance creando un estilo único. También tienes un título en psicología lo que le permite tener una mente abierta y crear un lugar seguro para todos.
Sunny has low-key been everyone's pole crush around here for years and is endearingly oblivious to the fact. We all know and love Sunny for her musicality, fluid movement, and her iconic pizza onsie performance: https://vimeo.com/402048482
With a professional background in social research, Sunny is compassionate soul who can effortlessly see the grey area of the other side of things. With that type of mind also comes some fearless creativity. Sunny's classes will bring you the former through exploring the latter.
Instructor, Aquarium Enthusiast
Goofy seductress, and aquarium/plant enthusiast, Cynthia is here to guide you through spin pole with her calm demeanor, humor and occasional tomfoolery.
Cynthia has dabbled in various forms of movement including kickboxing, Olympic lifting and (of course) dance! She first began taking pole classes in 2017 and became a home poler in 2020 (just before lockdown). A compliance professional by trade, she uses movement as a creative outlet. Cynthia may be best known for crafting a doll in her image for her debut performance. However, dancing in a giant gift bag comes in close second for "Cynthia's top moments of greatest seduction."
Party Coordinator, Instructor, BTS army member
Auriel has the palpable ability to get sh*t done. In her muggle life, Auriel works in the non-profit sector to make music education more accessible to underserved communities. In her pole life Auriel rocks some intricate heel work, bendy pole work, and K-pop choreography. Because casual everyday interactions at Brass Ring typically turn into deep conversations about tearing down white supremacy, Auriel comes up regularly as proof that non-problematic white people exist therefore it must be possible. She is always striving the be the best teacher she can be, and students and staff alike are lucky to have her around.
Photo by Ellen Beard
Instructor, Burlesque Superstar, Nerd
Hot Tawdry is a classically nerdy burlesque performer, emcee, producer and cat lady. Over the past 8 years she's been teasing and twirling all over Chicago and the United States.
Hot Tawdry is the producer of House of Burlesque at House of Blues, member of Plan 9 Burlesque and Geekhaus, and team member of Danielle Colby’s Stripping History. She joins the team of Brass Ring instructors to bring Burlesque Dance and some good old-fashioned ass-shaking good times.
Dahlia Fatale (she/her) is an award winning, internationally traveling contortionist and burlesque performer. As an instructor, Dahlia brings a unique perspective built on years of movement study, as well as circus training and anatomy education (yes, she's touched muscles from the inside too!). Dahlia strives to teach techniques that are fun, interesting, and sustainable as bodies change over time. She loves helping students do the things they "never thought they could do."
Mara Goldfine combines her long-standing yoga practice with her knowledge of pole-specific flexibility to bring us a new range of flexibility classes! Mara has worked very hard to not only study and learn about, but also travel and connect with people who represent the roots of yoga. She has taken the time to become educated and promotes real allyship through her own teacher trainings by helping trainees gain insight into how to avoid appropriation.
Mara began yoga her freshman year of college, coinciding with her metal sculpture practice. The two practices complemented each other physically, while resonating deeply intellectually. Mara earned her 200 hours teacher certification at Frog Lotus yoga in Ubud, Bali, finding the beauty of Indonesia a wonderful accompaniment to the intellectual stimulation of a traditional yoga education. Additionally, Mara recently completed a 500 hour teacher training with Andrey Lappa, the founder of Universal Yoga. She has gone on to further her yoga knowledge, expanding it to the therapeutic practices of Thai massage and to the more active practices of AcroYoga. She is excited to expand the American conception of yoga to more exciting and experimental practices.
Christine "Little Snipper"
Instructor, Resident Badass in Chief
Resident pole champion, full-time ER Nurse, and impressively competent human Little Snipper is a non-stop force of badassery. If you are unconvinced, please enjoy this one-hour freestyle marathon: https://vimeo.com/422461233
We are unable to list all of her awards and titles as we lost track some time ago. Suffice it to say there are numerous. Little Snipper is known for combining exotic flow with dynamic strength moves and having fun in the process. She flawlessly balances hard work and lightheartedness to keep students sweating and laughing at the same time.
Karma is a single mom who has been pole dancing for 4 years and hasn't looked back. Starting as a student, she soon became a certified instructor, performer and competitor.
She focuses on exploring movement and flow, and has a passion for her students to grow in confidence of their own bodies. Karma continues to perform in the Chicagoland area and has even had the honor of sharing the stage with Snoop Dogg!
Karma is also on track to become an LMT and will officially join the PoleStrong Bodyworks team upon completion.
Instructor, In-house photographer
In-house photographer, social activist, and tiny ball of fire Ellen Beard is joining the team to prove that you can be a badass and stay low at the same time. Ellen will be bringing us her signature low flow and base tricks repertoire with the unofficial motto of "climbing is for chumps."
Ellen is known for her dynamic and powerful style of pole, exhibiting multitudes of strength, grace, and humor along the way. When not competing or performing, you can also find her behind the camera at shows or for PSO, making us all feel our most glamorous!
Don't forget to check out https://www.ellenbeardphotography.com/
Liora is the poler who has it all: strength, flexibility, grace, versatility, and the on-stage ability to rip your heart out, keep it sexy, or make it totally weird. Liora lives her life as a pole dancer who pushes the boundaries of both creative expression, and what one should realistically be able to accomplish with an elbow grip. Liora is here to bring you ab conditioning, limits pushing, and an enlightening history of the Jewish people you never knew you were missing.
Megan's previous athletic experience was as a runner, so when she showed up one day and became a powerhouse with perfect lines in a matter of months, no one quite knew what to make of it. Megan is a compassionate, thoughtful, highly creative human with a work ethic to be revered. Megan strikes an impressive balance of being a simultaneous free spirit and adult with her shit together, and is here to bring us light, laughter, and POWER MOVES.
Jinghan Liu is a quiet one but you can feel her heart of gold when she walks in the room. She will be bringing us kindness, technique, emotionally connected dancing, and will subtly kick your ass in class.
Jinghan found her love for dance as an adult and is excited to share her passion with you. She is a pole nerd, a ballet nerd, a podcast junkie and an occasional boardgamer. She believes in the healing power and storytelling magic of dance. She looks forward to training, learning and growing with all of you. And whether you like it or not, she will make you train both sides.
Willy LaQueue is a dashing dandy and sultry starlet twinkling in the Windy City, where he’s the Headmister of the Chicago Academy of Burlesque. He's been performing as a hip hop dancer, teacher, and choreographer for 2 decades, venturing into burlesque in 2012, and he has twirled on stages and bar floors across the US, Canada, and Europe. Willy has opened for musicians Lizzo and Sandra Bernhard, appeared in the Showtime comedy series “Work In Progress,” been featured in burlesque festivals across the country, and performed at the historic birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, the Stonewall Inn. He's a flamboyant fop who shimmies in the spaces between drag, burlesque, and dance theatre. He's light in his loafers, a dear friend of Dorothy, and the Limpest Wrist in Burlesque!
Yariana Baralt Torres (she/her) came out of the womb dancing and shaking her ass. She started her dance training in Puerto Rico, where she was born and raised, and moved to Chicago in 2014 to study Dance and Sociology. Although she has been dancing her whole life, her pole journey started in 2020 as a result of quarantine. Yariana fell completely in love with pole instantly and is extremely excited to start her journey as a pole instructor. Most importantly, Yariana is a mighty activist that will always advocate for self-love, body inclusivity, and sexual liberation through her dancing and her classes.
Yariana Baralt Torres (Ella) salió de la barriga de su madre bailando. Ella comenzó su entrenamiento de baile en Puerto Rico, donde nació y se crío, y se mudo a Chicago en el 2014 para estudiar Baile y Sociología. Aunque Yariana a bailando toda su vida, su experiencia con “pole dancing” empezó en el 2020 como resultado de la cuarentena. Yariana se enamoró de “pole dance” instantáneamente y está extremadamente emocionada de empezar su jornada como maestra de “pole”. Pero lo más importante es que Yariana es una activista que siempre va a luchar por el amor propio, la inclusividad de diferentes tipos de cuerpos y la liberación sexual.