Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pioneer of Pole: Anna Grundstrom

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!!

 
When 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 real us.
 
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.
 
Tell 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.
 
What does 2013 hold for you?
 
I’m performing in a year- long underground series with the Pulse Project. Part 1, “Love & Guts” will be held at Sacred Studio in Brooklyn, May 30th - June 1st. I’m beyond excited! Please, check it out: http://thepulseproject.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/thePULSEproject
 
I’m teaching contemporary pole workshops that are focusing on improvisation, transitions, movement quality and other fun stuff.
 
I’m creating non-dance workshops that teach people simple tools to create more flow and positive emotions in their daily lives using CAPP.
 
I’m co-writing a textbook in positive psychology.

 
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Anna Grundstrom
Pole Instructor/Coach, Pulse Project Dancer, CAPP practitioner
 
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Check out my previous post about the beginning of the Pulse Project HERE.

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