Sometimes having access to so much information is a blessing and sometimes it feels like…
You may or may not know it, but pole dancing is really about RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS. For me there a three major “categories” of relationships I have developed while pole dancing. They are Madea (Pole Mama or Pole Mother) and The Professor! Remember these observations are based on my personal interactions, experiences and societal viewpoint.
My family called my grandmother “Madea” before Tyler Perry ever made the African-American endearing phrase a national one. Her advice is timeless, she tells the best stories and she is the best critic. Moreover, SHE IS A BADASS while being SPIRITUAL!!
I have two such pole women in my life. Nellie “NelC” of FIT 4POLE, Washington DC and Brown Sugar from Soft&Sensous Moves. I first met Nellie at Pretty Lady Pole Fit, the first pole studio I ever walked into. My level of intimidation was off the charts. What if I tripped and fell? Did I wear the right thing? Can I really do this? Class began and so did my journey in pole fitness. Nellie was with me from level 1-3. She told me “Pole dancing is nothing but falling gracefully”, and boy does she know how to fall. Candy & Chrome Pole Competition & SPC 2016 Nel C Championship L3 Sr. As a newborn pole baby, she taught me how to crawl, walk, climb, strap on my shoes, put on make-up, and wow the masses!
In February of this year I had to move from D.C. to San Antonio TX. Soft&Sensous Moves immediately became my pole home and Brown Sugar naturally placed me under her wing. Having the basics down she is pushing me towards advancing my skills. Constantly thinking of my pole welfare, she advocates for new classes that can enable myself and others to advance. When the volcano of frustration erupts she calmly says, “You’ll get there” and smiles. She validates your progress, “I see you and you’re doing really well”. She also has eyes in the back of her head, because she calls you out when you’re trying to cheat on a move. I swear if the woman had a wooden spoon, she’d use it!
Professors are your hard-core pole or physical fitness instructors who want you to excel and are stone cold when it comes to attention to detail and pushes you to your physical limits without breaking your body or spirit.
My first professor was Chocobawse (Woman/ Mom/ Daughter/ Sister/ Cousin/ Advocate/ Personal Trainer/ Fitness Guru/ Friend/ Entrepreneur), she taught me how to be physically fit, eat correctly and NEVER EVER allowed me to give during a challenging booty buster work out. Personally motivated by a passion to bring healthy living and fitness to women she instilled in me the basics of pole fitness she continues to this day to teach women within the D. C., Virginia and Maryland areas. Here is her Instructor/Entrepreneur Bio:
Born in “Hard Knocks” Newark New Jersey and later raised in Roanoke Virginia. Arminta was an All American in Track and Field in the 200 & 400 meters at George Mason University, she Graduated with honors from the English Department at GMU. A mother of a teenage daughter and a English teacher in the public school system for several years before seeing a need in the community she represented. Heart disease was the NUMBER ONE killer in women so she embarked on a career in fitness and personal training to assist people with minor and major fitness goals; and to get back their lives with healthy habits and self love using fitness. Arminta is an IFA Certified Personal Trainer, an TFX Certified Trainer and a Group Exercise Instructor. A personal Trainer for over 10 years with clients in through out DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Utilizing a new fitness phenomena, over the past 4 years Arminta has provided Pole and Chair Dance Instruction. Driven by health and fitness not only for herself but her clients and Motivated by competition, Arminta competes on the Football field in the Lady Football League as a member of the Baltimore Charm. She is a model for AVID Photography and a fitness spokesperson making appearances and demonstrations around the country speaking on fitness training techniques including Pole and Chair Dancing. Entering Pole Competitions around the country also hones her skills, allows her to challenge her own fitness levels and grants her more techniques to share with her classes at Pretty Lady Pole Fit Studio.
My next and current professor is S.T. Shimi aka Black Orchid. Like any professor, she is very precise and diverse in all aspects of her specialty. She is a superior dancer/performer and athlete in all aspects of the pole and burlesque art forms. Shimi, leverages her well-known reputation in the arts community to advocate for social change, using pole and burlesque as a means to shed light on various social injustices.
Her Instructor Bio is as follows:
Black Orchid is a foxy brown performance artist who was born and raised in Singapore; and has been living and making work in San Antonio for two decades.
She has created and collaborated on several original performance works over the years, which have been seen at several major local arts festivals, as well as on stages around the country.
Orchid started taking classes at SSM in 2011 and now teaches and trains in pole here. She has competed and placed in pole competitions in her Division (Masters), including Champion at Capital of Texas ( COTAC) 2012, First Runner Up in 2013 and Miss Sexy in 2014 at Miss Texas Pole Star, and winner of the Masters Pole Burlesque Division at Texas Aerial Festival in 2015. She also was awarded Performer of the Year by Cleo the Hurricane in Cleo’s Rock n Pole Awards in 2015.She also performs as a soloist and with San Antonio’s longest-running burlesque troupe Stars & Garters Burlesque, and recently won Best Use of Novelty/Prop at the Texas Burlesque Festival and Most Original Act at the San Antonio Burlesque Festival. Yeah, yeah she’s hot!!
So I ask you, who plays a meaningful part in your pole fitness journey? Remember no Poler is an island!!! Poles don’t do well in sand unless they have a firm foundation of support!!