The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped Wollongong's Fly Studios from moving forward with its plans to open a new studio in Kenny Street.
When the coronavirus sent NSW into lockdown in March, fitness studio owner Jess Hill was determined to not let it slow her down.
In fact she saw pole fitness as being a good activity for both the body and mind during such a time of uncertainty. And the ongoing interest in her classes in recent months support that belief.
Since starting Fly Studios 15 years ago, Ms Hill has steadily grown the business that offers a range of pole fitness, aerial fitness, dance, stretch and flex classes, from beginners to advanced.
When social distancing measures were implemented across NSW she moved quickly to introduce online classes a week before the government closed gyms.
"I prepped my staff and students well in advance, which meant we had a smooth transition," she said.
"Now we're back in the studio and able to provide COVID safe classes with participants at least 2.5 metres apart on each apparatus.
"That coupled with regular cleaning and hygiene procedures, as well as a fully online booking process means we can continue to operate safely."
Ms Hill said all classes continued to be popular. Many had been fully booked even during COVID-19.
"I'm really proud to say that we opened our new studio with over 300 clients. Fly Studios is an all-inclusive, supportive, and judgement-free environment, where we welcome people from all walks of life to be part of our crew. We dance, stretch, flex, sweat, laugh, and hang from the ceiling."
Fly Studios runs almost 50 classes in three studios at the new Kenny St premises. And the business continues to offer online classes for those who prefer to stay at home.
Ms Hill is also introducing an aerial yoga class which incorporates all the benefits of traditional yoga using a fabric trapeze.
She has two decades' experience as a professional pole dancer in Australia and overseas. She competed at the national level three times before starting a full-time teaching career.
She started Fly Studios in 2005 when she noticed a growing interest in using a pole in fitness workouts and a gap in the market in her home town.
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