Thought you would never try pole dancing? Turns out it is quite an art and possibly one of the most impressive workouts that we filmed on FITtopia’s shoot day. Not only is it mesmerising to watch, but it also requires an incredible amount of balance, coordination and strength.
When did you get into Pole Dancing and what inspired you to start Pole Athletica?
I started pole dancing with my flatmate in 2003. We both grew up dancing so this seemed like a fun way to get fit and reconnect with the dancer within! You could say, it was love at first pole!
In all honesty, I was initially going to start a dance studio for kids but pole had such a profound impact on my life physically and mentally that I felt compelled to make it more accessible, so others could enjoy its many benefits too.
What are some of the health benefits of Pole Dancing?
There are so many amazing things to enjoy from regular pole classes. Students gain strength, flexibility and tone in their bodies but especially through the shoulders and back which is often hard to achieve through other workouts.
It’s an awesome way to improve core strength and coordination. One of the most appealing things about pole, is that it’s a sneaky workout! It doesn’t feel like exercise!!
You’ll gain more than just physical benefits! Students tell me they feel more confident and have more of a ‘I can do it’ attitude when tackling difficult situations in their daily lives.
It’s a great way to meet and connect with people. You’ll make loads of new friends! The pole community is incredibly supportive and nurturing. No matter your size, fitness level or background, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
One thing you wish everyone knew about the workout?
Many people assume you need to be strong and flexible to start pole but this just isn’t true. If your goal is to get strong and flexible, then this is one of the best ways in making those goals become a reality. Everyone starts at level 1 and works their way up. It’s incredibly rewarding seeing yourself progress from week to week.
How long have you been operating and what do you love about your business?
I’ve been operating Pole Athletica (formerly Studio Verve) since 2004. I started teaching in a space with only 2 poles and now I have 30!
I love teaching, connecting with people and helping them achieve things they never thought possible.
On a personal level, running my own business has taught me to be resourceful, resilient, to create my own opportunities and to not give up when things don’t happen straight away. I love all of that! I never get bored, that’s for sure!!
What is one thing that Pole Athletica is known for?
We’re really well known for our emphasis on technique, our focus on fitness and for our excellent instructors.
In 2015 we were awarded ‘Best Pole Fitness’ studio by the International Pole Sports Federation in London. This was in recognition for my work in promoting pole as a legitimate form of fitness.
Who would benefit from a class like yours and how often should they be training?
Anyone and everyone who wants to improve their physical fitness and spice up their life! If you’re not currently doing any form of exercise, you should…and pole really is a fun way to get fit!
If you’re already active, then pole is a fantastic way to cross train. One of my students, an advanced Yogi told me recently that pole has improved his yoga practice. He literally flies through his power yoga classes with more ease.
To get started, attending one class a week is fine but as you progress through the levels, I’d recommend twice a week to really fast track your strength and fitness.
Now we want to learn a bit about you.
Wake up time?
8am. I work late most nights and don’t make it to bed before midnight. I need my 8 hours sleep.
The morning and night time routines that you swear by?
I recently purchased the 5-Minute Journal and I love it! It sets me up mentally for the day by encouraging me to shift my focus on the positive. I fill in the night time section before I go to bed and I find this is a beautiful way to reflect on my day and think about how I might have been able to do things differently from a non-judgemental perspective. I definitely feel happier since I started the journal.
Do you have any health philosophies that you live by?
I gave up coffee after completing a 7-day detox in December 2012. It was one of the best things I ever did. As much as I loved coffee, I have so much more energy without it.
I eat very little processed foods, no fried foods, keep an eye on my sugar intake and make sure I have a healthy intake of veggies and proteins every day.
A typical day will see me have 3 solid meals with 2 liquid meals for morning and afternoon tea. All my meals include protein which is really important as I’m lifting my own body-weight (and sometimes others when I spot in class!) every single day and protein is key for muscle recovery.
What are your top health spots near home?
I live near Centennial Park and love to get out amongst all that beautiful greenery.
Hands down, ice-cream!
What is the best health treatment you have ever had and why?
The 7-day detox I completed at Gwinganna. No coffee, sugar, alcohol or red meat. It wasn’t easy and by day 3 I felt really ill but it was definitely worth it. I felt so healthy and vibrant by the end of the 7 days. It was a life changing experience for me. I highly recommend it.
Favourite place to work out?
Easy - my studio!!
Do you have a hack to help you with eating well when you are busy?
Eating well can be hard with my crazy hours so I’ve started pre-cooking my meals in big batches and freezing them. It’s made life so much easier especially when I come home tired late at night and don’t really want to cook anything.
The last book you read?
Hands of an Angel by Helen Parry Jones. I met Helen at this year’s MindBodySpirit Festival and she’s a beautiful soul. Her book is about her amazing gift of being able to communicate with spirit and what it was like growing up as kid with this unique gift. I couldn’t the book down. Gave it to mum and she couldn’t put it down either!
How do you unwind?
I love having my own time to train on the pole and push myself as an athlete and pole artist.
Go to Binge watch series?
Pose, Outlander, Game of Thrones, Trust, Vida and Mayans MC.
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Have you tried Pole Athletica? Be sure to review them on FITtopia!