Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Studio Spotlight: Pole for the Soul!

While contacting pole studios for Social Sonar, I came across Pole for the Soul.  Krisha and I exchanged a couple of e-mails and I asked her to join our ever-growing circle!

Here is Krisha from Pole for the Soul in Seattle, Washington:

What is your fitness background?
Prior to pole dancing I never enjoyed working out.  I tried weight lifting, I tried aerobics, I tried walking/running, etc.  I found all of them boring and repetitive so I never had any motivation to pursue fitness.  I'm living proof that you do not need to be fit to try pole dancing but you will get fit doing it!  I can now lift my own body weight up onto the pole with ease.  I do have pole safety training endorsed by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.  But other than that AFAA pole safety certification I have no fitness background.

What is your fitness routine (on and off the pole)?
Just dancing!  People often assume by the way I'm built that I do yoga.  But pole dance is 100% of my fitness routine.

What kind of diet do you follow?
My number one priority is not eating processed sugar.  It compromises our immune system and staying healthy is more important to me than sugary treats.  I lean toward natural foods and try to limit my intake of processed foods.  I don't count calories and I eat whenever I'm hungry.

Do you have a dance background?
Before pole dancing my only formal dance training was in belly dance.  I also worked occasionally as a go-go dancer from 2003 to 2005.

Do you compete (pole fitness or any other kind of fitness competitions)?
I do not compete.  I'm more focused on the artistry of pole dance rather than the competitive side.  But I do admire those that compete.

What interested you about pole dancing?
As a young woman I never felt truly "sexy".  Our culture taught me how to act sexy and dress sexy but I never felt it emanating from the inside.  With pole dance I discovered that I don't ever have to try to be sexy and that sensuality and being feminine can come naturally to us as women if we just let go of other people's preconceived notions of what is "sexy" and build a positive and empowered relationship with our own sensuality.  Pole dancing did that for me.  And that fact that it made me stronger and toned my body was an added plus!

Do you have a preference? "pole fitness" or "pole dancing"
I prefer the artistry and sensuality of pole dance.  But you can't practice the artistry without also getting fit.  They go hand in hand.

What do you think about the stripper vs. pole fitness debate?
I think there is a huge difference between doing something for money and doing something because it makes you feel strong, empowered and beautiful.  I don't have anything against strippers, one of my best friends is an exotic dancer.  But at Pole for the Soul we aren't teaching women to strip for money or dance for their man.  We are teaching them that sensuality is a natural part of who they are and expressing that aspect of themselves in a safe and non competitive environment can be freeing and empowering as well as build physical strength and fitness.  I tell our first time students not to do this at home for their partners right away.  I want them to experience what it can do for them on a personal level before they decide whether or not to share it with someone else.

What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole?
I use an eco ball which can be purchased at many REI stores for $4.

How do you deal with the dry skin on pole days (and on off-pole days)?
Using lotion regularly can upset the PH balance of your skin to the point where it no longer can produce sufficient moisture on it's own (or so I have been told).  Because I don't use moisturizer my skin naturally stays soft and moisturized on its own as long as I limit my caffeine intake and drink lots of water.

Where do you like to buy your pole clothes?

I recently discovered  Also yoga shorts and sports bras work great.

Do you like to dance in heels or barefoot?
It depends on my mood.  Most of the time I like barefoot.  But sometimes my inner diva really wants to come out to play and the shoes help me express and embody that saucy side!

What did you do before opening your pole studio?
My background is in the entertainment industry.  I have a degree in film and I worked as a producer's assistant at Paramount Pictures and as an assistant for one of the agencies in Hollywood that represent well known artists and writers.  When I moved to Seattle in 1999 I supported myself doing administrative work until I opened Pole for the Soul in 2006.

How did you come up with the name for your studio?
I asked my friends for help.  I told them I wanted something that conveyed that what we do is holistic and natural and can benefit every aspect of woman's life.  I felt the benefits of pole dance in mind, body and soul.  So I threw some ideas around with my friends and we came up with "Pole for the Soul" together.

 What is your favorite thing about dancing on the pole?
It's really hard to choose just one.  But like many women I have a hectic life balancing career, relationships, life purpose, spirituality, family, every day "to do" lists and daily demands.  It means the world to me to have a time and place to set all that aside and just experience being a woman and connecting in a positive way with myself and my creativity.

What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?
It changes constantly.  These days I love dancing to "Never Alone" by BarlowGirl.

Do you have any other upcoming events you'd like people to know about?

We will be having an open house at the end of October so that women can come and see the studio and watch students and instructors perform.  We haven't chosen a date yet but to find out when it is eventually scheduled women can sign up for our mailing list on our website or join our Facebook page.


What else would you like people to know about you or your studio?
Not everyone believes it, but pole dancing really is for EVERY woman.  It doesn't matter if you are clumsy, if you have two left feet, if you don't think you can dance, if you are full figured, if you are not fit or not strong.  Our instructors are trained to make this a fun and easy process for women of every age, shape, size, fitness level and learning level.  Every woman can learn to feel beautiful from the inside and nurture a powerful and positive relationship with her sensuality.

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