What made you first decide to try pole dancing – a predominantly female sport/activity?
I had always admired pole as a sexy form of art and dance, but never knew men could participate. But one day, I decided “SCREWIT – im gonna give this a try” and I bought a living social voucher for a couple lessons, and was IMMEDIATELY hooked. I love how it incorporates so many different facets and styles of dance, acrobatics, gymnastics, flexibility, strength, and art. There are so many different directions you can take your pole dance training, and each is unique and should be appreciated. I just cant get over how fast its evolving!
What has been the reaction to being a professional male pole performer/dancer?
I've actually always been very lucky to receive positive reactions and feedback from the public about being a male pole dancer. There will always be sceptics, but it usually just takes them seeing a few moves and combos (or trying a trick themselves) to change their tune. Its an incredible workout, its challenging, its artistic, and its great to see more and more guys getting involved.
Who inspires you in the pole world?
My current BIGGEST pole idols and crushes include: Anastasia Skukhtorova, Marlo Fisken, Felipe Mendoza, Eva Bembo, and Fontaine Bradbury. Between them all, they encompass incredible strength, flexibility, sexy flow, and they are always creating new moves and transitions which keep the rest of us on our toes. I also feel inspired by all of my amazing co-workers and colleagues, and students, who continue to work and train so hard week in, week out!
Pole goals for 2016
This year, I want to focus on developing my flexibility! I feel it’s the main area blocking my progression. So far its actually been quite a productive few months, and I want to make sure I MAKE the time to continue working on flex training until I can sit on my own head! :P When I started pole 3 years ago, I had ZERO flexibility (apart from being able to touch my toes). My splits were non-existent, I could barley sit up in a straddle without falling backwards, and my chest and shoulders were completely locked up. Since putting more focus on flex training this past year, I now have an oversplit on one side, I can go completely flat in a “pancake” split, and my centre split is allllmost there! It’s a start!
What are some of the keys to developing strength for pole?
As a personal trainer, I always get asked about ways to improve strength for pole. I always say – responsible training with FUNCTIONAL, COMPOUND exercises for your chest, back and legs will be the greatest help. Pole is a 3D sport, using every part of the body in a very dynamic fashion. So your training should be the same! Using multiple muscle groups together to generate power and coordination, in a safe manner. Balanced eating and plenty of massage and rest is also VITAL to allow your muscles and joints to recover and develop. There should be no rush – we all grow and develop and progress at different rates, so work and train the smart way within your own capabilities, and enjoy the results without the injuries.