Meet our September 2023 Teacher Feature: pole instructor Veronica Chou and aerial instructor Rachel Hjerpe! If you haven’t taken class with them yet, we hope you get to know them a little better; and if you’ve already taken their classes, maybe you’ll learn something new!

Best of all, enjoy classes with Veronica and Rachel for $25 throughout the month of September!

Take class with Veronica: Use code BPVERONICA

Take class with Rachel: Use code BPRACHEL

**PLEASE NOTE: instructor discount codes are only valid for classes with Veronica and Rachel. Using the codes for any other instructor will result in early cancellation or a $45 single class purchase. No exceptions. 



Which apparatus do you teach?


What is your training and background in pole dance?

I started to get serious about pole dance when I moved to New York in 2015, and was certified with elevatED Pole 1 & 2 around 2017. Prior to pole dance, I was a commercial dancer who enjoyed hip-hop and street jazz dance.

How did you transition from student to teacher?

I had been a dance teacher in Taiwan for more than 10 years before pole dancing, so I was quite confident that I could teach pole as well. The pivotal moment was when I got my green card (haha!) so I could finally get hired legally.

Are there any teachers that impacted your pole journey, and if so, what gift did they give you?

Marlo Fisken  — she reminds me that what I chase after is not the most twisted or bendiest shapes, but a sense of freedom in movement. Kyra Johannesen — Kyra is passionate, creative, and resilient in what she does. I wish I could have these qualities AND be able to choreograph a sophisticated show like she does! Lastly, my students are my greatest teachers. Their feedback is essential for my growth as an instructor.

What makes your classes unique?

I get a feeling that my class is quite fitness-y but I also focus a lot on “flow”. If you’ve taken my class, let me know if I’m right!

How do you motivate students when you walk into a class with low energy?

I motivate students with engaging conversations, upbeat music, and ensuring they feel a sense of accomplishment from what they’ve learned.

How do you motivate yourself?

I try to make my training a habit so I don’t rely on motivation. When that doesn’t work, I take a break by doing something else that I enjoy and aligns with my goals. Occasionally, discovering a new song is all I need.

What’s your favorite playlist to jam to?

I listen to EVERYTHING:

What is the best advice you can give to someone starting out in pole dance?

Stick to it for at least 5 classes before you decide whether pole dance is for you.

What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in class?

We were filming some content at the studio, and my period literally visited by surprise while I was dancing on the pole. It was so bad that I had to borrow a pair of shorts from another instructor. (Thank you if you’re reading!)

What future projects are you working on?

1) Collaborations – If you’re a photographer, videographer, musician, singer, artist, creative, event planner, etc., DM me on IG at @veronicachou

2) Workshops and retreats – If you’re interested, please reach out via hello@veronica-chou.com

See Veronica’s schedule here

Follow Veronica on Instagram @veronicachou




Which apparatus do you teach?

I love training on hoop, silks and hammock! Currently, I teach classes for hammock and for hoop.

What is your training and background in aerial dance?

I took my first aerial silks class about 10 years ago while visiting my family in California. I loved it so much and spent months researching different places to train near where I went to school in New Jersey. That’s how I found Body & Pole! I took one intro class before deciding to sign a year-long membership contract. That one year turned into several years training not only at Body & Pole, but also at other studios all over the United States, Europe and Asia.

How did you transition from student to teacher?

I knew I wanted to be a teacher as soon as I started taking classes at Body & Pole. I grew up dancing and often felt like all of the feedback and attention went only to the best dancers in the room. At Body & Pole, walking in as a complete beginner, I expected to stand in the back and be ignored. The opposite happened. All of my intro teachers took the time to connect with each student and we all received individualized feedback. I left feeling a sense of accomplishment and knowing exactly what I needed to work on in order to improve. I felt so good leaving the studio, and that feeling stayed with me as I advanced to higher levels. It became a dream of mine to one day lead classes that could make people feel as good as I felt after a taking a class at Body & Pole.

Are there any teachers that impacted your aerial journey, and if so, what gift did they give you?

I have so many teachers that shaped my aerial journey and it would be so challenging to list them all here! I have to give a special shout out to the teachers that I had as a complete beginner, Brenna Bradbury and Elena Delgado, who made me feel so strong and accomplished no matter how much I was struggling. Alisa Fenley’s rule of only positive self-talk really shifted the way I experience each class I take, and Laurie Bloom’s passion and work ethic inspire me to work harder in every class.

What makes your classes unique?

It’s probably the silly jokes and the deep dives into why we do certain exercises the way that we do them. I often find that there are competing schools of thought when it comes to aerial conditioning and technical skills. I love talking about how small changes in form can completely change the outcome of a skill or exercise, and why different versions of the same skill could be useful depending on the desired outcome.

How do you motivate students when you walk into a class with low energy?

I always like to check in with everyone at the beginning of class to see how they’re doing and make sure that there is something in the class plan that day that they are excited about!

How do you motivate yourself? 

Whenever I am feeling a lack of motivation, I try to figure out why that is. Sometimes, my body and mind just need a break from training a specific skill or apparatus, and that’s OK! I love taking classes in other apparatuses or disciplines to remind myself that there are so many different ways to move and grow.  The vegan chocolate chip cookies from 7 Grams Caffe have also been a great motivator to come to the studio as they are only a few blocks away from B&P and probably the best cookies I’ve ever had (thank you to @kattyspins_ for opening my eyes to them!).

What’s your favorite playlist to jam to?

Right now, I am obsessed with my class playlist for my Hammock Nite Club Power & Play (which you can take Thursdays, starting September 14 at 7:55pm). I update it every week with new music that makes me want to dance!

What is the best advice you can give to someone starting out in aerial dance?

Never be afraid to come back. We all have lives that happen outside of aerial – injuries, travel, relationships, work – most aerialists have had to take breaks from their practice for one reason or another. Whether it’s a few weeks or several years away from training, you have a whole community waiting to support you when you return 🙂

What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in class (as a student or a teacher)? 

I have so many embarrassing stories! I’ve let go of a bar only to land with one leg in a bucket of chalk. I can’t even tell you how many times my pants have gotten stuck in the silks. I’ve also had an earring get caught on a rope (ask me about it! it’s not a story for the faint of heart..)

What future projects are you working on? 

I’m currently in the early stages of two new aerial acts for 2024 that I’m super excited about!

See Rachel’s schedule here

Follow Rachel on Instagram @rachhaerial