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.
When I first started talking about interviewing pole dancers from around the globe, Shelly Lamb told me Anna Grundstrom was one of those I absolutely needed to catch up with. We have finally touched bases, and so here she is: Anna Grundstrom!!
did you first start pole dancing and how did you get into it?
I started taking classes New York Pole
Dancing back in 2007 and applied for an instructor position a few months later.
How do you feel pole dancing has changed since you started?
When I co-founded USPDF with Wendy Traskos, most interaction in the pole
industry existed primarily on YouTube. To see all these pole dancers meet for
the very first time at the inaugural US Pole Dance Championship in 2009, I
recognized that change was happening.
Having watched hundreds of submission
videos, I’ve seen a lot of technical and artistic growth throughout the years.
New tricks, concepts and movement styles are being presented all the time and
will hopefully continue. All art forms experience growth; stages of molding and
shaping. Pole dancing is no exception.
My personal journey has focused on
artistry, which was greatly inspired by my involvement with Brook Notary’s
“Pulse Project” 2 years ago. It’s had a major influence on what pole dancing is
to me. My individual style and approach to pole started to shift. My movement
became more inspired by inner dialogue and telling a story versus just doing
pole tricks. My body naturally responded to this new approach to pole dancing.
And while this form of self-expression probably existed within me all along, it
emerged as an “AHA!” moment while working on Pulse Project. Brook has been an amazing
choreographer who has allowed me to organically grow into who I am as a dancer.
Who are other pole pioneers that you admire?
I don’t follow the industry as closely as I used to since leaving USPDF in 2011. But I greatly appreciate any pole dancer that
takes the time to discover who they are as dancers and performers. I know from
personal experience that the process can be both fun and frustrating. As
artists, we go through this process of imitating, faking, failing, and ultimately
daring to push ourselves out of our comfort zones until all that’s left is the
What moves me most is witnessing a
performer’s artistic drive and purpose: what is their intention or story? And
what compels each movement choice? Dance is captivating when performed from
that raw space; regardless of difficulty level.
Do you own a studio? If not, where do you currently dance?
I don’t own a studio but
I teach at New York Pole Dancing at a regular basis, and spend time doing my
own personal practice around the corner from my house at Sacred Studio in
Brooklyn, which is also the current home of the Pulse Project.
us one thing about you that people might be surprised to hear about you.
I just got certified in Applied Positive
Psychology (CAPP) at the New York Open Center this month.