Small Business Saturday: Jagged Vertical Dance & Fitness

I hope you have been enjoying learning about these amazing local business's! I like to get outside the box. Boudoir is not your typically photoshoot, and a boudoir shoot with me is not your typically boudoir shoot. Jessica at Jagged Fitness runs an outside of the box fitness studio and I'm excited to share with you what it's all about!


Michael: Hello Jessica! I’m so excited to be chatting with Jagged Fitness, lets jump right in! Who or what kind of woman typically works out at Jagged?

Jessica: Usually we have all ages and genders but for the most part we have clients between 18 and 35 that are women who are looking for something different. They are a bit more adventurous than the average person who works out. A lot of times they're tired of the gym and they're looking for something with a little bit of an adrenaline rush but also makes drastic changes in their bodies. They are somebody who is a little into alternative fitness as an adventure.

Michael: That's awesome. I know that like a lot of guys who don't like going to the gym so they'll go rock climbing instead. It feels like less of a chore to go in and just do the same repetitive thing.

Jessica: Yeah, especially for women, we lack naturally core and upper body strength that men have so aerial is one of those workouts that everybody is afraid that they need to have the upper body strength. I always tell them you get it by doing it. I don't ever go to the gym, I only do aerial and I've lost over 10 pounds just doing that and in addition gained a lot of strength that I didn't used to have. We have a range of classes that cater to beginners that have never done it before and have no strength at all, all the way to some of our students are pro competitors.

Michael: Where did the idea for Jagged come from?

Jessica: Well I took my first pole class back in 2009, I've been studying dance my whole life and I got addicted to pole dancing because it was just so different than anything I had seen it before. It was like dance in the air to me so I started a dance company called Jagged. It was a group of dancers that I trained to do pole work. There are not a whole lot of pole studios that include aerial and fitness and I realized that a lot of the same poses and tricks kind of cross pollinated across different types of aerial apparatuses. It's so funny that now it's not as stigmatized as it was when I first started. I think in the beginning pole dancing was seen as more of a raunchy exotic thing and Arial was seen as more of a circus type thing, a very high end art, a very rare skill set. I was realizing that a lot of the moves are the same and that pole dancing should be considered an aerial apparatus because we are in the air just like with silks or aerial hoops. Pole is just as much of a circus art as anything else and it is accessible to the mainstream public to learn and perform whether just for fitness and fun or to take it to a more professional level. In the beginning we tried to have things that are more popular like yoga and pilates dance classes until I realized that people really tended to lean more towards the aerial classes. Our clients are the more adventurous type and they don't want the run-of-the-mill work out that everybody else is doing.


Michael: It's funny how you try to please everyone and you find that everybody just wants to do exactly what you want to do! You were saying that the stereotypes are becoming more accepted, But in your own words, can you describe what pole dancing is really all about?

Jessica: I definitely think that at the core of it, it's really about the feelings it gives someone. It's not necessarily about being in shape or being the best at it. It's more about the challenges and overcoming them and I encounter so many different personalities in class. I'm the kind of teacher who's going to encourage you but I'm not going to compliment you until you really do it right. I'm pushing you to be the best you can be and a lot of people don't realize they have that in them, so they tend to surprise themselves with the work they can achieve in class. I think that feeling is way more gratifying than losing ten pounds. Losing ten pounds might be a nice side effect of the work you put in but the feeling is what people take away from it.

Michael: Where are you guys located?

Jessica: We have one location, we've been around for two and a half years. It's in West LA on Santa Monica between Barry and Barrington.

Michael: What makes you guys stand out from other similar businesses?

Jessica: All our students are very encouraging to each other and the teachers have a similar attitude. So while we're going to challenge you we're also going to make you feel welcome. We're really trying to grow together as a class. The other thing is we have a really nice versatile space, all of our equipment can be moved around, our poles can be lifted up into the ceiling to make room for those classes that need open floor space. Our aerial equipment can be moved around so we have a very nice space for people to practice in and we're constantly trying to adapt our schedule based on our clients wants. We may take away or add a class if there's interest, we're not stubborn to holding things to the way they should be we're trying to always evolve what the people need more or less of. I think it's good that we're not set in our ways all the time.


Michael: Tell me, what music are you listening to right now? What's at the top of your playlist?

Jessica: Oh man. Let's see, give me a second. I'm always a big fan of Hozier, I'm obsessed with Hozier. I like Angels of Small Death, that's a nice one. I swear I've choreographed his whole album. When he comes out with a new album I don't know what I'm going to do.

Michael: Do you have any fun stories about your time owning Jagged?

Jessica: One of my favorite things to talk about is my student Ryan whom I'm very proud of. He was my first pole student at Jagged, and that he was a guy and that he stuck with me this whole time, I saw him grow from his very first day into a pro competitor. He just won his first mens pole championships in the pro category at the Colorado Pole Dancing Championship last month, so now from being his teacher to us now being competitors.

Michael: Student becomes the competitor.

Jessica: Yeah it's a Mr Miyagi story.

Michael:  Is there anything that I haven't asked that you want people to know about your studio?

Jessica: Gosh, I'm always bad at this too but I would say don't be afraid. Just try it you'll be surprised at what you could do. We have many different categories of things to try. We have a Cyr Wheel Class which is a very rare for the entire country we just started it, it's this wheel that you stand inside and spin around, and you wont be able to find it most places. Also there's Acro yoga which is partnered yoga, we have a bunch of aerial classes and some fitness classes as well.

Michael: Nice, I've done Acro Yoga too, and it was so much fun! It's a little nerve wracking but it's easier than you think it's going to be.

Jessica: It breaks down barriers between people because you've got to touch each other everywhere and you have to be very aware of each others weight and what each person is doing. A lot of these things have come from suggestions from my students or my teachers “Hey we should try this or we should try that.” I'm always open to something unless I don't think it's going to work.

Michael: As a whole, the idea or mentality of your studio is let's be adventurous let's not be the same thing over and over again. Let's try something new, let's get outside of the box. Is that right?

Jessica: Yeah. I always say if you're not uncomfortable then you're not growing. I really try to get people to go outside of their comfort zone because that's where you see the most progress and the most change and the most growth is by becoming uncomfortable.

Michael: How can we follow you? Are on Facebook, Instagram and all that stuff.

Jessica: Yeah. We're on, and we're also on Instagram @jaggedVDF you can follow us on there.