Meet our May 2024 Teacher Feature: Pole instructor Daniel Darling and Aerial Instructor Rachel Hjerpe! If you haven’t taken class with them yet, we hope you get to know them a little better through our “Upside Down Challenge” and if you’ve already taken their classes, maybe you’ll learn something new! Best of all, enjoy classes with Daniel and Rachel for $25 throughout the month of May.

Take class with Daniel: Use code BPDANIEL

Take class with Rachel: Use code BPRACHEL

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




  1. What was your first exposure to pole dancing? My first exposure was actually watching Stephen Retchless on “America’s Got Talent”. I remember seeing that and just being blown away. I thought it was so cool and then I sought it out in my hometown of Fayettville, North Carolina,
  2. What was the thing that you were like, ‘yeah, I need that’? His act, he was very femme presenting, I mean he even went in on six inch heels, so he’s Pleasers, the works. I thought it was so cool on someone young and queer, dancing, wanting to express their own femininity or sexuality but also through art. I thought it was like, oh, that’s perfect!
  3. Is that why you sought out or came to Body & Pole? Yeah, after I started, Body & Pole had and still does have quite the reputation as like the big “go-to” spot. So I was like, “fuck it, let’s do it!’. Yeah, after I won PSO Pro I got a free traincation and took the traincation here. That was my first time [at Body & Pole].
  4. What were your first classes like in North Carolina? Can you tell us about that experience? Studio culture was very sexy-based, even though the studio had pole fitness in the name. That’s really just like a marketing thing. Still very sexy-based, the founder was a former stripper who started her own business because she realized it could be lucrative and she started it. It’s just like a whole community. It’s the only pole studio in my home town called Studio X Pole Fitness, and I love it. The lights are always set low so it was kind of nightclub and I was like, ‘yeah’. It was like sexy music, rock, R&B, more rock than anything which is kind of what got me into liking to dance to rock.
  5. How has that where you started influence how you teach here at Body & Pole? I still like to keep a little bit of the sexy aspect in everything I do, even though I might not cue it, I like to think that it’s shaped me to become a little bit more aware of my sensuality even when we’re moving through really hard shit. Because you can still be sexy and strong.
  6. Do you have a favorite hard move that is also incredibly sexy? I mean I do love anything that gives me a nice back bend. I think back bending is always inherently sexy because it’s like imagine getting into this position while you’re doing you know, other stuff.
  7. Do you think your teaching here or teaching in general has influenced you perform as well? Yeah, the way I approach making a piece has changed dramatically. I’m a lot more organized because I take the way maybe how I organize a class and apply that to how I make a piece to perform out in nightlife for a random gig, whatever it may be.
  8. What’s your catchphrase, what’s your go-to thing to say in class whether you like it or not? Just sayings, sound effects if you will. I like to keep it “schmoopdee”, they’ll know that one. Anything that goes (video game effects) of any kind, you gotta keep it fun. I’m always careful to say that you know, we’re just dancing on metal sticks. That’s all it is.


Follow Daniel on Instagram @darling.daniel. View Daniel’s class schedule here!



  1. Rachel, what was your first exposure to aerial or silks or hoop? Oh, my very first exposure I think, was a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas, where I lived as a child. I believe we saw . The Cirque du Soleil show was incredible.
  2. And that made you want to do this, sort of figure out how to do that? It definitely did although I did not start training any aerial apparatus until much later in life. I started training in college. That’s when I got into Body & Pole when I came to the East Coast.
  3. What is one of your favorite moves to teach your students, or what’s one of the things you love to show them? I guess anything dynamic, anything from beats. I love to teach. I love talking about my theory. I love talking about “C Shaping” and it’s a lot of fun. C Shaping is kind of exactly what it sounds like…you’re making your body in the shape of the C and you use it for all sorts of things, all sorts of skills that have to do with rolling up and down or inside the silks.
  4. How did your background influence aerial your approach to teaching it? Well I came from a ballet background and aerial was my first ever experience doing anything kind of upper body, anything climbing. So I think that my teaching style is very much informed by feeling like an adult beginner. So because I did not start this from being a child, I remember very much what it feels like to not be able to support your own weight, I remember that sensation well, and when I take a long break, sometimes I feel that too. Things that I definitely want my students to always watch out for, if you’re taking hoop class, you have to wrap your thumbs under. For me that’s always kind of a big indicator of whether you’ve taken a break or have been doing this for a really long time. I feel like I can always tell where you are more or less in your hoop journey just by how you hold onto your hoop than how you grab your hoop, specifically with the thumbs wrapped but other things as well. So I’m always looking for that.
  5. What was your experience like in your most recent performance? How did that go for you? That was so much fun! I was in the staff show [Cristal] at Body & Pole and that was at House of Yes. It was so much fun, it was terrifying but also very fun. And it was such a great opportunity to perform with some incredibly talented staff members of Body & Pole. Just working with the other instructors was just such a privilege, working with Kyra as a choreographer, it was just amazing, it was so much fun to be a part of.
  6. Is there a moment you would go back to? I mean I think it would just have to kind of go back to the very beginning when we all run up to the stage lijke we’re at an audition, and we’re kind of like pantomiming getting ready for an audition and how one might behave in an audition setting. It felt very nostalgic and very theatrical and it was just a lot of fun.


Follow Rachel on Instagram @rachhaerial. View Rachel’s class schedule here!