Monday, February 13, 2012

Meet Natasha Tonelli!

When did you start pole dancing and how did you start?

I started Pole Dancing in 2005 in Arizona. I met my brother's girlfriend who was an exotic dancer. I was over at her house one day and saw her 8" heels and I freaked out. I have been hooked ever since. She told me she could teach me but I would have to go audition at her club. Of course I was terrified lol but I did it not knowing anything. And I just fell in love with the pole the first time I touched it. The house girls taught me a basic fireman and knee hook. so that I had something to do when I performed the next few weeks. I ended up loving it so much I started working and over the space of the next 2 years learned a lot of things. How to move my body and be confident. I never went into an invert or seen anything super crazy like an arm bar/matrix etc. BUT I couldn't believe how my body changed. This was a static pole and I got so ripped my legs and abs were amazing. I have always been athletic in high school I swam and ran. I worked at "Curves for women" when I was 18 as a personal circuit trainer and diet consultant. I lifted weights on and off for years and was always in good shape. But I always got bored and ended up taking long periods of time off so I never got to the point that I was just 100% from head to toe ripped hard and strong until I found pole

What is your fitness routine (on and off the pole)?

I pole 4 days a week for 4-6 hour sessions. I start with 30 min of warm up(kicks, pirouettes around pole to slow music, floor work, body rolls), 1hr of contortion and then 3 hr pole, and then 30 min leg and butt work normally. I do squats and booty pop for 3-4 (3 min songs) without stopping. And then take a break. I go over combos that I want to perfect...a combo for me being 3 -4 tricks put together that I have already mastered each trick individually and now the goal is to do them all back to back and make it look like 1 smooth swift movement. No struggle. A routine is 4-6min of combos....on my off days I am normally so sore that I rest other than 350 crunches and 25 pull-ups with the aid of my pull-up bar also I like to rest in headstands it feels so good to just relax on my head. My Boyfriend thinks im nuts haha. I take hot salt baths and stretch. When I am preparing for a competition I only take 2 days off a week and train 5. I have a stack of note pads that have 100+ combos written on them and every routine I have ever done is written down on them when I watch videos I see something I want to learn and perfect I write it down. They are my own personal pole bibles.

What kind of diet do you follow?

I am 100% VEGAN which means NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS, MEAT, EGGS OR DAIRY. I am very strict!!!! There are four basic food groups: 1. Whole grains, such as rice, oats, corn, or pasta, are great for energy. Whole grains provide protein and fiber, along with complex carbohydrates for energy. They are a good source of B vitamins and minerals. Whole-grain breads, brown rice, whole grain pasta, corn, millet, barley, bulgur, oatmeal, and quinoa. I aim for 5 or more servings per day. 2. Legumes (i.e., beans, peas, and lentils) are loaded with protein, minerals, and fiber. Legumes—all types of beans, peas, and lentils—are great sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins. This group includes chickpeas, baked and re-fried beans, black beans, navy beans, lentils in every variety, peas, and the full range of soy products: tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and veggie burgers. Not only are legumes free of cholesterol and animal fat (like all foods from plant sources), but they also help reduce cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. I aim for 2 or more servings per day. 3. Vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and many others, are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Vegetables are nutritious for two main reasons: First, they are rich in nutrients your body needs: vitamins and minerals, fiber, and special plant nutrients called phytochemicals. Second, they don’t contain any cholesterol or animal fat at all. The same is true of grains, fruits, and legumes. Some of the most nutritious vegetables include dark leafy greens like broccoli, collards, kale, mustard and turnip greens, spinach, chicory, and bok choy. Other highly nutritious choices are the yellow-orange vegetables, such as carrots, winter squash, yams, and pumpkin. I aim for at least 4 servings or more per day. 4. Fruits, from apples, oranges, and bananas to mangoes, papayas, and watermelon, provide vitamins and minerals, too. Fruit is loaded with fiber, vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals, and phytochemicals—special disease-fighting compounds found in plants. Citrus fruits, melons, apples, pears, bananas, and strawberries. I aim for 3 or more servings per day. I use a 100% hemp protein powder for added protein and when I am preparing to compete I take Creatine supplements for strength and stamina as well as MSM for joint health.  Also 10 glasses of Lemon water a day. The lemon cleanse' the body to flush out toxins that training and exercising release.

Which competition(s) do you like to do?  Do you have any title(s)?

I have done fitness competitions that are held in venues and dancer competitions that are held in clubs. I like both. I have a title as Pole Queen Champion Midwest USA 2011 held at Club On The Border in Wisconsin and Pole Olympics Fitness Competition 2nd Place Champion 2010 held at The Office Nightclub in Illinois. Also 1st place Champion Instructor Fitness Competition held at Roxx 2010 Wisconsin.

Where do you train?  Do you have your own pole studio?

I train in Rockford, Illinois at POLE CHICKS WOMEN'S FITNESS CENTER. I do not own the studio I work as a pole instructor. This is the place where I have grown and learned enough to become what I am today. The facility's focus is pole fitness, flexibility, and core strengthening. Great women, Great team!!!! I love them all and I am so GRATEFUL I found this studio when I moved to Illinois.

Tell us about the Pole Dance Awards.

My project that my partner, Chris Artigado, and I have going. He contacted me one day as someone he thought would be successful in getting this going because I am obsessed with the industry and everything pole. Our focus is to make it the  ACADEMY AWARDS AND OSCARS for Pole Dance. The awards that all the actors and actresses go on the red carpet every year to receive. Well we want that for pole dancers. Red Carpet and everything. It will be a live television event in the future that I myself will be broadcasting. Viewers vote monthly on their 2 favorite videos by liking them, videos that I myself and Chris hand select and post on the page. And then 2 top winners are chosen every month to go head to head at the end of the year for the AWARDS In the December challenge!!!!!!!!  This was our first year doing it and we had huge feedback. We will have it with plaques and cash prizes in the future.

For the award of:
Marion Crampe
(Latino night club) video
For the award of:
Marion Crampe
(at Milan pole dance studio) video
For the award of:
Chalese Hathaway Stevens
(pole dance dragonfly) video

Tell us something about you that people would be surprised to hear.

That I was never into gymnastics or dance. I never danced before in my life. Before pole. And it took me awhile to find rhythm. BELIEVE ME LOL!!!! I found that a lot of the best athletes in the industry have either taken gymnastics or ballet or cheer. I am a beginner at the performing arts....I work extra hard because of it.

What else do you have planned for 2012?

Competitions!!!!!!!! I pulled a ligament in my knee on December 23rd and have not been able to pole. I will not be able to pole until April and it has been very, very hard for me. I will miss 4 Midwest competitions, Pole2Pole cup USA and THE GREAT MIDWEST POLE DANCE COMPETITION AND CONVENTION. By the time I am healed and I am able to start training again. It has been so hard for me to not be able to pole and train and compete a true death sentence lol...but as with athletes injuries happen -- look at Felix Cane. We truly just have to PUSH PAST. There is a national competition being held at Club On The Border called The Vertical Pole Showdown U.S. Open. In November, I am planning on making that my comeback. I do judge a lot of competitions here in the Midwest so that helps make up for me not being able to compete. I just recently judged The Pole Chicks Pole Olympics competition that was sponsored by Platinum Stages. And that was a great event and great competition. I have an awesome support team me and all of the pole girls from my studio and the surrounding areas really band together and share the love with each other. I know this year is going to hold great things and the pole industry is only going to get better and better. My goal is to compete in the U.S. Championship by 2015 and IPC and hopefully Worlds. So with my determination and work ethic anything is possible!!!! Only great things to come. and as Natasha Wang said "There is no rush to the top we need to just slow down and enjoy the journey!!!!!!" I am thankful I have so many athletes to look up to. We are all so blessed.....

If you'd like to connect with Natasha, please visit one of her sites below:

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