Each year the Gemma Dear Courage Award honours an individual or group who show extreme courage and determination within the pole dancing industry.
The individual or group is nominated by PDC members (aap dancers and instructors) who explain why they think the individual or group deserves the award.
The award can be given to any pole dancer, instructor or group of pole dancers who demonstrate the qualities required to win the The Gemma Dear Courage Award.
The Gemma Dear Courage Award recipient symbolizes professionalism, strength, courage and dedication.
After an extremely busy year for both our online grading assessors, and our in house assessors, selecting our finalists for grading assessor of the year has been extremely hard. We finally reached our decision based on the number of aap memberships sold by each grader, the number of gradings conducted or submitted by each assessor and how proactive they were in promoting the aap membership to their students.
A massive congratulations to our overall grading assessor of the year award 2017 which goes to Mandy Williams from Tempest Dance in Durham, UK.
We would also like to congratulate our youth pole dance grading assessor of the year, Lesley Jackson from Pole Guns in Newcastle, UK. Lesley was just one grading behind Mandy in the overall awards.
When you submit your online grading assessment it will be assessed by one of our fabulous grading assessors. We thought you might like to find out a bit more about each of the assessors and to see the wealth of pole experience they share. Wherever you are based you can have your pole skills assessed by some of the world's top pole dance judges. Your assessment is in good hands :)
PDC Pioneer Mary-Ellyn Weissmann:
With no prior dance experience of any type, Mary Ellyn Weissman started pole dancing in 2002 at the age of 42. She opened Empowerment Through Exotic Dance, Ltd in July of 2005 in the south suburbs of Chicago. She has trained at various locations internationally after starting out as primarily a self-taught pole dancer and has completed several pole dance teacher training programs and also holds several athletic and pole-based certifications.
In 2009 she hosted the first international pole camp, Dance Wicked For A Week, in Jamaica, which now is the venue for the Erotic Pole Dance World Championships and she has been hosting the North American Pole Dance Championships in Chicago since 2011.
Lisa Henderson is joint owner at Studio 11 Pole Fitness in Bristol, UK. Lisa is a passionate poler who been a great ambassador for the pole dance community as well as raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity via various pole showcases and events. Lisa commenced her pole instuctor journey in 2007.
PDC Approved 3 star pole dancing instructor Vania Vitillo gave the following reference to support Lisa's 4 star application - "Lisa is such a passionate, positive ambassador of pole dance and pole fitness. In the time I have known her she embodies such a caring and supportive attitude always looking at helping her students achieve their fitness and pole goals and also being a superb role model in her way of helping students to be body positive about themselves through encouragement and inspiration. Lisa is a consummate professional having owned her own businesses before she has a wealth of experience and has been part of the pole industry for fifteen years, twelve years teaching. On a personal note she really helped me regain my pole passion and after a long illness last year and beginning of this, was always there for me, offering her support and reassurance.
Welcome to the winner of our PDC inspiration competition 2017, Angela Fowler. We invited polers from across the globe to submit their pole stories and to share their passion for pole with us. Our winner was selected by our fabulous online grading assessors who loved Angela's story. Let's find out more about Angela and her pole journey.
My pole story started 3 years ago in 2014. Then in my early 40's I found myself divorced and a single mum. My ex husband had left me for another woman and I had no confidence. A friend convinced me to go to a pole dance studio, at first I was a bit...no I'm to old, no I'm not fit enough....but I went. From that first lesson I was hooked, it gave me confidence and fitness but most of all pole friends in all sizes and ages.
On Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September, Stages Pole Fitness (SPF) opened its doors for its third annual showcase and awards evening.
Stages Pole Fitness was founded by PDC Approved 3 star pole dancing instructor Alex Copley in 2013 – on 23rd September – so this year’s annual event was also a celebration of the school’s exact four-year anniversary. SPF has seen some big changes this year, taking on four extra instructors: Claire, Emma, Ashleigh & Deniz – all of whom have been a huge help, co-teaching the ever-expanding classes and assisting Alex with SPF’s extra-curricular events, such as professional photoshoots, seasonal fancy dress fun sessions and socials.
Following 2016’s successful two-night show, SPF decided once again to run its showcase for two nights, and invited over 140 guests to watch.
This marvellous book was written by PDC Approved 4 star pole dancing instructor Kate Edwards. This is your chance to share Kate's substantial knowledge of both pole and aerial skills combined with her experience of pregnancy. This book is a must have for all aerial instructors and aerial artists who are going through pregnancy or merely thinking about how pregnancy might affect them.
Studio 11 will be opening a new fitness studio from the 1 September 2017 in Temple Court, Keynsham, Bristol.
Local ladies Vania Vitillo and Lisa Henderson, who met through their love of teaching pole fitness classes across the South West, are to open the doors to a new studio in Keynsham.
With years of pole experience behind them, Lisa was the founder and owner of Pole-da-Cise Dance Studios in Wiltshire, before she moved near to Keynsham 18 months ago and Vania has years of teaching experience in Bath and is also a passionate aerialist and trained instructor in aerial silks and trapeze. Both are PDC (Pole Dance Community) Approved 3 star pole dancing instructors.
Welcome to one of our latest PDC pole dancing instructors Charles Philpot. Charles started poling in 2016 and has recently qualified with PDC approved course provider Spin City. Charles has also carried our a successful level 4 PDC grading. We spoke to Charles to find out more about him and what he loves about pole.....
My name is Charles and I have been Pole Dancing since October 2015 at A Pole New Adventure in Sheffield. I have a background in Athletics (6 years) and Kayaking/Canoeing (9 years), and only started Pole when a friend of mine was determined that I give it a go.
Angie Voluti is the principal instructor at the White Studio based in Bedford. The White Studio launched in May 2017 and is the first and only European business to manufacture bespoke flexibility yoga wheels in natural, sustainable materials and to the user’s specification. Angie chose Bedford as the city to hold its flexibility, dance and pole fitness courses.
“I started producing the only UK-made wood and cork flexibility yoga wheels last year, and it became immediately apparent that there were no classes focused on the use of such a tool,” says The White Studio Principal Instructor Angie Voluti. “I decided to create a course to teach students, who wish to increase their flexibility and improve their fitness, how the flexibility wheel can help.”
Theme for 2017 - Pole Love.
For 2017 we want you to take a moment to thank the people in the pole world who have helped make your pole dreams come true. You might want to tag your favourite poler to thank them for inspiring you, you could tag your pole instructor to tell them how much you appreciate them.
Perhaps you want to tag your pole buddy who makes your pole lessons amazing.