It turns out that 6th grade in grammar school was the most influential period in Carolyn Chiu’s life. Being a the smallest kid in the school, she was bullied constantly throughout the school year. That’s when she decided to take control of her life and live it on her terms. She understood that doing something where she could gain muscle and strength was the place to start, so she began gymnastics training. Through this training, Carolyn acquired a realization that’s helped create who she is today: you can accomplish anything with determination, dedication, and discipline. But nothing is ever quite that simple.
Throughout high school, Carolyn stayed active in dance classes and auditioned to pursue a dance major at Cal State. While immersed in the dance program, she decided to shift majors as most of the dance students had self-esteem and body issues. It wasn’t the energy she was looking for, and because of that experience, she continues to this day to help women accept their bodies and be comfortable with themselves.
While in college, Carolyn studied breakdancing and freestyle to continue her study of movement. She received her undergrad degree in audio engineering and her graduate degree is in design technology.
Upon moving to NYC, Carolyn fell in love with pole dance. She explored various studios and found that each teacher taught her something new and interesting. It was incredibly challenging and unbelievably rewarding. She found the movements had unlimited potential for creative expression, and it brought the world of dancing to a whole different dimension for her. And most of all, it made her fall in love with herself.
After gaining a sense of comfort for the art form, Carolyn entered competitions, nationally and internationally. She has won several awards, but she found that while these competitions were a great opportunity to showcase skills, they didn’t foster any support or encouragement.
In the early 2000’s Carolyn started teaching pole dance classes at various studios throughout NYC and began to develop her own teaching methods. She finally found her niche by incorporating the yoga philosophy with a gymnastics mentality in her pole classes.
After several years of teaching at other studios, she had a great following and knew it was time to open her own location – Yoga Pole Studio. She choose downtown Brooklyn because of its close proximity to Manhattan, and beautiful diversity of the neighborhood. This is where all of the pieces came together.
Carolyn had always dreamed of a judgement-free studio. One where the environment was supportive and encouraging. One with no mirrors – much like a yoga studio. And with Yoga Pole Studio, Carolyn achieved her dream. It’s a space where students come together in support of each other. It’s a community of people working towards a common goal. It’s where they all welcome each other, support progress, and fall in love with themselves!