You are so amazing. I don't even know where to start. So, let's start with YOU. Tell us how you became Goddess Star Monroe.
Well most of you probably guess that I wasn't born Goddess Star Monroe. I was in fact born Joanne Roper and I literally spent the first 3 decades of my life battling with my self esteem, body image and confidence. I was bullied at school, suffered various eating disorders, had an addiction to cocaine and alcohol and went from one abusive relationship to another. Three years ago (I was 37) I decided enough was enough, I realised I was literally killing myself with all my self destructive behaviors. On July 1st 2008 I stopped drinking and stopped using cocaine and cleaned my life up BIG TIME. Around the same time to celebrate my new life I decided to change my name to mark this momentous occasion in my life - and Goddess Star Monroe was born.
My name is a reminder that I am in control of my life and I can create whatever I want - it is also a reminder to ALWAYS believe in myself xxx
Was there one specific incident that sticks out in your mind that caused you to decide you needed a change in your life?
I had a nose job in June 2008 and I remember still trying to use cocaine after the operation and knew that I couldn't sniff it up my new nose, so I swallowed it instead. This was a VERY low point in my life and I remember seeing myself, almost from above - like an out of body experience - looking down and going - "What the hell are you doing girl - sort yourself out now - you are so much better than this".
I love your quote, "What would happen if you ADORED yourself?" Women so often put themselves last and are so self-loathing. How does it feel to help empower women?
Honestly Lori - this is what I was born to do. I feel with such a passionate force that I am here to help women feel good about themselves. There is so much rubbish that we listen to daily on how we are meant to look, be and feel that literally warps women's minds. I have a very down to earth and REAL approach to helping women feel good. There are no gimmicks, no quick fixes just real, HONEST advice that comes from my HEART.
How do you stay in such amazing shape? What is your fitness routine and what kind of diet do you follow?
My body is naturally curvy, I have a great bottom that sticks out and womanly hips. I am a former competitive figure athlete and although my body was kick arse lean - this is not my natural state and it was an absolute mission to get there. So I am more accepting of my body now and I am dedicated to being the best I can be.
Here's what works for me: The way I look after myself is with the INTENTION that my body is my temple and I worship her. I am nothing without my body and I want to take the utmost care of myself all the time. With this intention behind everything I do - taking care of my body becomes much easier. I source out what I love to do and this changes seasonally but here is a general weekly plan:
I go to the gym and lift weights x 3 per week - this makes me feel strong and in control
I walk my dog nearly every day - fresh air and time away from the office - WIN
and I train on the pole 2 hours x 1 per week - wanna bust those moves baby!!
I stretch every other day and swing about in my yoga swing to release my body in the evenings!
I have had a love hate relationship with food nearly all my life - so now I am dedicated to experimenting with what works for me. Everyone is different and we need to know that one size does not fit all. What works for me is eating 3 - 4 x per day - protein at every meal, beans/pulses and lots of veggies and salads. I like to feel hungry before I eat but not starving. I have a glass of red wine every night and one day per week I eat what I want - which normally means I bake some delicious cake, I go out for brunch with a girlfriend and have burger and fries. It's the 90:10 lifestyle. 90% of the time I eat really healthfully and then 10% I eat what the hell I desire - it's a win: win.
There are times that I just want to eat cake and veg out - and at these times I am now more understanding and compassionate with myself - so I don't beat myself up anymore but I am strict enough to realise that I need to pull myself out of the funk and get back to what really works for me.
I don't want you to reveal any of your secrets, but how do you read people's bodies?
Now you know that women have great intuition....... Blend my intuition + 20 years of working with women's bodies + 12 years of working as pilates expert and Ive developed this unique skill that when a woman stands in front of me I can instantly transform her posture in under 5 mins making her look taller and more elegant and most of time a good 5 - 10 years is taken off her face because she starts to use her internal muscles to hold her body for the first time in a long time.
Now once I start adjusting a woman's body I just know, deep down, what is going on in mind as this invariably gets played out in her body. It's amazing what I can do with a woman's body and my clients are just astounded with the results - they feel out of this world!
When did you start pole dancing?
10 years ago after attending some lessons at a gentleman's club in London. Never looked back since.
What is the name of your studio?
Goddess Star Monroes' Academy of Womanly Arts
Do you have a dance background?
I have no dance or gymnastics background and this is what I personally love about me. I have had to work hard at every single move, transition and trick. It has not come easy to me BUT this in turn makes me an excellent instructor as I can break down any move and explain to all my clients how to do it. I cannot rely on my flexibility or contortion skills to do the moves - it is my skills that I have put into my body with practice and dedication.
Do you compete (pole fitness or any other kind of fitness competitions)?
As I said earlier I am a former competitive figure athlete. This was an amazing experience but I now understand what I have to do if I want to compete in any competition. For the time being I am happy teaching pole and performing at various events.
What interested you about pole dancing?
The sexy side completely grabbed me - I love that it is a way to express my sensual side. More recently I am hooked on the strength and athletic side of pole - I'm amazed at what I can get my body to do now!
Do you have a preference? "pole fitness" or "pole dancing"
Pole dancing - I honor that pole today evolved from exotic dancing.
What do you think about the stripper vs. pole fitness debate?
There was a great quote from Jamilla Deville and I'm going to use it here to answer this....
The more pole competitions try to cut out or ban the superficial elements that allude to pole's exotic origins, the more they offend the girls who proudly brought pole dance to them, and the world, ten years ago. I've seen more awkwardness from girls who've never stripped and a world more elegance from girls who have. The day we stop being fearful of our own beauty is the day we shine.
What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole?
Liquid pole chalk + alcohol
How do you deal with the dry skin on pole days (and on off-pole days?)?
I have never found this to be a problem. My hands are like builders hands - but I'm very proud of my callouses.
Where do you like to buy your pole clothes?
OMG!! I've got 10 years worth of outfits. I visit Vegas a lot and buy clothes from the stores there. Recently I have bought shorts from Sweet Vixen Couture - she does great shorts!!!
Do you like to dance in heels or barefoot?
Currently - barefoot - it gets me to use my legs a lot more and work on my pointe!
What is your favorite thing about dancing on the pole?
That at 40 I'm in better shape that I was at 20!!!
What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?
Clare Maguire - Ain't Nobody
What else would you like people to know about you or your studio?
I just love being a woman, it is my life's mission to inspire and empower women to fall in love with being women. I am a true woman who has fucked up so many times YET I am still here and happy. I love women who are up for a challenge and open to the possibility that life can transform when they start to really believe in themselves. I am the catalyst that can make this happen for them xxxxx