Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Formerly homeless lap dancer turns life around

June 08 2011
Entrepreneur of the Year award winner now employs six instructors


In today’s busy world, people use traditional sports such as boxing and martial arts to keep fit and happy. Soul Pole, a pole dancing exercise studio in Aberdeen, promotes fitness and self-confidence by giving clients the opportunity to learn to pole dance.

The founder, Sian Ajose, 36, is a busy and healthy married mum of one. However, a few years ago, Sian was underweight, sleeping rough and using drugs.

Sian, who left an unhappy home when she was 16, was already on the road to recovery when she decided to pursue a course at the UK Sailing Academy based in Australia’s Golden Coast. However, training is expensive and, after trying unsuccessfully to get funding from various sources, Sian nearly gave up on her dream.

Fortunately, Sian took the initiative to write directly to The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, who is a patron of the Sailing Acaemy. To Sian’s delight, The Princess was able to influence the Academy to pay for Sian’s tuition and accommodation while she studied. However, Sian still had to cover the cost of childcare, living costs and flights.

Sian identified lap dancing as an easy way to make the money she needed for her trip and, with a little initial trepidation, she started lap dancing in Edinburgh.

Her hard work and perseverance paid off and Sian returned to Aberdeen as a qualified wind surfing instructor and rescue diver.

On her return to the North East, Sian planned to utilise her new skills to establish a business in the area, teaching others to enjoy diving and wind surfing. The cold Scottish climate, however, did not support the venture. Sian was not deterred and she began working as a sports education tutor.

Having always enjoyed dance and fitness, and with pole dancing experience, Sian spotted the potentional for a business venture. Initially she offered pole dancing classes from her living room but, as demand grew, the business moved into a studio in the city centre. Sian’s studio opened in 2009 and is still running today, with a team of six instructors.

Sian’s success with Soul Pole was recognized when she won ‘Grampian Business Awards emerging Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2009 and was awarded ‘Highly Commended Health Destination Clubs and Gyms Category’ by the Trend lifestyle Awards in 2010.

Awards aside, Sian’s happiness, success and positive influence in the North East illustrate the potential to realise your ambitions, regardless of where you start from.