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
LoveSpin was set up in August 2007 by Polly Harris after she couldn’t get any advanced lessons close by. It was started in her spare bedroom and has gone from strength to strength. In March the following year Leah Campbell, Polly’s childhood friend, joined the company. Both shared a passion for pole dancing and an ambition to make it recognised and respected the same as any other dance genre.
Since the early days Polly and Leah have gained their Exercise to Music, Vertical Dance Instructor qualification and first aid certification, with this LoveSpin have taught in gyms throughout North Wales and Chester. In March 2009, after a lot of hard work and dedication the LoveSpin Pole Dance Studio was opened. This was a culmination of both girls’ aspirations and determination to create a place where everyday, normal people can learn to pole dance in a friendly, yet professional atmosphere. The LoveSpin studio has 7 fixed x-poles, a full wall of mirrors and the use of crash mats, towels, wet wipes and chalk.
Since moving into the studio LoveSpin has taken on their first employee, and taken part in Pole Unity 2009. The North Wales school is yet to reach its peak, and both Polly and Leah show no sign of slowing down. LoveSpin still has plans to expand and are more determined than ever. Watch this space….
Please visit our brand new website:
For those of you who don't know me my name is Sam Remmer and I have been pole dancing since March 2004. I also run my own pole school called The Art of Dance where I employee 6 other pole dancing instructors and 2 Burlesque instructors. Having been involved in the pole dancing industry for over 5 years I have seen many changes and have been pleasantly surprised at how popular pole dancing has become. However, that popularity seems to have come with a price: As the number of pole schools has been increasing, I have become aware that not all of them seem to be passionate about pole dancing and many seem interested purely in cashing in on a growing trend.
My first real concern arose when I found out about a local university that was teaching classes with 8 people per pole! The instructor did have a massive amount of knowledge physiology and anatomy - but had no real knowledge of pole dancing. I met up with some of her students and found them inverting in a very dangerous fashion and with 8 per pole they are rarely supervised. My next concern came about when I heard that someone was teaching pole dancing from their bedroom. They were charging £10 per hour and apparently there was barely enough room to swing a cat. One student explained to me that on her first lesson she paid £10 and then spent the first 10 minutes watching a YouTube video before being told she could then go into another room containing a pole and practice what she had just watched. The student was then left on her own, unsupervised for most of the remainder of the hour.
In 2006 I entered my first national pole dancing competition - Miss Pole Dance UK - where I qualified for the finals. Entering such a competition gave me the opportunity to meet up with other dancers from across the UK so we could chat and share ideas. In 2007 and 2008 I again entered the Miss Pole Dance UK competitions and Pole Divas championships and qualified for the finals, on each occasion meeting more respected dancers and establishing close friendships too.
In 2007 I attended the International Pole Federation (IPF) meeting which was an attempt to form a governing body. I was selected to be on the board but unfortunately the IPF never got established. Despite the failure of the IPF, those who attended the meetings continued to fight for what they believed in and we were determined to push things forward Subsequent attempts have been made but it has proved difficult to unify the pole dance industry.
My concern was that no one actually wanted a governing body that would dictate how they should teach or what qualifications they should have - yet everyone was agreed that they wanted better standards. Achieving this was not going to be easy and as with any industry, divisions were already occurring.
My idea was to establish an advisory body rather than a governing body. That way individuals could have some freedom to make their own decisions. The Pole Dance Community idea was not only to set standards and give advice but to be a portal and networking area so that anyone could use the site for free advice, promotion or fun. I also wanted to use my existing contacts within the industry to make democratic choices about how the site is run and what the codes of conduct contain otherwise it would just me me dictating to the rest of the industry and that was unlikely to succeed.
It is as a result of these (my history and my passion for pole dancing) that I started to work with people such as Genevieve Moody from The Flying Studio and Dana Mayer from Rock n Roll Pole who are responsible for setting set up the Equity Pole Dancers Working Party. The Equity group has been a brilliant opportunity for pole people from across the UK to meet up and share ideas and set actions into place. The Equity group were responsible for the first official UK Pole Dance Day which happened on 1st May 2009.
Working with the Equity group further highlighted the need for an advisory body as well as allowing us to share ideas and discuss how we could make the pole dancing industry better for those who are passionate about it.
So in May 2009 the Pole Dance Community (PDC) site was launched. It will continue to be a work in progress and will continue to rely on the support of it's members and the input of groups such as the Equity working group.
My hopes for the future are that the PDC site will continue to grow and gain support and will prove increasingly valuable to those involved in modern pole dancing. I also hope that through sites like the PDC and through the hard work of many pole dancers across the globe we will help to educate the public about our art so that pole dancing can be recognised for the amazing gymnastic dance form it really is.
Sam Remmer x
The Pole Dance Community (PDC) is an advisory body for the UK and international pole dancing industry. We offer advice to pole dance schools and individuals who choose to pole dance for fitness and recreation. Pole dancing is a modern day phenomenon undertaken by both men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes.
The Pole Dance Community consists of a group of independent pole dance schools, pole dancing instructors, pole dance competition promoters and pole dancing photographers who democratically follow a code of conduct and who work together to provide best practice.
The Pole Dance Community site is administered by Sid and Sam Remmer.
The Pole Dance Community (PDC) provides a series of codes of conduct promoting good practice within the pole dancing industry.
Compliance with these codes allows industry professionals to proudly display the PDC Approved logo.
No the PDC is not a governing body, it is an advisory body. The PDC aims to set standards within the industry and to encourage a safe working environment for all pole dancers. Check out our Code of Conduct for full details.
Yes, anyone who has an interest in pole dancing can join the site as an interested individual. The PDC will remove any members who do not follow the PDC Code of Conduct or who upload inappropriate content.
If you are a school / teacher then the PDC can provide help and support as well as guiding you towards cheaper insurances, free promotion and marketing, acces to the Advancment and Accreditation Programme, free on-line syllabus, the latest news and updates and so much more.
If you are a promoter then the PDC can promote your event on the newsflash sections of the site and can link directly to your website.
If you are a student then you can get advice on choosing a school, and you can report any bad experiences you have had as a student. You can check out the fabulous PDC approved videos rather than spending hours trawling through YouTube. You can also view our free on-line pole dancing syllabus and use our Pole Dance Shop to buy tried and tested pole dancing products.
To become a PDC approved school you simply click the 'Register Your School' link and follow the onscreen instructions. You may apply online or by post. There is a one-off £10 application fee which covers the PDC's time taken to review your application. Please note that this is a non-refundable fee, regardless of the outcome of your application.
Once your application has been approved, you will be able to use the PDC logos and will have access to the Approved Schools only forum. You will also qualify for the PDC instructors insurance. As an Approved school, you may integrate the AAP syllabus and conduct gradings if you wish.
The PDC shop only features products that are tried and tested by established pole dancers. All PDC products are genuine so you will not find fake x-poles or fake consumables.
Yes, we can ship to almost any destination, just e-mail us to let us know what items you are interested in, we give you a free quote and then if you want to proceed with an order we can send you a payment request. On receipt of payment we can ship your items straight out to you.
Yes, anyone can register. The site was originally set up for the UK market only but we soon realised that the site was of interest to the international market.
Yes, as long as you are abiding by the PDC code of conduct for approved dance schools then you can register with the PDC, we have already approved schools in the United States and Singapore as they have demonstrated compliance with our codes.