Off the Floor - The rise of contemporary pole dance.


Jagged Pole Dancing Discrimination

Off the Floor: The Rise of Contemporary Pole Dance is the story of Jagged, a contemporary pole dance company based in LA, California. Jagged combine pole work with traditional and contemporary dance techniques. designed to challenges audiences to dispel the negative stereotypes they may have about the beautiful art of pole dancing. Jagged is lead by the Jessica Anderson-Gwin and Sarah Mann, the troupe incorporates pole dancers of varying levels and abilities. Jagged saw some success on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, the ladies of Jagged never to cease to be anything but skilled, graceful and visionary but they still faced criticism from some of the judges for their chosen art form.

Film makers Matt and Katie Celia have been touched by the story of Jagged and the problems that today's pole dancers are faced with, they are determined to hep educate more of society about the rise of contemporary pole dancing through sharing the talents of Jagged. We spoke to Matt and Celia to find out why they decided to produce this documentary and what there aims are for the future. Firstly check out their taster video:

 

Can you tell us a bit about what made you decide to make this documentary?

Katie: We were so lucky to be in the right place at the right time. We were invited to Jagged’s first pole show in Los Angeles and were just floored. Afterwards, both of us just turned to each other and knew this was something that the world needed to know about. We’ve been following them around with a camera pretty much ever since.

Matt: Both of us were looking for something to pour our creative energy into and were really struggling to find something fresh and interesting. Jagged had that perfect mix.

How did you come into contact with Jagged?Jagged Pole Dance Perceptions
Katie: One of our close friends was in their pre-show and we had her introduce us to Jessica Anderson-Gwin (the founder of Jagged) that very night. We laugh now about how Jess thought we’d never go through with a full documentary, but here we are ...... nearly.

Matt: I met up with Jess a few days after the show at a pizza place and pitched her my idea for the documentary.  I’m pretty sure she thought I was crazy, but she was into it.  I remember that she was really adamant about paying for her slice of pizza ($2.50), but I wouldn’t let her since I just heard her rant about how broke she was because she was pouring every cent she had into Jagged.  I think her investment paid off.  And that slice of pizza was a pretty good investment on my end too.

Have either of you pole danced before?

Katie: I’d been to a bachelorette party before where we took a pole dance class, but other than that one hour before no. Jagged has inspired me in so many ways, the most obvious one being the pole now located in our living room. After watching them day in and day out for months on end, I was just itching to learn. Now I’m a pole dancer too!

Matt: I haven’t, but I am always fascinated by it.  Katie gets upset since I’ve seen some pretty amazing moves so when she learns a new one I don’t always have that same “I’ve never seen that before” reaction.
Katie: You’d think your husband would be a little more excited when you’re holding yourself upside down by your knees. Just saying!

What do you hope your documentary can help to achieve?

Matt: It’s amazing to me how most people can’t get over the pole on the stage.  Other forms of dance that are well established and respected are equally sensual and evocative, but they don’t have to fight for acceptance as an art form.  We want that social stigma to change and I think that the work that Jagged does is the perfect example of artistry and expression needed to do it.

Katie: We really hope the documentary opens hearts and minds to the art of pole and gets audiences to rethink what it means to be a pole dancer. What the ladies of JAGGED do is truly extraordinary and we really believe the film will help audiences see that.

Do you think some people will remain close minded even with the facts laid out in front of them?

Katie: We know from the judges reactions on America’s Best Dance Crew that’s a possibility. But we really believe that after watching the film it would be hard for audiences not to be able to appreciate pole dancing a little more.

Jagged Fitness Pole DancersMatt: We’re going to try our best in the film to show people something different and leave the audience with something other than what they expected.  It’s not easy to do and is a discussion we have amongst ourselves daily.

Do you think we should rename pole dancing?

Matt: That’s a funny question I don’t think we’ve been asked before! You know, I feel like the community shouldn’t have to, but people do get really caught up on names and prejudice and I know that if we told people we were doing a film about “modern vertical ballet” the reaction would be completely different.
Katie: We often refer to Jagged’s style of pole dancing as “contemporary pole dancing” and that definitely gets people to be more open minded, but I think it’d be hard to call it anything else at the end of the day.

Why do you think pole dancing is still regarded as so sexual when belly dancing and salsa are so accepted?

Matt: I think it goes back to the pole being associated with strip clubs. I think also that pole dancing is evolving as an art form and we’ve seen a change in the style of performances over the last few years.  Now we see more aerial tricks and choreography. As the performances evolve I think we’ll see the stereotypes come down. People’s perception will change the more they are exposed to it as well.  I learned that the Waltz was controversial in the 18th century because it was deemed too sexual. So you get the idea.

Katie: It takes a long time to change stereotypes, and the stereotype (right or wrong) in the general public's mind when it comes to pole dancing is that it’s sexual. One of the reasons we were so drawn to Jagged was that they really challenged that. Like all dance, their style is sensual but not sexual. Nearly everyone who sees them tells us that, so really it’s just a matter of continuing to put it out there.

Do you think it is right for kids to learn to pole dance?

Katie: Not being parents yet I don’t know if we’re qualified to answer! However we do have a pole in our living room so we know it’s a question we’ll have to personally tackle. I think if we had kids who said “I want to do what Jagged does” it’d be hard to not let them do it. We’re pretty supportive people.

Matt: I think parents should be supportive of any dream that makes their kids happy.  If kids want to pole dance (which you need to remind people does not have to be sexual or involve stripping) then I think that’s great. It’s a great workout, it’s fun, and it isn’t like pole dancing is going to turn them into an evil human being.

Katie: Agreed, we’ve seen only very positive transformations of people who have learned to pole dance. The challenge is again changing the negative stereotype.

What are your views on pole dancing in heels/underwear?

Katie: Having been around Jagged, we mostly see pole outfits that match the piece being performed. Sometimes that’s wearing heels and a bra, other times it’s being barefoot with a tank top. Obviously because of the physics of pole, there’s always going to be bare skin, but what’s so much fun to see right now is how the pole community is getting more and more creative and thinking outside the box when it comes to what to wear. We’ve been lucky to see a lot of Kelly Maglia’s work when she did a co-production with Jagged. Her pieces are so beautiful and theatrical, it just adds another dimension to the dancing. For us that’s most important, that outfits enhance rather than distract from the routine.

Matt: Yes, I think that the dance is a performance and like any other performance, wardrobe plays a huge part.  Some of the best performances I’ve seen from SuzieQ Williams, Kelly Maglia, Mina Mortezaie and Jagged made amazing use of costumes that added to their dance.

A massive thank you to Matt and Celia for taking the time to talk to us. If you would like to help them with their project to raise £10,000 to fund the full documentary just visit the Off the Floor pledge page - they have £7,000 of their target already. Let's help make this dream a reality.

UK Pole Dance Day 2012 - The latest news and pole dancing events.


UK Pole Dance Day
It's nearly time for UK Pole Dance Day and this year, we hope more pole schools than ever will take part, holding showcases, open days, taster sessions and workshops to show the wider public that pole dance is a beautiful, graceful, powerful art that deserves respect.

Unfortunately, due to lack of sponsorship, we have decided not to run a London showcase, but we are hoping to make this a bi-annual event, and we are already discussing funding options for 2013.

Since founding UKPDD in 2009, the Equity Pole Dancers' Working Party has been delighted with the level of support the pole dancing community has given the event and this year, we are offering a limited number of exclusive UKPDD vests to those hosting events. All you have to do to get your hands on one of these beauties is email us with details of your UKPDD event and a posting address.

In return, we'd like a picture of you wearing it on UKPDD!




Happy poling!

The Equity Pole Dancer's Working Party.


Check out some of the fabulous UK Pole Day Events happening aross the UK:

 


UKPDD Bendy Kate Workshop and Free Taster

Tuesday 01 May 2012 12:00pm - 05:00pm
  

Join us and Celebrate UK Pole Dance Day 2012. Here at Trowbridge PoleDance (previously pole movement) We will be offering free tasters classes all week from the 1st May to Saturday 5th :0)

We  also have bendy Kate visiting us to teach her pole acrobatics workshop,  open to anyone £40pp must be able to invert confidently alone.

so a very exciting pole week for us :)

Location : Trowbridge, UK
Contact : Amirah Omran - 07861421388

UKPDD Pole Dancing School Free Taster

Tuesday 01 May 2012, 02:00pm - 05:00pm
   

elena gibson pole dancing pointes
Celebrate the UK's 4th official UK Pole Dance Day. Free taster class and a free practice class at the Pole Dancing School studio in Shoreditch on Tuesday 1 May with World Champion and Pole Dance Community Pioneer Elena Gibson (pictured left). Free taster at 2pm for 90 min and free practice at 3:30pm for 90 min.

Location : 71 Fanshaw Street, London, N1 6LA.
Contact : elena@poledancingschool.com


  

Emma's Pole Dancing Pole Jam.

Wednesday 02 May 2012, 06:30am - 08:30pm 

   

Celebrate UK Pole Dance Day!

Welcoming new polers and pole enthusiasts only. £3 on the door must email or drop me a text telling me your coming and how many with! 07866715556 emmaspoledancing@hotmail.co.uk Free Water on arrival.

If you have never done pole dancing before this is an ideal way to start you can have ago or just watch. My Instructors will be showing everyone how to do most moves, pole dancing builds confidence, stamina, tones your body and is also an excellent talent to show your friends/family.

If you book and pay for a block of 4 lessons on the night there will be a £5 discount!!! You must tell me what nights you would like to come on and ill book them in. Hope you can make it.

Location : Studio 91 Perkins Yard Mansfield Road Derby DE214AW
Contact : emmaspoledancing@hotmail.co.uk

 

Outdoor Pole Jam.

Sunday 6th May - 3pm

 

The Art of Dance and Vix's Pole Fitness will be stting up 2 outdoor podium stages for a bit of outdoor poling. Venue to be announced on the day as we will be doing this flash mob style!! All welcome for this fabulous free event.

Location: Plymouth
Contact: sam@theartofdance.co.uk


Double Trouble Workshop.

Sunday 06 May 2012 08:00am - 05:00pm 

10am-12pm Double Trouble (Beginner/ Intermediate Moves) Masterclass. £35 each – (must be able to climb/Invert competently) 15 MAX

Join Dan and Stevie for a 2 hour session of doubles fun and help celebrate UK Pole Dance Day. The class will begin with a half hour warm up with the boys covering some fun spins and basic tricks to get us warm. We will then spend the next hour and a half covering the beginner/intermediate doubles moves. These moves are great for people who haven’t been poling for a long time but are also great for the super advanced students who have never done any doubles work before. This class will teach you the basics of doubles before moving onto the hardcore doubles tricks in the second half. Don’t panic if you don’t have a doubles partner, we will find you one, or if you like Dan and Stevie will be more than happy to join in.

12:30-14:30 Double Trouble Hardcore Masterclass (Intermediate/Advanced tricks) £35 each – (must be able to Climb/invert competently) 15 MAX

Join Dan and Stevie for the second half of the class and be prepared to do some doubles moves you will fall in love with. In this class Dan and Stevie will cover some strength moves/Flexibility moves that are of a more advance level. 

15:00-17:00 Jam £15 each 15 Max

Dan and Stevie will stay behind and have a jam with us all while helping you with any moves which you may want to practice more and are around to answer any questions you may have. And if not, then the jam is your chance to just have some fun on the poles.

Both Masterclasses £60. All Three classes £70

Location : Dance Finesse, Backridge Farm, Twitter Lane, Waddington, BB7 3LG
Contact : Serena - serena@dancefinesse.co.uk, 07896573550 or 01200429986


Check out our the Pole Dance Community Events page for more fabuous pole dancing events and workshops.

 

PDC Approved Pole Dancing Instructor Jamie Alexah-Taylor achieves 4 star status.

 

AWPC Jamie Alexah Taylor pole Dancing pictureJamie Alexah-Taylor has been teaching pole dancing since 2006 with her pole dance school Defy Gravity and in addition to her teaching experience Jamie is also well known for her competition success. Jamie won the prestigious title of All Wales Pole Champion 2011 and was also an elite semi finalist at the United Kingdom Professional Pole Championships 2011.

Jamie received her references from fellow 4 star PDC Approved Pole Dancing Instructors Pippa Caesar and Sam Remmer.

Pippa said "Before I started teaching I stumbled across Jamie at Defy Gravity on a trip to visit my parents in Wales back in 2008. I booked 3 hours of private lessons and I got my arse KICKED! Now I always make sure I see Jamie so we can pole together every time I go to Wales to see my parents.

Jamie is methodical, seriously knowledgeable and up on every single new trick, variation and transition. She is highly technical and has the ability to break something down, even when she and I are upside down, left handed or right handed, hanging on by a leg and armpit hair.


I trust Jamie to spot me and to know when I am capable without her assistance. As a teacher she is great fun, sassy and on the ball, as a performer she is confident, sexy and strong and has that wonderful ability to ‘wing it’ seamlessly should she need to. Her love for pole and for ‘old school pole’ is infectious and I admire her as an instructor, performer, competitor and friend.

I have no hesitation at all to offer a reference for Jamie at Defy Gravity."

Sam said "I first met Jamie when I performed with her in the finals of PoleDivas, she is an accomplished performer who is able to choreograph beautifully and execute her tricks perfectly using both her strength and flexibility.

More recently I have had the pleasure of teaching some of her students after they have moved to my area, her students demonstrated great technique and pole knowledge showing that they had learned from a excellent teacher. Jamie's great teaching skills have also been shown by her student's competition success.

Jamie has been active within the pole dancing community, promoting pole dancing through her local media as well as on a national stage where she showcased at the 2011 UK Pole Dance Day showcase organised by the Equity Pole Dancers working party in London.

Jamie will make a perfect 4 star instructor."

Jamie's Pole Dancing CV:Jamie Alexah Taylor pole Dancing picture

Started teaching in 2006.
Proprietor and principal instructor at Defy Gravity.
200 hours Yoga Instructor.
PDC member.
BSY and Yoga Alliance.
Master-classes with Pantera, Rebecca Butcher and Marlo Fisken.
Student success - Jenna Thomas was a finalist in PoleDivas `09 Nicola Green came 2nd in The All Wales Pole Championships (AWPC) 2011 Advanced category.  Jenna Thomas competed in Beginner section in the AWPC 2011 and was told she came 4th. I have 2 Beginners entering the AWPC again this year. Adv student Helen Green came second at The Authentic Pole Competition in July 2015.
Twice finalist at PoleDivas 09 and 11 after winning the regional heats.
All Wales Pole Champion 2011.
Guest Performer at UK Pole Dance Day 2011.
Jamie Taylor Elite finalist at UKPCC 2011.
Due to judge and perform at the Bucks Pole Fitness Championships.
First school showcase in 2009, raised over £700 for Ty Hafan.
Ongoing local publicity since 2006 to date.
Advancement and Accreditation Programme (AAP) grading success with Defy Gravity students.


Defy Gravity is Pembrokeshires only PDC Approved, syllabus based and fully insured Pole Dance school, is run by Jamie Alexah-Taylor, who is a PDC Approved Level 4 Star Instructor, Qualified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Alliance member (200hrs) and is the 2011 All Wales Pole Dance Champion.

Jamie has Performing Arts experience (051 Liverpool) and has been a Pole Performer for 10 years!

She now coaches her students for competition as well as running Pole Dance classes for complete beginners up to advanced, and has competed nationally, performed alongside other top names in the industry at the first UK Pole Dance Day Show at Riverside Studios in London, and has been a grand finalist twice, in 2008 and 2010. Winning 1st in the ultimate Welsh title at the All Wales Championships in April 2011.

Since then, Jamie was invited to compete in the Elite category of the UK Professional Pole Championships in December 2011, and was on the judging panel at The Polenastics Championships 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Jamie was also one finalist of 7, that got to compete at the Professional level at the international Pole Theatre competition in the Classique category.
And also, chosen to judge at The Authentic Pole Dance Competition in 2014.
Lastly in 2014, she was part of the team who created The London Sexy Back Showcase. Working with AMD, Polevocative, UPA and MFEO.

Aswell as introducing the first Pole Dance classes to Pembrokeshire, Jamie also brought National Pole Championship heats and Charity shows into the area.
Defy Gravity, as a PDC Approved school, is able to offer the internationally recognised Advancement and Accreditation Scheme to all pole dancers in Pembrokeshire, alongside its own syllabus.  

In October 2014, Jamie was the first person to get a license to teach Cleo The Hurricanes `Rocking Legs N Abs`! Classes start November 27th!


2015 saw her judging again at The Authentic Pole Dance Competition.


Jamie insists on fun classes, and safe progress. Being able to break down any move into simple steps, and also able to demo the more advanced variants."

 

We would like to thank Jamie for being a great ambassador for the Pole Dance Community, we wish her every success for the future.

The Pole 2 Pole Cup USA - A guest article from United Pole Artists.

Pole 2 Pole Cup USA
Many of you will already have read about the recent problems with the Pole 2 Pole Cup USA but for those of you that haven't you should read this educating article from United Pole Artists:


What happened at Pole 2 Pole Cup USA?

The games being played between Pole 2 Pole Cup USA’s John Meredith and Poleates Studio owner Caterina Genaro got pretty crazy, the drama ended with many people affected by the disputes between them. Instead of telling you the nitty gritty parts of this event and the days leading up to it, we’ll talk about the major issues, and we will use the Pole 2 Pole Cup USA as an example of why we need to make certain changes and why we need to make them now. We will examine a few key points before we take a look at the event itself. Then, we will look at ways to avoid from something like this happening again.

Lastly, we will get into the how the competitors conducted themselves, as they were getting caught up in the middle of this contention. How did it all come to this? Who dropped the ball?

Roughly 4 weeks before the competition, which was held on April 7, 2012, the venue was changed from the Thousand Oaks Civic Center in Thousand Oaks, California to Poleates studio in Thousand Oaks, to the Avec Night Club in Huntington Beach, California. These two cities are 76 miles apart. Competitors were unaware of the venue change. There are many accusations flying around and a lot of finger pointing as to why this happened. After asking the sources themselves of why this happened, why the venue change, why was no one notified, it is still unclear who is to blame for this. We all watched as a battle unfolded right before our very eyes on Facebook, for all the competitors to see, and that is when things became mucky. Until speaking with the competitors individually, I did not get a sense of how much this affected them and their frame of mind going into this competition. They seemed to feel hurt by it all, angered and frustrated and tried to ignore all of the posts and comments on Facebook that swirled around them.

Before you know it, John Meredith arrives at Poleates Studio with two police officers looking for property that belonged to him. Some shirts, medals for the competitors and 25 Pounds worth of postage. Not long after that, he was reported to the INS for being in the states on a Tourist Visa, not a Work Visa. Whether or not action has been taken against him is uncertain. Considering he was doing a fair amount of work out here and, in people’s eyes, was collecting U.S. Dollars, some people thought that this was the way to handle it. What would you have done? Is this how these things should be handled? Some would argue yes, that something like this needs to be handled by the authorities. Some might say no, that perhaps it could have been dealt with internally, within the walls of our community. But honestly, there is no organization within our community that handles these types of things, is there? The answer is no, there is not one organization that deals with the rules and regulations to follow regarding event organizers and company owners and how they should ethically conduct themselves. That poses the question, what do we do about this?

The solutions are simple yet complicated. Most sports have organizations that govern rules and regulations of the actual activity itself and the events that are put together. You must be approved by these federations or leagues in order to participate or create an event for someone else to participate in. This is relevant to major competitions, especially to ones that are traveling from one country to the next. I will give you examples of other sports that have these federations; Baseball, Table Tennis, Swimming, and Ice Skating. That is just to name a few. Now, looking deeper into the world of ice skating, I notice that they have several committees dedicated to particular areas of their sport, including an ethics committee that consists of twenty four people. In pole dancing, we don’t even have one. Granted, ice skating has been around a lot longer and they have had time in developing these committees. But, perhaps we can use ice skating as an example of what to do next.

So, simple right, let’s start a Board of Committees. So who is going to start it? Who is going to pick up their phone, or turn on their computer and get the right people together to begin making these types of decisions? I am challenging all of you right now, to do something. Write to your favorite pole dance organization, write to your pole dance federation in your country and tell them that you want to see these changes, and offer your assistance. I know that there are many of you dedicated Pole’r Bears out there that want to see pole dancing rise above it all and be recognized as a legitimate sport, and you as a legitimate athlete. This is your moment to make a difference. If you are the leader of an organization, I implore you, call your fellow organizations and federations, shake hands and come together. This is the only way to make the necessary changes.

Right now, it seems as if anyone can make an announcement on Facebook “Yeah, we’re hosting a pole dance competition in your city! Work your ass off to compete, spend your money on costumes, travel, food, trainers, and private pole lessons. We might have gift bags for you, we might not. There is no prize money and we can’t guarantee that the poles will be as tall as we promised or the circumference we promised, but that shouldn’t matter.” It shouldn’t be this way at all, but we see it happen all the time. What keeps this industry alive and growing is the dedication of many pole dancers. With that dedication, I hope comes the desire to help make changes so we can move on and prevent any of these things from happening in the future.

With this Pole 2 Pole Cup USA, with what was given to them, the sponsors, mainly Platinum Stages, did the best that they could do. Technically, it is not the sponsors responsibility to take on an event that is not theirs. They should be sponsors, not organizers. I commend Platinum Stages for stepping up and basically taking over, in order to provide the competitors a place to pole dance, and to do what they came all they way to California to do. The venue, Avec Night Club, was beautiful, the stage looked very nice and Erica Verner from Platinum Stages got raving reviews from the competitors about how helpful she was back stage. There were a couple of glitches throughout the show, but nothing so terrible that it couldn’t be overlooked. Without the help and support of Platinum Stages, who knows what would have happened.

The competitors themselves were gorgeous, amazing and so much fun to watch, that for about 3 hours, I forgot about all the other nonsense surrounding this event, as Keith Scheinberg from Platinum Stages called it, “The most controversial competition in the country”. Ashley Popoli, winner of the Amateur Division didn’t look amateur to me. She had original tricks, kept her steamy eyes on the judges the entire time and set the bar for the amateurs. Rhiannan Nichole was so awesome that she even kept both feet pointed while climbing the pole. Gretta Pontarelli from Pole Kraze studio received a standing ovation. This woman is 61 years old, with a body made of steal and heart of gold. Her passion could be felt throughout the entire room as if she just opened up a bag and handed it to all of us. She didn’t place, but hers was by far the most moving performance of the night. It wasn’t what she did, it was how she did it, and the feeling she gave to all of us watching.

These women worked their butts off to be there, they traveled, they put up with all the craziness that came with it and reminded me of why I love pole dancing so much. Everyone that was there was there in support of their fellow pole dancers, and that was what made the event worth being at.

United Pole Artists logoThe federations out there, the associations that exist for pole dancing, I don’t want to call you out, but we are beginning to look at you and ask what will you do to construct rules, regulations and guidelines for others to follow? Understandably, there are many things on all of our plates right now, with pole dancing growing as fast as it is. But, that is even more of a reason to formulate a plan so we don’t have opportunists taking advantage of an industry in it’s infancy. We must protect ourselves and all of the time and effort that we put forth. This is no longer about the Pole 2 Pole Cup USA, this is about what we need to do now. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. It’s in our hands now, who is going to catch the ball first?

A huge thank you to Anne-Marie Davies from United Pole Artists for sharing this story and allowing us to publish it on the Pole Dance Community website.

We would like to add that the PDC Approved Events system allows us to vet the events which we endorse. So far we have had no major issues with any PDC Approved Event. If you would like more information on the PDC Approval System for events please contact us.

Angel F from Discoveries Dance achieves PDC Approved 4 star pole dancing instructor status.


Angel F Pole Dancing PortraitAngel F recevied glowing references from fellow PDC Approved Instructors Angela Houck from Power Pole Studio and Tammi Frazier from A Pole New You.

Angela Houck:

Angel is well deserving of 4 star status with the PDC for all of her efforts involving pole and I fully support her request. She actively promotes pole in a positive way through her presence on various pole sites and events. Her teaching background and experience has given her amazing teaching abilities that allow others to understand pole techniques and pole safety. Her instructor course is well written and includes everything needed to be able to teach a variety of levels of students safely and effectively. Angel is passionate about the benefits of pole as well as promoting pole fitness in a positive light, and I know she will continue to help the PDC grow by educating those in and out of the pole community to better understand and accept pole as a fitness and dance form.

Tammi Frazier:

From developing a thorough, affordable and truly worthwhile instructor training course, to judging competitions, and teaching pole classes, Angel’s continuous contributions to the pole dancing community are commendable.  Her professionalism shows in everything that she does, and is an asset to the industry as we continue to work to cast a positive light over the shadow of the stigma of pole dancing.


Angel's CV:

Bachelor of  Science in Environmental Science
Master of Science in Education
30 graduate hours beyond M.S. in Education
Advanced Professional Certificate in Counselling from the Maryland State Department of Education


Fitness/Pole Qualifications:

American Council of Exercise Group Fitness Instructor
Pole Position Fitness Instructor Certification


Membership of Professional Bodies:

Pole Dance Community
Pole Fitness Association
American Pole Fitness Association

Workshops, Courses & Masterclasses Attended:

Workshops with Sarah Cretul, Alethia Austin (3), Takeila Fox, Felix Cane, Jenyne Butterfly (private and group), Pantera (private), Jamilla Deville (private and group), Leigh Ann Reilly, Sally Ann Giles, Jessalyn Medairy (10), Marlo (2), Karol Helms (private & 4 group), Becca Butcher, Zoraya Judd, Michelle Stanek.


Pole Dance Teaching History:

"2009-2011 at Tease Fitness, Maryland.  Now I teach at Pandora Fitness in Maryland since Tease closed.  Have taught advanced workshops at Awakenings Pole Fitness in Philadelpha and Chic Physique in Bethesda, MD.  Currently teach my own teacher training program that I wrote and developed.  I have trained over 80 teachers so far.  In my non-pole life, I have been a public school teacher for about 15 years.  I taught High School Science and currently work as a High School Counselor."


Student's pole dancing success:

"One of my pole dance students that I trained from her first class to advanced level has now opened a new studio.  One of my teacher trainees (Antigone Cois) has opened her own pole school in Athens, Greece.  A sister-duo who took my training are opening a new studio in Philadelphia.  Many of my teacher trainees have been hired and work successfully as pole teachers or are opening additional studios."


Continuing Professional Development:

"I will be pursuing the NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification within the next year."discoveries dance pole teacher training

 

Judging Involvement:

"I was asked by Jessalyn Medairy to judge the Tri-State Invitationals (MD, DC, VA) on March 10th.  Will be judging Miss. Xpose regional competition on February 25th."

 

Charity Involvement:

"I also hosted a fundraiser for the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society (LLS) in my home studio and raised over $300 with the help of donated giveaways from Bobbi’s Pole Studio in Australia.
I frequently donate money earned via pole to poler’s charities and also my favourite organization – Dachshund Rescue of North America."

 
AAP Membership involvement:

"I would like to write the AAP into my teacher training program so that the teachers I train can get on board and offer it for their students.  I think it is a great motivation tool for students and a wonderful record of achievement.  I would like to see its growth in the USA."

 

Pole Dancing Goals & Aspirations:

"My goal is to support pole teachers by giving them the educational tools they need to become the best teachers possible.  I do this because I want the public to accept and love pole dance as much as I do and the only way earn the public’s respect is to have quality, professional pole teachers in the classroom.  My personal goal is to keep dancing until I can’t dance anymore."
 

We would like to congratulate Angel F on her fantastic contribution to the Pole Dancing Industry, Angel is a fabulous role model for all pole dancers.

Angel F is one of our Approved Teacher Training Providers.

Emma Haslam from Emma's Pole Dancing acheives 4 star Pole Dancing Instructor Status.

Emma Haslam Pole Dancing
Emma's Pole Dancing School, Derby, UK.

Emma Haslam received 3 references for her 4 star application:

"I think Emma really embraces the pole dancing community. I regularly see her at pole dancing events, she joins in instructor jams to help expand her moves and keeps up to date with all the latest in the pole dancing world. Her studio is an excellent example of a pole dancing school, she offers a variety of classes and has additional support from another instructor meaning her students receive a high standard of instruction. I regularly see and hear about events Emma organises her most recent being a local competition. Emma is friendly and really takes the time to get to know you. I'm sure students feel very comfortable in her classes."

Lorna Thomas - Pole Athletes.

"I am happy to put forward a reference for Emma’s Level 2 status.  I first met Emma 2 years ago at an instructor Jam.

Emma is a positive and patient instructor actively encouraging her students with a can do attitude and has passed this attitude on to her other instructors. This makes her studio a great place to learn.

Emma hosts and attends a number of pole jams each year, building relationships within the pole community and exchanging techniques with other instructors. Her doubles tips are outstanding and she is never to busy at these events to demonstrate new idea’s and help others master them. I’ve learnt many tips from her over the past couple of years and look forward to continuing to do so by attending her doubles workshops."

Julie Foxx

"I have seen Emma interact with other pole dancing students and instructors and she has a great teaching method. Emma always acts professionally and is a great ambassador for pole dancing."

Sandrea Simmons - Pole Palais

 

Emma's pole dancing CV:Emma's Pole Dancing

"I have been teaching Pole dancing since 2006. I’ve always loved dancing and fitness - as a child I was always doing dance shows, acrobatics and I also studied Dance to A’ Level standard.

At the moment (2012), I teach 10 classes a week with approximately 7-8 students on each class.

I am qualified in Exercise to Music (EMC) and a qualified first aider.

Although I’ve not yet competed in competitions myself, 3 of my students have - Alissa Pearson, Angela Martin and Amy Steed. This year I am training three more students to competition level.

I’m currently hosting a competition, EPDC, that will be on the 3rd June 2012. There will be 4 categories; Amateur, Advanced, Expert and Doubles.

I am regularly in the Derby telegraph and on Capital FM promoting my school. I also use Social Media for my classes and events.

In the past I have trained 7 students to instructor level and I have 3 instructors currently working alongside me.

On my list of moves which there are over 500, I have different levels which my students can achieve gradually and at their own pace. They receive a medal or a trophy after completion.

I also run Aerial Classes; Silks, Hoop and Trapeze, Strength and Flex classes, Dancercise, Hula Hoop and Pole Aerobics.

I‘ve held Master Classes with Becca Butcher and Karol Helms. Becca Butcher is returning on the 11th April 2012 to my studio. I am hoping that Felix and Pantera will attend in the near future.

I own two horses and I was British Club Level champion in Show Jumping when I was 15.

My brother Leon Haslam races motor bikes in World Superbikes and I regularly go to watch him around the world. Depending on which country he’s racing in, I try to attend a Pole Dancing School in that area.

I regularly attend Pole Jams and practice session with Genevieve Moody, Sally Ann Giles, Donna Gant, Sandra Simons and Monique (sisters of Pole the co-founder of NPA)

I attend most of the Pole dancing competitions around the UK to support and enjoy watching new routines.

I‘ve recently bought the PDC syllabus and it is amazing. I do a similar thing with my students on a smaller scale."

Congratulations to Emma on her successful 4 star pole dancing instructor acheivement and we wish her every success for the future.

Featured new pole dancing instructor - PDC Approved Stefania Roberto from Polercise Canaries.

 

"My Name is Stefania Roberto and although I was Born in Leeds, My Parents are Italian and I’ve Lived in Tenerife (Canary Islands) since I was 7 years old.
I have been dancing on and off since I was a teenager and Started learning ‘Pole dancing’ from when I was 16, And Won ‘Miss Pole Tenerife’ in 2002. A few years later A friend of mine introduced me to ‘Pole Fitness’ and I got hooked.  As there was nothing set up here I went back to the UK and did an Instructor course and Polercise Tenerife was born! 6 years on and we now have 4 studios here in Tenerife and 1 in Gran Canaria.

The Great Midwest Pole Dancing Competition - an interview with PDC Pioneer and pole dancing instructor Mary-Ellyn Weissmann.

midwest pole-dancing-competition


2012 will see the welcome return of the Great Midwest Pole Dancing Competition, one of the most renowned American pole dancing competitions. The Midwest comp is a PDC approved event. We spoke to the event organiser Mary-Ellyn Weismann from ETED dance about the competition and its evolution.


What made you set up the Great Midwest Competition?

I was approached by several dancers in the community who felt that I was good at organizing and planning pole events and successful in bringing the community together for such things and was convinced to give it a try. Personally I thought it was a bunch of flattery as they figured if they could talk anyone into doing something like this it would be me!

Featured new PDC approved Pole Dancing Instructor Sophie Logan from the University of Wessex.

Sophie Logan pole dancing pictureSophie Logan has just joined the Pole Dance Community as an approved pole dancing instructor, we spoke to her to find out more about her and her passion for pole dancing:

"I have been polling since I was 16, but when I moved to Colchester to study management and marketing at the University of Essex in 2010, I began to take it a lot more seriously. I found ‘Little Sapphires pole players’ at my local venue and attended weekly sessions taught by PDC approved instructor Catherine Dachtler. I was very disappointed when I came to University to find that there wasn’t already a pole dancing club, so I decided to set one up!

The Candy and Chrome Interview - Zoraya and Nic Judd.

Zoraya Judd pole dancing picture

Part 1 - Zoraya:

Zoraya Judd – what can I say about her?  She just takes my breath away!  I think Sally Ann said it best when she welcomed us all to the Zoraya masterclass …

Sally Ann - "I don’t do masterclasses, but I do Zoraya!  This will probably be the only masterclass I will ever offer, she is my idol."

Well …. says it all really doesn’t it?

Zoraya Judd is an extraordinary and rare woman, she is uniquely talented in pole dancing, with her main attributes being absolutely breathtakingly smooth and graceful gravity defying deadlifts!  She is head of her tribe of men (Zoraya has two beautiful sons), a spiritual goddess and maker of fine feathered thingiebobs too.


PDC approved Level 2 pole dancing instructor Robyn Roooke wins the advanced section of the Bristol Pole Championships 2011.

360 Pole Dancing competition
360° Pole Dancing, Bristol's leading pole dancing school is proud to announce the success of principle and owner Robyn Rooke at this year's Bristol Pole Championships BPC). In a repeat of last year's result Robyn once again won the Advanced/Professional category beating other top pole dancers from the region.

Held earlier this month at Bristol's Bierkeller and attracting an audience of around 200 the Bristol Pole Championships is an annual competition where pole dancers from the region's pole schools are judged on pole dance routines featuring tricks and holds all performed to music.

Around 30 pole dancers from across the West battled it out at the competing in four categories – Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced/Professional and new to this year 'Performer' (a category open to all levels where entrants are judged on their theme based routine).

 

 

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