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Sarah Jade chair dancing on stage.

An Interview with Sarah Jade

Hey there fellow PoleCon attendees,

Back in November I was able to attend Sarah Jade’s “Bad to the Chrome” weekend pole camp at her studio Buttercup Pole Dance in Tampa Bay, Florida. The weekend itinerary included over eight hours of small group workshops led by Sarah and additional workshops with guest instructors on Sunday. Included in the weekend, campers had the option to perform in the Bad to the Chrome showcase on Friday night, and Sarah included a outing on Saturday night for campers only.

Sarah Jade is one of our workshop leaders this year, and it is her first time teaching at a large scale pole event. The purpose of this interview is for all of us polers to see an exclusive look into the soul of this pioneer in our industry:

The incomparable Sarah Jade!

Ariel: Thank you Sarah for taking out time in your busy schedule to allow me to interview you! You’re pretty much a Rockstar who is known for your bendy tricks, your amazing tattoos, and your inspirational quotes you post on social media!

You’ve had a lot of success with your studio, Buttercup Pole Dance; When did you decide to open your studio, and where did the name come from?

Sarah:   My greatgrandmother, grandmother, and my mom owned an antique store from the time I was 4 years old until I was about 17. It was called Buttercup Cottage

And I wanted to pay homage to the 3 generations of female business owners before me.

Ariel:   Where would you like to take buttercup in five years?

Sarah:   In a weird way we hope to turn back time a bit on pole dance. I have always been very open about “keepin’ it old school” at our studio. We focus on dance, we wear high heels, girls dress up for class, and our main concern each class is that you laughed and enjoyed yourself. A positive experience will always be more important to me than pole tricks. I’m hoping to one day own my own building where we can blast our music and do our own thing for years to come.

Ariel:   What is your favorite class to teach and why?

Sarah:   We have a class called Polexotic – in that class I give the students about a 60 second combination and the rest of the class is based in sexy freestyle. Basically I get to watch my students feel, move, and create…. with just enough of a jumping off point to set a mood.

Ariel:   I attended your recent Bad to the Chrome camp, and it was truly one of the best experiences of my life.

What inspired you to start offering the camps? Was it by poler demand or something you decided to start offering?

Sarah:   First off you were wonderful, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!

Alethea Austin has been integral in my pole career. She encouraged me to submit for USPDF in 2010, she came to my studio shortly after it opened and was so positive, and she invited me to teach at her Sexy Flexy Camp (Go if you can, it’s epic!) at The Chrome Bar in Nashville. She basically told me that I COULD do it, and a few years later I finally believed in myself enough to schedule one. Now we are approaching our 5th and I am still so moved that ladies come from so far away to spend time learning from a pole dinosaur like me. They have introduced me to such wonderful ladies, and I am so thankful for that!

Ariel:   How many times a year do you offer the camps, and what is your main goal to offer campers for the weekend?

Sarah:   We began offering camps twice a year, now that there is a large stage show involved as well we may take it down to one. I want to make sure ALWAYS that I am putting the best possible product forward. If I decide that it’s possible to have two epic camps…then that’s what will happen =)

Ariel:   What would you say is your biggest strength in running your studio, shows, and camp?

Sarah: That’s tough, I would have to say that never losing my passion and love for pole is my biggest strength. I have made something I adore into something that also has to pay my bills and not only is that stressful, but is a great way to make you resent it. I have been lucky enough to never feel that way. I wake up every day still excited to go to my studio and teach.

Ariel:   What would you say is your biggest weakness or challenge in running your studio, shows, and camps?

Sarah:   I would say my biggest weakness is my inability to give up control. I am definitely not a control freak, however, I look at Buttercup like my baby. I’ve raised it since it was just a tiny room with a name to the beautiful space and family that it is now. Maybe that means I will work too much, and that sometimes it will become overwhelming, but I don’t see me giving up my responsibilities to Buttercup any time soon. I answer every phone call and email because I feel that it is important. I know it might not always be realistic, but for now it’s still working and I take great pride in it.

Ariel:   Your MPDA routine was jaw dropping!

What was your experience like competing in Miss Pole Dance America?

Sarah:   Thank you SO much, I had so much fun on stage, and that was what I hoped to portray to the audience. Miss Pole Dance America is something so special to me, it didn’t feel like a competition, it felt like a bunch of old friends back stage laughing and enjoying themselves. So much of the “entertainment” portion of pole dancing has been set aside for sport and MPDA really made it apparent that dance, fitness, and entertainment can all be present in the same piece!

Ariel:   Do you have any rituals that you do to help ease nerves before competing and/or performing?

Sarah:   I repeat something in my head that my friend Chalese Marie told me before my first competition. I was having a breakdown backstage…. I had never performed outside of a studio or a club at this point and here I was at the USPDF amateur nationals competing with Michelle Stanek, Nadia, and Sergia and all of these HEROS of mine…. I was flipping out. She sat me down and she said “Just say Fuck It, your first competition is a marathon…you’re just here for completion”

Since then I have grown a lot, and I don’t care to win things so I don’t worry too much anyway. I love what I do, so what is there to be nervous about right?! I’ll never forget Chalese and her kindness though, and I always repeat those words to myself.

Ariel:   Another question that some polers might be curious about–

Do you have any special treatments you do often to help take care of your body from all the stress that poling can put on our bodies? i.e., massages, chiropractic care, or other body work?

Sarah:   Yes, I do have work done by a chiropractor and a fantastic masseuse, however I don’t make it in nearly as much as I should. I also recently tried rolfing, which was incredible! I am a huge fan of dynamic stretching as well, that has truly helped my body to stay flexible without causing injury.

Ariel:   So, PoleCon is going to be your first large convention that you’re teaching workshops at. Can you tell us a little bit of what you would like to share that weekend in your workshops?

Sarah:   I have attended most of the PoleCons, including number 1! However, I have never even bothered to ask to teach! This year I will be teaching and I’m stoked to share some sexy transition moves and low flying flow! I happen to believe that some of the most important parts of your routine happen when you’re not trickin’ out!

Ariel:   Do you plan to take workshops at pole con, and are you planning to perform at PoleCon?

Sarah:   I hope to do both! I am definitely performing {catch Sarah in the “Sexy Showcase”!}, and I would LOVE to take some workshops, heck yea!

Ariel:   What are you most excited for about Pole Convention 2016?

Sarah:   PoleCon always has an amazing stage for performers, and that has always been my favorite part! I love watching polers do their thing up there!

Ariel: Thank you so much again Sarah for all your inspiration!

Are there any final statements you’d like to share with us?

Sarah:   I just hit my 10 year anniversary pole dancing and I just wanted to share something with the ladies who are struggling with their pole journey. THERE IS NO TIMELINE, you don’t have to ever achieve a TG handspring, and rainbow marchenko shouldn’t be your New Years Resolution every year. Let your body move at its own pace, try really hard to remember what you’ve already accomplished, and for goodness sake enjoy the journey. Train hard, but don’t train so hard that you start to resent the thing that you love so much. Slow down, listen to the music, and be unique…you make it a lot further in this industry doing YOU than you ever will trying to be every “pole star” on Instagram . Happy poling.

Be sure to register for Sarah’s workshops at PoleCon 2016!

To stay in touch with Sarah’s performance and teaching schedule, visit: www.sarahjadepoledancer.com and/or the public Facebook group “Bad to the Chrome Camps with Sarah Jade”

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Ariel Blanco
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