All-round Sydney Pole studio boss and rad poler Karly has a dirty little secret - she actually hates "exercising"! The idea of slogging it out at the gym sends shivers up her spine, which is why she started pole dancing. She loves that coming to the studio never feels like exercise - it just feels like fun! (It's just a side bonus that you get fit, toned and gain tonnes of strength doing it!) She loves performing and enjoys the versatility of pole - sometimes it's donning heels and putting on some sexy tunes, and sometimes its dorky dancing! We hit Karly with a few questions about what she loves about pole and what it means to her.
How did you get in to pole dancing?
I’ve always dabbled in performing and musicals growing up, and I enjoyed going to dance classes - but I HATED exercising. I wanted something to help me get fit though, so I told my boyfriend I was keen to try it, and he bought me an 8-week course for my birthday. My very first class I really didn’t know what to expect. The studio I was at had see-through windows looking in to the rooms, and at the time I didn’t know the poles spun, so I was thinking ‘How the hell are they doing that???’ I had a good laugh when I realised the poles could spin!
What are your favourite styles of dance?
I’ll give anything a go once! Personally I tend towards a lyrical style, I definitely choreograph to lyrics & odd musical beats rather than counting neatly in time! :P (Sooooorry all my counting students!) However I love a good sassy sexy routine too - lyrical doesn’t always have to be slow!
What’s your training schedule?
As well as teaching, I try to do at least one pole class a week for my own training. I also love yoga, for both the workout, the stretch & the peace of mind. I also train doubles pole with my doubles partner (fellow instructor) Emma. We perform a few times a year, so when we’re gearing up for a performance we definitely train a lot together!
What are your favourite conditioning exercises?
Hmm… you remember that bit at the beginning about hating exercise?? :P I need things to distract me from the fact that I’m working out or conditioning! That’s why I love training with people & taking classes. Anything that’s group based and fun is a winner for me, so doing a dance class is perfect. With yoga I find that the focus is all on the breath, so it creates this amazing rhythm & flow where I can just move and everything else melts away. Dancing is kind of like that too - you’re focused on moving, linking, expressing - so that by the time it’s over, you’re sweaty, puffed, you’ve worked out - but you don’t even realise it!
What are your favourite stretches?
I love shoulder & glute stretches (specific, I know!) For some reason when these two areas start to ease up my whole body relaxes! I could sit in a glute stretch all day!
Since I injured my hamstring about three years ago, it’s always been a bit funny, so I’ve had to work slowly and carefully to nurse it back to health - so I’m always super careful with hamstring stretches. I know that one day I’ll have those darn splits - it will just take me a lot longer than some!
Favourite songs to pole to?
I’ll dance to pretty much anything that makes me want to get up and move! If it’s fun and has a good beat, it’s a winner. I have a pretty eclectic music taste and will listen to most things. Pole dance staples however include pretty much anything by Beyonce… chuck in some Sia, Florence & the Machine, Portishead, Ellie Goulding - winner! :)
What did you find the hardest when you first started pole?
Being easy on myself! Understanding that my pole journey was my own and to not compare myself to other people.
Favourite post-pole snack?
I like to mix it up but I’m usually munching on bananas, tamari almonds, felafel & hummus, carrots, and/or I’ll just eat a meal!
Who is your pole idol, and why?
Phoenix Kazree, Marlo Fisken & Jenyne Butterfly are up there as my top pole idols - they all just move so beautifully! Their styles are incredibly unique and inspiring.
If you want to see my all time favourite pole routine, it’s this one! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rODcYS-64g
What are your 2016 goals?
Try new things, spread love, dance with joy.
...And get my splits.