Patricia joined the Pole Dance Community in November 2017. She commenced pole in 2015 and quickly fell in love with her art. We spoke to Patricia to find out more about her passion for pole and her aspirations for teaching at Studio 11 Pole Fitness in Bristol.
"I was in love with pole-dancing before I even started taking classes. Although when I started, just over two years ago, my initial goal was to become an exotic dancer, I realised it's not as easy as all those amazing girls make it look.
I have tried many different sports and taken various dance classes from breakdancing to bellydancing - I pretty much tried it all - but none of them seemed to suit me quite like pole-dancing does. I am now at a stage where I can't imagine my life without classes, workshops and of course my pole family!
Each year the Gemma Dear Courage Award honours an individual or group who show extreme courage and determination within the pole dancing industry.
The individual or group is nominated by PDC members (aap dancers and instructors) who explain why they think the individual or group deserves the award.
The award can be given to any pole dancer, instructor or group of pole dancers who demonstrate the qualities required to win the The Gemma Dear Courage Award.
The Gemma Dear Courage Award recipient symbolizes professionalism, strength, courage and dedication.
After an extremely busy year for both our online grading assessors, and our in house assessors, selecting our finalists for grading assessor of the year has been extremely hard. We finally reached our decision based on the number of aap memberships sold by each grader, the number of gradings conducted or submitted by each assessor and how proactive they were in promoting the aap membership to their students.
A massive congratulations to our overall grading assessor of the year award 2017 which goes to Mandy Williams from Tempest Dance in Durham, UK.
We would also like to congratulate our youth pole dance grading assessor of the year, Lesley Jackson from Pole Guns in Newcastle, UK. Lesley was just one grading behind Mandy in the overall awards.
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: