PDC Approved 4 star pole dancing instructor Lesley Jackson held the UK's first ever youth grading at her studio in Newcastle. The day saw Daisy who has just turned 8 years old, Nidun who is 11, Tyler who is 9, Jess who is 9 and Tyla Faye who is also 9 all complete successful gradings at Level 1 of the Pole Dance Community Core Moves Syllabus.
Lesley Jackson tells us more about the youth grading success and what the gradings mean to her students:
When some people think of pole dancing they conjure up a specific body image but PDC Approved 3 star pole dancing instructor Gina Mellor wanted to offer classes to a wider audience. Gina started her 'curvies classes' for women of size 16+.
We spoke to Gina to find out what made her set up the classes and what her members gain from the curvy class.
"In every single group lesson held at Pole Krazee there'll be at least one curvy, (for a curvy lesson you have to be size 16+) I don't give the options to help create a body issue problem I give it because I believe it's more a mental factor, after all pole is also about building confidence up as well as strength and technique. If your/our mind is weak it can take its toll on our bodies. As a pole school owner or instructor that advertises for lessons open to anyone you'll know that you'll never be sure of who will walk through those doors based on age, size, race, height so many factors. The only thing you do know is you for that one hour all have one thing in common, pole.
Pole changed my life. I first began pole dancing at home in 2013, learning a little from on-line instruction. I thought that my age (I’m now 45) and my ability (unfit and inflexible) meant that at home is where I would stay.
I had tried previous ways of getting fit such as buying a gym membership which just made me feel guilty for a whole year for not going until it expired and I could breathe a sigh of relief. I then tried running, couch to 5k seemed ideal for me but I never really made it off the couch.
Sandra is the principal instructor or Studio Aria Arte in Halle (Saale), Germany. In addition to teaching Sandra has a massive influence on the German pole dance scene through her publication Pole Art Magazine. Pole Art Magazine not only promotes pole dancing in Germany but it also explores the worldwide pole dancing scene and is a focal point for students and instructor alike. The magazine promotes workshops and competitons as well as featuring pole instructors.
My name is Kirstie Tancock I'm 26 and I have lived with cystic fibrosis every day of my life.... Living with Cf has meant that I have had to have two double lung transplants, faced chronic rejection of my first transplant and now I'm battling chronic rejection of my second transplant. I currently fighting to stabilise although treatment options seem to have run out. There is no third transplant when these lungs fail but I continue to fight for my life and continue to dance and teach pole.
Can you explain a little bit about cystic fibrosis and how it affects you?
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition it affects all the main organs especially the lungs. For me I needed a double lung transplant at 21 after years of chest infections ruining my lungs. Unfortunately a transplant isn't a cure and I went in to chronic rejection less then 2 years post my first transplant. I was lucky enough to receive rare 2nd transplant. I'm one of only 6 people in the uk to have received a second transplant.
This article has been written by PDC Approved 4 star pole dancing instructor Emily Smith. Emily is the principal instructor at Emily's Pole Fitness in Swindon, UK. Emily has extensive competition and showcase experience. Check out Emily's impressive list of performances:
International Pole & Aerial Arts Tournament 2016 - Runner-Up in Doubles Hoop with Leah Hewlett
International Pole & Aerial Arts Tournament 2016 - Advanced Aerial Hoop Finalist
International Pole & Aerial Arts Tournament 2015 – Runner-Up in Doubles Hoop with Leah Hewlett
International Pole & Aerial Arts Tournament 2015 – Expert Pole Finalist - Expert Pole Most Spins Award - Expert Pole Best Costume Award
UK Professional Pole Championships 2014 – Professional Competitor (online heat)
Pole Theatre UK 2014 – Professional Competitor (online heat)
Polenastics Online UK Aerial Championships 2014 – Runner-Up in Doubles Hoop with Leah Hewlett
UK Professional Pole Championships 2013 – Professional Finalist
Do I need to submit a list of my 10 moves for my grading?
Yes, assessors can't always guess which move you are trying to do so either e-mail your list of 10 moves when you submit your grading, write them down for your instructor or overlay some text to your grading video to make it clear which moves you are executing.
Can I submit my grading on a sleeved/Chinese Pole?
No, we do ask that all PDC gradings are performed on a metal pole as the sleeved poles give too much grip advantage.
Can I submit my grading on a spinning pole or must I use static?
If you are doing any spins in your isolated moves section of the grading then these must be performed on a static pole so an assessor can judge your ability to create momentum. If you are just executing tricks then these can be performed on a spinning pole. For your routine you can choose either static or spinning functions for your pole.
Holly Munson is the principal instructor at Firefly Poles in Norwich, UK. Holly received her 2 references for her 4 star instructor application from PDC Approved Instructors Jane Cole (Pole Perfect Fitness) and Robyn Edwards (Unique Fitness).
Jane said "I wish to highly recommend Holly Munson of FireFly Poles to be a 4* PDC Instructor. I have met Holly a few times at Masterclasses hosted at my studios, Industry Conferences and more recently an Image Cella photoshoot again at my studios; where I have been impressed by her skills, attitude and work ethic. A truly lovely person inside and out Holly is an inspirational asset to the Pole Community. Committed to making the industry a safer and more educated environment I love her short videos and striving for better mindset."
Pole dancing instructor Mary-Ellyn Weissman is one of three people to achieve this award for outstanding contribution to the pole dance grading system (AAP). The other 2 awards went to Karen Currie and Jane Cole.
Mary-Ellyn Weissman is the principal instructor and founder of Chicago Pole Dance based in Illinois, Chicago. Mary-Ellyn has been the main online grading assessor for the Pole Dance Community since we introduced the new syllabus in 2009 and the accompanying AAP Pole Dancers membership system.
Pole Instructor Alex Copley is the principal instructor at Stages Pole Fitness in Romford, Essex, UK. Alex was our third successful applicant in our search for three new online pole dance grading assessors. Alex made the final three after submitting an excellent explanation of why she would make a great assessor and after submitting 2 test gradings with brilliant notes and showing good examples of standardized gradings. We spoke to Alex to find out more about her and her passion for pole.
What do you feel the PDC pole dance gradings give to your students/school?
I feel it gives them something to work towards and a real achievement that others can recognise and appreciate, including their family and friends who might not know much about pole.
PDC Approved 4 star pole dancing instructor Ally Franklin is the principal instructor at Polelatis in Bridport, UK.
Ally successfully graded 6 of her pole dance students at level 3 and 1 at level 4 using the advancement and accreditation programme. All of the students not only passed but achieved merit and distinction scores.
Congratulations to Ally for guiding her pole students through the grading process.
Babette Savage pictured left.