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WHAT IS A TIGER LILY?

We believe that all women benefit from developing a balance of strength and a natural sensuality regardless of size, shape, age, fitness level, background, or profession. This notion quickly became our philosophy, Tiger Lily Vertical Fitness & Dance is where 'Strength and Sensuality Bloom'.

 Our goal is to help women discover and develop their strength, like the Tiger, while allowing their natural sensuality, like the Lily, to thrive and grow wild in a fun, welcoming, and supportive environment.

WHO WE ARE

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SARAH RITZMAN
CO-FOUNDER

POLE AND AERIAL INSTRUCTOR

I first discovered pole dancing after having my second child in 2006. I was a stay at home mom with two children under 2. I was in need of an activity that in the short period of ‘me’ time I was able to get could 1) get me out of the house and give me a much needed mental break, 2) was able to get me back in shape without being boring, feeling torturous and much like a chore, and 3) be fun and exciting and make me feel ‘alive’ again. Not that having a family and two wonderful children made me not feel alive, but as some of you can relate, it gets to be monotonous and sometimes we just need a creative outlet to express ourselves with.  Pole dancing was the answer for me! I started taking classes and became addicted, in a great way! Since childhood, I have always been drawn to activities that required me to be physically active like dance and gymnastics. So, pole dancing, which is a creative combination of the two, came naturally to me. Before long I was in the best shape of my life, making wonderful friends and coming home with a new found passion and vitality that made me an even better mother and wife. This discovery gave me, along with my wonderful friend Caroline, the passion and the drive to create Tiger Lily Vertical Fitness & Dance!

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CAROLINE PATEL
CO-FOUNDER

POLE AND AERIAL INSTRUCTOR

As a child I took classical ballet and gymnastics. I enjoyed the beautiful fluid movements of both art forms. As an adult, I found that a gym setting wasn’t the proper fit for me. I wasn’t sure my technique on the equipment was correct, which made me feel self conscious. Classes were large and without a personal trainer, I didn’t get the attention I needed. My membership ended up seeming much more like a donation to a
club that I never went to. My first experience with pole dancing was in 2007 when a friend and I were searching for a fitness regimen that was different and had an emphasis on FUN! I found pole dancing exciting, with a hidden reward – an incredible workout! The setting was more my style too, a calming smaller group, with women much like me! I discovered that even though the horizontal ballet barre had been replaced with a vertical dance pole, the nostalgia of my youth came back in a more mature, sensual, empowering, and very beautiful way – I never expected anything like it! In 2008, I took a small break to have my 3rd child. Concerned about how the new baby weight would affect my ability to pole dance, I quickly discovered that with proper diet and pole dance fitness a few times a week, I am now in the best shape of my life!

Taking the step from student to instructor has been one of the most rewarding decisions I have made to date (along with motherhood and being a wife). Watching a student come in our doors for the first time, usually feeling unsure and a little nervous, it’s amazing to see how they blossom through each level. Pole dancing is my passion and as an instructor I am committed to being the best I can be. Together with my dear friend Sarah, we have built Tiger Lily so that other women can benefit just as we did!

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Allison

Specialty Class Instructor

Bio Coming Soon!

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Kim

Aerial Arts Instructor

My aerial adventures started in 2014 on aerial silks. I did not come from a movement background so I am very familiar with the path from couch potato to aerial goddess (it took over 2 years of training to get a flat split!). However, I am truly addicted to being in the air. Over the years I've played on any apparatus I could get my hands on: silks, lyra, rope, handstands, contortion, trapeze, and sling and I have absolutely zero intention of slowing down. I want to spread the joy of circus through teaching because circus has been a life changing outlet for dealing with insecurities and anxiety. I knew in 2020 that I wanted to level up my training so I decided to take teacher training courses offered by the aerial company Paperdoll Militia. Those courses combined with my experience working as a personal trainer has made me ready and rearing to go! I am so excited to help others discover their strength and confidence so I look forward to having you in my class soon! 

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Amber

Pole and Specialty Class Instructor

Bio Coming Soon!

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Megan

Pole and Specialty Class Instructor

I think I came out of the womb dancing and have continued that love for dance throughout my life and into adulthood. I am a performer and competitor at heart and have been a part of many events, most notably: Prelude Dance Competition, World of Dance, Masterpiece Dance Competition, The Brass Menagerie and locally the Elgin Fringe Festival, and (NAPDC) North American Pole Dance Competition. I found my passion for pole dance in 2013 at Tiger Lily and am excited to combine all of my dance, performance, and teaching experience to offer my unique style of classes at Tiger Lily. I can't wait to slink and hair whip with you!