Pole Dancer Layla Duvay

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I met Layla Duvay, a pole dancer and pole dance student, on Facebook and asked her to share her pole dance journey with us!

When did you start learning to Pole Dance?

About three years ago now.

Do you own a studio or instruct?

No. I teach English for a living so would be a "busman's holiday" for me. I prefer to remain a student! 

What made you try Pole Dancing?

I saw Sheila Kelley promoting S Factor on Oprah and I was immediately drawn to it.

I was sick of cardio/ weights work outs and I felt that it would take me back to my roots as a former burlesque dancer.That was back in the olden days of the mid-eighties.

How often do you train?

Usually four or five times a week.

Which move has taken you the longest to learn?

The cradle hold (bow and arrow in Aradia-speak). I've struggled with it for years until Alethea showed me how to get into it and voila! I can do it now! Finally!!!

What is your favorite move?

It depends on the day. There is, however a combo that Michelle Mynx taught me that goes--climb to sit then drop out to the side, swing into plank to cross ankle release then slide down to shoulder stand, bring your toes to the floor then bring them to the side and spin into a sort of half split.

Once I got over the fear of it I just revelled in the swoopy, sexy feel of it and it's sort of my go-to combo now! 

Have you ever competed and if you have how did you find the experience?

I submitted for a competition, but I didn't get in. Just putting the video together taught me a lot and I got some valuable feedback!

Do you perform regularly?

I do! I've done Charley's Detroit Showcase twice and I'll be dancing in the Toronto Pole Fitness Showcase on October 16.

They're my favourite because you can just let go and have fun and dance however you want with no restrictions and later bond with other polers! 

What is your greatest achievement so far in pole dance?

Persistence! I've stuck with pole longer than any other workout I've ever done and I feel like I have so much more to learn and accomplish!

I've been working out since the Jane Fonda "feel the burn" days--oh and the 20 Minute Workout. Yes, I'm that old, ha, ha!

Do you have a favorite grip tip or product that you use?

On really cold, dry days (lots of those in Canada), I use a clothes steamer to warm up my space for about 15 minutes. It REALLY helps with grip!

How did you start learning to pole dance?

Did you ever use any dvds? All I did was DVDs for the first two years: S Factor, Polekats and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pole Dancing.

Then I found a local studio and StudioVeena.com which is the greatest pole resource on the planet, I think! Last year I started dancing at a local Aradia Studio and this year I've been doing a lot of workshops and private lessons to hone my skills.

What are your feelings about pole dancing for fitness being associated with exotic dance/stripping?

Ennui--I don't really care.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of giving it a go?

Do it! Just give it a whirl (ha, ha) and go for it! Find a local studio that's reputable or go on StudioVeena.com if that isn't available to you. You won't regret it!

Do you think pole dancing should be included in the Olympic Games?

I feel kind of ambivalent about that.

I think it would really validate the sport/ art in a tangible way, but what would it become? Would it lose its sexiness? I'm still mulling it over... 

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