Trai'Shaun and Shawn

(Left to right) Co-CEO's Shawn Sydnor and Trai'Shaun Beard opened Formation Dance Studios (named after Grammy award winning singer Beyoncé's hit song "Formation") to provide fun and new activities to do in the City of Mansfield. 

MANSFIELD — Formation Dance Studios opens this week, offering a wide range of classes to enjoy, including the first pole dancing class located in the Mid-Ohio region. 

Trai'Shaun Beard and Shawn Sydnor, Co-CEO’s of Formation Dance Studios, can’t wait to provide more fun and new activities to do in the City of Mansfield.

“Dancing is good for your soul, it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain, it’s good for everything,” Beard said. “And to combine dancing and fitness, I feel like it is the best way to help the people of Mansfield be happier, be healthier and be more involved with their community.” 

Beard, who also owns Akua Hair Clinic & Salon that sits right next door to Formation Dance Studios, originally wanted to transform the studio into a hair store but soon realized she wouldn’t be able to afford it. When Syndor came to her with the idea for a dance fitness studio, she jumped at the chance. 

Several classes will be offered at the studio, including zumba, meditation, yoga, aerial, pole dancing, self defense and more. Members will also be able to learn about nutritional health.

“We checked out a lot of studios and saw what they had and didn’t have and came up with pole dancing because we’re the only location with the poles,” Syndor said. 

The closest pole dancing class to Mansfield is located in Columbus, over 50 miles away.

With pole dancing classes becoming more popular and less stigmatized, Beard said it helps women feel more beautiful and teaches them how to be “sexy and confident.”

“People are really looking at it (pole dancing) as a way to get physically fit,” Beard said. “You have to have a lot of upper body strength to pull yourself up those poles and turn and actually stay up there without sliding down.” 

Beard will teach Zumba and meditation classes every week and is currently in the process of hiring more instructors. 

After leaving on a spiritual journey once she graduated high school, going to Africa and learning the different forms of meditation and religions, Beard had an epiphany about herself and what she wanted to do with her life.

“When I came back I realized that all of these religions go together, and if you can find some type of way to use bits and pieces of them to become your best self, I think that’s what you’re supposed to do. I think that’s you finding your own truths,” Beard said.

Along with wanting others to be happy and healthy, Beard wants them who need an outlet to find peace within themselves.

“I feel like there are so many people in Mansfield that are suffering from traumatic experiences in their lives and so many people that want to find this peace happiness and abundance, and there’s not that many resources in Mansfield for them to help them get through those things,” Beard said.  

Formation dance studio

Several classes will be offered at the studio, including Zumba, meditation, yoga, aerial, pole dancing, self defense and more.

Sydnor will not be teaching any classes, however he will be selling HerbalLife smoothies (of whom they’re partnered with), as well as Formation Dance Studios branded T-Shirts, water bottles, yoga mats and more. 

Memberships will start at $40 a month (shareable memberships also available) and the studio will be open Mondays-Saturdays. In their first year of opening, Beard hopes to reach 300 members. 

“With these classes here, I think I’m getting closer to my true calling here on earth. I’m getting so much closer,” Beard said.  

Formation Dance Studios opens early March, located at 522 Park Avenue West. Visit the organization’s Facebook page for more details. 

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Thrive Reporter

Tierra Thomas is the Thrive Reporter. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. When she's not writing news, she's writing fiction or taking photos.