Notes of the meeting of the Pole Dance Working Party held on Friday 11th December 2009 at 1.00pm at Equity, Guild House, Upper St Martins Lane, London WC2H 9EG
Present : Michael Day (Equity staff), Dana Mayer, Genevieve Moody, Emma Mitchell, Elena Gibson and Kym McGowan.
1. Apologies : Kate Johnstone, Sam Remmer
2. Updates on Policing and Crime Bill and Camden Licensing for Burlesque.
Michael Day reported that the Policing and Crime Bill had continued to be debated in the House of Lords at the Report Stage. In the new year it will return to the Commons and Equity will continue to lobby at that stage also. Amendments had been suggested to the name of the type of entertainment. S*x Encounter Establishment was the original government proposal with Adult Entertainment, S*****ll Entertainment and E***** Entertainment all being considered since.
In Camden, the council was not currently opposed to burlesque events going ahead although the fine print of the licensing policy was still being worked out in conjunction with the Burlesque Women’s Institute.
3. Equity Campaign on Entertainment Licensing. Michael Day reported that Equity’s proposed demo on entertainment licensing had gone ahead on 22nd October 2009 and had been well attended with about 150 – 200 performers. There had been some bands and colourful characters doing their acts. There were also politicians from across the main parties. Equity and the Musicians’ Union had been offered a concession on the small venues exemption in that venues of 100 or less could be exempt from a licence. The unions had rejected this, however, believing that it should not be less than 200. This was still being debated and could potentially be delivered via a ‘legislative reform order’ if all parties were in agreement.
4. Recruitment and Retention Events including Pole Divas. Equity representatives based in the North West had attended this event and had found a good position for the Equity stand. Genevieve had been able to assist during breaks in her judging role and noted that the stand had often been busy. Generally, in this field, the public liability insurance and other insurances and the kudos of membership were the most appreciated factors.
Kym, who was visiting from Australia, compared how competitions worked there compared to the UK. She had been involved in some of the organisation of such events such as Australian Pole Dance Championships. There were several categories including ‘open pairs’ for men and/or women combinations as well as the solo competitions. Judging appeared to be more technically based with set moves needing to be completed. Costume branding was not allowed. Competitions were held in theatres with theatre or cabaret style seating.
Other events were discussed and it was considered desirable to have Equity representation at all of the main competition finals. These included:
UKAPP – usually Reading or London
MPD – London
PoleDivas – Manchester
British Isles – Essex
5. UK Pole Dance Day 2010.
It was agreed that the day of the event should be Saturday 1st May 2010.
It was suggested that there should be lots of individual events organised around the country at participating schools linked through a central campaign. A letter could be sent around in January 2010 and this should give examples of potential events. A pack to send to schools could be developed. Emma agreed to do a list of what would be required in this pack and get an idea of cost. Funding could be requested from Equity. Genevieve agreed to co-ordinate a potential list of activities if others emailed their ideas to her. It was suggested that those not attached to a school could make guest appearances at schools and / or give demo performances.
6. Copyright issues and guidance leaflet. The leaflet itself was not discussed but a couple of copyright examples were put forward. One was for use of a photo of a pole dancer in a magazine and the other copying content, mainly text, being copied from a website. Michael Day stated that with photographs it would depend on who owned the copyright of the photo. This may be the photographer or the performer. The copyright owner certainly has a right not to have the photo used in a publication without their consent. Similarly with text, copying directly and reproducing elsewhere is a breach of copyright. More information will be obtained directly from the members concerned to see if action is warranted.
7. Working party – Future work, meetings, further aims and objectives, distribution of workload etc.
The following had been actioned since the last meeting:-
Emma had completed the pro forma email body text for various types of messages.
Kate had set up the ‘mail chimp’ which was now working for the email group.
Dana had worked on the Facebook profile
Elena said that she would be willing to host some kind of event, as did Genevieve.
It was discussed whether an open meeting could be held in conjunction with an existing event. Pole Unity was put forward as a possibility. This was thought to be in June. An ‘injury prevention’ workshop, for example, was put forward as an idea.
A meeting schedule for working party meetings for 2010 was proposed.
The first two dates were fixed with the others with just the month set. These were as follows:-
22nd January 2010 at 1.00pm at Equity
16th April 2010 at 1.00pm at Equity
There would also be meetings, times and venues TBA in June, September and November / December.
A few priorities of the working party for 2010 were highlighted:-
Raising the profile of the art form
Recruitment and Retention of pole dancers
Encouraging the use of the contracts and formalisation of the industry
Finishing the copyright guidance leaflet
Improving the standard of competition judging
Holding a bigger open meeting / event
8. Pole Dance Community. Sam Remmer was still working on this and gaining more subscribers.
9. Any other Business. It was raised that high profile performers, such as the winner of MPD could be targeted for membership of Equity if they are not already. Some individual names were put forward.
10. Date of Next Meeting: Friday 22nd January 2010 at 1.00pm at Equity
To contact or join the equity pole dance working party just visit their facebook site.
Just a quick update on the Purity Pole Halloween pole dancing showcase that will be held on Saturday 31st October.
Tickets are only available in advance up until Saturday 24th October, none will be available on the door.
Performers on the night include
Purity teachers -Jolene
Jolene and Lisa will also be doing a doubles routine!
Other professionals -
Pippa from Polenastics
Genevieve from The Flying Studio
Elaine from Poleminx
Kate Johnstone from Spin City
Amateurs -Kate Tolhurst
Jess and Trixie will be doing a doubles routine!
For more information and contact details check out our previous article by clicking here.
Like the Pole Dance Community the Equity pole dancers working party (EPDWP) are passionate about the world of pole dancing and are working hard to safeguard you! The EPDWP meet every few months at the Equity HQ in London, the meetings are open to all Equity members. If you can't make it to a meeting or you aren't a member but you would like to raise any concerns then you can contact the working group via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below you will find the minutes of the last EPDWP Meeting which was held on Friday the 18th of September 2009.
Notes of the meeting of the Pole Dance Working Party held on
Friday 18th September 2009 at 1.30pm at Equity, Guild House, Upper St Martins Lane, London WC2H 9EG
Present : Michael Day (Equity staff), Dana Mayer, Genevieve Moody, Kate Johnstone, Emma Mitchell and Elena Gibson.
1. Apologies : Sam Remmer, Michael Branwell
2. Introduction by Dana Mayer. Dana had asked to be given the opportunity to raise a couple of general issues at the start of the meeting. One was about the running of the working party and the other about an external matter concerning another individual. It was agreed to deal with the first issue under item 6. It was noted that there had been some misunderstandings within the working party about individuals roles and responsibilities. The other issue, being a private matter, would be initially discussed with the individual concerned.
3. Burlesque Entertainment - Camden. Michael Day reported that the two events organised by the Burlesque Women's Institute had been successful. Equity had attended the reverse striptease event at Proud Galleries, Camden on 12th July 2009 but unfortunately there were no representatives of Camden Licensing present. The march originally scheduled for 23 rd July had first been moved to 30th July then, at the last minute, to the 29th July. This was due to the organisers wanting to avoid it being taken over by a certain element. The date change had meant that Michael Day had been unable to attend due to another meeting. The event had attracted a lot of media attention and had achieved the desired result in that Camden had agreed not to stop burlesque events going ahead. There was still some work to be done, however, in that Camden still needed to put some wording in the licensing policy. The Burlesque Womens Institute had asked for Equity to be involved in meetings with Camden Licensing and a date for a meeting was currently being sought.
4. Equity Campaign on Entertainment Licensing. Michael Day reported that Equity was proposing action in the form of a protest at Parliament on the issue of licensing of entertainment. In late 2008 the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee had made various recommendations to the government on amendments to licensing legislation to assist live entertainment. The government had, however, only adopted one of these recommendations, that to do with travelling entertainment such as circus. Other recommendations to allow small venues and events to be exempt from licensing had been rejected. The planned action was provisionally to be on 22nd October 2009 at Parliament Square and Equity, the Musician's Union and UK Music were looking for a big turnout from performers to get the point across. It was hoped that there would be a number of performers in costume and some high profile members. The finalisation of the date would come week commencing 21st September, from then, members would be informed and asked to participate. It was designed to coordinate with a Westminster Hall Debate on licensing happening that day. It would not include the issue of Sex Encounter Establishment Licences and the Policing and Crime Bill.
5. Miss Pole Dance and other events and recruitment and retention of new members. The Miss Pole Dance (MPD) event would be happening on 25th October 2009 at the Scala, Kings Cross. Equity would like to have a stand again and would also ask about possible sponsorship in some way. A brochure had already been produced so it would be too late to advertise in that. There was an entrance fee for the competition and an additional fee for feedback from the judges.
PoleDivas would be the on 22nd November 2009 in Manchester. As well as the main event on Sunday there would be other smaller events on the Friday and Saturday. Dana had done this last year and had taken the Equity freestanding banner. Emma would be there this year anyway, as would Dana. Unfortunately Michael Day would be away that weekend but would ask his colleague based in the Manchester Office, particularly about the Friday.
Kate Johnstone said she was looking into judging standards and was doing some research into other sports such as dance and gymnastics to see how it worked within those sports. She hoped to have completed this research by the end of the year. It was universally agreed that the judging of pole dance was inconsistent and some standards would be a good idea.
6. Working party Future work, meetings, further aims and objectives, distribution of workload etc. Some bullet point headings were put forward for discussion as follows:-
Distribution of tasks what needs to be done and who should do it.
UK Pole Dance Day
The main tasks identified were the mail out of meeting notices to the email database. Kate offered to set up a Mailchimp account to which the working group would have password access. Then, the mailing could be taken in turns with appropriate return paths set up. It was agreed that templates for sending out minutes and meeting notices would be set up along with a recruitment one and one for general notices. Equity logos would be needed for the templates. As the templates would be fairly standard there would be no need to individuals on the working group to necessarily check each mailing although the person sending would include their name at the end. The templates would be developed for approval by the next meeting by Emma. A number of suggestions were made on recruitment strategy. These included:- presence at events; brand ambassadors; showcase event; conference; masterclasses; jams; internet forum. Those on the working party already had experience of talking to potential members about Equity and the working party (as ambassadors) but it was thought to be a good idea to have a crib sheet with the principal benefits of membership to use for this. Michael Day would do this. It was suggested having a sticky on an existing forum.
The next two meetings were agreed as Friday 11th December 2009 at 1.00pm then a meeting at the end of January 2010 TBA. This timetable would be necessary to discuss UK Pole Dance Day (May 1st) in detail and plan for it properly. The notice and mailout for the first meeting would take place mid November.
Michael Day would check whether there would be Equity t-shirts / sweatshirts available for working party members when representing Equity at events.
7. Copyright Advice Document. This item was deferred to the next meeting as working party members had not had a chance to look at it in detail.
8. Pole Dance Community. Sam Remmer was not in attendance but had emailed Genevieve and Dana to say that she had developed a code of conduct for schools and wanted feedback and ideas which members could directly email to her.
9. Date of Next Meeting: Friday 11th December 2009 at 1.00pm at Equity, Guild House, London WC2H 9EG.
If you are a pole dancer interested in getting involved with Equity - you can benefit from great performance insurance, advice on contracts, copyright, legal support and much much more! For further information contact Michael Day email@example.com or join the Equity Pole Dancers Working Party Facebook Group for regular updates!
Spin City Pole Fitness were very proud to celebrate our first birthday! To commemorate this fantastic occasion, we held our 1st Birthday Bash at The Redgrave Theatre in Bristol on Saturday the 26th of September.
48 students and instructors; many of whom had never previously performed, took to the stage and stunned the 400 strong crowd with individually choreographed pole dancing routines comprising of a breathtaking array of tricks and spins. The individual and paired routines were complimented by the Spin City Dance Troupe, who performed a tribute to Michael Jackson and a Street Dance piece, choreographed by Spin City Choreographer, George Johnson.
The evening’s performances were energetic and dazzling, introducing many of those into the audience to the sport of Pole Fitness. It was a really great night and everyone performed exceptionally well! All the girls were extremely nervous, it takes a lot of courage to get up there and perform – especially in a real theatre! I am so proud of what they have all achieved this year!
We set up Spin City in 2008 with the aim of encouraging as many women back into exercise as possible and to expand pole fitness as a sport. We hope that through events such as the 1st Birthday Bash we can shed some of the taboos of pole dancing and show its true artistic and gymnastic nature. Gyms can often prove an intimidating environment to women, as can sports clubs - especially if you have been out of exercise for a while. We wanted to create an exercise class that provided great fitness benefits in a social, fun and friendly environment. A class that was open to all ages, sizes, abilities and fitness levels. Pole fitness was the perfect answer!
Spin City Pole Fitness are going from strength to strength in Bristol and have just moved into a new premises ‘The Workshop’ in Clifton. With two bespoke pole dancing studios, 16 x-poles, and a committed team of Instructors and Dancers, Spin City hope to be able to take on a whole new cohort of students this year with the next showcase ‘The Spin City Graduation Show’ scheduled for March 2010.
The PDC team would like to congratluate Kate and the team at Spin City for putting on a marvellous event that brilliantly represented modern fitness pole dancing.
Pagan’s Pole was established in 2008 and offers pole dance instruction across Anglesey, Bangor and the surrounding North Wales area. Tracy Huckfield is the principal instructor and the school’s name originates from her stage/dancing name ‘Pagan’.
When Pagan’s Pole first introduced itself to the local community much opposition was met due to a very stereotypical image of pole dancing and its sexual connotations. As a qualified Aerobics and Pump FX instructor Tracy has spent much time and effort encouraging the local community to see pole dancing in a whole new light, as the amazing form of exercise it truly is. The local newspapers were very supportive of this new exercise regime to hit the community and Pagan’s Pole was featured in a very positive light, with one reporter stating it had been the best physical work-out she had experienced in a long time. Tracy and her student’s were also privileged to appear on S4C’s Newyddion, the local welsh news, where they encouraged the local community to try this new form of exercise and also discussed the petition to get pole dancing recognised as a sport in the Olympic Games.
Picture above of Pagan demonstrating 'The Brass Monkey' an inverted knee hold.
Pagan’s Pole is now established in the community and encourages ladies and gents of all shapes, age ranges and sizes to give pole dancing a go, whether it is because they want to lose weight, tone up, build upper body strength, or just to have a whole lot of fun!!
Picture above of Tracey from Pagan's Pole teaching Intermediate student Nadine on 50mm titanium X-Pole.
As a very small school Pagan’s Pole specialises in small groups and private tuition. Each lesson is tailored 100% to the ability of that particular student as no 2 persons are the same and fitness and strength ability can vary massively from student to student. Special offers are available at different times throughout the year, so prices are never set in stone. Each student also receives a Pagan’s Pole loyalty card and is rewarded regularly for the hard work they put into each lesson?
Picture above of Pagan performing the Ayesha, an elbow hold handstand variation on a 50mm static X-pole.
One of the important aims of Pagan’s Pole is ensure that all students are having fun!! Therefore Pole Jams are a regular occurrence, where students of all levels are encouraged to meet and have a good pole bashing time! Event trips are also organised where possible so students get to see live performances and are encouraged to take part. The most recent of which was a trip to the United Kingdom Amateur Pole Perfromer (U.K.A.P.P) heats where a fab time was had by all the students who attended. Tracy is currently trying to make similar arrangements for her students to attend Pole Divas in November? Along with trips with her students Tracy also tries to get to as many competitions and shows as she possibly can, ensuring that her pole dancing knowledge remains current and up to date, and her repertoire of pole moves and transitions is constantly growing! In addition to this Tracy will also be representing Wales in this years British Isle Pole Dancing championships…eek so nervous!!
If you would like any further info on Pagan’s Pole please check out our website or look us up on Facebook by searching for Pagan's Pole. We’re all a sociable bunch and would love to hear from you?
Candy & Chrome pole dance studios offer pole dancing lessons in Chester, Frodsham and Queensferry, with more venues across North Wales (Covering Flintshire and Denbighshire) and Cheshire to come. We believe that pole dance is for everybody, not just the fit, the brave, the glamour models. So we have devised classes that will suit everybody. We specialise in teaching small groups, we make sure you get plenty of pole time as well as lots of personal pole tuition from your instructor.
At Candy & Chrome we only teach pole dance, we are not yoga instructors gone wild, we don’t offer every new fitness fad under the sun, we just teach pole dance fitness exclusively, making us knowledgeable experts in our chosen field and professionals of what we do – True explorers of ‘The Art of Pole’. We have only one thing missing…….. YOU! So strap on the big heels and come for a spin with us!
picture above -Tiny performing 'The Brass Monkey' on a 50mm chrome x-pole.
Our services include:
Pole Parties - We cater for parties at any of our studios, or your own venue such as the local pub! or the conference room at work, or even in your own home! These parties are GREAT for Hen do’s, Birthday celebrations, Corporate day experiences or any other excuse you can find to have a good old swing on the pole!
Pole Dance Taster Sessions - We call this a ‘Teaser Class’. It’s just a one-off lesson and would suit anyone who is just curious and not quite ready to commit to a full course. It will give you a good idea about what is involved and what pole dancing is all about!
Pole Dance Courses - We have 3 levels of courses. The Bronze level would suit beginners, looking to tone up with an exercise regime that’s actually FUN and less tedious. It’s 6 weeks long and runs as one lesson a week, one hour at a time. The Silver Level Course is more suitable for Intermediate level students as more strength and pole confidence is required. A good portion of these lessons will be working on upside down tricks! and how to get into them. Finally, the Gold level is the most hardcore! This course is for the more advanced students who are more serious about studying ‘The Art of Pole’. The moves become increasingly difficult and require a more seasoned pole dancer to achieve them. This course pushes your flexibility levels, strength, balance, co-ordination, cardio-fitness and pole ability to help you become the kind of pole dancer you want to be.
Personal Pole Tuition in the Pole Suite - Candy & Chrome are able to offer One2One, Two2One, or even Three2One personal tuition. If you don’t feel brave enough to learn in a full group, you can learn at our new, purposely customised pole suite (situated just outside of Chester, on the North Wales border) and learn in private, or with up to 2 mates. We are able to offer this class during the day, so it would suit anyone who works shift patterns or has other commitments in the evenings or weekends.
Gift Vouchers - Pole dance lesson gift vouchers make a really unique, one-off gift for a special lady! Candy & Chrome now offer gift vouchers for a course of lessons, a one-off Teaser class, or as a special pampering treat with a little extra – get her the ‘Spa & Spin’ voucher!
Drop-In’s - These classes are just for existing students only, as practice time so you may build on what you have learned. Like we said, pole dancing is for EVERYBODY…but once you have learned the basic technique on a course, then it’s time to really have some fun with it and make it your own! Put your own twist on things by adding a bit of spice, your own personal flair and ‘Freestyle’ away!
picture above - Tiny performing 'The Eros' on a 50mm x-pole.
HOW TO BOOK - For all courses, you do not need to pay the whole lot upfront in advance, but a small deposit in advance IS required. This is because Candy & Chrome specialise in teaching small groups only, usually no more than 8 people at once so PLACES ARE LIMITED, and they fill up FAST! So it’s first paid, first served. Please visit the website to pay using the PayPal system. For parties and personal tuition, this must organised with us in advance, please contact us to do this. No booking for Drop-In’s are necessary.
SPECIAL OFFERS - We like to do special offers whenever we can so whenever you choose to pay in full in advance you will be eligible for a discount, but please remember, you cannot use multiple offers – only one at a time!
BRING A FRIEND! And receive £10 off EACH. On this offer you ARE allowed more than 1 friend, so if you bring 3 to join a course with you, that’s £30 off for you, and £10 off each for your friends. This offer is only available on Bronze Courses, and can’t be used in conjunction with other discounts.
For limited time only offers, join our Face Book group, that way you can get notification whenever we offer one, and so you can meet and chat with other Candy & Chrome pole nutters online.
Jolene and Lisa from Purity have been rounding up some fantastic pole dancers to perform at the Purity Showcase in Twickenham on Saturday 31st October. Full list of performers to follow.
picture of Jolene from Purity pole courtesy of Jason Parlour photography.
There will be performances from the Purity Teachers, and Amateur and Professional pole friends of Purity. The optional theme is Halloween for both the performers and spectators. So feel free to be spooky! Tickets are only available in advance, none will be available on the door. If you add your name to the list you will be notified when tickets are available.
Standing = £9 / Seated = £12
Time: 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Location: The Patch, 67 London Road, Twickenham, United Kingdom
Jolene & Lisa x x
For those of you who don’t know who Felix is, here’s a little bit of history about this AMAZING woman, taken from her website.
Titles Felix has won:
1. Miss Pole Dance World 2009
2. Best Female Stripper 2008 – Australian Adult Industry Awards
3. Miss Pole Dance Australia 2008
4. Miss Nude Australia National Final 2008 – Pole Dance Champion
5. Miss Nude Australia WA Final 2008 – Entertainer of the Year & Hottest Body
6. STAR Awards – Best Female Performer 2007
7. Miss Hustler Centrefold Oceania 2007 – 1st Place
8. Miss Pole Dance Australia 2006
Before discovering her passion for pole dancing, Felix was schooled extensively as a dancer firstly in Perth, from the age of 11 until the age of 15, when she moved to London where she continued to study many forms of dance, but predominantly contemporary and classical. Felix has experience performing with professional contemporary and classical dance companies, working in many different venues including theatres in and around London. Whilst in London she also worked in television and film.
In January 2006, Felix started pole dancing lessons in Perth, WA. In September of that year she won the WA heat of Miss Pole Dance Australia 2006, later that year, she then went on to compete in the National Championships competition in Sydney. After pole dancing for only 8 months, Felix Cane won the title of Miss Pole Dance Australia 2006. The rules of Miss Pole Dance Australia state that the winner of the competition cannot enter the following year, so in 2007 Felix was selected as one of the judges to adjudicate the Miss Pole Dance Australia 2007 competition. During that time, she trained very hard in preparation for the 2008 competition when she would again be allowed to compete. All her training, blood, sweat and tears paid off as Felix again claimed the title of Miss Pole Dance Australia 2008.
Earlier this year (2009), Felix went on to win the EPIC title of Miss Pole Dance World, which was held in Jamaica. Her competitors Jenyne Butterfly of USA was awarded second place, and Britain’s Alesia Vazmitzel claimed third place.
Felix is currently residing in Las Vegas where she performs with the world famous Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity show, as well as working exclusively for the performance agency Perth Stripper in Australia. Recently, Felix has toured the UK, offering pole dance Master Classes to a very lucky select few, and would you know it – Candy & Chrome are among these privilaged few! Felix very kindly took some time out to allow me (Tiny) to ask her some questions about herself, pole, and those IMPOSSIBLE moves she does!
Tiny: Hi Felix, as you know I love your dancing and you’re a big influence on all of my students and so we have put together some questions that we would like to ask you, most of which are pretty straight forward but we would like to ask one naughty question first. It’s rude to ask, but we are dying to know……..How old is Felix?
Felix: Felix is 24 (the girls shreik with disbelief). People think I’m younger though, some guess my age at even 17 or something!
Tiny: Great! I feel like such a hag! Oh well, at least that’s the naughty question done with! So, we read on your website that you have done some work in the media and we wanted to know what T.V and Film work have your done?
Felix: Oh it’s very boring stuff from a very long time ago, I’m mostly in the background – I don’t think you ever see my face, I’m just doing backing dancing or something so nothing very exciting at all. (Deb chips in and says that we wanted her to say she’s been in Neighbour’s or something!)
Tiny: So what made you want to learn pole dance and how did you start out?
Felix: Well I have been dancing since I was 4 and always loved dance, but I stopped all that when I was about 18 as I really didn’t enjoy working as a dancer. So I got a bit lost and went to Uni and was all ‘what am I doing with my life?’ So then in 2001 my Mum came to visit me in Australia and SHE tried a pole dancing class with my sister, and they came back raving about how much fun it was and how I would love it!
I thought – Ohmygod, I can’t believe my Mum is officially upstaging me! So I literally tried it to compete with my Mum because she just cannot be COOLER than me! Or more open minded. I just fell in love with it after that, I went on just a beginner’s course and I wanted to be there all of the time, I started at Bobbi’s Pole Studio too and I just fell in love with the whole thing!
Tiny:Wow, ok and then after that you won your first title after only such a short time from when you first started to learn poel dance. How often were you training on the pole before the 2006 competition?
Felix: Well, after I went on that beginner’s class I then went to every single class that I could, like 5 times a week so at the beginning with practises too – maybe 6 or 7 times a week, then before the competition I trained about an hour a day just on my routine, but then I was teaching for 2 hours after that too.
Tiny: So you were teaching classes at that point?
Felix: Yes, I started teaching classes 2 months after I had started to learn (girls gasp and go ‘meeeep’), Yeah, but I was pretty good!
Tiny: And so what was your training regime like for the 2008 competition?
Felix: Same sort of thing again really, an hour a day training for myself, then 2 hours teaching so it was a lot, I trained very hard leading up to the competition BUT then 3 weeks before the competition it would slowly taper down, then 3 days before the competition I trained very lightly, the day before the comp I won’t touch the pole because if you train for at least 2 months before a competition your boday and your brain will know what to do when you’re on there, but if you tire it out, it won’t work out so well.
Tiny:Cool, that’s really handy to know! So studying dance and perfoming arts, what would you say makes a winning performance?
Felix: I think preparation, creativity, athletisism, good execution of moves and a performance that’s enjoyable to watch – you gotta see someone really enjoying themselves and performing from the heart.
Tiny: As soon as you are on the pole, you are instantly recognisable, this is unique to you but do you have any tips you can share with us to help us improve the quality of our pole work overall?
Felix: I would say always train with a mirror, video record yourself – that’s probably the best way to understand how your body works and how it looks.
Tiny: So who is YOUR pole inspiration?
Felix: I like watching a lot of power moves that people do like Pantera does, coz I don’t really do that stuff, I’m more about flexibility and fluidity that’s more me, so to see people do things that I can’t do or don’t do – that’s what I like to watch. But also everyone I meet inspires me, like a beginner could walk into class and do just a little thing with their head that inspires me, it’s not one particular person it’s everybody.
Tiny: So let’s talk about your moves, there’s one that you do called the Stag I think (that’s what we call it)…
Felix: Ah I call it the Eagle coz it’s kinda like I’m flying!
Tiny: That one! well I just wondered, are you the first person to perform that move on the pole? I have seen it in ice skating and such but I can’t remember anyone doing it on the pole before you that I’ve seen.
Felix: I’ve learnt it as the fish hook, but you didn’t catch the back leg and take it above your head, I kind of push it to the extremes of flexibility, so I think it has been done but I have just jacked my leg up even higher. (Debs says ‘I’ve seen it on the pole, but it’s not the same as how you do it’).
Tiny:So what about the Spatchcock (see picture below) – it THAT yours? Did you invent that one would you say?
Felix: I’ve never seen anybody do it before, I don’t KNOW if I’m the first person to do it, but I’ve not seen anyone do it before.
Tiny: I think probably not! I’d love to see both of those today before I go, this is what I’m dying to see in the flesh!
Felix:I can’t do the Spatchcock today coz I’ve injured my back a bit but I can definitely do the Stag for you.
Tiny:YAY! Ok, can you maybe also show us some leg stretching exercises for splits training today too because my hamstrings are really tight which limits my splits, but I’m too lazy to commit to internet stretches – if it comes from Felix’s gob I will follow it! That’s good enough for me!
Felix then proceeds to demonstrate some exercises for us to work on, please read the ‘Splits Training – Felix Style!’ article, found in the ‘Pole Bible’ section of the website.
Tiny: Are you now working on any new Felix only impossible moves?
Felix:YES! And it’s so frustrating! It’s funny when you are making up new stuff, the Spatchcock took me 3 years to get right! Getting a new move is so hard, you just grunt and cry, and have outbursts of ‘Shit, Fuck, shit shit fuck’! And you can quote me on that! See if you can get a double shit in there! (Just about EVERYONE giggles).
Tiny: Do you teach pole outside of these master classes? I mean, do you think you will have a school of your own one day?
Felix:Probably not in Las Vegas I think, I am enjoying what I’m doing right now but I won’t do it permenantly, but I do wanna start a school one day, but probably not in the next 5 years.
Tiny: Yeah – right now you’re running away with the circus?!
Felix: Right?! Did you see the video on the Tonight Show?
Tiny:YES! I was DEVVO’D when they took it off Youtube (because of the copywright)!!! Now…..what do you think the future holds for Felix?
Felix:Ooooohhh…..erm….Diamonds! Diamonds and a puppy! (Nudge to Chris!! wiiink…..nuuuudge).
Tiny: What dog do you want?
Felix: One of the Chinese bald ones! (giggles)
Deb: Oh Jamie from Defy Gravity, has those!
Tiny: Really? I always imagined her having big fluffy dogs!
Deb: Oh I have one of them! Dylan!
Felix: I dunno, probably I will be performing a lot over the next 5 or 6 years, then when my body falls apart a bit I’ll open my own studio then, hopefully something like this place (Iosis) it’s beautiful! Liverpool is great too, maybe Felix will move to Liverpool!
Tiny: What do you think will happen with pole dance in general in the future?
Felix: I hope that it will become more widely accepted, I don’t think pole dancing in all the gyms will benefit dancer’s like myself who do it at a professional level, so although I would like it to become more widely accepted, at the same time I hope it doesn’t water down the art.
I think it would be good though for people to start to recognise that there are different levels of pole dance, some consider it sport, some for fitness, some for professional level, pole has a really huge umbrella which covers so many different styles and interests so I hope people become more educated to that, but also THROUGH that I hope it doesn’t get too standardised and turn into something that I don’t like anymore.
Tiny: You’re not on your own there. Well, my last question is will there be a Felix DVD?
Felix: YES! It’s coming!
Tiny: When, how much is it? Where can I buy it? I must have it now!
Felix: I’ll let you all know, I promise, but it’s coming…
Tiny:That’ll do me!
Felix with Candy & Chrome girls; Zoe, Felix, Tiny & Fariba.
For more information about Felix, please visit her site and whilst you’re at it sign up to her regular updates!
Special thanks to Pole Passion for organising the Felix tour. For more information about Pole Passion’s ‘Miss Pole Dance’ competitions, please visit their website.
This article was written by Candy & Chrome for Candy & Chrome’s own use. Unless otherwise agreed, it is therefore NOT permitted for anyone to use this article, or material from this article to make a reproduction. Thanks to Tiny for allowing the pole dance community to share this article.
If you haven't heard of Pantera Blacksmith then where have you been? Pantera shot to pole dancing fame when she released her first instructional pole dancing DVD - PoleTricks 101 (see picture below). I first saw the DVD in 2004 when I had just been introduced to an x-pole and I marveled at the moves demonstrated. Pantera is a regular on the competition and exhibition circuit. Click here for an archive video of Pantera pole dancing in 2005, click here for footage from 2007 or click here for 2009 footage.
Pantera recently won best tricks at the Miss Pole Dance World 2009 Competition in Jamaica and is rumoured to be releasing another instructional pole dancing DVD very soon.....I sincerley hope the rumours are true!
Picture below of Pantera exhibiting at the Miss Pole Dance UK 2008 competition - (move being performed is the Crescent. Pantera is renowned for her originality on the pole and for her extreme strength and flexibility.
Pantera was hoping to visit the UK this year for a tour but unfortunatley we will now have to wait until 2010!
Jolene began pole dancing back in January 2003 when classes were very much few and far between. In fact, she was also the only student in her first classes, not going on to work in the strip clubs, focussing instead on the fun and fitness aspects of using the Pole.
Although Jolene didn’t have a dance background from childhood, she used to run club-nights under the ‘Redtrip’ label, and began initially using her skills on the pole with existing gigs as a Podium Dancer at various nightclubs around London. It wasn’t long before finding that, without the pole, she was restricted with what she could do on stage.
Whilst working a full-time office job, Jolene was also teaching part time for another pole company. However, after around 18 months, she became increasingly despondent with their lack of training, lack of support, high class numbers, and low pay. So in July 2006, she set up her first pole venue in Twickenham (a location that’s still in use by Purity to this day), taking on a second venue just a few months later, and being regularly called to perform at various clubs and events around the UK, and internationally.
Jolene has also competed in, performed in, and judged various pole competitions around the UK throughout the years. Appearing on TV and radio, and being asked to work with various ‘celebrity’ and high profile clients for private training.
On taking on her third venue, Jolene left working for others to work full-time on Pole classes: Establishing a name for herself in being accessible to all levels, and in her skill for breaking down complex moves for her students. PurityPoleDancing.com now regularly has new students coming to Purity who have spent months trying to get a move elsewhere, but through subtle alterations and clear instruction, are able to nail a complex move in just one or two tries.
Something which also sets Jolene’s classes apart is the regularity with which they run: Rather than merely running a series of short courses every couple of months, Jolene restructured her whole training program, and has arranged over 2 years of classes at the intermediate level, with students coming back week after week to progress (in fact, she still has some students from her very first class working with her). She also runs beginner classes, advanced classes, and of course parties for various functions and events. In the near future, you will also see more from what Purity has available to offer.
The Purity classes continue to go from strength to strength, with waiting lists at most of her venues across the South East. Jolene currently three teachers working with her at various locations, and a further three new teachers in training to take on new venues later this year. Her passion is for doing things the best way she knows how, and spending hours per day researching and developing new ways to make her classes as good as they can be.
I was fortunate enough to properly meet Jolene in July 2007 through my early work on the pole, during which time Jolene has helped me progress to become a professional pole dance performer and a member of Equity. I might still be a little biased though, as we’re due to be getting married later this year J
This article was written by pole performer, Jason of PoleMen.com
ETEDance first opened its doors in November of 2005 and was the first pole dancing school in the Chicago area.
Mary Ellyn Weissman, the owner and creator of ETEDance, is married and a mom of 2 grown boys. She began her pole-dancing career after receiving a short lesson on pole dancing while traveling abroad in 2004. Prior to that time her pole dance experience was limited to brief and hesitant attempts in local nightclubs.
She started up her school through self-training with much encouragement from the community and friends after having offered a few parties and private lessons.
Since that time, Mary Ellyn has studied with Katie Coates, Sharon Polsky, and Jenyne Butterfly and has received her Pole Dance Instructor certification as a Master Instructor through Pole Fitness Studios with Fawnia Mondey-Dietrich,
Mary Ellyn has also developed the first pole dance instructor certification course in the Midwest to be approved for CEUs by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.
All instructors at ETEDance are first aid and group fitness instructor certified, as well as have successfully completed the ETED Pole Dance Instructor Certification course.
ETEDance offers group and private pole dancing classes. Our group classes are multi-level, divided into basic/intermediate and advanced/experiences programs.
In the group classes, students progress through 6 levels and are taught choreographed routines with emphasis on form and safety to maximize their learning ability as well as to minimize risk of injury.
At the advanced level, classes are on-going but continue with multi-level instruction adjusting the dance routines to fit individual progress.
Empowerment Through Exotic Dance, Ltd. has two locations:
445 South Halsted Street
Chicago Heights, Illinois, 60411, USA
663 North Lagrange Road
Frankfort, Illinois, 60423, USA