Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pole Dancing with the beautiful Sasja Lee

I first started seeing posts on Facebook from Sasja to Shelly Lamb.  Then I was in LA last year and "checked in" at In-N-Out.  Sasja commented and we've been fast Facebook friends ever since (she was actually a fan of In-N-Out, but once you see her body, you won't believe her because I still don't)!  I wasn't exactly sure how her name was pronounced, so I always called her "Sassy" in my head.  Shelly assures me its more like "Sasha," but I like Sassy so I will keep calling her that.  Welcome Sasja (or Sasj) to our circle!!

I understand you are from Kingston, Jamaica...when did you come to the United States?

Yes, I am indeed. I initially moved to the States with my family at age 3, returned home and came back at the age of 10. I've in LA most of my life, but always an Islander.

I believe you have been pole dancing for three years -- how did you get into it?

Yes, I just made 3yrs December 2011. I went with a friend of mine who thought it'd be a fun, new way to get some exercise. Which is a joke in itself, 'cause I believed shopping to be my cardio.

I ended up falling in love with pole dancing and shortly thereafter, was asked to become an instructor. My friends who've known me over the past 16+ years and attend my classes still laugh at the fact that I of all people could be conducting stretch and lead a class in fitness. The flip side is, they're also very inspired. If I can do it, anyone can.

Girl Next Door photo credit: Mike Quain
Where are you teaching now?

I'm currently teaching at Evolve Dance Studio and Crunch Gym. I love my pole family. Both the staff and students welcomed me with open arms and have made teaching that much more enjoyable and rewarding. I have been given the opportunity to connect with men and women beyond the skill, and learn so much about myself from them in the process as well.

What advice do you give your brand new dancers?

Have fun! Remember what attracted you to the art in the first place. Believe in yourself, push yourself (healthily), and with anything else, only surround yourself with those who support your greater good.

Which move is your nemesis?

No move in particular, every move in general. Lol! I'm always seeing tricks and transitions that are very physically challenging that I'd like to learn. Then, I try to put my stank on it to change it up a bit. So, it's never-ending. I love a challenge, and the many bruises it takes to master that challenge.

Do you compete?

I've participated in a few competitions. My favorite experience and most unexpected was US Pole Dance Federation-West Coast Regionals. I submitted my freestyle video 30 minutes before the deadline, and was beyond shocked when I made it in. I also made it to the top 5. Being in the company of such talented, supportive women was wonderful. And I've made lifelong friends through my participation.

Now, I'm more drawn to showcases, such as the fabulous production: Girls Next Door: A Pole Dance Soiree by Kelly Yvonne. It is a well-rounded, tasteful production that represents women of all backgrounds.  Blood, sweat and tears go into it every show each month, and I'm appreciative to be a part of it. It's the perfect forum in which to learn and grow.

Furthermore, besides politics, I believe competitions have taken on a different focus recently. I often ask, if one isn't a trained gymnast, ballerina, or contortionist, where do you fit into a competition nowadays?

What do you do for down time?

What is this "down time" you speak of?

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

My right hook has sent two grown men to the floor. And this was before I had these biceps by pole. Lol! BTW, it was all in fun. They were teaching me how to throw. Mission accomplished, I suppose.

What does 2012 hold for you?

With regard to pole dancing, I am determined to learn spinning pole this year. I do believe mounting the pole on spin mode without screaming can be considered progress. I'm well on my way! I would also like to perform as much as possible this year.

I also design custom swim wear, Sancia Rose, which is expanding to retail stores in 2012.

Thank you for being part of my blog.  I look forward to seeing you soon!

Thank you so much for having me, Lori. Next time you're in town, In-N-Out and pole play. Not necessarily in that order. :-)

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