PDC Approved 3 Star Pole Dancing Instructor Mandy Williams.
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.
"Joining PDC made me feel a part of a wider community of like-minded supportive people which gave me more confidence to pursue a career as a pole instructor."
Finally, I bought a gym system and a running machine, which I’ve discovered are ideal for hanging clothes on. Then on New Year’s Eve in 2014, I decided to learn to Belly Dance; on Googling this I came across Tempest Dance Studio in Durham. Belly-dancing is not my forte but the poles around the room were calling to me. There was only one problem, I was and still am a Religious Education teacher in a Catholic School and I wasn’t sure a pole dancing RE teacher would go down well with the governors (it didn’t).
Despite mine and my husband’s reservations I ventured into my first Pole Dancing lesson alone, with the encouragement of Gillian Hutton who is an excellent instructor and mentor. She made me believe that my age wasn’t even an issue and then pole dancing is for everyone, including RE teachers. I was hooked from that very first class and despite not being able to raise my arms for two days afterwards I returned for more and soon entered my first in-house studio pole dance competition. I won the Beginners category and realised then that, despite loving the camaraderie and back- stage support, I would rather support others with their pole journey than perform myself.
October 2015 brought news that Gillian was selling Tempest Dance Studio and the studio would close if a buyer could not be found. Despite only being a part of the studio for 10 months I was devastated as it really felt as though I was losing family members and a place to call home. I decided to buy the studio and run it as a business, not for one-minute thinking I could actually be part of the instructor team. It was then that Gillian suggested I join PDC and I quickly graded as a level 3 dancer and recently level 4.
Joining PDC made me feel a part of a wider community of like-minded supportive people which gave me more confidence to pursue a career as a pole instructor. I began to realise that my school teaching qualifications meant that I had transferable skills, my students say I have a knack of breaking down a move and explaining in simple terms which is the teacher in me. I decided to bite the bullet and book a face-to-face pole instructor course, which is where I met the amazing Ley Poleguns.
Ley led my first instructor training course and she still is my instructor and mentor. Before getting her own premises (Poleguns @unit44 Hoults Yard) Ley became one of the first instructors I hired at Tempest when I took over the business. Ley has supported me in all aspects of my pole life and continues to do so.
I love being a pole instructor at Tempest and I love watching my students grow to love it in the same way I did, gaining confidence, strength and fitness. I love how supportive everyone is in the pole and aerial world and becoming a level 3 instructor with the PDC is the next part of my journey. I hope to make contact with many more pole instructors and dancers via the PDC and hope we can continue to support each other in this wonderful life-changing discipline.
I teach Beginner, Improver and Intermediate Pole classes at Tempest. I also teach Beginner Silks and Trapeze and offer Pole parties.
Pole Passion – Beginner and Intermediate Instructor
Spin City – Anatomy & Physiology for Aerial
Spin City – Intermediate Pole Instructor
Spin City – Pole Fabric (in progress)
Spin City – Beginner Aerial Hoop (in progress)
Nimble Arts – Introduction to Teaching Aerials