Thursday, 12 November 2009

Kay Penney of Pole Passion interview by Pole Skivvies USA

Alescia Vazmitsel 2008/2009 Miss Pole Dance UK and World Pole Dance 2009 No 3 champion
Tracey Simmonds Performing in Miss Pole Dance UK 2008
Maxine Betts Miss Pole Dance UK 2009 champion

Kay Penney is the founder of Pole Passion, which hosts Miss Pole Dance UK and the World Pole Dance Championships.

Pole Passion runs several different pole dance competitions.
Miss Pole Dance UK Professional category (professional as in standard of moves)
Miss Pole Dance Amateur - Beginners in pole dance, fitness and performance
Mr Pole Fitness - categories specific to males only
Doubles in all categories
World Pole Dance -

How did it all begin, and which competitions are coming up?
Miss Pole Dance UK came from the ideas in 2004. I have a performance and acting background and was quite new to pole competitions then (as there were not many around ). I was let down by the organising company who ran the very first competition I entered – “Pole Idol” back in 2004 – bad management, bad communication, unprofessionally run! I felt I could do better. I only wanted to create an opportunity for ladies like me to shine on stage without the fear of being wrongly judged, never dreaming they would be so popular as they are today.

We have just ran the first Mr. Pole Fitness UK competition on 4th October. Then we had the big one – Miss Pole Dance UK 2009 professional category on October 25. This has run since 2005 and is probably the largest and most established and prestigious pole competition in the UK.
The world championships are next - Felix is the current world champion Australia, Jeneyne is No 2 representing USA and Alesia is No3 in the world representing UK

Can you give us the details on how one becomes a contestant?
The competition is open to all, professional and amateurs. It was always my aim not to prevent anyone from entering who had the passion – and skill, of course. All ladies who reside in the UK, who are over the age of 18 on the day of the competition. A pre-audition selection process takes place in which all applicants must submit a 3-4 minute routine, either in person or via video clip, to the selection committee where the performances are assessed.

What are the judging criteria and who are the judges?
We have quite a complicated judging criteria with very strict rulings and procedures to create and maintain professionalism. I believe, by continually adapting as the industry has adapted, maintaining this process has been very influential in the success of the competitions. The judges are well-respected individuals within the fitness and pole dance domain. This year we are pushing the boundaries yet again by introducing one of the UK top osteopaths and chartered physiotherapists as our concentration is on health and safety on and around the pole from a musculoskeletal point of view. Apparently, we have created a bit of a stir within the osteopaths’ association.
check out pole passion for more details

How do people get tickets to watch the competitions?
We are promoting the ticket sales via + 44 (0) 1293 888 200, 24hr hotline 0871 2200260, and 08700 600100.

What got you, personally, into pole dancing?

A drive to do something different that would challenge me mentally and physically. And, at the time of beginning pole dance and fitness, as a fitness professional I was in a stage of my life where I needed an unconventional challenge, something that would help reinstate my self-esteem and boost my inner confidence, which incidentally I was lacking hugely. I was searching for a newfound fun, something I could do for myself. I had a desire to explore my sensuality, which I felt I had lost after the birth of my third child.

Favorite makeup tip:
Hummm … as a qualified beauty therapist, my favourite makeup tip has to be eyeliner and lip gloss. I tend not to leave the house without it. As a busy working mum, I unfortunately don’t have huge amounts of time to do the full makeup routine. I leave that for special occasions.

Barefoot, sneakers, or platform heels?
Ohhh, can I choose all three – I believe in multi tasking and promote that a modern women has the ability to wear several hats (or even shoes!!).

Favorite grip enhancer:
I must admit I haven’t had the opportunity to try them all, so if all the grip enhancers out there would like to send me a sample I would be willing to do an analysis on them all. However, the ones I have tried – Mighty Grip, Gorilla Gold, Sur Grip (no longer in production), Dry hands, Itac – I have them all in my instructor bag as there are pros and cons on them all (was that answer diplomatic enough?). It depends on my mood, the pole’s mood, and the weather, of course!!

Pole dance move that made you proudest to learn:
It has to be my first ankle release – the first invert move I did, within four weeks of learning the pole (I was on an intensive crash course for a TV show at the time). The thrill of going upside down and not falling was amazing.

Pole dance pet peeves:
Nope, sorry, I don’t have any.

Favorite treatment for bruises and sore muscles:
For bruising it has to be good old arnica and a reassessment of pole technique. And for sore muscles – work harder. Oh sorry, I mean rest and relaxation and a wonderful deep tissue massage.

Who would you most like to have in the audience at your competitions? all pictures copyright Pole Passion Ltd

For me, when I developed the competitions, it was always with women in mind for the audience (at the time of innovation I felt the men had their shows and events in the gentlemen’s clubs). Miss Pole Dance was always about women. For me, success was having 50/50 men and women in the audience. Miss Pole Dance now I feel has 80% women/20% men in the audience so I feel I have succeeded. It was never about volume, incidentally. That was just a bonus (900 – sell out, in the audience last year at Miss Pole Dance UK).

Who would you most like to have compete?
Competitors come from all backgrounds – for me, anyone who is so passionate about the art of pole they shine on stage. Obviously, acrobatics, ballet dancers and gymnasts inspire me the most due to their amazing flexibility, grace and poise, but honestly anyone has the capabilities to compete – variety and originality are the spice of competing.

Actually, one day I would love to think that my daughter will compete (she’s 15 and still very much influenced by her peers). She is quietly inspired by both Felix and Pantera.

Who is your hero or role model?
My mum (who died a year and a half ago through an awful illness of cancer of the liver). She has taught me so much in my life. Jacqueline Gold of Ann Summers who faced challenges as I did in the early days of promoting pole dance and fitness.

What are your favorite words of encouragement?
Empowerment, confidence, fitness & FUN! Fun in caps, as that is my main focus in life.

Favorite pizza toppings:
Prawns and fresh herbs.

Cupcakes or ice cream?
Home made cupcakes AND ice cream.

Anything else you’d like to share:
I would like to thank everyone who supports me, especially my family and friends who sacrifice a lot for my full time passion, and to all those people who send me lovely wishes and to say I am so privileged to work in an industry with such lovely people.

For more information, visit Pole Passion and get the details on the 2010 World Pole Dance Championships.

1 comment:

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