She knew she needed to do something different, but she didn’t know what it would be. With that, her journey began, and in the least expected of ways.
Who is Ro’Yale aka Da Queen of Curves?
Ro’Yale aka Da Queen of Curves is a plus-size pole fit instructor who defies gravity both in the pole fit world and in her attitude about daily life. She’s drawn more than 60 million combined views on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram thanks to her moves, poise and infectious personality.
It all started late one night while surfing YouTube videos. After viewing a pole fit video featuring the owner of Vertical Joe’s Fitness Studio in Atlanta, she knew she wanted to try classes at the establishment. And she did just that.
She had absolutely no idea that she would become the influencer and sought-after brand that she is today.
CHECK OUT Ro’Yale in action in this video, shot exclusively for Curvicality’s “Secret Sexy Project!”
Video by: John-Paul Steele
When Ro’Yale began taking classes at the studio, she soon realized she wanted to be in a class with other plus-size women. And, as she tells us, she wasn’t alone in her desires. The studio wanted to make an effort to retain clients who were curvier because there weren’t many other students or instructors who looked like them.
That was about to change, thanks to a special program that the studio soon began to offer.
Established in 2009, the world-famous Vertical Joe’s is best known as “The Professional Woman’s Playground.” More than 20 instructors teach the women who come to take pole and aerial fitness classes. But what has put it on the map most recently is its Vertically Voluptuous program.
To satisfy the growing number of plus-size women who were training at the studio, Vertical Joe’s decided to create a program specifically designed for plus-size clientele. And thus, Vertically Voluptuous was born.
Ro’Yale became the program’s first plus-size instructor, and has helped to grow the program with her brand.
“Vertically Voluptuous consists of specialized pole dance classes for plus-size women,” Ro’Yale says. “It’s specialized because the curriculum’s moves are specialized to our body type. It makes curvy women feel comfortable with taking the class, specifically because they get to take class with an instructor and other clients whose body type looks like them.”
Vertically Voluptuous is life-changing because of its supportive community of like-minded women who want to work out and feel accepted at the same time. “It creates an environment where we can encourage each other to never give up and to keep working toward our goals,” Ro’Yale says. “Most women come feeling scared to try it. But after not too long, they become very comfortable and they become very confident women.”
For those of you who have never tried a pole fit class, Ro’Yale wants you to know something very important: “Pole dance fitness is very common now for the everyday woman. It creates a beautiful space where we become performers. You’ll encounter many women from many different professions, such as being a doctor, nurse, teacher, lawyer, accountant or graphic artist. These women are there because they have very stressful jobs and are looking for a fun fitness release, but what they find so much more. They find an amazing sisterhood.”
Da Queen of Curves Brand
But how did Ro’Yale go from a local pole fit instructor to a well-known brand and influencer? “Two years ago, I was asked to do a Barcroft video in London about how a plus-size woman could inspire as pole dance instructor and our specialized Vertically Voluptuous program. That video went super viral, which put me on the map,” she says. “Some people knew about me in Atlanta, but once the video came out, it exposed me to the world. People started to invite me on interviews, podcasts, and wanted me to travel to their area to teach classes. I had another successful viral video from 60 Second Docs that tripled the success of my initial video, thus leaping me into viral history.”
She uses her platform as a way to inspire other women to understand that sexy has no size. “Feeling sexy as a plus-size woman is not to compare yourself to anyone else … and also not to give a damn what anyone else thinks. You got that! You’ve got to love yourself, no matter what size you are.”
She also uses her platform to show that weight loss does not equal self-satisfaction.
“I have lost weight so many times, and that was not the answer to my happiness. I realized this one day in a clothing store. I was still in the plus-size section, scared to go to the lower size sections because I was not used to being there. I was nit-picking everything about my body: the size of my breasts, the size of my butt and the way the shirt (I was trying on) fit around my arms. I wasn’t happy, especially since I had lost a significant amount of weight.”
She soon realized that happiness comes from the inside out.
“I didn’t know what was wrong. All my life I thought that this (weight loss) was the answer to me feeling like I was popping, desirable and worthy of love,” she says. “I fell into an even deeper depression, with anxiety. I did not understand my greatness until I saw my impact on others through my viral videos.”