What inspires you?
Confident women. A few weeks ago, I saw Shirley Manson (Garbage) in concert and was so inspired by her confidence to dance around the stage and rock it out at 55 years young. It’s taken a really long time for me to start feeling confident enough to know my worth and to start living life on my terms, and I’m sure I’m not alone. As women, we’re raised to constantly question our value and navigate how to be ‘likeable.’ I love seeing women who can shake that off and be their authentic selves, unapologetically. And I like to think that pole dancing is helping me exercise that muscle.

What brought you to RGF?
I’ve been pole dancing intermittently for nearly a decade with lots of long breaks due to 4 pregnancies and 3 children (1 lost pregnancy). I started classes again a few years ago but my prior studio closed during the pandemic. Once it was clear to me that they would not reopen and I’d felt safe enough to return after being vaccinated, I asked around for another studio in the area. My former pole instructor recommended RFG! And although it’s a much further drive, the structure of classes at RFG has challenged me and helped me grow and it is so worth it. Plus, the studio is so beautiful and welcoming; I mean, tampons are provided in the bathrooms!!! And not discretely; they’re beautifully placed and part of the decor! It seems like such a silly thing, but it really stands out as such a powerful symbol in my mind – Women, come as you are!

What music do you love to dance to?
I tend to like slower songs that allow time to extend the movements fully and create a mood. When I started pole dancing, my favorite song to dance to was Glory Box by Portishead. Now I really love FKA Twigs and some covers like Wicked Game by James Vincent McMorrow, Chasing Cars by Sleeping at Last, and Take me to Church by Milck. If I’m feeling a faster song, my favorite is probably Powa by Tune-Yards. My favorite sexy song is Acoustic by Billy Raffoul. And anytime I can dance to some of my favorite ladies (Bjork, Cat Power, CocoRosie, Alanis), I’m happy!

What is your favorite thing about pole/aerial dance?
There are so many things that I love about pole dancing. It’s clearly the most fun form of exercise! It features strength and beauty, celebrates women, and everyone has their own style. But I think that my favorite thing is that it’s a little scary and to do it well, it forces you to not care what anyone else thinks.

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