Alethea’s Bio….. Told like it is….
Red Rider BB-guns, Hula hoops, Kentucky girls, storing things in the trunk of my car 4-ever, truck stops, slushee machines, whiskey, rebel daughters, deer, bubble baths, bud light, steak, beer coozies, swimming in the quarry, fishin, grilled cheese w/ bacon, Indiana, Chevy’s, potpourri, takin’ pictures, Jolene, motels, huntin’ hats, backyards, woodpiles, trashy heels, white leather, tallboys, stripper bikinis, a hardworking man, luck 11:11, the smell of gasoline, 66 chevelle’s, gold camaros, drag racing, my grandma, doggies, drive-ins, pitchers at local bars, playing house, picking kids names, my white fluffy bed, shootin’ 22s, cold beer on a hot summer night, memorial tattoos, commitment tattoos, country legends, kissing in cars, dirtbags with hearts of gold, being on the road with the one you love, the one second you realize that things are going to be o.k., learning lessons the hard way, forgiveness, missin’ you, a ring on the right finger, knowing love is 4-ever, growing up in a place where salvation and desire are equally as desperate…..
Click here to see Alethea in action on the new X-stage.
Tiny: Hi Alethea – It’s lovely to have the chance to do this interview with you as you have been the subject of many a conversation with me and Jamie (from Defy Gravity) lately! So it finally dawned on us that we really need to do this with you and I’m so glad you are finding time to oblige!
Ok, first questions that everyone has to answer…. How old are you?
Alethea: I’m 30 can you believe it? I can’t. I never in my wildest dreams that I’d be more comfortable with my body and so physically fit with strength and stamina at this age more so than in my teens or twenties. The only problem is I have a lot of old injuries break damage etc.. and they seem to be getting creaky and sore each year. I can only imagine how I’m gonna feel at 60!
Tiny: I like the fact that you’re of a good age! The younger, nubile pole dancers make me want to cry as I feel I will never be that strong or bendy again, but then people like you make me change my mind and really want to go for it!
Ok, like I said at the start, I don’t know very much about you so let’s start at the very beginning…… I heard you have a gymnastic background to start with – let’s hear about that.
Alethea: My original background includes 18 + yrs of gymnastics, diving, climbing, trampoline, dance, and me just all around being a sexy lady and knowing how to mooove!
So in reality gymnastics had much more to do with my pole career than actual time practising pole so far. Although, I also wasn’t a very good gymnast, I wasn't focused back then and was rarely number one even though I could have been cause I was a goof off, pole competition has brought all that back and I’m ready to win this time.
Tiny: So how did you move from gymnastics into pole dance then?
Alethea: I pretty much used pole to overcome injury. I’ve broken many bones in my life but was in a really bad freeway car wreck in 2005 that I barely survived. In fact I think there was a little bit of not surviving mixed in. I had three neck surgeries the following year and although I was going to be ok, I was so used to thinking in terms of 6-12 week recovery, not something that takes years and then you just make the best of. Pole was my extreme way of reclaiming my body and saying “I’ll show you” what you are capable of and how much you can take. In turn after a lot of excruciating pain, I have grown stronger and more physically aware and recovered then me or doctors for that matter ever imagined.
I also broke my rib last year a couple weeks before United States Pole Dance Federation Competition (click here to see Alethea and other competitors in action at the 2009 USPDF) and had no idea cause my pain threshold is pretty high …. I really have no idea what’s a bad injury or not. It REALLY HURT but everyone kept saying well you’d know if it was broken its probably just bruised.
F**k it hurt. That’s why my twisted grip handspring looked so tortured. Then I went for my chest X-Rays cause I have to check my neck and back every couple months and the Dr. was like… ‘No change, but why is your rib fractured’?! Ooppsy! I’m just happy to be alive and yes it still hurts every day, and I get migraines, and my right hand turns black from numbness and lack of blood if I don’t pace myself.
Tiny: Where did you learn? Who did you learn under?
Alethea: A lot of trial and error really, just me, myself and pole! I do draw a lot of inspiration from Leigh Ann at BeSpun Gym … and YouTube!!
Tiny: How did you progress? Do you find that you progress quicker due to your active background?
Alethea: Really for me it was a Pole Gym that changed my life and I see pole for me has grown only in that environment. t’s Funny how even though you might not have done something for a very long time, if you have Muscle memory it kicks back in and helps you progress faster. That doesn’t mean it impossible for people who have never had dance, gymnastics, ice skating etc.. It just seems to be similar and stay with you if you’ve done it before, like riding a bike.
Tiny: You are now a pole dance instructor, how long were you pole dancing before you started to teach?
Alethea: Well….. ok, but one of my pet peeves is when people ask how long you’ve been pole dancing or how many pole classes I’ve taken. It is such a derivative sport if you look at the girls in our industry who are leaders right now most of us have had a lot of other things in our life that have contributed to our skill in pole dancing so that’s not really a realistic view.
When I got runner up at USPDF it was my almost one year anniversary of walking into BeSpun in April before and not physically being able to climb or support my weight cause I was so weak from 3 neck surgeries the summer before. I puked in the middle of Hollywood by my car right after class! But I went back every day for the rest of the year. So I say a year of pole, but to girls go ‘whoah’, I say I’ve been doing it for five….. Coz …do you want to count the 18 + yrs of gymnastics, diving, climbing, trampoline, dance etc?
Tiny: Do you have your own school? What is it called?
Alethea: I do not. I teach at BeSpun and travel extensively for workshops. I am also starting to teach some online (virtual) lessons this yeah through Pole Junkies so I will be available everywhere. I would love to someday open a gym in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, I wouldn’t move back there but it would give me a tie to the town and a reason to go back more often. Plus I think it NEEDS one!!
Tiny: I see you like taking the odd piccie and have had a flick through your work. Tell us about your site.
Alethea: www.alethea-austin.com is my photographic website, and I have another called www.alethea-austin.net which is a fan created website. Well, I also went to art school. I was a photographer before pole dancing took over my life. I showed in galleries shot for magazine but even then it was the same tag line hot raw gritty sensuality. Same kind of thing I carry to pole. Had a show at MOCA when I was 24 called From Indiana, with Love.
My husband is a DP and we live in a huge photo studio warehouse in Los Angeles. He’s the one that shoots my videos and they are usually a camera/light test for a big job he has coming up.
As for my websites, well I have my old photo website, and my new pole website. None of them are complete. I guess you can tell I get a bit ahead of myself on projects and don’t finish them. That’s one of my goals for this year is to have a working pole website to distribute information just all around – set the tone for who people to really understand who I am and I what to do it personality and all.
Click here to see Alethea practicing her pole dance skills.
Tiny: You have a very specific look to your dance moves, very athletic which we can see from your gymnastic childhood, but also super slinky and very sexy without being too sleazy. This is a developing style we are seeing across American polers at the moment – do you think there are some style differences between each country? What is different about your style and how do you make it so?
Alethea: I do see great differences between each country and I love watching them all and taking them in. I love the perfection and acrobatics of a lot of the European’s E.g.: Ooona, and stylistically I love the Australians (tall leggy sexy, what’s not to love?) .. . Of course style of dance has to do with culture and other factors the way music does.. So isn’t America really Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll? that’s the way I like it that’s what suits me best on the pole or off that’s my style and I’m happy to be here!
Tiny: The UK seems to be deviding itself a bit – into those that are avoiding the sexy look to pole dance in order to make it a more widely sociably acceptable sport and even possibly making it an accepted sport for the Olympics for example – How do you feel about this? SHOULD pole be marketed more as a sport? Or just be a straight up, openly seductive form of dance?
Alethea: I really feel that it is so much of a combination of dance and sport that I’m not really sure which way it’s going to go. I’m interested to see. I also feel that pole is gaining at such a rapid rate popularity with women all over the world and even with men because it does span such a wide range possibilities and accessibility. For the most its progression outside of a gentleman’s club has been women taking initiative and just doing this in their homes and now studios and now federations.. It’s getting so big so fast! So I guess my short answer is it needs to be an apparatus that can be used for all of these, and most importantly whatever the individual pole dancer wants it to be for them personally, some pure performance, some purely personal, and some pure sport. Ooooohhhh I think I’m on to something there.
Tiny: Do you have a favourite trick? What is it?
Alethea: It varies. It’s kinda like whatever hot trick I’m feeling at the time. Right now it’s one of the new ones I’m working on, no name yet….And I’ve been playing a lot with the spinning straddle Allegra does. Oh, and also – My Upright Jamilla split, also a spinning Jamilla, good side to bad side etc.. both of which I might have invented.
Tiny: What is your favourite kind of music to pole to? Why do you like it over other types of music?
Alethea: ROCK / Metal! It’s just the music that moves me, the music I listen too anyway. You have to go with what you like. Last years USPDF was so cool because Alice and Chains and Guns and Roses mean so much to me in my life and that’s what I danced too and it meant so much to me on so many different levels. I will stick to the same plan this year.
Tiny: DITTO! So, who is your pole inspiration?
Alethea: Hmm well first and foremost all those self taught girls doing what moves them comes naturally and owning it!.. Whether it’s in a strip club or on Youtube. As for the professionals: Jenyne Butterfly, Felix Cane, Karol one of my best buds and soul sisters, starting to really love and respect Allegra, and also watching and appreciating circus arts and watching some of the men too, for e.g. Dima Shine. There is one other guy who has been a huge inspiration on me, but I’m keeping him under wraps for now as it will influence my next competition performance and I don’t want to give myself away just yet!
(Alethea then very kindly shared with me a video of this chap (not the Dima Shine but click here to see Dima in action - you will not be disappointed) ….. OH MY GOOOOD! I have never seen anything like it! The guy is sex on a stick first of all (bonus), supremely talented secondly, agile, swift, strong, balanced, poised, and the sexiest thing of all is he is completely ABSORBED in his performance, so much so that it causes you to FEEL the whole atmosphere of the moment with him…..like a concerto, he is completely overpowers the audience…..so if any of this rubs off on our girl, we are all in for a HUGE surprise this year!).
Tiny: Oooohh I’m a fan of Dima Shine (Dimitri Bulkin) too! Let’s talk tattoo…..What does the tattoo on your tummy say? Can you walk us through your other tattoos?
Alethea: The one on my stomach says ‘Heartland’ because I am from Indiana, the Heartland of America and have so much love for my hometown. Yes I have lots more.. One at a time!
Tiny: Do you have plans for any more tattoos?
Alethea: Yes. If I were a man I’d be covered head to toe by now but I prefer them to be to be more spaced out on me as a woman. And they all mean things I don’t just get random pictures on my body. So yes more when the time and circumstances are right. Having said that, I think I will probably be getting a pole related tattoo soon, next time me best mate Karol comes over to visit!
Tiny: The way it should be with ink! In 2009 you entered and came 2nd (to the fabulous Jenyne Butterfly) in the USPDF Competition with the title ‘Miss Sexy’, how did you train for that competition?
Alethea: Umm I found out last week of January, had to compete in March, was like OH Shit! Then broke my rib training. And killed myself doing privates trying to raise money. I hope to be MUCH more prepared this year!
Tiny: What other advice can you give us about competition performing?
Alethea: Research two things A) Is this a legitimate and credible competition? Note: this is hard to judge because a lot of them it’s their first inception in that case this B has helps me. B) Is this the right competition for you? Are the goals of the organizers similar to your goals as a prospective competitor? Also contact girls who have participated in the past and ask them their experience, our tight community is always a valuable tool.
With pole being such a new sport I welcome and want to support all the competitions that are emerging and their diversity. I really don’t think of them as competitions but more as venues for growing the sport and bringing everyone together and I love seeing the same girls, meeting new ones being blown away by their talents, and exploring the Sport, art, performance, and diversity of it all. That’s one of the great things about pole is the women who do it. So I always encourage girls that are wavering and not thinking they’re ready or good enough to please go for it!! It’s the experience of being there that is amazing for me and sharing it with all the wonderful ladies. And my biggest advice would be just become a part of it and showcase all your hard work. If you feel like you’ve done your personal best than it will be a success for you. This last paragraph is assuming you have picked a competition that the organizers are running fairly and competently. HA!
Tiny: Another runner up in the same competition was Sarah Cretul (click here to see Sarah in action)– who absolutely blew me away with her side lift move! Were you friends with Sarah beforehand? Or did you meet at that competition? Are you still friends now?
Alethea: I met Sarah (pictured below) at the competition. I had actually reached out to her a month before the comp to introduce myself, tell her I was excited to compete with her and see if she needed and support or advice. Because a lot of us in the comp were with studios and at that point she had club experience only and had never travelled to a big city like NY. We spoke briefly but she was not very computer savvy. So hard to find. Yes we are still friends, she is actually much younger than me and hadn’t really travelled much so I took kind of a big sis role and we spent a lot of time together last fall.
Tiny: We haven’t seen much from Sarah since that but I would very much like to see more videos and performances from her and maybe interview her also! Could you pass a message on?
Alethea: I will pass the message on, and on the subject of not hearing much she still isn’t very computer savvy, ha-ha I keep yelling at her! She has a new FaceBook now too, try that.
Tiny: Thanks for that. SO, you then entered a video based competition in America called ‘Pole Stars’ – is that right? Was it video based?
Alethea: I think you are referring to Pole Superstar. They picked five finalists and the last 6th spot was based on online voting which I won. But then I was not picked as one of the original finalists……?
Tiny: I saw your video entry and frankly was gobsmacked – it definitely looked like a show stopping winner of performances to me…..why do you think you did not win with that one?
Alethea: Refer to the question I answered about advice on competition performing…. Advice A and B says it all, I’ll let people make up their own minds about what happened and why. Because my video was so popular, there was just a second there before I went on stage where I thought well maybe if I just do my best it’ll be so obvious they’ll have to choose a winner that fits. Which I thought I did do really well, and Marlo too did amazing…. But it wasn’t any of us that won so….hey, never mind. but, I felt that I had nothing to loose in entering, they were paying travel and I had to be on the east coast anyway, and it was a $10,000 prize!
Tiny: Which competition do you think you will enter next?
Alethea: I am actually doing one this weekend in Vegas called Vertical Pole Challenge. And I hope I do well! There are gonna be some good girls there, it’ll be fun for sure. They are looking for all types of polers and are evaluating not necessarily on difficulty of tricks but all around energy, routine, entertainment.. So we shall see. One of my fellow BeSpun girls Lindsey is doing it and she has the cutest routine in store and has such amazing energy so if she wins I’ll be so psyched for her!
Tiny: WOW well – Good Luck for that! Are you working on anything new at the moment? Fancy giving us a sneaky peeky?
Alethea: Yes lots of new stuff. I guess my sneaky peak Hint: the opposite of the Jamilla?
Tiny: Oooohh so secretive! Ok, well….You recently made an appearance on the ‘Bank of Hollywood’ show right? And was questioned by the presenters and celebrities – I believe one of them was even a Pussy Cat Doll no less! How did that go? What happened?
Alethea: Ha-ha.. Again I don’t mind being the guinea pig in this Pole Revolution; I am strong enough in my reason and convictions where I don’t really get bent out of shape about it. I was just in the background Demo-ing, it was not my idea to be on the show nor did I particularly care or want to be one it. I was supporting one of my pole girls when she asked me to be in the background. I do a pretty good job of explaining my feelings on the whole thing in my Youtube video ‘F**k you Ryan Seacrest’.
Tiny: Why do you suppose they played it like that?
Alethea: To make Good TV of course!!
Tiny: You did a retaliating video especially for them entitled – ‘F**k you Ryan Seacrest’ – how was this received?
Alethea: I made that video more to offer girls more insight and it was a good opportunity because a lot of people saw the show. I honestly wasn’t expecting that crazy of a reaction during filming so I thought well I better put an explanation with this when it airs. I was more worried about girls feeling like I was targeted and upset, and I just wanted to let them know that I not upset by the outcome, rather amused by the idiocy of it all.. And here was my side for better explanation. Don’t worry I didn’t go to bed that night in tears or anything.
Tiny: What do you think the future holds for pole in America?
Alethea: Hmm well I’ve grown up an American my entire life and in looking back at my experiences watching sports, arts and performance as well as the hype that TV and the Hollywood machine can create.. My hope would be that pole in America eventually works its way into all the different aspects of the culture and has the right people in behind it in each aspect to showcase it in its best light.
Tiny: And what about your pole future? Do you see yourself doing any pole tours in the UK? Like maybe to my place or Jamie’s (from defy gravity)? We promise we won’t watch you sleep n stuff…..maybe a bit.
Alethea: Yes I’d Love to come to the UK, I’d love to travel everywhere. Pole is my life right now and I really want to go as far as I can with it and embrace all these experiences and people its is taking me to meet. I am so lucky. My first UK tour of two planned this Year already confirmed for mid July! Ha! As for the watching my sleep. …I love my fans I really and am so flattered and then make an effort to be come fast friends so it doesn’t seem so creepy! We can sleep together, how bout that?
Tiny: Kinky…..I’ll pass the message on for sure! OK LASTLY……Your pole videos……sexy sexy sexy. Will you be doing an ‘Alethea’ DVD? How can we learn to move as hot as that please?
Alethea: Yes. Worry not; My Sexy Flexy DVD’s are coming! They are already in production and the first series will be out by this Summer.
Tiny: Waaahhhhh yeeeeyyyy!!! Ok, don’t forget to post some to me so I can do a DVD review on them and get them out there for you in the UK!
Thanks for speaking to us!
The Pole Dance Community would like to thank interviewer Tiny from Candy & Chrome for her wonderful interview as well as Alethea Austin for being a great role model for the pole dancing industry.
The Pole Dance Community are proud to welcome new member Emily Smith who runs Emily's pole Fitness in Swindon.
Emily has been teaching pole fitness classes for 3 years and has just started her own pole school, Emily’s Pole Fitness.
Emily says “I am so thrilled to be part of the Pole Dance Community and I look forward to getting to know others who are part of the Pole Dance Community.”
Emily has always been interested in dancing since a young age but never had the confidence to pursue it further until she discovered pole dancing for fitness. From then on her confidence grew up to the point of teaching her very own pole classes.
“I never used to show my legs, I was so shy! But pole dancing increased my confidence and made me the happy, much more confident person I am today!”
She is inspired by many pole dancers, her favourites being, Deb Riley, Felix Cane, Pantera and Tess Taylor.
Bringing the fun and sexy side to pole dancing, Emily allows her students to wear their sexiest pair of heels to dance in. “Dancing in heels makes you feel sexy and is so much fun! I want my students to keep fit but feel sexy at the same time.”
Emily’s classes will be held in the function room of The Vic in Old Town (pictured below), Swindon and has taught pole classes there in the past. She teaches no more than 2 to a pole and up to 6 in a class, this enables Emily to spend plenty of time with each individual.
Teaching from beginner to advance levels, Emily will help you reach your full potential. It doesn’t matter what fitness level you are, what size, what shape, anyone can give pole dancing a go!
Pole Classes only cost £10 an hour and you pay as you go; paying one lesson in advance to secure your place each week. Pole routines will be worked into lessons and students will have the opportunity to perform for friends and family if they wish, as Emily will be organising regular shows for students to take part in.
For more information on Emily’s Pole Fitness please do not hesitate to give her a call on 07833 192079 or email her.
The Pole Dance Community would like to welcome its latest new member Miranda Goldring from Pole Affinity (pictured below).
Pole Affinity is based in North Devon established in March 2008 by Miranda Goldring it is the first & only pole school in the area & they are very pleased to be awarded Pole Dance Community approval.
Miranda has a background in fitness & dance, & initially tried pole dancing out in Australia where she attended a class at Bobbies Pole Studio in Sydney and immediately fell in love with the art of Pole Fitness.
On return in 2007, Inspired by the likes of KT Coates, Jamilla Deville, Jenyne Butterfly & Felix Cane. Miranda brought an X Pole & set about self learning as there was nothing locally offering classes.
Miranda initially trained & worked with PoleCatz UK whilst completing her Fitness Instructors Certification and REPS certified Pole Fitness Instructor qualification. (Also- qualified in Kids Fitness, Urban Funk & Freestyle Fitness Yoga).
Regularly adding to her extensive range of pole moves by attending various master classes with some of the UK’s & world’s best pole dancers including Alesia Vazmitsel, (UK No. 1 in 2008 & 3rd in worlds 2009) Jenyne Butterfly( 2nd in worlds 2009) and Maxine Betts ( current UK No. 1 - 2009) to bring the best to her classes (picture below of a pole affinity pole dancing class).
Miranda promoted ‘R Pole’ at Miss Pole Dance UK 2009, & is on the judging panel for ‘Routine for the Nation’ 2010.
Pole Affinity classes are led by experienced & qualified fitness professionals with a friendly non-judgmental approach, moves are taught safely & within each participant’s capability & strength. All abilities, ages (18+), shapes & sizes are welcome.
Pole taster sessions are offered to give people an initial idea of what it’s like, before committing to a 6 week course. Our courses run from Levels 1 - 5 & consist of poses, transitions, spins, tricks, flexibility, strength training & routine work.
Following on from this there is the option to continue with ongoing advanced (pay monthly) classes.
Missed classes can always be made up in another group so students don’t miss out if unable to make class.
Classes are small in size, typically 2 people per pole and average 4- 8 persons per class; this enables the instructor to teach safely & give time & direct instruction to each & every participant to ensure you get the most out of every session. Private lessons & parties are also available. (picture below of Pole Affinity students)
Pole Affinity aims to bring new found skills, fun whilst doing a total body workout, resulting in toned & defined muscles, increased confidence, inspiration, friendship, a sense of well-being & achievement.
Classes are held at:
Barnstaple: Floor One Fitness
Bideford: –Q Club Quigleys.
You can also find Pole Affinity on facebook.
PDC Approval (4 star) is achieved by providing a suitable pole dancing CV to the PDC. In addition, the applicant must provide two references from PDC Approved Instructors and must hold an AAP membership.
As a minimum, PDC Approved (4 star) Instructors should exemplify excellence in teaching quality and have extensive pole fitness industry experience. They must be able to display a pro-active community involvement. This may include, but is not restricted to; running competitions, organising master classes, training champions, providing teacher training courses, having local and preferably national media recognition.
In these ways, a PDC Approved (4 star) Instructor is recognised for making a positive contribution to the pole fitness industry.
Alice Milner is the proprietor and principal instructor at Pole Dancing Bath. Alice is an accomplished fitness professional, pole dance teacher and pole dance performer.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Alice Milner.
Alina Schmidt-Buttke is a PDC Approved 4 star pole dancing instructor who teaches at Crazy Pole in Bautzen Germany. Alina is an accomplished pole dance performer and teacher with significant industry experience.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Alina Schmidt-Buttke.
Ally Franklin is the proprietor and principal instructor of Polelatis in Bridport, Devon, UK. Ally received references for her 4 star status from fellow PDC Approved Instructors Karen Currie from Princess K and Jenni Gooch from South Pole AKademy.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Ally Franklin.
Amy Butterworth owns and teaches at Candy & Chrome pole dancing school in Chester. Amy started her pole career in early 2006 and has been addicted ever since. Amy is also a pole dance journalist and has received several business awards for her successful pole dance school.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Amy Butterworth.
Andi Ariseanu is the principal instructor at Active Cherry Pole Dance Fitness. Andi is an accomplished pole dancer performer. teacher and judge. In addition to pole Andi is known for her other aerial arts including her spiral and prism work.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instuctor Andi Ariseanu.
Angel F is one of our Approved Teacher Trainers, she runs Discoveries Dance in Maryland, USA. Angel is a respected pole dancing instructor and she is active at promoting pole dancing in a positive light and removing the negative stereotypes that surround modern pole dance.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Angel F.
Cindy Cooijmans is a well known pole dancing instructor and pole dance judge. Cindy is the creator of the Pole Move Box and is a member of the Pole Dance Community Syllabus Steering group. Cindy teaches in the Netherlands but has trained across the globe.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Cindy Cooijmans.
Emily Smith is the Principal Instructor and Proprietor of Emily's Pole Fitness. Emily is an accomplished pole dancing instructor and performer. Emily Smith has an impressive pole dancing CV detailing her ongoing professional development and her commitment to both her students and the wider pole dancing world..
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Emily Smith.
Emma Nicholson is the proprietor and principal instructor at Studio Boutique in Hull. Emma has extensive industry experience including performing, judging and teaching. Emma's extensive pole CV shows both her professionalism and dedication to the pole dancing industry.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Emma Nicholson.
Holly Gibbons is the principal instructor and proprietor of Pole Performance. Holly has pole dancing since 2004 and is an avid promoter of pole fitness.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Holly Gibbons.
Holly Munson is the principal instructor at Firefly poles in Norwich, UK. Holly has extensive pole industry experience as well as a impressive fitness CV.
Read more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Holly Munson.
Jamie Alexah-Taylor is the principal instructor and proprietor at Defy Gravity in Wales. Jamie is an accomplished teacher and pole dance performer. Jamie was the All Wales Pole Champion 2011 and she was a finalist in the elite section of the UK Professional Pole Championships 2011.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Jamie Alexah-Taylor.
Jane Cole is the owner and principal instructor at Pole Perfect Fitness in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Jane has been an avid promoter of pole and has had numerous occasions of media coverage.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Jane Cole.
Jolene Whiting is the principal Instructor and proprietor of Purity Pole. Jolene has been pole dancing since 2003 and is well known within the industry as a teacher, performer and judge. Jolene received her 2 references from fellow 4 star instructors Kate Johnstone from Spin City and Sam Remmer from The Art of Dance.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Jolene Whiting.
Justine McLucas is the founder of Ecole De Pole. Justine is also a PDC Approved course provider. Justine has extensive pole industry experience both in performing and competing.
Find out more about 4 star Pole Dancing Instructor Justine McLucas.
Kara Bulpitt is the principal instructor and proprietor of Opal Pole Dance in Wigan, UK. Kara is an authentic pole dancer with considerable industry experience. Kara is also the orgnaiser of the Authentic Pole Dance Competition.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Kara Bulpitt.
Karrie Hammersley is the principal instructor at is the principal instructor and owner of Karrie's Pole Fit in Ripley Matlock and Belper, UK. Karrie is also the orgnaiser of the Kick Ass Curves Pole Competition.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Karrie Hammersley.
Kate Edwards nee Johnstone is the principal instructor and owner of Spin City Pole Fitness studios and she is also the original teacher of Bendy Kate. Kate is an active member of both the Pole Dance Community and the Equity Pole Dancers working party. Kate is an accomplished pole dancing performer, choreographer and judge.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Kate Edwards nee Johnstone.
Ley Jackson teaches at Pole Guns in Newcastle, UK. Ley has also been part of a Guiness World Record in Pole dancing as well as organising the first ever UK instructors networking event.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Ley Jackson.
Lisa Henderson is the joint owner of Studio 11 Pole Fitness in Bristol, UK. Lisa has raised tens of thousnads of pounds for charity via her poe dancing events.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Lisa Henderson.
Lucille Marshall started dancing at the age of 3. Lucille is the principal instructor at Body Synergy in Birminghom UK.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Lucille Marshall.
Maxine Devis is the principal instructor and proprietor of Pole Fitness Windsor. Maxine is an accomplished dancer who specialises in choreography. Maxine has extensive pole dance teaching and performance experience as well as great sports and fitness knowledge and qualifications.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Maxine Devis.
Nadine Rebel teaches at CrazySports Augsburg in Germany. She is also a master trainer for PDC Approved Course CrazySports. Nadine has extensive industry experience and a passion for pole.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Nadine Rebel.
Nathalie Barron, owner and principal instructor of London's Pole School, achieves PDC Approved 4 star status. Nathalie has an impressive dance and pole dancing CV and has been dancing since she the age of 4 years old.
Fnd out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Nathalie Barron.
Penny Howarth teaches at pole dance school BodyBarre in Manchester and she is also part of the pole dance troupe the BodyBarre bombshells. Penny has been dancing all her life and is an accomplished pole dance teacher and performer.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Penny Howarth.
Robyn Rooke has been pole dancing since 2005. Her flair for pole dancing and instruction was recognised, and she was invited to complete the teacher-training course by her instructors at PoleCats. Robyn developed a love of performing after entering her first pole dancing competition in 2006. Robyn is the founder of 360° Pole Dancing in Bristol where she teaches pole dancing and tricks to beginners right up to super advanced level.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Robyn Rooke.
Sam Remmer started pole dancing in 2001 before setting up her pole dancing school in Plymouth in 2004.Sam is now a judge many competitions both national and international.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Sam Remmer.
Sandra Schlichting is the principal instructor at Studio Aria Arte she is also the editor of Pole Art Magazine.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Sandra Schlichting.
Sarah Brown is the founder of The Pole Studio, international pole judge and President of The PoleSafe Federation. Sarah is also a PDC Approved Course provider offering pole dance instructor training. Sarah is an accomplished instructor who is well respected within the pole dancing industry.
Find out more abour 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Sarah Brown
Stefania Roberto is the principal instructor at Polercise Tenerife. Stefania has extensive industry experience and contribution including being the author of "So, I hear you're a pole dancer".
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Stefania Roberto.
Tracy Hancock started life as a pole dancing instructor in 2007. In 2008 Tracy decided to undertake some continuing professional development so she successfully completed an Exercise to Music (ETM) course to further her fitness knowledge. After completing her ETM Tracy felt ready to set up her own pole dancing school and Pagan's Pole was born. Tracy is also the promoter of PDC approved All Wales Pole Championships.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Tracy Hancock.
Tracey Simmonds is one of the master trainers for PDC Approved course, The Pole Studio Training. Tracey is also an accomplished performer with many titles to her name.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Tracey Simmonds.
Vivien Feld is the principal instructor at Tanzstudio VI-Dance. Vivien is also a qualified international judge with significant pole industry experience.
Find out more about 4 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Vivien Feld.
All PDC Approved (3 star) Instructors have provided the PDC with copies of their industry recognised qualifications, professional indemnity and public liability insurance as well as an up to date first aid certificate.
All PDC approved instructors have agreed to abide by the PDC code of conduct.
How many of you work hard to learn new pole dancing moves but then fail to get the recognition you deserve? Do friends and family respect your chosen dance/fitness genre or do they chuckle and make snide comments? How many people know about your pole dancing instructor and how much they have taught you?
To be taken seriously in any sport you want recognition for your hard work and the PDC Pole Dance Gradings are the perfect way to chart your pole dancing progression, create new goals and promote pole dancing to your friends and family.
PDC Pole Dance Gradings not only recognise your hard work but they also help to acknowledge the efforts of your instructor
Gradings are also perfect for those of you who can't find a pole dance school near you and who learn in the comfort of your own home spending hours watching Youtube and checking out the pole dancing pictures of those you admire. You can shine just the same.
Submitting a grading is easy just follow these simple steps:
Your £20 annual AAP membership allows you to partake in gradings and gives you one free on-line grading. AAP members also receive special members discounts. Succesfullly graded dancers may order an official certificate of achievement and receive stars in their web profile
Plan your grading. Decide which level of the PDC Syllabus is the most appropriate for you. Don't rush to achieve higher gradings, work through the lower levels and learn safely at your own pace. If you train with a PDC Approved instructor then they can help you with this process. If you train at home on your own then take a look at the grading sheets used by PDC grading assessors to mark the gradings. Pick your 10 chosen moves from your preferred level.
Please make sure you have read the following documents carefully. Before submitting your grading so you can ensure the best chance of grading succcess.
PDC Grading Sheet.
PDC Grading FAQ's.
PDC Grading Preparation Sheet.
Submit your grading. There are four parts to your grading:
1. You need to demonstrate a warm up that is suitable for your moves and level.
2. Execute your 10 moves in isolation.
3. Demonstrate the same 10 moves contained within a routine.
4. Finally you need to demonstrate a cool down element that reflects the moves you have performed in your grading.
There are several ways to submit your on-line grading:
1. Youtube - Upload your videos to youtube and then send us the link for each video. You can set your videos as unlisted so that we can view them but no one else can see them unless you send them the links.
2. File Sharing Program - Using a program such as dropbox you can send us a shareable link. When you look at your shareable folder there will be an option to create a shareable link, copy the shareable link then send it to us so we can pass it to one of our grading assessors. Please don't just make the folder viewable to the PDC e-mail address as we are then unable to forward it to a grading assessor.
So what else do you need to to know?
Pole Dance Grading Costs.
To submit your grading you will need an up to date AAP membership. Each membership includes one free online grading. Subsequent on-line gradings cost £15 each.
Ask your PDC Approved Instructor what they charge to grade you in-house.
Certificates can be bought after your successful gradings at a cost of £5 plus postage (some PDC Approved instructors include this in the price of your grading).
Your exam will be marked out of 130 and you need to score a minimum of 60 points to pass. If you reach 90 points you earn a merit pass and 115 points will earn you a distinction.
To see some examples of video gradings just pop into Youtube and search for PDC pole dance grading.
So how do you rate and do you think you could make the grade?
The dancer membership includes 1 free online grading as well as the following amazing concessions: