Ro and Lisa of Vertical Fitness Australia pole dance studio talk about how they became involved in the world of pole dancing!
How long have you been pole dancing? How did you start?
Lisa: I have been poledancing for the last 12 years, I started out as a Showgirl performing feature stage shows, where my love for performing and passion for the pole developed.
Ro: Have dabled with a little self interest in the pole for the last 3 years after watching Lisa on it for many years.
Do you have a website?
Yes, it's www.verticalfitnessaustralia.com.au
How did you get started as an instructor?
Lisa: Before retiring from my performing career to have our beautiful daughter Justice (an avid pole user herself now!), we created Vertical Fitness Australia as a means for the everyday lady to have an opportunity to experience pole dancing and see the fitness benefits that derive from it.
It gave me a chance to teach something that I loved and I haven't looked back after 7 years.
What advice do you give beginning pole dancers? Advanced students?
Lisa: The Art of Pole should be looked at as a long term goal, most come along expecting it to be a lot easier than it is and some can get discouraged.
Every new spin or progress in a trick, beginner to advanced must be looked at as a positive step in the right direction! The joy of Pole Fitness is there is always a new challenge and something exciting to work on.
What are your feelings about pole dancing for fitness being associated with exotic dancing/stripping?
Lisa: I think pole fitness and exotic dancing/stripping are two seperate things entirely now. Pole fitness has gained a lot of credibility over the last few years and I think that the general public is more educated and it has lost its stigma somewhat.
Ro: Pole fitness and pole dancing as much as they do have their relation, I think pole dancing for fitness emcompasses far more other aspects such as Chinese Pole and Indian Pole, and although certainly has aspects of exotic dance, pole fitness takes far more strength and grace.
Take away the heels and the fancy costumes and Pole Fitness is merely gymnastics on a pole.
Have you ever competed?
Lisa: I have never competed, but Ro and I have been organisers for Pole Fitness Competitions for the last 6 years, with our main in-house competition being Miss Vertical Fitness Australia.
What has been your biggest challenge in your pole journey? How did you overcome the difficulty/challenge?
Ro: I think the stigma of exotic dance has been the biggest challenge, as one of only 3 pole schools in Australia when we first started it took determination to get peeople to see it as a mainstream activity.
We overcame this by running classes from our local community centre which was backed by our local council, from this endoresment I believe it encouraged women from all walks of life to try pole fitness out as it seemed less intimidating.
Not to mention Lisa is a very approachable and easygoing person, which made it easy for new students to relate to her.
Do you have a pole "hero"?
Lisa: Dominic Lacasse, he shows such amazing strength and control of his core on the pole and makes it look effortless.
As a pole instructor this is what you are always striving for.
Ro: Lisa my partner, from Vertical Fitness Australia, although because of her choice not to compete, she is unrecognised for her strength and ability in the worldwide pole community.
What studio(s) have you trained at/instructor you have learned from?
Lisa: When I started Pole 12 years ago there were no Pole Schools in Australia, or very many girls doing pole work in general, I have self taught myself everything.
Have you ever used any dvd's to learn from? No.
What has been the hardest/most challenging pole trick to learn?
Lisa: From a female point of view the flagman , starfish and staff were all difficult to master due to the shear upper body and core strength. The Spatchcock for the pure flexibilty it requires.
What is your favorite outfit to wear when you practice/perform on the pole?
Lisa: Usually something simple and skimpy to allow for maxiumum skin/pole contact...Crop top and hotpants is always a great option.
You can contact Ro or Lisa at the following:
Vertical Fitness Australia
3 Amay Cres
Ferntree Gully 3156
Tel: 03 9758 9941 Mobile: 0400 933 270
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org