Featured new PDC Approved pole dancing instructor Gemma Hopkins of Butterfly Fitness Studio.
Our latest approved instructor Gemma Hopkins took the PDC interview and told us lots about her and her pole dancing plans as well as her transition from student to instructor.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Gemma Hopkins and I have been Pole dancing since November 2007. I am regularly ‘seen’ in the pole world and seem to be known everywhere which I secretly love. I have taken part in numerous Pole Dance competitions over the past few years including PoleDiva’s and UKAPP 2010 &11 which I got to the final’s in!!! I also won the Beginner category of the first Bucks Pole Fitness Competition.
What is your favourite type of pole?
X pole always!! I’m a little undecided on speciality though chrome, brass or 45, 50 it’s much of a muchness really.
What sort of music do you like to pole dance to?
Music is my life, as long as I feel it I will dance to it. Usually means that it’ll be a really cheesy song like “Tarzan Boy” or I’ll get all moody to myself and dance to “illusion” by VNV nation. Of course there are the times I like to raunch it up then a bit of Marilyn Manson will do the trick.
What made you decide to become an instructor?
When I was preparing for the UKAPP 2011 Grand Final I had numerous people asking me how I put dances together and how I manage to just ‘dance’ so easily (their words not mine). I’d find myself wanting to help a bit more and encourage more performers. I’d also started my charity event ‘Pole for Purpose’ and sneakily wanted more people there for it.
What is your pole dancing nemesis?
Oooo pole dance nemesis....I have a few! Mainly upside down stuff! I can do some inverted things but there is still a massive fear there. Luckily I have been poling long enough (since 2007) and have supported many other dancers to be able to get into moves to see how many inverted moves are done. I can support people into many moves and then inwardly seethe that I can’t do them?
What's the best thing about teaching?
The best thing about teaching for me is that I can help my students to piece together the moves they have learnt and get them creating routines and encourage them to perform. The boost in confidence you see from someone having performed for the first time is amazing!!
Have you experienced any negativity from your friends or family regarding pole dancing?
It took my dad 3 years to actually watch a video of mine.......he has finally got over the thought that I am a stripper of some sort (not that I wouldn’t be a stripper but hey). Otherwise I get exclamations of surprise as I am not a ‘typical’ pole dancer being a big girl.
What are your plans for the future?
I will learn more inverted moves! I hope to get students competing and performing more. I am also hoping to get to more masterclasses and workshops to get my groove on!!
Which pole dancers inspire you?
Oh wow erm....Annie Norris DEFINITELY!! She is just such a beautiful dancer I could watch her all day every day, although she may get a restraining order on me eventually....I do love watching most pole dancers, the current trend for bending in impossible positions does concern me as it’ll never happen for me but I like watching the likes of Bendy Kate and Lauren Red all the same! Donna Gant massively inspires me as I LOVE spins and she is ultimately the QUEEN of spins!
A big thanks to Gemma for taking the time to talk to us, we wish her every success for her pole dancing career and look forward to seeing her future performances.
Gemma currently teaches at Butterfly Fitness Studio in Sheffield alongside fellow PDC approved instructor Eve Anderson.