My name is Helen Eastwood. From an early age my passion to be a dancer was very strong. I started dance classes at 11 years old and had to work very hard to achieve my Grades, I wasn’t a natural mover nor was I flexible like my fellow class friends.
Eventually the hard work and dedication paid off. By the time I was 18 years old my journey as a professional dancer started. I performed in many shows in the UK and Spain before coming to Tenerife in 1989.
After finishing several contracts, I decided to take the next step and produce my own Dance Shows making the costumes, choreography, managing the expanding group of dancers, performing and being a mother of 2 small children was all part of my daily life.
I was living my dream.
Charlie Foster, 38, is a PDC Approved pole dance instructor from Nottingham who has been a part of the sport for 3 - 4 years now. Pole dancing makes her feel surprised, strong, proud and sometimes frustrated, however the main reason that we are focusing on this inspiring woman is because it makes her feel empowered,
Jane Cole is the owner of Pole Perfect Fitness. Pole Perfect Fitness has been based in Kings Lynn for a number of years and has a good reputation within the pole community. Jane received the following 2 references to support her 4 star instructor application from fellow PDC Approved Instructors Holly Munson and Stacey Snedden:
Holly said “I wish to recommend Jane Cole of Pole Perfect Fitness to be a PDC Approved (4 Star) Pole Dancing Instructor. Having messaged Jane beforehand, we first met at her studio while she was hosting a day of workshops with Sarah Scott. Jane’s studio is perfect! Her immaculate studio was an amazing venue to be taught in. It is very spacious with plenty of room between poles - we had a max of 2 per pole as well. There was plenty out of the way storage for our belongings. I hope to have a studio like this one day.
Inspiring Pole Dancers - by PDC features writer Sophie Eminson.
Elena Gibson, who has been pole dancing for nearly twenty years now is a very inspiring woman. She began pole dancing every now and then in 1997, when she messed around on some poles in nightclubs where her and her friends went to watch pole dancers perform. She never imagined how big a part of her life it would become.
Andi Ariseanu is the principal instructor at Active Cherry in Eastbourne, UK. Andi ActiveCherry has been doing pole and aerial since 2007. She judged her first competition in 2011 and has since been lucky enough to be invited to judge many more, including being head judge at Miss Pole Dance UK Semi Pro's, Doubles and Amateurs, and on the judges table at IPAAT,(formerly known as EPDC) and the Intercontinental Championships.
In 2015 Andi won the Kent Pole Championships in the professional category.
Andi has a collection of weird and wonderful aerial equipment which she is happy to use for performances including her crescent moon, spiral, aerial pole and prism.
In her latest performance at Pole Con 2015, Annemarie Davies, founder of United Pole Artists surprised her audience by removing her top during her piece. Davies states that the initial reaction was surprise, then the audience continued watching her piece happily with no complaints. The audience had received a warning that there may be nudity during the show, and that if they would prefer not to see this, they should leave. Davies was completely within her rights to reveal her body to her audience.
On Sunday 27th June 2015, Lesley Jackson went along to pole dance at Highfield Fest in a small village in Northumberland Council. The event, which is for children and completely free ran all day from 11.00am – 16.30pm. The entertainment included dance groups, bands, an inflatable phone shaped bouncy castle, crazy golf and the bucking bronco. Lesley was there from 9.30am to set up her equipment and wait nervously for the crowds to arrive. Her equipment was of course 4 free standing R-Poles which she had brought along to the festival for the children to have a go on.
After the recent battle at Swansea University we are seeing many pole clubs and societies feeling neglected, discriminated against and underfunded by their respective student unions. If you have a story about your pole dancing experience at university please contact us. Here is the story of Huddersfield University Pole Dancing Academy told by their PDC Approved 3 star pole dancing instructor SJ Marcussen:
Elizabeth Markham is the manager and principal instructor at Blush Dance Sheffield where she teaches students pole fitness and aerial hoop. Elizabeth has been teaching since I started my business in January 2013.
Elizabeth has an extensive background in dance and fitness having danced since the age of 3, but her love for pole and aerial fitness started in 2012 when she started pole and was given her own franchise from Bex Campey (Owner of Blush Dance). Since then Elizabeth has taught and prepared my students for various competitions, auditions and company showcases. Elizabeth says "This, as I'm sure many of you will agree, makes me very proud!"
Let's find out more about Elizabeth and her pole journey;
As part of our inspiring pole dancers series our features writer Sophie Eminson speaks to PDC Approved 3 star pole dancing instructor Sophie Rebel.
Sophie Rebel, at just 16 years old is currently the youngest Pole Dance Community approved instructor. Starting pole dancing at the young age of 12, Sophie never questioned why it was so exhausting and trained hard without complaint because she loved the sport. As a sporty person, Sophie had been involved with martial arts since she was 5 years old, and had started hip hop just a year earlier than pole dance and so she understood that training meant work, which is something many older pole dancers still do not fully realise.
Taught by her mother, Nadine as her first ever student, Sophie progressed quickly as she shared a special bond with her instructor. Nadine states that "99% of the time, she has been great - otherwise she would not be at the point of development she is now", and that the two have forged a stronger bond than ever before. Nadine has loved watching Sophie develop into a young woman, and Sophie feels that pole dancing makes her mother younger in her eyes, as she is "no longer being a typical mum". It appears as though pole dancing makes Nadine a happier, more humorous person, and that it has changed her as a mother in Sophie's eyes. "She is much cooler now, I think!"
As part of our Inspiring Pole Dancers section our features writer Sophie Eminson talks to an inspirational young lady who used Pole to overcome illness and disability.
How did you start pole dancing? Did a friend drag you along to a class, or did you go for a laugh, or was there just a pull towards it in your brain that you could not explain? Well, whatever it was, I'll bet it was quite different from Bree's story, which she has told Pole Dance Community, and we now want to share with the world.