Merrimack studio offers pole dancing for fitness

Donna Moison, owner of Center Stage Pole Dance & Fitness, located at 416 Daniel Webster Highway in the same plaza as the D.W. Diner, hosts with other talented instructors a variety of convenient evening and weekend classes geared toward making fitness fun.

Moison, a professionally trained instructor, can with little effort climb to the top of one of several dance poles in her mirror-lined studio and perform maneuvers that would be interpreted as pull-ups, sit-ups, back-bends and ballet moves in another environment.

Recently, she was joined by Holly Desrocher, a Manchester fitness aficionado, and Shari Smith, a well-toned client from Milford. The ladies were pleased to demonstrate some of the moves and strike a pose in a tableau of gracefulness. Smith and Desrocher agreed that their fitness level has increased and that they never fail to have fun during their lessons.

Ladies of all skill levels learn flexibility, strength and poise through the graceful art of pole dance as an avenue to fitness. The discipline swept the country not long ago and triggered a profusion of studios specializing in the fitness method. Moison is a Francestown resident who retains a post as an accounts payable specialist at GT Advanced Technologies in Merrimack, not far from her studio. She has been in business for more than seven years and is going into her third year in Merrimack. She opened Center Stage Pole Dance & Fitness in August 2012.

“The ages of my students are typically 18-plus,” Moison said. “I’ve also had teenagers of 16 and 17 and their mothers come in.”

She now offers small groups of women the opportunity to learn spins, lifts and other moves that increase muscle tone and cardio levels.

Others who instruct there include Tami Borelli, Kara LaMarr and Mandi Mulaki, all of whom have extensive fitness backgrounds. The team welcomes new students and promises a gentle and pleasurable introduction to fitness with a flair.

Center Stage Pole Dance & Fitness also is a site offering the space and atmosphere for parties, events and workshops. The studio can design an event that offers corporate clients a memorable way to bring co-workers together for team-building functions. Others may find it the perfect place for a girls night out with a twist, on a pole. Birthday parties and bachelorette parties are frequent happenings.

Moison said she often gives her students homework, which entails some yoga and strength-building exercises.

“We go over the homework in class to ensure everyone has the correct form,” Moison said. “They learn all the aspects of each exercise.”

Moison said men are allowed to come to the studio with their significant other but only during semi-private classes.

“I encourage this, as men typically have preconceived ideas of what this fitness method is all about,” Moison said. “Once they see for themselves, they are amazed at what their partners can do.”

Another popular offering at Center Stage Pole Dance & Fitness is Aerial Silks, a class in which students use a pair of suspended lengths of silk that are climbed with an attitude of grace that results in the appearance of floating in air. Moison also offers Hula Hoops, Vertical Barre Sculpting, as well as Chair/Pole Dance Fitness.

Another discipline called Kangoo Jump classes is in the planning. The jump classes use specialized shoes with spring soles that cause little strain to muscles or joints and result in a smooth, bouncing action.

“It is all fun and nonboring and produces results,” Moison said. “It keeps the ladies coming back for more.”

For more information, call 801-3032, send an email to or visit