Sandy Grace: on Breaking the Stigma Around Pole Dance 

Sandy Grace pole dance

Sandy Grace is a pole dancer and instructor that decided to turn her life around and pursue pole dance. Before pole dancing, Sandy was working as an HR manager in a well-known company, and when she practiced pole professionally, she decided to start her own pole dancing studio, Steps by Grace studio. Sandy wants to dedicate her career to ending the stigma that surrounds pole dancing. She wants women to feel feminine and confident in their own skin, and practice what they love to do without having to deal with any preconceived ideas people might have. Pole dancing is a beautiful sport that Sandy truly loves, and the work she’s doing to spread it is truly admirable. 

We sat down with Sandy Grace to know more about her journey!

When did you realize you were passionate about Pole dancing? 

I started pole back in 2015. My first class was not so good for me because I was never a sports person at all, and I was a bit chubby. However, I thought to give it another try and I totally fell in love. That’s the moment I knew I was stuck with pole forever.

I became an instructor by coincidence in 2019 and from my first month as an instructor, I was thinking that one day I will have my own place. However, I never thought that I will do it in less than a year. I actually planned, rented, and opened the place in a month.

How does pole dancing help you express yourself?

Before pole, I never had self-confidence or self-esteem and I am so honest about it. I never liked my body shape and I used work out a lot but never continue.

Once I started pole everything changed. I started gaining my self-confidence, and started to look to myself in totally different way. I fell back in love with my body and appreciated it more for helping me in every achievement I go through in pole. In addition to that, pole helped me express my feelings in dance. I usually grab all my emotions and put it in a dance so I can feel relieved .

When did you decide to start Steps by Grace studios, and why?

When I started to practice pole, I was introduced to a lot of women. We started talking about their life challenges. I found that the common problems between all of us were the same starting from low self steam, mental health problems, relationship and friendship problems. I was like them exactly and I started thinking about how I can help them. Not only by introducing them to pole but by creating a lifestyle and a safe place for them to express their frustrations and try to help them to change their mindset and to regain what they lost. 

I was thinking to create more of a safe place than a commercial place.

What were the challenges that you faced both as a pole dancer and a studio founder, and how did you overcome them?

Whenever people knew that I am a pole dance instructor, they always start talking about pole as if it were only about stripping. They talk about how most of them see it in movies and start making fun of what I am doing, or start telling me that it’s not a real sport. They say I won’t gain any body strength or that I am wasting my time and money, especially when I started practicing prices were somehow high.

As a studio owner, my first year was all about introducing my classes to people and convincing them to try pole. What was also challenging was finding the perfect instructors that have the same passion I have to create the best community and environment in each class.  

What are some of the misconceptions you’d like to correct about pole dancing?

I want to set the record that:

Pole is not stripping

Pole dancers are not sexual icons

Pole is not for skinny girls

Pole is not about naked women

Pole is not hard to learn

Pole is not for strippers 

Pole is not for strong-muscled women

Pole is not only for flexible girls

Pole is for every woman and girl. Pole is for women and men. It is for everyone. You can start at any age, at any weight, and with or without a fitness background. 

Have you faced any situations as a pole dancer or as an instructor with other people that still reflect a stereotypical perception of Pole dancing from their side? 

Unfortunately, yes I used to have a student that came to classes without telling her parents. She used to tell them that she was going to the gym because her parents still believe that pole is an inappropriate sport.

Also, some of my students are facing challenges from their friends and family for judging them for their learning pole. They are demotivating them and still giving them a hard time.  

How do you think pole dancing affects the perception of femininity for a woman as opposed to other kinds of dancing?

Pole is a mix between strength and femininity. It gives you the strength and makes you gain the muscles that your body needs. At the same time, it lets you discover the feminist side in your personality where you feel like the most beautiful woman in the room.

You always feel like the most strong powerful female. 

What are the benefits of pole dancing whether physically or psychologically on a person? 

I wish I can take videos for students in their first class and after 3 months from practicing pole. You will be able to see two different women. In their first class they come quite, shy, wearing normal cotton shorts and a tank top and feeling uncomfortable. Suddenly after 3 months, I find strong confident women entering the place with the best outfit wearing makeup as if they’re going for a date.

These are amazing benefits for pole physically and psychologically


  • Increase your body strength & mobility 
  • It gives you more balance & coordination
  • It improves your sleep quality as it’s a full-body work out
  • And it reshapes your body.
  • Gives your body muscles as well
  • Pole is amazing for bones and joints as you use all your body on the pole
  • Makes pregnancy and childbirth way easier


  • It boosts the happy hormones in your body
  • Gives you high self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Freedom of self-expression
  • You will be less stressed out
  • It will give you the motive to work out
  • You will become more empowered
  • You will get introduced to an amazing community and make a lot of friends

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start pole dancing but might be nervous or scared?

My advice is to be patient with yourself, and stop believing any stereotype around you. The most important thing is to BELIEVE that you can do it.

No professional pole dancer was born an expert, all of us were beginners. 

What’s next for you and Steps by Grace studio?

My next step is to work more on pole awareness and women empowerment. I will do my best to erase any stereotypical image about it. In addition to that, to prove that we can include our Egyptian culture in pole dance.

Sandy Grace is truly an admirable dancer and instructor, not only practicing her love but also helping people find comfort in their bodies and femininity. The work Sandy Grace is doing is a huge step towards a more confident community of women.

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