by Makeda Smith

It was recently suggested to me that I should separate my business (publicist) self from my pole dancing (SheBa) self.   I’m guessing that the perception is that ‘SheBa,’ my pole dance alter ego, could be a deterrent to my public relations practice. Considering that I work in the wild and wacky world of entertainment, I don’t readily perceive how this could be so, but perhaps there is someone out there who believes you can’t dance and think – at the same time. If that person or entity does exist, I doubt I would want them as a client anyway. That said, as I enter 2016 and turn 55 years old with an early January birthday, I guess reflection is in order.

To pole or not to pole – is that the question???

Five years ago, no one could have ever told me that pole dance would take over and create a new chapter in my life. During that first year of lessons my body ached every single day, and my mind relentlessly chastised me for being foolish enough to even attempt such an extreme exercise at my age.

But here we are almost five years later and pole dancing has garnered me amazing recognition – and in such a short time. I’m a contributor here at Pole World News; I blog daily at; I have a sizeable social media following and inspire many; and I have been interviewed by national and international media outlets with regard to the pole. Not bad for a senior citizen.

I therefore refuse to accept that my dancing persona operates in conflict with my business persona. I fully embrace being a multi-faceted being and I know no borders. Ancient goddesses are often pictured with several arms to reflect their multi-dimensionality and ability to not only multi-task but to shape shift and manifest magic. Well, I have several arms too!

In addition, after having lost ‘everything’ in 2008, including my man, my home, my real estate investments, my cars and my dog, I honestly feel that the universe gifted ‘dance’ to me to help me heal my aching heart. Pole dance allowed me to work through my mental, physical and spiritual anguish.

Pole dancing made me strong.

Pole dancing made me whole.

Pole dancing healed my pain.

Moving into 2016, I pledge to continue to fully embrace the goddess energy that flows through me. So yes, a perspective client might Google me and find me swinging around a pole or contorted around a lyra, or entangled midair in an aerial hammock. And who knows, by 2017 I might even take up funambulism, the art of walking along a thin wire or rope, because if I continue to live by other people’s expectations, that is what I will end up doing anyway!

Here’s wishing a wonder full New Year to everyone. May we all fly even higher over 50 and become even freer. The god/goddess within us commands us to.

Let’s dance y’all !

Makeda Smith

Photo Credit: Steven E. Harvey /

Studio: Tilt Studios in Burbank, CA

Makeup: my daughter Asha Jaha