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Meet GRETA

1.     Where are you from?
 I am from Southern California.

2) What is your age? I am 67 years old.
  
3) How did you hear about pole dancing for fitness, and Pole Expo?
I discovered pole dancing when searching for a form of fitness to offset the beginning of Osteoporosis. I learned about Pole Expo when I was a competitor at the North Atlantic Pole Champion and was excited that I was given free admission as a winner. I have seen Pole Expo grow tremendously since then. People from all over the world flow to Las Vegas at the end of summer to train with some of the world's best athletes to reach their pole goals.

4) How long have you been pole dancing?
I started pole dancing at age 59 and was immediately hooked because it so so much fun and has tremendous fitness benefits.

5) Why do you pole dance?  How does it make you feel?
Pole dancing optimizes my health and gives me an artistic outlet. I love the energy and empowerment that we get from training on pole.  However, what gives me the greatest fulfillment is using the stage as a platform to tell a compelling story that hopefully inspires others to go passionately after their dreams.
 
6) Where do you see pole dancing in the future?
I believe that pole dance and pole art will become more mainstream and continue to draw more youth into our program.
 
7) Where do you see yourself in five couple years?
I will be 72 in a couple of years. Winning an 8th World Championship is not on my bucket list, but to in some small way inspire the lives of others is.  I would love to keep going if I can offset the loss of flexibility and strength that normally comes with aging.
 
8) What would you say to someone who says, ‘I am too old, or too fat, too weak, too tall, etc"… to try pole dancing?  
I would share videos with them of pole artists who are much heavier, taller and older than they are and let them know that if these people can do it, they can do it. I believe that we are masters of our destiny and that we should not let age or any limitation keep us from becoming the best that we can become.

Meet Trixie

My name is Trixie Lovett. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, but consider myself from Las Vegas. I met my husband here, raised my children here, and can't picture anywhere else to call home. I've been around just over 47 years, but most days in my head I'm stuck somewhere in my late 20s.

I was introduced to pole dance when I started my exotic dancing career in the 1990s in Oregon. Back then, the pole wasn't used nearly as much as it is today. And while there were actual competitions, they were more like popularity contests that occurred in the bars. Back then, more focus was on the girls themselves: their appearance, their dance and performance skills, and lastly their pole moves.  Had I been asked back then about where I saw myself 20 years in the future I'd have NEVER believed I'd be where I am. While I started dancing in Oregon, I continued to dance in the clubs when I relocated to Las Vegas in 1997. I had a muggle job during the day, and danced 3 nights a week in the local clubs. When I turned 35, I quit my day job to go back to college. I continued dancing, with my schedule changing every term. It allowed me to still help support my family while continuing my education. I was also teaching a handful of gals out of my home studio, and it was at this time I joined Fawnia at her first Las Vegas studio. Today I'm her longest tenured instructor and also certify instructors in the Lap Dance Instructor Certification course I designed and teach at Pole Fitness Studio. 

I continue to pole simply because I love the way it makes me feel. The health benefits are plentiful. But it is the benefit to my mind and spirit that keep me poling. The satisfaction I get when I am in a classroom of students who are open-minded and eager to learn is unparalleled. The joy I feel when a student accomplishes a move they have been challenged by makes my heart sing. The pride that blooms inside me when I watch a student recital, or a student compete on the circuit fills me. I continue to pole because it is important to me to ensure the next generation of dancers have a solid foundation of skills on which to build and grow in their own way. 

To that end, I see pole continuing to gain more social acceptance and less judgment. It is the next generation of polers who will define and shape the industry with eyes that not only remember where we (as dancers) were but with a vision and plan of how we will continue on the path forward, being proud of our title of "Poler" and showing the strength, power and mobility that the dance demands of us. 

As far as my own path, I see myself doing as I have done most of my adult life: brass in hand. I make a point to remember every day how truly blessed I am to be working with and alongside such amazing people: People who take that first (sometimes frightening) step of walking into a studio and even just trying pole. People who take the risk of opening their own studio, people who may not ever touch a pole, but support those in their own lives who do. I love surrounding myself with those folks. They nourish my soul. 

So many times I hear (as we all do when people find out we pole), "Oh, I could never do that! I'm too." and they insert and adjective here to try to explain why they haven't ventured into a pole studio. (i.e.: too old, too heavy, too clumsy, etc.) My heart always gets a little heavy when I hear their excuse. I usually tell them that I wish they could see themselves as I see them. In everyone there is strength. There is perseverance. There is the desire to feel happiness, accomplishment and pride. And if they would only give themselves the opportunity, they might just find their passion. 


 

Meet Karen

1.     Where are you from?
I am from Denver, Colorado

2.     What is your age?
55

3.     How did you hear about Pole Expo, or Pole Dancing as Fitness? 
I was looking for a fitness program online.  Pole dancing seemed like an interesting new sport to explore.  I didn’t know then that it would become one of my favorite activities.

4.     How long have you been pole dancing?
9 months

5.     Why do you pole dance?  How does it make you feel?
I wanted to gain some strength in a fun, new, motivating way.  Pole dancing has made me feel healthier, stronger, toned, and ultimately happier as my exercise regimen.

6.     Where do you see pole dancing in the future?
It’s worthy to become an Olympic sport. 

7.     Where do you see yourself in a couple years?
I’m planning on keeping pole dancing in my life. I want to keep the strength, beauty, and flexibility of pole dancing.

8.     What would you say to someone who says, ‘they are too old, or too fat, or too weak, or too tall, etc. etc"… to try pole dancing?
I think there is always something to gain from pole dancing no matter what your situation.  Pole tones the body, helps with rhythm, and improves flexibility.  Start one step at a time.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  It’s your own journey.

 

Meet Amanda

Pole dancing changed my life... no; pole dancing saved my life. Hi Pole Expo! My name is Amanda and here is my story. My story is a little long but it honestly made me the person I am today. I'd been pole dancing for roughly 2 years at the time this all happened and not only in those 2 years had I become a much more happy, confident and beautiful woman but it gave me the strength to get through the biggest challenge life had to give anyone. In March 2016 my fiancé/partner/best friend at the age of 26 (I was 23) was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Ewing's sarcoma. The next 9 months after that I became a full time carer for him, I watched him suffer and eventually pass away from the condition in January this year. Without pole in the time I was caring I couldn't afford to take my classes or leave him alone to train so I became depressed, lonely, broken, the night my loving caring husband stopped feeling the pain I booked my flights to Pole Expo Vegas, a few weeks after that I also booked to go on my first cruise (pole cruise Australia) without pole I would have crumbled into a million peace’s, I would have struggled to survive the most devastating, emotionally crippling, and horrific moment of my life. 


Because of pole I was strong enough within my self to look up, to smile, to stay strong no matter how hard it all was- rolling around on the floor in my nine inch heels healed me.This is the shortest story but the story of my life no longer hurts. In 6 months I went from being a complete mess and watching the love of my life die to being the strong emotionally connected happy person I wanted to be and I want to be for him. Can't wait to see you all at Pole Expo. 

Amanda Hayes

- Australia

 

Meet Robert

Hey there, Robert here, also known as Cowboy Wild and this is the video on how pole dancing changed my life. It all started about five years ado when  friend jokingly challenged me to a Pole Dance Off. I accepted and decided to take a couple classes so I didn't look like a complete fool. That is where it all started. At the time, I was over 200 pounds, I lacked self-esteem and hard to get motivated to do any thing. Pole Dancing changed all of that! I instantly started loosing weight and that was amazing for me! My self-esteem also started to grow and I was more motivated to get out and try new things. I also fell in love with the pole community. They are amazingly supportive, encouraging and constantly motivating me to try new things and pushing myself. If it wasn't for them, I probably wouldn't be here making this video. So, that is the basics of how pole dancing has changed my life.

Pole dancing has also helped me change the lives of others. For the last four years, I have been doing the AIDS LifeCycle ride and with the help of the pole community I have raised over $40,000. This is money that goes directly to helping people that are living with HIV and AIDS, to help stopping the spread of HIV and ending the stigma of HIV and AIDS. So not only did pole dancing help change my life and make me a better person, I am being able to help other people and let them live a more productive life. This wouldn't be happening without the pole community. So, that is how pole dancing has changed my life, changed other people's lives without them even knowing it and making a big difference in the world.

Thank You,

Robert

Here is the link to my blog on how I got started in pole dancing.

Meet kristin

How Pole Changed my Life:

It was after the birth of my third child that I discovered Pole. 

The start of my pole life like so many others: I took a class with a friend "on a whim." 

And during that class, the spark was ignited, setting me off on this journey. 

From first class, to first climb, first performance to my first competition, I was evolving as a dancer and a woman. 

As much of a gift being a mother has been to me, bringing life into this world, so much of that process requires giving up your body.

From carrying them inside of you, to the months (or years) spent nursing your child, its so easy to lose sight of your identity as a woman outside of being mommy.

What pole did for me, is give me my body back. Not just in the physical fitness sense, but it gave me a different view of my body. And how to use it and not be ashamed of it. That it's ok to enjoy your body to like your body.

In that sense, Pole changed my life.

And I think part of that understanding yourself as a woman also helps you understand the idea of objectification and owning your body and what you do with it. And, by having a better understanding, and more confidence in that area myself, its allowed me to have those conversations with my children.

My children look at me and what I can do, they are not ashamed at the skin mommy shows, they don't even see that. What they see is a strong woman, and they are impressed with what their mommy can do.

And finally, the community.

The pole community is amazing! It really is a judge free zone. We all just want to see each other succeed and grow. It’s all about positivity, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Kristin

 

Meet Pauline

Hi Fawnia, My name is Pauline.
How pole dancing has changed my life?

A little flashback when I discovered pole dancing ...
You’re not going to be surprised because my first time with pole dancing was a bit like everyone else: love at first sight, goosebumps, butterflies in the stomach ...

But what was surprising is that I never did any sports in my entire life and I have never been a sports person (I did 10 years of piano instead haha). So when the bruises and the body aches arrived, it didn’t discourage me, which was a big sign of an upcoming passion.

First Competition...
After a year and a half of hard work, I did my first competition which was a sports one. At that time, my grandfather just died and I decided to dedicate my dance for him. I placed 2nd and was very happy about it. 

I don't really remember being on stage, I only remember dancing with him for 4 minutes in heaven (It was a very intense and powerful moment).

This competition was a turning point in my life and I felt stronger than ever, became more confident in my everyday life. I was no longer afraid to say what I thought and what people would think about me. 

Competing to Teaching…
A year after my first competition, I was asked to teach two classes a week in the studio where I started pole dancing. I did an Xpert certification and start teaching to adults, teens and kids. I was scared because I didn’t know if I would be a good teacher. Before teaching, I didn’t feel comfortable with children but OMG I love them so much now.   

Moreover, teaching made me realize that my heart was filled of love and asked only to give. I deeply love every person who enters my class. I want them to feel confident, strong, happy... I want them to forget their problems even if it's only for 1 hour.

So I gathered up my courage, quit my full-time job (where I felt miserable for years) become unemployed and worked on a new project to become a sports trainer (not only for pole dancing but for other activities like Pilates, yoga…) and I'm still working on it.

Finding my Femininity…
Last but not least, pole dancing helped me find my femininity. Believe me or not but femininity is really hard to find when nobody taught you. It’s this huge transformation from a girl into a sexy and confident woman. To make that happen, I'm taking exotic dancing classes, I’m wearing heels and I'm trying to free my mind to let go of everything. I'm still working on it and it's my goal for the next few years.

Pole dancing not only changed my life, it has transformed it. It has transformed my body into a stronger, sexier & flexier woman. It also freed my mind and opened my heart. I met amazing and inspiring women during my journey and I know it is not over.

And above all, I had the chance to dance with my grandpa... and it tasted like heaven <3

Meet Trina

Pole dancing changed my life because I have learned to except myself as I am.  Since I started pole dancing in 2006, I have learned to understand many different types of moves and the people I have met have come from all different kinds of professions.   In the last two years I suffered and recovered from a major hip injury, and more recently have been diagnosed with colon cancer. Despite my reality, I have come to understand that I am strong and different because pole dancing is not your usual type of exercise.  I think that my practicing pole dancing and showing myself in this is way, may be a shock to people.  I respect people who go public with their pole dancing passion because it has inspired me to do the same. When I think of my life without pole dancing? I can’t even imagine.  Pole dancing has given me life.

Trina Wolfe
Las Vegas, NV

 

Meet Miscia

My name is Miscia, I've been poling for about 2.5 years. What started as something I did on-and-off while working 100-hour weeks climbing the corporate ladder soon became an obsession and eventually contributed to my decision to switch careers to dedicate more time to training. Most importantly, pole helped me find happiness within myself by teaching me to appreciate my body for its abilities rather than its appearance - and I'd love nothing more than to share this sentiment with other men and women in this age of photo-shopped perfection. 

  1. Why do you love Pole Dancing?
    I love pole because it is a never-ending journey.  Pole as much of an art as it is a sport; there are endless expressions to explore and always new moves to master. 
  2. How does dancing on a vertical pole make you feel?
    Dancing on a vertical pole makes me feel empowered. Pole taught me to strive for (and conquer) things I never dreamed I could ever do. When I first started pole, I couldn't touch my toes and had zero strength. The sense of accomplishment gained from learning every new skill is something I believe everyone should experience.
  3. Who is pole dancing for? 
    Literally anyone who is interested. I've seen pole dancers of all sizes, ages and from all walks of life. There are so many different styles and poses that there is something accessible for almost anyone. Furthermore, as a fitness regiment, pole works for everyone: it's perfect for anyone who wishes to develop more strength, flexibility and endurance. Last but not least, the pole community is by far the most inclusive one that I've ever been a part of.

Meet Ariana

  1. Where are you from?
    Las Vegas, NV
  2. What is your age?
    I am 25. 
  3. How did you hear about Pole Expo, or Pole Dancing as Fitness?
    I had an interest in being a dancer and also had extremely low self confidence and wanted to feel sexy....I was looking on Groupon and BOOM there was Pole Fitness Studio and I’ve been hooked since!
  4. How long have you been pole dancing?
    I have been doing pole fitness for on and off two years.
  5. Why do you pole dance?  How does it make you feel? 
    As I said before, I was interested in being a dancer but over the time I've continued doing pole fitness for the growth that I’ve seen in myself. I feel that I have a calling for pole! Pole gives me LIFE!!!
  6. Where do you see pole dancing in the future?
    I see myself owning or investing in a pole studio
  7. Where do you see yourself in 5 - 10 years? 
    ugghhhhhh such a hard question just because I live in the moment but I will never abandon pole..... I would just say stability!
  8. What would you say to someone who says, ‘they are too old, or too fat, or too weak, or too tall, etc. etc"… to try pole dancing? 
    I just want to let anyone know that YOU CAN POLE TOO..... I started pole weighing 195 and thought only "skinny people" could pole..... TRUST ME that's not true. it's all about determination my first class was hard as hell but I stuck to it never gave up and now I weight 159 and can do so many things I thought I’d never ever be able to do. Never give up never let anyone tell you, you can't do anything cause of your size. The sky's the limit! 

Meet Khristen

I love pole dancing because it gives me freedom. Freedom to peel off those outer layers, to feel like a strong and sexy woman without being objectified and to be creative and confident in my own skin and movement. I'm a mother of 2 teenage daughters. They dance and choreograph performance pieces with me and they travel to pole shows, competitions and conventions. As they join me in dancing I see their confidence grow. I see their acceptance of all body types and encouragement of others. My heart is so happy as they proudly tell others that their mother is a pole dancer and that they should watch her perform. Pole dancing is for every man and woman, young and old, size and shape, dancer, non-dancer.

Khristen Pahler

 

Meet Mary

  1. Where are you from?
    Victoria, B.C
  2. What is your age?
    71
  3. How did you hear about
    Pole Expo, or Pole Dancing as Fitness? From Fawnia Mondey
  4. How long have you been pole dancing?
    One year
  5. Why do you pole dance?  How does it make you feel?
    Great Fitness training..many laughs
  6. Where do you see pole dancing in the future?
    Olympic Sport
  7. Where do you see yourself in a couple years?
    Still competing in Team Sports
  8. What would you say to someone who says, ‘they are too old, or too fat, or too weak, or too tall, etc. etc"… to try pole dancing?
    Those are just numbers and numbers only have power if you let them...don't let ANYTHING stop you from fulfilling your dreams..Pole can make you strong, took slim, and feel young. (Tall can be an advantage in almost anything if you make it).

Meet Jackie

  1. Where are you from?
    I feel as though I have 2 hometowns. I was born in Memphis, TN and had a wonderful family life.  I moved to Detroit, MI and have made this my second home with my husband.  We have enjoyed our life in Detroit but we still look forward to 'going home' to our roots.
  2. What is your age?
    65 years of age 
  3. How did you hear about Pole Expo?
    I heard about Pole Expo from Precious D Harrison owner of Alter Ego Pole Studio in Eastpointe, MI.
    I thought it would be very exciting and entertaining.
  4. How long have you been pole dancing?
    I have been interested and observing for a couple years. Taking a class here or there at different studios. Though I was intrigued and interested in pole dancing, I wasn't sure or confident that I could really do it well.  I can relate to other women who may not feel comfortable.  But I say to them--- try it, you will like it. Pole dancing is great exercise and a confidence builder. I am now actively taking classes 3 times a week.
  5. Why do you pole dance?  How does it make you feel?
    I like feeling like a woman. I think pole dancing brings out my feminine side and makes me feel sexy.  I love learning how to move my body in a sexy way.  I think it also makes me feel more comfortable with my body.
  6. Where do you see pole dancing in the future?
    An Olympic Sport in a growing industry.
  7. Where do you see yourself in a couple years?
    A volunteer at Pole Expo 2017, and many years after and possibly certified as Pole instructor. Most of all I am an encourager and I love to see others at their best. Maya Angelou said  " Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud". I will encourage other women to try a pole dancing class as they will be very surprised.
  8. What would you say to someone who says, ‘they are too old, or too fat, or too weak, or too tall, etc. etc"… to try pole dancing?
    I would tell them that there is no such thing and show or encourage them to look at You Tube of pole dancers who are all different ages, shapes, sizes, and genders. 

Meet Cody

  1. Where are you from?Pittsburgh/Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  2. What is your age?
    26
  3. How did you hear about Pole Expo, or Pole Dancing as Fitness?
    I started poling 2.5 years ago when a divine series of fate led me to a free pole class on a whim. I knew immediately that pole was then going to be a major part of my life. As far as Pole Expo, I'm the Volunteer/Staffing Coordinator for the event!
  4. How long have you been pole dancing?
    2.5 years. 3 years in Feb 2017!
  5. Why do you pole dance?  How does it make you feel?
    Pole dance has given me an outlet for physical and emotional expression that I couldn't even find in music performance, an area to which I dedicated over 14 years of my life. I will always be a musician at heart, and I keep my skills up. However, pole dance has become my main artistic endeavor at this time. When I go into the studio, nothing can get me. I will only fly, in many shapes and ways, until I DECIDE I am done flying. There is no better feeling I have experienced yet in my life.
  6. Where do you see pole dancing in the future?
    I have a life goal of becoming a Music Therapist. If I stay in Nevada to pursue my Masters, my journey will take me to UNLV Reno-- A welcomed return to the woods and greenery I know so well from growing up in rural PA! A life-long friend of mine and I put it out into the universe, actually, to "not stop until Tokyo." I have a very deep belief I will in fact end up performing there some day.
  7. Where do you see yourself in 5 - 10 years?
    I have absolutely no idea 10 years is 36. I know I'm looking forward to keeping in shape and seeing how my male body will transform in my 30s. Past that, I live for today. That's really all we have.
  8. What would you say to someone who says, ‘they are too old, or too fat, or too weak, or too tall, etc. etc"… to try pole dancing?
    I'm fond of the phrase, "If you think you can, or can't, you're right." Pole dance can develop into a vigorous and physically extreme sport at the competition level; however, we all start with the basics. Pole can be whatever you want to make it, and EVERY life path can be brought to the pole and applied. Bring your pain, bring your joy, declare your injuries and look fondly at a missing limb. Our pole dance family accepts all of it, and we figure out how to make you shine.

My story

I moved to Las Vegas in January 2016 after I found that my life had become absolutely everything I told myself it would never be. I began a soul searching endeavor that guided me to the direction and instruction of Ms. Fawnia Mondey. The rest... the rest is history. Through dedication, an open mind and determination, I've achieved what I came here to do; be an artist and make a living LOVING what I do. The journey is far from over, but today, I only have to focus on what is in front of me. Just for Today, I can be me, and be accepted within a family I never would have imagined existed. I am not for everybody, and finally, that's just fine. My soul grows everyday that I pole and fellowship with my family, all over the world.

 

Meet Georgina

Georgina Hurst, from Eldwick, West Yorkshire, 44, suffered life-changing injuries after being involved in a head-on collision in 1998.

She had to be resuscitated five times after her heart stopping beating, and suffered a broken neck, broken leg, torn liver, kidney and bladder, shattered pelvis and punctures in both lungs. 

Since the incident, she has been forced to rely on a wheelchair and a team of carers on a day-to-day basis.

But now she has made huge progress in gaining back her independence and the ability to look after herself by taking up pole dancing. 

'I literally had a dream that I was watching a pole dancer,' said Georgina, a former paramedic.

'In the dream, I told my friends that I wanted to have a go and they all just looked at me as if to say "aw bless her." Then I got out of my wheelchair and did it. The dream was so powerful, that when I woke up, I researched some local classes and just got on with it. Honestly, it's been so liberating.

'I get so much out of pole fitness. My teacher, Hayley, has worked really hard with me to help strengthen my core and flexibility. Mentally, it's great too because I know I'm improving, I have a focus and it's a good laugh.'

Georgina will always rely on her wheelchair, but after learning how to pole dance, she can now walk short distances with crutches and can even drive again.

She is now able to enjoy bathing and showering on her own. 

Georgina was just 25 when she was involved in the high speed collision when the car she was in crashed head-on into an on-coming car on the brow of a hill. 

She had gone out with a group of friends to the pub when they decided to race each other on the way home.

Georgina cannot remember the incident and has no memory of the week before the crash, or eight weeks afterwards.

The person in the oncoming car suffered a broken leg, ribs and sternum, while Georgina's then-boyfriend Tim received some bruising and a three-month sentence over the incident.

Almost 20 years on from the incident, Georgina suffers from a condition called critical care polyneuropathy, a syndrome of peripheral nerves occurring as a complication of severe trauma or infection.