Second from the Left: Bella Yeung, Founder of Pole Heart Studio in Hong Kong
With sheer determination, Bella Yeung holds the pole with a tight grip and begins to swing graciously.
“Pole dancing has made me a better person; and has changed me to be someone who never gives up,” 21-year-old Yeung said with confidence. She was doing pole dancing for quite a few years, and it wasn’t long before she reached a point where she was longing to open her own studio.. She opened her first pole pole studio in Hong Kong called “Pole Heart” in 2020.
“We named our studio ‘Pole Heart’ to inspire our dancers to feel the movement and rhythm with their hearts,” Yeung said.
Her journey as a young businesswoman started when she collaborated with two other female pole dancers. They were off to a rough start as one of the biggest initial challenges entailed generating the start-up capital they needed to rent and renovated the studio.
“One of the biggest problems was that I didn’t have enough funding at the time. It was truly fortunate that one of my close friends invested in the business as she really had faith in me“, said Yeung.
Changing people's perceptions of pole dancing
“Generally, people don’t really have a good impression of pole dancing, that is just the reality”
Yeung believes that Hong Kong residents have the wrong perception about pole dancers. The stigma is that pole dancers are basically erotic dancers, or ‘strippers’ as many would say. According to her, pole dancing is a beautiful and universal mode of self-expression.
‘’Society has also stuck to the conventional idea that girls are not supposed to be strong. Pole dancing empowers and challenges us to be different and not succumb to society’s judgment.”
She stated that the reason the uninformed and more conservative critics would suggest that pole dancing is erotic is because of the clothing.
“Truth is, wearing less makes our movements easier; it doesn’t have to be seductive. We could also wear a sports bra, like what other women wear to the gym,” she said.
Bella Yeung Performing Onstage
Bella Yeung Practicing Before an Event
After Yeung became a pole dancer, she kept practicing every day without fail. “It’s like getting addicted to a drug,’’ she said. “Plus, there is such a strong sense of achievement when it’s attained,” she said when she referred to completing a routine successfully.
Pole dancing is physically beneficial to the body as it helps to build strength, improves flexibility and balance whilst also adding a certain element of positive energy and fun.
The average person may not be aware that there are different disciplines of pole dancing.
“There are many styles of pole dancing like exotic, artistic, elegant, static pole, chair pole, and drama pole. You can always learn something new, “she said.
She takes pride in her bruises and sees them as trophies for outstanding effort and hard work. These days when she gets bruises or blisters from the pole, she humorously stated that she considers them to be kisses from the pole.
“Committing to pole dance changed my life. I have a more beautiful figure, more confidence, and it inspires to work toward achieving my goals every morning, “she said.
Take control of your destiny
Sadly, throughout her journey, she did not get any support from her family but the constant encouragement from her friends made her persevere.
“My friends really encouraged me a lot. They never criticised me or my dreams, and I’m so thankful to have them in my life,” she said.
She revealed that apart from obtaining the start-up capital, they also had to work tremendously hard to grow their client base. It was a daunting task that took them more than a year, but currently they are content with the stable and sustainable customer growth they have achieved.
Bella’s mantra is: “Today is your opportunity, to build the tomorrow that you want.” This powerful mantra is very inspiring, and she encourages everyone to take control of their lives and reach for their dreams.