Q&A: Tracie “Crash” Hanna Talks Pole Dancing Lessons at Deja Vu Love Boutique

Megan Swartz

Deja Vu Love Boutique in Las Vegas proudly announces the newest addition to our brand, Deja Vu Presents Crash Academy. This new little gem of ours is located right inside the boutique, and is the newest, nicest and most intimate pole fitness studio in Las Vegas! While there are studios in town with twice the poles, our students are at a huge advantage with an instructor that can help each individual. Our key instructor, Tracie "Crash " Hanna, is a long-time friend of mine that started her career performing across the globe more than 10 years ago. She is an internationally acclaimed suspension performer, fire breather and pole dance artist. She has toured with Marilyn Manson and Jane's Addiction. With global headlines for her solo performances, Hanna has paved the way for female artists on every continent. You may recognize her from Lexus and Berliner Pilsner commercials. She has also been featured in hundreds of magazines. In 2002, MTV and Loud Wire recognized her for her pioneering performance art contributions.

Hanna has been tackling the physically demanding sport of pole dance fitness since 2008. She has trained closely with French National Pole Dance Champion, Marion Crampe, and credits her as an inspiration and close friend. Recently, they formed a duet to break in the new studio while Crampe was in Las Vegas for the Pole Dance Expo. The studio has eight 14-foot poles with the option to use either spinning or static and a viewing window to see the excitement from inside the boutique.

Hanna has been tackling the physically demanding sport of pole dance fitness since 2008. She has trained closely with French National Pole Dance Champion, Marion Crampe, and credits her as an inspiration and close friend.

Many might ask, "why a pole fitness studio in an adult store?" For us, the concept was simple. At this location in Las Vegas, the bulk of our shoppers are female entertainers. Moreover, many of our young shoppers are “brand new” to dancing and a common concern we heard from them in the clubs was “I don’t know how to dance on the pole.” Hence, our solution was to make our own pole studio in some spare space we have in our 40,000-plus square-foot high-end, luxury retail store. We felt it was a perfect addition and yet another opportunity for our different properties to work together symbiotically.

Most importantly, it has increased foot traffic throughout the store. While the pole studio itself as a profit center might not be the most profitable (typically, we only profit about $7 per student per class), it has generated interest in other items in the store that shoppers often buy on the way in or out. With cross-discounting, it’s easy to earn a sale from the students in every class.

Although construction took almost two months, we were able to keep build-out costs under $10,000. One of our dance pole vendors, Platinum Stages, was kind enough to extend us a serious discount for the poles, and the remaining paint, flooring, stereo equipment, and lighting was mostly recycled from other properties. All in all, this has been an exciting, fun project that has only increased this store’s sales even more.

Below is an interview with Hanna to help paint readers a better picture of who she is and what pole fitness is really about.

How do you like the new studio?

Tracie “Crash” Hanna: Living the dream! It’s been a really rewarding experience for many reasons. Naturally, we all love having our own thing. To be our own boss. But more importantly it’s been really powerful to see all the chapters in my life come together in one place. If it wasn't for my years of traveling as a performer, and my last three to four years as a teacher in Germany, I wouldn't have been as prepared or motivated as I am today. Or feel as confident in my teaching and motivation as I am now. I'm not in this business to build the next pole super star, or have the goal of making everyone a size four. It’s about offering the tools for people to empower themselves. I'm a huge believer in power and beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

How does it compare to other studios in town or others studios you've worked at?

Hanna: In my opinion every studio has something to offer people. It's similar to finding your favorite hair stylist, they just work for you, and you'll follow them anywhere. I always encourage people to go to new studios, try one when you're traveling, and try a class with every teacher. Everyone has something to teach you, or something specific to show you that you will take away from that experience. In Vegas there are some of the best schools in the world, with world-class teachers. So it's not about going to the best place, it's about finding the best teacher for you and your goals. Fortunately all of the schools in Vegas offer very different experiences, and the pole industry is the most community-based industry I've ever encountered. So it never feels like there's an ounce of competition.

How is it being back in your hometown doing what you love?

Hanna: Insane? I think that's the right word! I never thought I would end up back here — and definitely not as a pole-dancing teacher. Life sometimes does just whatever the hell it wants to do. But it’s really amazing to come back here, and see the last decade come full circle. And to see my name up on a billboard in my own town is rewarding all in itself.

What's the direction of the studio, and what are your hopes for the future?

Hanna: My direction with everything I've done, from preforming to teaching, has always had the same statement to me. It's about truly understanding yourself, being brutally honest with yourself, and doing whatever the hell you want regardless of what the world says. Be strong, confident, independent thinking, and open to what the world has to offer. I really love when people say you can't do something, and that pole tells me every time I try a new trick "nope, not today, try again" Give me a few days and I'll nail it! The direction I want it to take is to be a multi-dimensional space that offers not just classes in fitness, but workshops, lectures, guest teachers and educators. A place for women (and men) to feel completely free to be what they want, and express themselves in a safe and judgment-free environment.

What is it like being the head instructor versus working under someone?

Hanna: I have definitely always liked working for myself. I'm pretty stubborn and head strong, so I know myself well enough that I just do better working for myself. But I have also enjoyed working for others. The last studio I taught at was owned by another woman, and while we had our ups and downs, I'll always cherish that experience. I wouldn't be in the position I am in now if it wasn't for her. She taught me everything I know! And it was also nice to come in and just focus on my girls. But now I'm able to combine both, and it’s very rewarding. I can see much further in the future now!

Visit CrashAcademyLV.com for more details.

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