PDC Approved 3 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Alex Copley is our latest Online Grading Assessor.
Pole Instructor Alex Copley is the principal instructor at Stages Pole Fitness in Romford, Essex, UK. Alex was our third successful applicant in our search for three new online pole dance grading assessors. Alex made the final three after submitting an excellent explanation of why she would make a great assessor and after submitting 2 test gradings with brilliant notes and showing good examples of standardized gradings. We spoke to Alex to find out more about her and her passion for pole.
What do you feel the PDC pole dance gradings give to your students/school?
I feel it gives them something to work towards and a real achievement that others can recognise and appreciate, including their family and friends who might not know much about pole.
It also adds another level of the sport to my pole school as they have the opportunity not only to learn the moves but also get recognition for their hard work with certificates when they are ready to grade at each level.
Would you recommend the pole dance grading process to others?
What do you think is the hardest part of the grading?
I would say the routine is the hardest part for the majority of students as it requires them to smoothly link the moves they have been learning together in the most innovative way possible. In my experience, most pole students have not danced before and so don't find it very easy to think of routines. At my pole school I run routine classes every few weeks to give the students experience in learning routines of different styles to help them with this part of grading and also our Annual Showcase event.
Alex and some of her many pole dancing students pictured right.
Do you have any more pole gradings in the pipeline?
None booked in at the moment, but I have a few students would like to grade in the future.
How long have you been pole dancing?
I have been poling since September 2009!
What got you into pole dancing?
I have danced all different styles throughout my childhood and just wanted to try something a bit different. I saw an advert for pole fitness somewhere and decided I wanted to give it a go.
What did you do before you started teaching pole dancing?
I was a student at college, when I went to University there was no pole club (crazy I know!) so I co-founded one with a fellow student in 2011 and we took the instructor course the same year in order to teach the students in the pole club.
What is your favourite pole move?
My favourite move... oh my goodness, how could I choose! My favourite move would probably have to be superman, it was the one I wanted to achieve when I first started pole and so was a hugely proud moment for me when I got it first time, it always looks impressive, I always get excited when one of my students masters it for the first time as it's a tricky one to begin with and it has so many variations so never gets boring!
What made you start teaching pole?
When we started the pole club at uni there was no one to teach, so I was honoured to step up and teach... I've never looked back, it's the best job in the world.
Have you entered any competitions?
Yes, I entered the National Inter-University Pole Competition for two years, in 2012 I entered as a duet with a friend and we came 2nd with our lyrical piece. In 2013 I entered the Advanced Solo category and placed 2nd - one of the proudest moments of my poling career so far, the medal still has pride of place in my pole room! I would love to enter more competitions in the future.
Alex pictured right competing at Stages Pole Fitness Annual Showcase and Awards 2016.
Which pole dancers inspire you?
Cheesy but... all of them!! Everyone, pro or amateur is an inspiration as we all learn from each other. My absolute idols have to be Terri Walsh and Lisette Krol especially for their doubles work, also Sarah Scott, Bendy Kate, Alex Shchukin, Danny Charge and Greta Pontarelli.
What move is your Nemesis?
My nemesis move is Elbow Ayesha! This is because I nearly had an accident when I first tried it. I have now mastered it... but it still scares the hell out of me!
Do you have any other spots/hobbies?
I also do circus skills (Aerial silks, rope, hoop and trapeze) and wakeboarding.
Do you have any pets?
I have a pet hamster called Cookie [pictured left].
What is your preferred footwear for pole dancing?
My best friend bought me a pair of blue sparkly Pleasers (see picture below right) this year! What could be better!
Do you prefer 38mm, 40mm, 45mm or 50mm poles?
I usually work on 45mm but I love my 40mm most.
Titanium, chrome or stainless?
Static or spinning?
Spinning, nothing more fun than flying and you get to appreciate moves from all angles.
Any fun student stories?
So many I could write a book! I absolutely love my students, they are also my friends and we have such fun in class and out on socials. We go to fun places like jump giants together and put on a showcase each year which is brilliant, especially choreographing the group piece which over the last two years has been 'Heros and Villains' and 'Poling through the ages'. Whenever anyone goes away on holiday they are set pole homework to find a pole and strike a pose (as long as it's safe to do so of course!), we do a pole class calendar each year and we give out a medal for the best pole kiss (bruise) of the year which this year went to a student whose bruise was shaped like a thumbs up!
Do you use any grip aids or gloves when you dance?
I do use Dry Hands.
What are your plans for the future?
Enter more competitions, do more performances, grade more students, achieve more moves, get more flexible, own more Pleasers!
Congratulations to Alex on her new role within the Pole Dance Community.
If you are a pole instructor who would like to find out more about becoming a PDC authorised grading assessor or if you are a pole student wanting to undertake a grading, just drop us an e-mail and we will send you more information. Our AAP pole dancers memberships include one free on-line grading and loads of other marvellous pole dancers discounts.