At Papillon Fitness Pole and Dance, we have created a safe, fun, effective environment for our students, where you can learn an exciting powerful form of fitness, and find a confidence in yourself you never knew you had! Our mission is to cultivate a welcoming community of students and instructors who help each other in our growth, self-awareness, and strength through pole fitness. Our highly trained instructors come from all different fitness backgrounds to give our students high-quality instruction in Pole fitness, Dance, Flexibility and Cardio fitness. We offer further education and growth through specialty workshops, series and performances as well to keep everyone inspired and challenged. Check out why Pole is the most effective fitness workout you will ever do! Whether you are looking to increase your strength, tone, stretch, or get your dance on, we have a class for you!
Meet the Owner
S Factor Advanced Instructor Certified
Pole Dance Instructor Certified - PDIC Levels 1-4
Golden Gate Pole Championship 2018 Silver
Katja Tapia-Hugand - Founder
Katja began her pole fitness journey in January of 2015, and was immediately hooked! She has always been heavily into the fitness scene since a teenager but never really felt that in-love with her weight training, power-lifting and cardio training.
When pole fitness came into her life, it was like the light bulb came on! Through this amazing form of fitness, she has gained strength, increased her fitness, and met some of the most incredible people in an overwhelmingly supportive community.
The most significant aspect that she has learned from pole fitness is feeling comfortable in her own skin and reclaiming herself. For her, pole fitness has been a form of empowerment. Pole fitness has helped her embrace her body, and she hopes to encourage women and men of all shapes and sizes to try pole fitness.
Pole fitness can be whatever you want it to be: you can embrace the sexy side, make it modern, or more athletic. Pole fitness has changed her life, and she is looking forward to her journey as an owner and instructor at Papillon Fitness Pole & Dance/Marin Pole.
Meet our Instructors
Sophia Godwin - Flexibility/hoop
Growing up dancing and performing, Sophia has extensive knowledge and great appreciation for the vast potential of the human body. With a background in acrobatics and aerial fitness, both her classes focus on safely attaining and applying your maximum flexibility to your everyday life. A combination of flexibility training and conditioning will prepare you to achieve not only your pole goals but also allow you to explore what aerial hoop can do for you.
Her Flexibility courses focus on warming up the body properly before she individually assesses and works diligently with each student. These courses, although in a group setting, are tailor-made for each student's individual needs and goals.
Her Lyra Hoop class also focuses on each individual's goals and desires, but is focused on correct form and flow of the body. One of the best parts about aerial hoop is that it allows each student to shine on their own and learn things about themselves and their bodies that they never knew possible. Not to mention, you get to learn how to fly.
Susan Jo - Pole
After making the decision to try and start a family in January 2016, I wanted a fitness activity to get my body in the best shape I could before possibly having it all undone with a baby. I'd always been fascinated by acrobats and circus performance, and after my first and only fateful visit to a strip club, pole dancing as well. I had zero dance background, and zero interest in going to a gym.
Living in NYC at the time, I ended up beginning my training at Body + Pole in Manhattan. From there I was hooked, and in the 3 years since I've poled at various studios to broaden my pole education: Incredipole (Brooklyn, NY), Sadie's (LA, CA), SF Pole + Dance (SF, CA), Pole Fitness Seattle (Seattle, WA), and Pole Dance Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan). My baby bub was born in October 2018, and I was poling (at Papillon!) right up to just a few days before going into the hospital to deliver.
It's a poler cliche, but pole really changed my whole life, not only in terms of fitness, but my self image, and mental and physical health. When I'm not poling or toting a baby around, I'm doing yoga, which is my other love.
Patricia theel - pole/Dance
Patricia is a lifelong fitness nut. An avid runner since college, she has completed numerous 10ks, half marathons, and one marathon (one is enough!). As she got older, she pursued activities that were more inclusive of the whole body, yet still maintained that same level of fitness that she desired. Completing triathlons and century (bike) rides, in addition to running, became the things that inspired her, helped her stay in shape and feel successful. When she discovered pole fitness and dancing in 2014, she felt that all of her fitness goals and desires were answered in this one activity. She was stoked to finally experience a full body workout that develops strength and improves cardio all wrapped up in beautiful, sexy movement. The empowerment is addictive and she encourages everyone to experience it for themselves!
She is originally from Wisconsin with stints in Seattle, WA and Steamboat Springs and Boulder, CO (telemark ski bum), and has proudly called San Francisco her home for almost 20 years. A former teacher and principal in San Francisco schools, she is thrilled to be transitioning her teacher journey into the poling world where she continues to build relationships with her students through love, encouragement and laughter. She absolutely loves working with new students and seeing their faces light up as they spin around the pole for the first time.
IPDFA Pole Pro Certified Instructor - Level 1
kim Pia - Pole/DANCE
Kim walked into her first pole class in March 2015, and it was love at first spin. She grew up performing in musical theater as well as training in jazz and ballet. Until finding pole, she had a deep longing to find dance as an adult. Pole gave her everything she had been longing for: movement, expression, power, and a little bit of slink.
Kim calls her pole style “grounded”, preferring to work the lower third of the pole. Although she loves aerial tricks and dancing barefoot, you’ll most often find her working the base in her 8 inch heels. She considers her heels as much an apparatus as the pole itself, and her choreography classes focus on building solid heel technique and fluidity in movement. When Kim isn’t dancing, you’ll find her in the yoga studio, or walking somewhere in nature. Also a yoga teacher, she draws from her yoga background for alignment focused warm-ups that safely prepare the body to dance.
Viva Celso - aerial sling
After years of performing for famous musicians, Viva Celso has returned to the county where she was raised to raise her now two year old son. By the age of 18, she had completed two 500 hour yoga teacher training programs, studied all forms of dance, and was a published model. She discovered pole and aerial in her mid twenties and pursued a career as a performer. Traveling and living internationally, she performed burlesque, sling/hammock, silks, Lyra, Gogo, trapeze, pole, metal grinding, fire dancing, straps, and net. She has been a guest performer in television, film, and many stages. In 2014, she was recruited by Cirque du Soleil to perform as a lead aerialist in their Las Vegas nightclub “Light”. Here at Papillon, she will be teaching sling/hammock, her favorite apparatus, focusing on graceful movements that increase and utilize strength and flexibility. Papillon is excited to welcome her to the team!
Andrey Pfening - Handstand
Andrey was born on March 11th, 1990 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. He spent his childhood in Samara, Russia, and at the age of 12 moved to the US and has resided in San Francisco Bay Area ever since.
While in high school, Andrey came across a YouTube video of David Belle (co-founder of parkour). He instantly was drawn to the activity and began seeking out knowledge and experience. He practiced with friends and then dedicated himself to training on his own several days a week. As he gained proficiency, others were drawn to his abilities and in turn attracted to his teachings.
Andrey has become a recognizable member of the parkour community. He helps orchestrate local monthly jams in San Francisco and is committed to educating himself about parkour and the most effective teaching tools. He frequently attends local and national parkour summits, with well known practitioners, which review the most up to date trends in the discipline, which he implements into his teachings.
After several years of being involved in parkour community, Andrey began his teaching career at two fitness facilities, Athletic Playground and The Cave. Parkour was his main subject, and as time went on Andrey’s interests spread to hand balancing, acrobatics, crossfit, and gymnastic strength training. Outside of the gym, Andrey spends a lot of time coming up with skill progressions, class outlines, and visual aids, which assist his physical and vocal style of teaching. He uses videos of himself and his own students to break down skills, frame by frame.
Annually, Andrey performs in live performances, working with local and international choreographers. In 2015 and 2016 he had a rare opportunity to be part of two SF Opera productions, “The Trojans” and "Carmen." He also periodically choreographs and performs pieces of his own.
Joshuah ciafardone - Pole/Dance
Joshuah (also known as Aurora) is a pole and exotic dancer, performer, and teacher. They live a life of screwing the patriarchy one nine inch heel at a time. They have studied dance, martial arts, movement, and performance for most of their life. They can regularly be found performing in Oakland and San Francisco with Manarchy and PoleSexual and teaching wherever there are students who are ready to work hard, have fun, and explore new parts of themselves.
Victoria leBrun - Pole/Dance
I began pole dancing when I turned 18 and it very quickly became both my passion and therapy; I want to bring that same life changing joy to others. My goal is for my students to safely build strength, feel sexy, gain confidence, flexibility, and create new friendships all while having the time of their life in a place of comfort. Whether you just want a fun form of exercise or you have dreams of being an international competitor, it all starts with your first class. Let’s do this!