By Deb M

My Stage Name is Deb M. I have been pole dancing for 2 years and been an instructor for a year and a half. I teach at Romance and Dance. I train with Celeste Ayers Owner of Polarity Fitness (opening soon in Long Beach, Ca). As a pole dance competitor, I competed in the following: Amateur division at US Nationals 2013, Pole dance America 2013, 2014 Pacific Pole Championships, 2014 Northwest Aerial Art Championships, and 2014 Pacific Aerial Art Championships.   I just competed at the 2014 Pacific Aerial Art Championships organized by Pole Sport Organization. This competition is a little different than Pacific Pole Championships in a sense that they really wanted to see competitors’ artistic side come out along with their pole and lyra skills. I have been dancing consistently since I was 14 but when I went to college I was too focused on getting my Chemical and environmental Engineering Degree to stay committed to dancing. I missed it so much that I just started to take dance classes randomly after work and I friend suggested to take a pole class. All it took was one class and I was addicted. consider pole dancing to be an artistic sport. As a pole dancer I know how hard it is to master advance tricks and the training.

I believe every woman is beautiful but sometimes you can’t tell how beautiful they really are because they lack self-confidence. Pole dancing gives women that confidence and it’s an amazing workout. I am 33 years old and this is the best shape I have been in my life. I would recommend pole fitness to both women and men actually. I believe that women that are open minded are drawn to the pole community in the United States because I feel that we are a little behind in the US on clearly defining what pole dancing really is. You have all kinds of women in the pole community. You have everything from house wives, doctors, engineers, lawyers, college students, mothers, grandmothers….. you name it I bet we can find that type of woman in the pole community.

Pole dancing is an amazing workout. A women’s body will change in so many ways; they will lose weight, gain muscle, and change their shape in a good way. I lost 20 pounds in 2 months and now is the only time I have ever felt comfortable wearing a bikini and it’s because of how pole dancing has changed my body. Pole dancing is beneficial for health and physical reasons and that leads to a woman gaining self-esteem which leads to empowerment. I have never felt so confident and secure in my whole life. Other people inspire me. I have choreographed several routines in the past all alone but I realized that I am more creative when I am with someone and they are watching and listening to music with me.

My role models are Celeste Ayers and Natasha Wang. My favorite pole trick is an aerial shoulder mount and hold in a straddle. I know is not a very difficult trick but it looks so beautiful when one climbs up and twists around to their shoulder and deadlifts their legs straight up into a straddle and holds it. It really depends on what is going on in my life at the moment, but I definitely express myself and emotions through dance. So I go through all sorts of emotions and I chose my music based on how I feel at the moment.

I believe that all women are sexy in their own way and sometimes it just takes something like pole dancing to bring it out of them. I always start by saying that pole dancing is “aerial pole acrobatics” and most people don’t really understand what that means then I continue by giving an example of a Cirque du Soleil show and then they understand. I learned how to define pole dancing the hard way. When people would ask me what I did I just used to say I pole dance and 80% of the time their response would be “oh you’re a stripper”. I would then tell them that it’s an extreme sport mixed in with a pole and a whole new level of artistry. I don’t blame a person associating pole dancing with something bad or something that is considered inappropriate, but I feel like we have come a long way in this industry. I also learned that a photo or a video is worth a thousand words so thank god for smart phones. All I do now is if someone still doesn’t really get it I show them a photo or a video of what we pole dancers do.

I come across the issue of women being intimidated to get on the pole all the time when I teach my beginner classes. I just tell them that they are amazing and that they need to relax and pretend that no one is watching. It’s just them and the pole. Whenever I hear the word “never” come out of a student’s mouth I know they need a little boost to find themselves and that’s what my job is as an instructor. I help them and show them how to improve on the pole.   When I come across women that are not students I don’t scare them away with showing them competition videos or crazy pole trick photos. I emphasis on the amazing workout benefits of pole dancing and I explain to them that anyone can pole dance and they can take as far as they want to. Just workout and socialize or take it all the way and train hard and compete/perform. I think I’m pretty convincing. There is no age limit for pole dancing. I have students in their 60’s attending my classes. Now having said that, if a student or anyone interested in pole dancing has medical issues or physical issues they should be cleared by their physician prior too pole dancing. I have student with medical/physical injuries and I just modify my curriculum to their needs.

For those who have not tried pole dancing yet, it is an amazing workout. It does it all for you; you lose weight, tone up in all the right places. Pole does a body good! You do not need to know how to dance in order to be a good pole dancer you just need to be opened minded and willing to learn. Start learning basic fundamentals of dance and show off what you are really good at….if it’s not dancing then maybe it’s your pole spins/tricks, or maybe it’s your flexibility.

Pole Dancing is definitely a big part of my life; it’s my true passion, my true love, I don’t know what I would do without it but I want the PWN audience to know that I am a normal person just like them. I’m a Chemical Engineer by day, I have 3 dogs that I love dearly and most importantly I am very loyal and I want everyone to succeed. Even during competitions I wish every pole dancer the best of luck right before they hit the stage even though I’m competing against them. We all work hard and we all deserve to be treated with respect and feel welcomed at all times.