Ro’Yale – also known as Da Queen of Curves, is redefining sexy in the world of pole dancing and wants other plus-size women to step forward as well.
After just a few lessons, she knew she had found a lifelong passion and suggested that her studio start offering pole dancing classes for plus-size women, but she never expected them to offer the position to her.
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The 36-year-old from Atlanta said: “I remember getting that email when I was offered a position as an instructor, I just remember screaming. I was very excited and actually shocked. They saw that I was passionate about wanting to bring something different to the studio that they didn’t already have.”
“Before I stated pole dancing I thought it was gonna be super easy, that we were gonna come in and swing around. I didn’t realize that it took a lot of strength and it took a lot of control of your body.”
“I decided to give it a go because I was coming across a major milestone, I was turning 30. And I had a recent separation from my husband and didn’t really know who I was anymore, so I wanted to do something fun.”
She mentioned that her view of pole dancing before she started performing, was mostly something that strippers did. But she came to find out that the women she was taking classes from were everyday women. They were people with professional lives.
Ro’Yale’s pole instructor and CEO of the studio Vertical Joes, Fiya Starta, knew she was a unique performer from her very first class.
Fiya said: “She was actually a client at Vertical Joes, she came in to do classes and she was one of those magnetic clients, so I was instantly drawn to her.”
“When we first met her she was kinda like in a shell, she was always very concerned about clothes. Always covering up, she was always pulling her shirt down, pulling her shorts down. It’s like ‘girl, let them thighs hang out, let that arse hang out – you gotta use them!”
“We’ve seen such a transition and it’s a beautiful thing!”
After she was offered the chance to teach curvier women how to master the pole, Ro’Yale wrote up a curriculum tailored to voluptuous women. She and Fiya Starta settled on a name for the class, ‘Vertically Voluptuous’.
Fiya Starta added: “When we put that information out into the streets, it was just an overflow of love. The curvy girls definitely wanted to learn from another curvy woman, someone they could relate to. Someone who had the same body type, someone who could say they went through the same struggles.”
“When I tell you, she is sexy in a way that no-one can teach her. It just comes from inside her. She always takes any pole trick and she adds her own personal style to it. And that’s what I like about her. Some things can’t be taught, some things you just have and she has it!”
While pole dancing gave Ro’Yale boundless confidence, it did not sit well with her husband Rahiem when they reunited.
She said: “My husband did not react too it very well, he wanted to know ‘why would that be something you’d wanna do?’ He didn’t feel comfortable with his wife being out there like that.
“I believe he sees it more as a hobby now because I’ve been doing it for a long time. He’s still not comfortable with it but he understands that it’s something that I’m going to do.”
Recently, Rahiem explored Vertical Joes pole studio for the very first time and even requested a t-shirt with “My Wife Is a Pole Instructor” on it. But he still has some reservations about the impact pole dancing has had on Ro’Yale’s character.
Rahiem said: “When Ro’Yale first told me about her pole dancing, the first thing I thought was that she has went over to the bad side. It was pretty bad.”
“I did see Ro’Yale perform two times, I must say she was impressive. It was better than what I expected.”
Although her husband is not always her biggest cheerleader, Ro’Yale is never wanting for support, because her pole dancing class always have her back.
Now that she has established herself as a pole dancing instructor, Ro’Yale wants to focus on inspiring other plus size women to climb the pole and embrace their voluptuousness.