What is your fitness background?
I have been a professional dancer my whole life. When I was little I competed in ballet, jazz, tap, and lyrical dance. In my teens I also trained with the Kirov Ballet. When I was in my early 20's I became a certified Yoga and Pilates instructor. I have only been practicing pole for a year and a half, but I became addicted and wanted to train and teach so I became X-Pert certified through Body and Pole. That is the program I would recommend to others who would like to be trained to teach pole.
What is your fitness routine (on and off the pole)?
I bought a $10 a month membership to Planet Fitness because I was teaching so much pole. I realized I needed to cross train. When I am at the gym I try to aggressively move through my routine as quickly as I can but get two rounds of weight training in. I basically start with free weights, then go to the pull up assist machine and crank out as many as I can. Then I move to the machines and set the weights to give me enough resistance that I can do more reps and challenge myself but not be to fatigued to keep moving. I want a long thin toned body so doing more reps at a lower weight helps me not bulk up. I have been taking one ballet class a week, jogging a little, but I am going to start doing more Aerial training with Silks and Lyra soon which I am excited about. When I train on the Pole I do a lot of simple controlled techniques really, really slow. The slower and more controlled you try to achieve a chopper, a pole crunch, or a pull up the more benefit you get plus you are building a foundation that will make you stronger when you try more advanced moves.
I eat whatever I want...lol...but my body has been craving protein so I do eat a lot of boiled chicken breasts, and I love red meat so I like steak. I figure I am burning off so much I can get away with it. But refined sugar is the devil so I only have it in my morning coffee.
How do you describe your pole style?
My range is contemporary lyrical to absolute slut. Because I have performed and trained in so many dance styles I can pretty much do whatever I want. It depends on where I am performing, my audience, and what I want them to know about me.
Which competition(s) do you like to do? Do you have any title(s)?
I competed in the American Pole Fitness Championships this past October. I didn't place but I did much better than I thought I would and scored high enough to almost place. I am competing in Polesque this weekend in NYC, and in February next year I am going to Las Vegas to do Aerial Pole Dance Art. I'm excited.
Where do you train? Do you have your own pole studio?
I teach at Boston Pole Fitness in Boston, MA. My boss Stacy Hamilton is a wonderful woman who treats me like gold. I love my students and my co-workers are also amazing polers. If I didn't have them I would not be where I am today.
Do you have sponsors you'd like to acknowledge?
I am accepting sponsors now...lol...please give me your money now. haha
What first interested you about pole dancing?
I was stripping in a gay bar in Charlotte, NC called Chasers. It was the first club I worked in that had poles. All the other male strippers would dance (poorly) on the poles and we would just play. So I got on YouTube and searched "Male Pole Dancer". When I realized there was a whole community of Pole dancers out there I decided I wanted to be a part of it. Even though I danced in clubs, all my girlfriends were pole dancers in gentleman's clubs so I was always around pole dancers but never thought I would end up doing it.
I am a Pole Dancer and proud of it. I started learning pole while working in the clubs and I am not ashamed of that. Matter of fact it plays a pivotal role in how I approach teaching and my performance style. Pole fitness is great and all, but without the sex and eroticism its boring to me.
What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole?
I have been training myself to use nothing. I want to be able to pole under any conditions without tac.
How do you deal with the dry skin on pole days (and on off-pole days)?
I love my spa days when I go steam and sauna then get a massage. I also love just using Welda arnica oil blend all over my body after a hot shower...its awesome and good for your skin and circulation.
What did you do before competing and/or opening your pole studio?
I had my own dance studio for a few years, than my own Yoga studio for a while. After I closed both of them I decided I just wanted to work for somebody else. That's why I am so glad I work for Boston Pole Fitness. I don't have to run a business I can just teach.
What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?
"Sailing" by Christopher Cross
I want to add that I am performing in the Slutcracker, a Burlesque version of the Nutcracker here in Boston a few more times before the end of the month. Visit www.Slutcracker.com to buy a ticket. I am in Cast A. Come see me compete in Aerial Pole Dance Art in Las Vegas at the end of February!
Male Pole Dancers Rock. And I love all of my other fellow male polers in this industry. Add me on Facebook as a friend: Philip Ryan Deal.