Owner, Founder, and Head Instructor
Tee was born and raised in Bethlehem, Palestines and immigrated to the US with her family when she was a teenager. She started her pole journey in October of 2017 while she was serving in Peace Corps Ukraine. Even though she didn't have a formal dance or gymnastics background (and couldn't even touch her toes), she was hooked after just the first class. She returned to the US to pursue a master's degree, only to discover that pole studios are much fewer and further in between in the US. She decided to open Soma in order to share her love of pole with others.
She says, "Pole has been the focal point of transformation in my life. Though I have done many things in my 29 years, discovering pole has been the greatest of all. Through pole and the community that comes with it, I have discovered my strength, resilience, and power. I know that Soma will be a place for others to do the same."
Tee maintains that pole dance is a form of decolonial practice. Using her MA research as a reference, she integrates decolonial methodology, reflective practice, and trauma-informed instruction into the pedagogy and operation of the studio. She is also a certified pole instructor (levels 1-4) through Xpert Fitness.
Feyth is a South Bend native. Although she has experience with many different types of dance, pole is what really stuck with her. She got into pole in late 2019 through private lessons with Tee and has loved it ever since. While there have been many ups and downs (literally), she reminds herself that's part of the journey. The constant challenge of pole is what keeps her hooked. All of her favorite tricks involve inversions of some sort because life is better upside down.
Pole has completely changed Feyth's life, giving her a sense of community, newfound confidence, and goals to work towards. She is happy to be part of the Soma community and loves seeing how people transform through pole. Feyth is working towards her Xpert Fitness Certification and currently teaches Intro to Pole and beginner classes (Trickster 1/2).
Chloe grew up in South Bend and has stayed in the area her whole life. Not that she doesn’t enjoy getting away and traveling the country or the world, but Michiana is where Chloe calls home. Trying out an intro class in January of 2021, right when Soma opened, seemed like a fun and different activity to do. She hadn't seen anything like this being offered in the area before. Being shy, inflexible, and a little self-conscious, Chloe didn’t know what to expect.
It has turned out that pole is one of Chloe’s passions. She is amazed at the strength, flexibility, and body awareness that she has gained! She loves that pole allows her to make goals for herself that she knows she can achieve, even if it seems impossible at the start. She loves the encouraging community at Soma and finds pole to be an excellent stress-reliever. It has helped her build confidence and pushes her to continue trying things that take her out of her comfort zone (such as the Heelography classes!)
Chloe is a certified pole instructor (level 1 and 2) through Xpert Fitness and wants to share her passion for pole with others. She hopes she can accompany others on their pole journeys. Chloe currently teaches beginner classes (Trickster 1/2 and Spintacular 2).
Erica has lived in South Bend since she was 3. She started her pole journey at Soma in January 2021. Although she has a background in yoga and some experience with Middle Eastern dance, pole was unlike anything she had ever done before.
She stepped into her first intro class not knowing what to expect, but she hasn’t looked back since. The community she found at Soma is welcoming and encouraging. Paired with the sense of confidence and strength pole gives her, she feels right at home. And Soma has become just that: a second home and a place for healing. She hopes to share that same sense of community with everyone that she has the privilege of teaching or learning with in class.
She says, “ In such a short time pole has become such an important part of my life. I can’t imagine a life without pole anymore. I don’t think it is possible to understand the absolute beauty of all that pole offers us without experiencing it. I hope that everyone that walks through Soma’s doors falls as deeply in love with this beautiful art form and outlet of self-expression as I have.”
Erica is a certified pole instructor (levels 1 and 2) through Xpert Fitness. She currently alternates between teaching Heels Choreo, Low Flow, Flexibility and Conditioning, and a beginner tricks class (Trickster 1/2).