SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Vertical Freedom, offered locally and exclusively through Jo-Ann's Dance Studio – the Performing Arts Centre in South Plainfield, offers over a dozen fitness programs that enable participants to become empowered while also getting into shape. 

“Vertical Freedom offers something for everyone who wants to get fit and have fun doing it. Our classes are unique, challenging and fun,” said Tara Faulkner-Catalina, a certified Pilates, Barre, Pole and Vertical Freedom instructor, as well as the dance studio’s assistant director. 

When first implemented in 2016, Vertical Freedom was run out of a converted dance room at Jo-Ann’s studio. However, as interest in the program increased, so did the need for a larger space and, this past summer, the Vertical Freedom program was relocated to a new 900-square foot studio within the same building. The state-of-the-art upstairs studio space currently features five ceiling to floor Lupit poles as well as a Pilates reformer, and several hanging Lyra for hoop classes and there are plans to add silk hammocks in the near future. 

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The Vertical Freedom program is run seven days a week by a team of sixcertified instructors and features a line up of over a dozen fitness classes for children and adults to choose from. Classes includes various levels of Pole, Yoga/Pilates Flow, Hoop, Strength and Conditioning, Chinese-inspired Pole, Pole Choreography, and Flexibility as well as Pound, a 45-minute full-body workout class that incorporates slightly weighted drumsticks called ‘Ripstix’ into the workout. Two signature classes – Pole-Ates (a Pilates mat class using the pole as a stabilizer) and Vertical Barre (based on Pilates and ballet) – are also offered exclusively at the studio.

“The choices of fitness classes are endless…whether you are interested in aerial type classes like Pole and Hoop, or if you like a more cardio-based program like Pound, or if you are more into dance and core-based training we offer Vertical Barre, Strength and Conditioning and ‘Pole-Ates’ or maybe you want a more Zen approach to your workout with our Flexibility and Yoga/Pilates Flow classes,” said Faulkner-Catalina, noting that the Pole classes are a ‘challenging, full-body workout program that enhances flexibility, build strength, and improve endurance through movement and music while learning the art of pole dance.’

According to Tessa Browne, a South Plainfield resident and instructor at the studio, each class offered through the Vertical Freedom program is designed to not only build physical strength but also increase confidence, self-discovery, and expression. 

“We provide a non-intimidating and safe environment. Almost anyone – male, female, older, younger – can take these classes and they can all be modified,” said Browne. “We provide a space where you can be okay with your body, it’s okay if you have scars, cellulite, varicose veins, whatever…when you allow yourself to be vulnerable, and the environment is encouraging and welcoming, it becomes very healing and the end result is empowerment.”

“Vertical Freedom is truly an art form. It’s graceful, athletic, artistic, it’s expression, emotional and just beautiful,” added Jo-Ann Faulkner, owner of the studio for the past 42 years. 

Through the Vertical Freedom program, specialty workshops are also held each month, including a Handstands Workshop set to take place in November a Holiday themed Pole class set for December, and a showcase including staff and students, currently set to premiere in November. Vertical Freedom will also be hosting a breast cancer awareness fundraiser in October, with proceeds donated to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Breast Cancer Center. Additionally, the studio is currently offering unlimited class memberships as well as new client trials, drop in, and multi-class packages. 

“Vertical Freedom has women, men, and children of all ages, shapes, and fitness levels. We help each one of our clients feel empowered, secure, and we make sure that everyone leaves our classes feeling like they belong to a family,”said Faulkner-Catalina, adding,Our motto here at Vertical Freedom is that you come in unsure, and leave empowered.Dance is a great way to express yourself but to be able to do it in a different way is such a free feeling and Vertical Freedom is that outlet.”

For more information on Vertical Freedom classes offered at Jo-Ann’s Dance Studio-The Performing Arts Centre, visit or call (908) 561-5094/(908) 670-4374. To register, sign up at You can also follow the program on Instagram (@verticalfreedomnj) and Facebook (

Jo-Ann’s Dance Studio – The Performing Arts Centre, located at 4475 South Clinton Avenue, will kick off its 42nd year on Sept. 9. In addition to Vertical Freedom, the studio offers beginner through advanced for children age 3 through adult in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop and more as well as private piano and vocal lessons. For dance studio information, visit, call 908-561-5094, or follow them on Facebook ( and Instagram (@joannsdance#Joannsdancestudio). 

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