A new year has arrived, and with it comes a bevy of New Year’s resolutions; including the undoubtedly common resolution to spend more time focused on physical health, whether it’s eating better, going for daily walks, or hitting the gym.
As a result, Hamilton entrepreneur and business owner Michelle Kriedemann will surely see an influx of involvement at Allure Fitness: her Westdale Village fitness studio that has continued to grow in popularity since first opening in 2009.
Allure Fitness isn’t your average gym, though. The studio swaps out treadmills and weight machines for dance poles and aerial hoops, offering a unique, fun fitness experience that’s as liberating and empowering as it is disciplined and challenging.
The studio’s enduring success wasn’t a given, though. Kriedemann, a born and raised Hamiltonian, didn’t grow up expecting to launch her own business in the future at all, in spite of being surrounded by entrepreneurs for much of her life.
“My mom owned Bayshore Hobbies (this is a test for all the true Hamiltonians out there!), and so I was brought up in an entrepreneurial household – with all the pros and cons that come along with it,” she says.
“I can be quoted from my youth saying ‘I will never own my own business, I just want to go work for the man and leave my work at my desk at 5pm,’ and yet… here I am!”
Prior to opening Allure Fitness, Kriedemann was working as a commercial insurance broker, which gave her some intriguing insights on the inner workings of running a small business in Hamilton.
At the same time, being bound to a desk all day was taking its toll. Kriedemann craved a way to stay physically active, ultimately finding that group studio classes helped keep her committed and accountable in ways that simply going to the gym for solo sessions didn’t.
Eventually, those burgeoning interests in entrepreneurship and communal approaches to fitness converged, with Kriedemann leaving the insurance industry behind and forming the seeds of Allure Fitness out of a desire to fill a gap in Hamilton’s fitness scene.
“I wanted to offer women my dream fitness experience – a place to feel comfortable working out, to build sky-high confidence, and to have a heck of a lot of fun while they do it,” Kriedemann says.
In the 13 years since Allure Fitness first opened its doors, it has developed and maintained a strong reputation in Hamilton for an approach to exercise that includes disciplines like pole dancing, aerial hoop, and suspension yoga; all of which balance rigour, joy, connection, and empowerment while improving strength, flexibility, and coordination.
Kriedemann is also extremely intentional about using Allure Fitness as a force for positivity and progress, both in challenging social norms about how bodies ‘should’ look and combating the unfair stigmas against artforms and athletic disciplines like pole dancing.
“I think people are letting go of the societal ideals that have been forced upon us for so long, both as far as our behaviour goes, and what we strive to look like. With more acceptance of the unconventional, there’s less fear of being judged for pole dancing – which has frequently been frowned upon by those with more conservative views,” she explains.
“With less emphasis on being skinny and that some magical number the scale is ‘supposed to’ tell us, we are instead able to focus on what our body is able to accomplish, and how strong we are – and let me tell you – this is a real step forward. Recognizing that each person has a unique body and doesn’t need to conform to unrealistic ideals has freed us up to embrace our body as it is, and to push our limits of strength and ability instead!”
This approach is something that keeps people coming back to Allure Fitness again and again. There’s an innate camaraderie that forms in a group fitness setting, especially one that’s designed to be supportive and celebratory. Classmates literally cheer each other on when goals are achieved and obstacles are overcome; that’s not something you’ll find in other fitness settings.
With more than a decade of steady growth and evolution – and the threatening storm of a pandemic thrown in for good measure – Allure Fitness is in exceptional shape today, back full force to offer its popular in-person studio classes (with options for every experience level), private solo classes, and one-off workshops including some spicier sessions like introductions to lap dancing or burlesque.
Kriedemann’s pride and passion for her long-standing small business is practically radiant, and she’s quick to express how meaningful it’s been to grow Allure Fitness right here in her hometown.
“I am so appreciative of the opportunity to serve our community in such a rewarding way; it’s very gratifying to get to know so many amazing people in running Allure,” she says.
“We have an incredible team of women working here, who are all inspirational and committed to our vision – helping women build strong bodies & strong spirits. It is truly a special experience being able to help so many women feel incredible about themselves!”
Michelle06.01.2023 4:02 pm
This article really captures the heart of Allure! Thank you Michael and Urbanicity for shining a light on us, we’re grateful for the opportunity to share what we do. 💕