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Life & Work with Holly Merlot

Today we’d like to introduce you to Holly Merlot. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Dahlia Pole had very humble beginnings. A few friends were looking for a new place to call our pole dancing home in early 2016. Holly Merlot, the founder and owner of Dahlia Pole, searched far and wide for what we would hope could become a pole studio. She soon found out that opening a brand new business was much harder than she had previously expected. One evening, Holly decided to ask some dance studios and gyms if they rented space. Most places didn’t respond, a few said no but finally one place, Dudas Fitness in St. Charles said yes! Holly purchased a second stage pole and taught in a small classroom, 5 hours a week for a year. So that was the start of it all!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No way! It’s been tough. I’m a mother of three young children and a wife of one husband. I’m a stay at home mom first and foremost and my business comes second. I saved money up for over a year teaching pole classes and doing small performances in order to be able to start Dahlia Pole.

In 2019, I became pregnant with my third child, then the pandemic hit. I was very fortunate and was able to reopen my studio mid 2020, just in time to have my baby. Now, I’m opening another location in Westport and I’m doing a huge amount of work with an infant on my hip!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Dahlia Pole is owned by Holly Merlot, a STL native, pole dancer, mom, wife, etc. Holly is a certified personal trainer, certified sports nutrition specialist, holds a degree in elementary education and has performed in over 50 local pole and burlesque shows.

Dahlia is an adults only fitness and dance boutique specializing in pole dance classes, we also offer yoga, aerial hoop and adult dance classes. All of our instructors are certified personal trainers, registered yoga teachers or group fitness certified. Every instructor offers years of pole instruction experience, many of our instructors are competitors and/or local performers.

We’re a little grungy, a little death metal and we welcome everyone who feels like they need a place to fit in.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
Holly has created an environment where people are free to be who they wish to be and are free to do what is best for them. Students may come as they are and compete only with themselves. Our non-competitive studio environment allows all students and instructors to feel welcome and comfortable.


  • Parties start at $200
  • Drop in classes only $25
  • Private lessons start at $60/hour

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: @stlpole
  • Facebook: @stlpole

Image Credits
Don Q Chris Bauer

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