MATHILDA (she/her)

Owner, Founder, and Head Instructor

Mathilda was born and raised in Bethlehem, Palestine. She 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 dance or gymnastics background (and couldn't even touch her toes), she was hooked after just the first class. Learning a new sport in a non-native language is difficult, but the community she experienced there was supportive and encouraging. 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 28 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."

Mathilda 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. Mathilda is also a certified pole instructor through Xpert Fitness.

ERIN (she/her)


Erin grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and was shocked to move to a city that doesn't shut down over 2 inches of snow.

She started her pole journey under Mathilda's guidance in November of 2019 despite what felt like an impossible to overcome lack of athleticism. Even feeling out of her element during the beginning, pole felt exciting and empowering. 

Pole has been transformative for her in so many ways, giving this serial hobby quitter something to fall in love with. She feels the strongest she ever has, mentally and physically thanks to her pole journey. It's given her an appreciation for what her body can do and what determination can achieve. 

Erin loves the opportunity to share the joy and power of pole with others through teaching at Soma. She hopes that everyone that comes to the studio can experience the same transformative power that she has in their own uniquely wonderful journeys.

FEYTH (she/her)


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 Mathilda and has loved it ever since. While there have been many ups and downs, 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.