What is your fitness routine (on and off the pole)?
Each week I try to include the following: vigorous walk for about 45 minutes twice a weeks, Hatha Yoga 2 or 3 times a week, pole practice 2 or 3 times a week.
What kind of diet do you follow?
I eat everything in moderation, choosing foods that make me feel good and energized that also taste good. Plenty of fruits (usually a smoothie in the am, with plain yogurt), veggies and lean meats. If I'm truly craving something "bad", like mac-n-cheese, I go for it as there is something in there my body needs.
Do you have a dance background?
No. However, I have always been involved in movement. As a child I took tumbling and gymnastics, maybe two years of ballet and tap, and cheer in high school. I consider yoga my background, as I have practiced that the longest, 15 years all during my adulthood. I am a certified Hatha yoga, pre/post natal, and therapeutic yoga instructor.
Do you compete (pole fitness or any other kind of fitness competitions)?
No, that doesn't interest me. I really admire the women who do compete, they are so amazingly talented! I prefer to keep my practice one of internal satisfaction rather than an external performance. It helps me create a sense of union in my body, mind, and spirit as well as keep me in the best physical shape ever - at age 40!
Do you teach pole classes? If so, where?
Yes. I own a studio called Yoga Flirt. Yoga Flirt reconciles the age old conflict of spiritual and sensual self by combing the wisdom of yoga with the free-flying experience of pole fitness. It's like chocolate and peanut butter combined - the best of both worlds! We are the only studio in the nation to incorporate yogic wisdom with pole fitness.
Do you have a preference? "pole fitness" or "pole dancing"
At Yoga Flirt we call it pole fitness simply because we do more than just dance, it is full body workout that includes yogic wisdom lessons, yoga based floor movement, standing and walking movement, conditioning exercises, isolated pole moves and dance routines.
What do you think about the stripper vs. pole fitness debate?
I think stripping is for someone else, pole fitness is for yourself.
I rarely use anything other than a towel to wipe the pole and dry my hands. At the studio we use rubbing alcohol to keep the poles clean. On a rare day when I feel like my hands are just too slippery I use Dry Hands.
How do you deal with the dry skin on pole days (and on off-pole days)?
I drink plenty of water, so my skin rarely gets dry. If I'm in the mood and I remember I may use a little lotion on my feet and legs at night. I moisturize my face every morning and at bedtime.
Where do you like to buy your pole clothes?
For practice and teaching I mainly wear yoga tops. I love Lululemon simply because their clothing lasts a long time and I'm in yoga clothes six days a week. For bottoms I typically choose dance or athletic shorts with 1 inch inseam because they stay in place. I know plenty of women who wear boy cut underwear, but that isn't my preference.
If I'm dancing in class or at home for my hubby I love layers, slowly peeling down to something sexy is incredibly alluring! Those items are usually something I find in my closet, jeans, button down tops, or maybe costume pieces like a tutu and ruffly bottoms.
Do you like to dance in heels or barefoot?
Both, depending on my mood and what I'm practicing.
Only ONE thing? I don't think I can narrow it down.
First, it truly taught me to embrace myself completely - all not-even-5-feet of me with dimply thighs and all. :) It completely changed the way I see myself. I now know I AM sexy and that ALL women can be sexy.
Second, it is just darn fun to fly around the pole.
Third, it is so empowering to see a move and think "Wow! I'm not sure I can do that" and the next thing you know, under the guidance of a trained instructor, there you are hanging upside down by your toes.
What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?
I'm currently looking for a new favorite, but some recent songs that have really worked for me:
Crazy Bitch - when I'm feeling sassy
Glitter in the Air and Superman (It's Not Easy) - when I'm feeling quieter
Killing Me Softly and Hero of the Day (live with the SFSO) - my go to songs that will always transport me inside
I love that pole fitness teaches women that we don't have to be just one thing:girlfriend or wife, mother, student, business woman. We can be those thing AND be connected to and safely express our sensuality. It's not this or that, it's this AND that.
That's what I love the most about the Yoga Flirt studio, too. It's not yoga OR pole fitness. It's yoga AND pole fitness. It is a place where women are vitally and vibrantly alive, where they inspire and support one another, and where everyone can feel joy and ease in their life.