I had the privilege of meeting, interviewing and training (for a little while!) with Polesque Vixens pole dance instructor Mirella Martinez of Merced, California.
When and how did you first start pole dancing?
I started pole dancing approximately March 2010. I had a friend (who is currently now one of my instructors) invite me to a class and I instantly became addicted!
I noted that it was definately a workout and that it was fun. It didn't feel like boring gym membership routines or anything that I usually give up after a few classes. I enrolled for more classes immediately and before you know it, I was pole dancing about 4-6 times a week.
What has been the most difficult to learn in pole dancing for you?
At first it was all difficult, but like anything new, it always is. I enjoyed it so much that I stuck with it and was patient with myself to learn at my own pace.I think the most difficult thing to realize and learn is that it ALL takes time and it is better if you don't rush yourself or you will be injured in some form or fashion (speaking from experience). So, now I know that I WILL get to where I want to be in MY body's time not anyone else's.
How did you overcome these difficulties?
I think I just realized that I do learn new things, moves, tricks, and dance techniques all the time. So, I realized that I needed to not worry so much about it and just have fun.
What are your feelings about pole dancing still being associated with 'exotic dance' or 'strippers'?
Well, it kind of bothers me that some people immediately want to call me and my girls strippers when they have not been to a class, seen us dance, or gone to our performances.
I just want them to see that it's a beautiful, expressional form of dance and that it requires a lot of flexibility, coordination and strength. Once they've seen our shows or come to a class, they will realize that all our clothes remain in tact. :)
You have your own studio, Polesque Vixens. What advice do you give beginners?
Be PATIENT. It takes time, but you WILL get there.
Be EXPRESSIVE/FREE. Feel free to dance from within and let go of any inhibitions.
Be SAFE. Never do anything that has not been shown or taught to you. It can be dangerous and you will feel the negative effects from injuring yourself.
Have FUN. This is what makes this sport/art form of dance exciting, new and worth the effort.
A few things I tell my students during instruction and dancing: move like melted butter (slow and graceful), no dead arms (do something-admire your hair, body, etc.), use that hair/head (head tosses), and let go/be sexy.
What advice do you have for advanced students?
Don't leave out the sensuality, sexiness and art of the dance. It's easy to get caught up in tricks, inverts and power moves that you sometimes forget the beautiful part of dancing and SELF EXPRESSION.
Have you ever competed?
If not, are you planning on competing one day? I have not competed, but I have performed in many shows. I am finding that I love the performance part of it and creating fun, sexy routines to show off. My famous quote, "I wanna be good enough to compete, without competing."
Do you have a 'pole hero'?
Oh gosh! I have MANY hero's. Perhaps if I write another one of my quotes it will answer this question and why.
"I wanna be as effortless as Jenyne Butterfly, as strong as Felix Cane, as ridiculous as Zoraya Judd, as outrageous as Pantera Blacksmith, as sexy as Alethea Austin, as graceful as Amber Richard, as beautiful as Leigh Ann, as artisitic as Kira Lamb, as HOT as Trina Davis, as awesome as Jess Leanne Norris, as amazing as Anastasia Skukhtorova."
Which studios have you trained at?
I attended pole fitness classes with Venus Pole Fitness in Turlock and attended various workshops with more advanced well known pole dancers including, Kira Lamb, Amber Richard, and Alethea Austin.
I also watch and learn from a lot of instructional videos including Climb and Spin, Be Spun, Jamilla Deville, and JLN Studios.
Are there any instructional dvd's that you have used to help you?
Yes, Jamilla Deville, BeSpun, and Climb and Spin has an awesome certification program.
Mirella's studio, Polesque Vixens, is located at 561 W. 18th Street, Merced, California 95341.
The mailing address is: PO BOX 736, Merced, CA 95341.
She can be reached by phone at (209) 726-9762
The website to her studio is: www.holisticxchange.com