Ahern: Beverly business allows women to express their sexuality
By Patti Ahern Citizen Journalistfirstname.lastname@example.org December 12, 2013 2:34PM
Sydney Seymour manages the Bombshell Movement Studio in the Beverly community of Chicago. The studio teaches woman pole and lap dancing as a way to improve their self-esteem and embrace their femininity. Patti Ahern ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 16, 2014 6:13AM
Pole dancing classes? Lap dancing lessons? In Beverly?
Definitely, and Sydney Seymour, who manages Bombshell Movement Studio, 10511 Western Ave., in Chicago’s Beverly community, does not mince words when she talks about the skills she teaches.
“This isn’t about fitness,” Seymour said. “Pole dancing is definitely a workout, but for it to be effective for the purpose of fitness, you would have to do it three to four times a week. Once-a-week pole dancing means the health benefits are negligible.
“Pushups and workouts you can do for free, but I tell women who want to do this that they are attracted to this because they want to feel sexy. Women need to own that they are sexual creatures, and they need to be celebrated. Here we focus on self-esteem as opposed to biceps building, here you can unleash your inner sexpot. You have no idea how liberating that is.”
Seymour, who used to sell sex toys and is now a seminary student, does not shy away from describing her work.
“There are four instructors here,” she said. “One is a special ed teacher, one is a nurse, one works in a government agency, and I am a former youth minister.
“I love Jesus, but I also love sex. I grew up in an open family and was taught that having feminine wiles is a good thing.
“I esteem my women friendships very highly, and if you are a mean girl, you will not be here. Women are hurting, and desperate housewives are a reality. This transcends race, education and socioeconomic status. Women are secretly interested in expressing their sexuality, in being fully feminine, in being fully alive.
“It catches people off guard that I am so spiritual,” Seymour said. “There are tons of pole dancing studios, but I will bet none has the spiritual component that we have. Women put themselves in boxes. Why can’t a woman be Christian and cute? Why can’t she be pretty and love her body?”
Seymour said about 90 percent of the women who learn how to pole dance do not share the dance with their spouse.
Instead, they do it for themselves. Lap dancing and strip tease, however, are entirely different, she said.
“Strip tease is the art of the reveal,” Seymour said, “and there is no nudity here, but we teach how to reveal in a very seductive manner.
“Lap dancing is the most sexual thing we offer, and it needs to be done right. There is a difference between a dance that will turn him on or that he will laugh at. This is intimate, and it should lead to sex.”
Because what is taught at Bombshell Movement Studio can be so sexual, prices have been set to discourage younger girls from taking the classes.
“Girls that are young and trying to figure out who they are may misconstrue what we are doing,” Seymour said. “We love strippers, but we also believe that environment is toxic, and we don’t want teeny boppers getting confused. When you step into this studio, we have the lights low and candles lit. The atmosphere says that a woman is no longer a mom or a professional. She is a woman, being present, in that moment.”
For about six years, Bombshell operated in Joliet, but the owner of the studio, Janelle Davis, lives in Beverly and was eager to be close to home.
Davis and Seymour outfitted the studio with eight friction poles designed to hold up to 300 pounds and opened the door to business about six months ago.
Since the studio opened, more than 400 women have taken classes, and Seymour said bachelorette or birthday parties have been attended by a number “well into the thousands.” In short, business is good.
Davis, 33, not only owns Bombshell but also works as a manager for a non-profit organization that works with senior citizens. She’s also a nursing student, a wife and a mother to two young children.
“Pole is so much more than fitness. It’s empowerment. When I dance, I feel strong, confident and sexy,” Davis wrote in an email. “I really feel alive. The number of women’s lives we impacted has exceeded my wildest hopes. I’m humbled by the women who trust our staff not only their bodies but also with their spirits.”
Seymour agreed with Davis and discussed the spiritual side of lap dancing. Toward that end, prices run from $149 to 165 for six classes, and the median age of their clients is 36.
Current lap dances for the holidays are called “Holiday Hotties” and “Santa’s Naughty Helper.” One session is already sold out.
“I know I was called to do this, and I know that the beauty of life is triumph. This is women helping women because women don’t get that,” Seymour said.
Dance teachers at Bombshell have certifications in fitness training and pole dancing.
They are also certified in CPR, but what’s important to Seymour is the connection that she feels with her students.
“Women need love and they need to be cared for, and we need to live life to the fullest. Bombshell women are larger than life,” she said.
For more information about Bombshell, visit www.bombshellpolefitness.com or call (888) 400-8079.