Friday, January 13, 2012

Pioneers of Pole: Bobbi's Pole Studio!

I recently started researching the History of Pole Dance to do a post for The Pole Dancing Shop.   While the history for the United States and Canada came up fairly easily, I was having a harder time finding out when pole dancing started moving mainstream in the rest of the world (maybe since I'm in the U.S., the Internet thought I didn't need to know about any other areas of the World?).  I then saw that Bobbi of Bobbi's Pole Studio was named United Pole Artist's Pro-Poler of the year.  I also saw an article from Australia about how Bobbi built her pole dancing empire.  So I started doing some research.  Of course, I'd heard the name before:  I had heard people say that Felix Cane had danced at Bobbi's Pole Studio.  And, of course Bobbi must be a Pioneer of Pole for Australia.  So I decided that it was time to just go to the source...

Today we have the co-owners of Bobbi's Pole Studio, Bobbi and Vanessa ("Ness"), with us [check out their profiles HERE].  Bobbi's was first opened in Sydney, Australia in 2004 (now with three locations in Australia, one in Malaysia and one in Singapore).

You are pioneers of bringing pole dance to the masses.  What made you decide to open your first studio?

Ness:  I met Bobbi learning pole dancing in a strip club (for non strippers) and we stayed in contact. A lot of the girls from the original Strip club classes new that we were doing some projects together (DVD, coffee table book) and kept asking when we would open a school. In 2004 we opened “Sydney Pole Dancing School” (with 2 poles) in a “massage” parlor in Pitt St. 

Eight weeks later with over a 100 students we moved to a new studio in Castlereagh St. and renamed it Bobbi’s Pole Studio (just in case we ever have another studio somewhere else, yeah right!)

In 2005 Miss Pole Dance Australia was born and Bobbi’s sister Kim opened a studio in Perth. Bobbi’s Babes started to handle all the bookings we were getting for Pole Dancers and Miss Pole Dance Australia just got bigger and bigger.

In 2010 we opened Bobbi’s Pole Studio Malaysia and Bobbi’s Pole Studio Singapore.

How did you choose Singapore and Malaysia as additional locations?

It was the people more than the countries, Linna and Jasmine (Singapore) and Maple (Malaysia) came over for a few weeks for private lessons with Bobbi and their ability and personalities just made it a good match to join the Bobbi's family

How do you feel about pole dancing going mainstream?

It's great that it's finally being accepted for what it is, 8 years ago we were having a lot of attitude from the press/sponsors of competitions, etc. But I kind of miss the "undergroundness" of it, I guess. It was exciting to be around when it was still surprising people.

What was your background in both pole dance and other classical forms of dance?

Ness:  Bobbi's trained extensively in many forms of dance, I'm more the business side of the business.

Who are other pole pioneers that you admire?

Pantera and Fawnia Dietrich are the originals.

The new school of pioneers are Felix Cane, Alethea Austin and Jenyne Butterfly.

My favorite Bobbi's-taught pro competitor is Felix Cane.  Who are other famous Bobbi's dancers?

Allegra, Cleo. Maple from Malaysia and Sparx are famous in their own right with pole dancing part of that famousness but probably Allegra and Cleo.

How did Miss Pole Dance Australia come about?

A guy from the Netherlands contacted us to put on the Australian chapter of his Miss Pole Dance competition and we agreed. We had a  rocky relationship with him and we didn't end up being part of his larger competition but Miss Pole Dance Australia was born and we never looked

Tell us one thing about each of you you that people might be surprised to hear.

One thing that people might be surprised to hear? That's hard...I'm a bit
obsessed with survival skills (Ness) and Bobbi speaks fluent Japanese.

What does 2012 hold for each of you and Bobbi's Pole Studio?

The revamp of the Old and The Flexible on Bobbi TV, possibly another Inner Showgirl competition.

Thank you both so much for participating in my blog.  In my wildest dreams, I will get to make a trip over to Australia to take a class with you someday!  Much love to you both!


  1. I'm from Bobbi's Pole Studio (Singapore) and was thrilled to find this article about them.. Will post it up on our Facebook page! I'm definitely proud to be from the school! <3

  2. I am hitting up the other Bobbi's studios so I will have more Bobbi's love very soon!!! And thanks for posting!!!

  3. Sorry, my eng is not good enough, but what means "I'm a bit
    obsessed with survival skills"?

  4. Anonymous...I'm not sure what she means...maybe doing those challenges where they drop you off in the middle of nowhere and you have to survive??