Princess Pole Dancing opens new studio in Huddersfield.
Princess Pole Dancing HD Studio is Huddersfield's first dedicated Pole Dancing Studio, we spoke to proprietor and 3 star Approved Pole Dancing Instructor SJ Marcussen.
So, tell us a bit about your fabulous new pole studio.
This old mill building has been fully renovated to provide a clean bright welcoming space for our students. We have a 85sqm dance floor, large mirrors on the walls and 4 X-Stages. We also have new crash mats and anti-fatigue matting to use during "I'm Flexy & I Know It" stretch classes. We have ample car parking and the venue is just a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk from the Town Centre.
Over the coming weeks, we will lower the ceiling so we can install floor to ceiling X Poles in various diameters. We plan to apply some silhouette decals on the walls, to brighten up the look of the studio. We will also be installing our Aerial Hoop.
Our new timetable includes Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced and Private lessons, classes for Males as well as our ever popular Flex & Stretch class.
When did you start pole dancing and why?
I started Pole Dancing in 2006 when I bought an X-Pole and taught myself from home. I was diagnosed with M.E in 2000, when I missed the majority of Year 11 at school and was bedridden for a time. Over the years my condition improved but I needed to find a way to lose weight and keep my body active. I did some research online and saw a video of KT Coates dancing to “Signs” From that point I was hooked, I ordered an X Pole and the rest is history. I loved the idea of combining dance with keeping fit, and also the ability to achieve something at the end of a session. Looking at the catalogue of moves, I had something to aim for and found a real motivation to succeed.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love how rewarding teaching can be, taking the time to study each student and pinpoint what is missing for them to achieve the move they are working towards. With my hints, tips and guidance and their determination my students continue to improve and watching their faces light up when they nail a move makes teaching so worthwhile. It also means that I enjoy going to work and not a lot of people can say that.
What difficulties have you faced in opening your own studio?
Finding a suitable space in our area proved difficult. I needed somewhere affordable and within a reasonable distance from both the town centre, and my home. We faced a lot of negativity, we were turned down from even viewing some places when we explained what we wanting to use the property for. Even when we found Marsh Mills, works were delayed and there were a few teething problems, but now things are really coming together.
Are your family support of your decision to take up a career in pole dancing?
Originally when I chose to take up teaching, rather than pursue a well paid job in Customer Services, my parents were a little dubious. I started teaching myself when I lived at home and they let me use their dining room as my pole room for quite a time. I went on to appear on BBC3’s Upstaged, a talent competition where myself and other Pole Dancers had to entertain the public from inside a large glass box in Bristol. I think at this point, my parents realised I was taking this pole dancing malarkey very seriously! Now my family are behind me 100%, my husband and Dad spent Friday-Wednesday over the Jubilee Bank Holiday renovating the Studio and my Mum has put in more hours of babysitting than I care to mention since I returned to teaching in February 2012. I couldn’t have done any of this without the support and enthusiasm of my family, I can’t thank them enough.
What is your funniest teaching moment?
Before Pole cleaners were manufactured, lots of various things were recommended to clean your pole. So when one day I ran out of anti-bacterial spray before class, I grabbed a box of baby wipes from my Mum’s house. The box said they contained no moisturiser, so would be perfect.
As class progressed everyone’s grip deteriorated and the poles became unbearably greasy and horrible. I double checked the packet of wipes and couldn’t understand why we were all slipping and sliding. Turns out my Mum had used a re-fill in the box, a re-fill that contained “extra moisturiser to care for delicate baby skin!” No good for pole though, it took a very good clean to get rid of all that grease we’d been rubbing on them!!
Do you prefer static or spinning pole and do you have a favourite type of pole?
I learnt on a 50mm chrome X Pole so I went on to use these in my classes, as I find for most beginners they are great for spins and leg grips. The 45mm is great for inverted hand grips such as handsprings and making spins look effortless. I prefer static pole, as after a while I get queasy on spinning, but as with my car sickness I have yet to find a cure that works!! What I want to include in my practise or routine on the day dictates my choice of a 50mm or 45mm pole.
What do you think is missing in the pole dancing world?
I am happy with the variety of styles and disciplines available nowadays in the Pole Dancing world, in comparison to when I first started dancing. In performance and competition I really love watching individuals who can connect with the audience, who put on a show and can really dance, not just Pole. Rhythm and ability to use the music to create a routine is really important to me. I miss a lot of the “old school” moves, I like to see variety and flow in a routine as well as a show of strength.
Very pleased to see more Male Pole Dancers on the scene, as well as being a different style to enjoy I believe it also helps give Pole Dancing more credibility.
Where do you see pole in 10 years time?
In 10 years time I hope to be able to mention Pole Dancing to anyone, anywhere and not be faced with a disapproving look. I have worked so hard to get Pole Dancing recognised as a legitimate form of exercise, and to get away from the negative connotations. I will continue to work hard and I know everybody in the business strives to make the public understand what we do and why we do it. I can only hope that in 10 years time we will have moved further forward and be more readily accepted. Even now I still deal with the jeers, rudeness and ignorance of others, I would love for that type of behaviour to be a distant memory one day.
Thanks to SJ Marcussen for taking time out to chat to us and we wish her and her students every success with the new Princess Pole Dancing studio.