I am the self-proclaimed Northern California Pole Dance Ambassador. This blog is about pole dancing, weight loss surgery, health, fitness, aging gracefully, and life-in-general. I had gastric bypass in 2004 and lost 165 pounds. Pole dancing and yoga have helped me keep off the majority of the weight. I have struggled with my weight for my entire life and am on a journey of self-acceptance.
I saw Sarah Romanowsky perform at Poletential's Twirloween last month and loved her. I am really excited to see her perform again at the Air Show in December. She is also a really good sport because she answered my questions even though they were initially written for a pole dancer and were badly converted to "aerial questions" by me (bad, bad blogger!!). We welcome Sarah as an aerial sister!
What is your fitness background?
I spent years training at a gym, but since discovering aerial arts, I've hardly been back. I still dance, I love to hike, and I include Pilates & yoga in my aerial warm-ups, but primarily, the tissu/silks is my apparatus of choice for fitness.
What is your fitness routine (on and off the pole/silks)?
Climbs, meathooks, skin-the-cats, pull-ups, leg lifts, straddles. More than anything, though, I recommend just being in the air. Spend longer amounts of time on the fabric. Stack moves upon moves and you will undoubtedly get stronger.
What kind of diet do you follow?
Believe it or not, after years of being a vegetarian, I've finally added meat into my diet, and I actually feel a lot better. I have more energy and gain muscle more easily. You have to listen to your own body, try different diets, and see what you respond most favorably to.
Do you have a dance background?
Yes. I grew up training in ballet & jazz dance, then obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Loyola Marymount University, where my training also included modern & contemporary styles.
Which competition(s) do you like to do? Do you have any title(s)?
Competitions & titles are not a big part of the aerial world. I wish there were more opportunities in this arena, though!
Where do you train? Do you have your own pole/aerial arts studio?
I do not have my own aerial space, but I received all of my training from the instructors at Hollywood Aerial Arts, and now teach there myself, so I consider HAA to be my home studio.
Do you have sponsors you'd like to acknowledge?
Once again, we do not have sponsors in the aerial world as you have in the pole world, but this is an avenue I would be interested in exploring.
What first interested you about pole dancing/acrobatics/contortion/aerial arts?
With my extensive dance background, the tissu/silks really spoke to me on an artistic and expressive level. Now that I perform & teach it myself, I feel the exhilarating experience of blending strength and power with grace and extension. The fabric feels alive...it feels like a dance partner - it has me, it holds me. I can wrap it an a garment around me...I can ascend and descend...I can tell a story. I fall in love with it over and over again.
Do you have a preference? "pole fitness" or "pole dancing"
I think it entirely depends on the approach of any given class or instructor. Similarly to pole, there are some studios that teach aerial silks from a fitness standpoint, and others that teach it from a more artistic standpoint.
What do you think about the stripper vs. pole fitness debate?
I think the pole is an impressive apparatus to work on, and one that I've chosen to cross-train on this year. It's unfortunate that many people still view the work through a clouded lens. More and more, though, opinions are evolving on it, and people are accepting it for the amazing apparatus it is.
What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole (when you are pole dancing)?
I use Firm Grip spray or rosin on the fabric.
How do you deal with the dry skin on pole days (and on off-pole days?)?
Not a problem on fabric.
Where do you like to buy your aerial/pole workout clothes?
Dance shops. You need fitted leggings that cover the backs up the knees. Leotards. Unitards. You need your waist covered. You do not "stick" to the fabric as you would to a pole, so stay covered, or get burned!
Do you like to dance in heels or barefoot?
What did you do before competing and/or opening your pole studio?
I was a professional dancer. I was a classic showgirl in Las Vegas for awhile - in Jubilee!
What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?
Beyonce's Love on Top. I love her! Her music, especially on this current album, makes me wanna throw my hair around a lot while I'm in the air.
Do you have any other upcoming events/competitions you'd like people to know about?
I freelance around Los Angeles and also travel to perform nationally & internationally. I have lots of fun jobs coming up throughout the holiday season and will be sure to post video and pics!
What else would you like people to know about you and/or your studio?
Check out my work at www.LAaerialist.com. I update it constantly with new photos and videos. I will also be starting my own blog soon!