How and when did you start the Pole dance business?
I started to lay the foundations of Pole Passion in 2001 in the UK, there were only a handful of people exploring pole fitness. It was soon after my third child was born. I started as a hobby wanting to get fit again after the birth of my son, I was in search of something more exciting than the gym and more challenging than my normal routines of fitness
What was the biggest challenge?
Changing public perception. I identified quite quickly with the right marketing and education, pole fitness could be accepted by the masses by staying focused with so many ideas buzzing around – It was hard to keep focused and following through with one idea before moving on to the next. This new exercise and dance was addictive, challenging, exciting and for me pioneering it in the UK was so much fun
What do you feel the biggest success in this business?
Love and connection from so many people now around the world all sharing the same ideas and love, passion and enthused with the passion around the pole – I have made the biggest family I could ever wish for and providing a worlds stage was my biggest ambition – a platform where the performer would not be judged wrongly, where they would receive the credibility and recognition they deserve in a professional environment
Why it's so popular all around the World, what do you think?
Because pole, no matter how it is portrayed, fulfils so many desires and connects people in such a positive way
The love of challenge, variety and contribution
Growth and significance all positive human needs
Tell me the story of Pole Passion and World Pole dance?
It slowly happened over time encourage by my husband Steve as he saw my potential as a leader of like minded people
I was passionate to make a difference to peoples lives, I wasnt sure how i was going to do this but Steve saw my strength and leadership more than I ever did.
Pole Passion grew from a personal hobby encouraged by my close friends, from close friends, who told their friends, who told their friends I soon became well known. I got so busy I had to take on instructors to help with the demand for my lessons. I then became quite ill (cancer in fact) for me this was the turning point, not actually knowing if I would be alive in 6 months I decided to document all my teachings.
I started to name my moves and document my lesson plans. 18 months later I became well always striving for that next move, whilst actually being incredibly poorly – pole kept me alive and focused me in a positive manner
In 2005 I had created a national championships, Miss Pole Dance UK, for me this was about educating the masses and the champions were urging me to create the next level for them after a few years waiting, I decided to create the first World championships, not actually knowing who in the world would attend !! or even if I had the time to plan it - It was all a gamble but it paid off, the market was bigger than I really believed at the time
What does pole dancing mean in your life?
It has become my life
Its what I wake up for
Its what I fall asleep thinking about every night
The people I connect with and the places I visit all have a connection to the pole
I now can’t see a life without the pole
Who’s are the greatest and most prominent pole dancers in the World who did most for this business's popularity?
There are so many and each person who I have met along the way has each contributed to the growth of the industry
From Sheila Kelly to Fawnia Dietritch, my two training inspirations in early 2000 to the pioneers in each country I have the privilege in teaching and sharing knowledge with
Pantera USA 2006,
Alma Pirner Budapest 2008,
Anastaisia Russia, 2009
Keem Martinez 2009 Mr Pole Fitness, France ,
Elena Shishkova Russia 2009,
Jeneyne Butterfly USA 2009,
Felix Cane Australia 2009,
Alesica Vazmitsel UK/ Belarus 2009,
All the contestant of the first world championships for sport and fitness dance and art to the present day competitors who are the continuing future of our industry
What's the difference between pole dance and pole fitness/pole sport?
For me there are very clear differences
In Pole Passion we all start with the pole fitness – this is a new sport, and exercise programme, only being created in the UK in 2006 – as a series of moves, tricks, spins, poses and transitions a work out on and around the pole incorporating floor work, stretch, flexibility, core work outs, conditioning moves for fun and fitness – In Pole Passion I have also created have a grading system whereby students and instructors can reach certain levels of expertise by the way of an assessment process
Pole Dance – is a series of set choreography moves, set to music to create a pole show enabling the performer to express themselves through movements on and around the pole, being free to tell their story
And finally comes the Pole Sport – a series of gymnastic, and athletic moves and set sequences including routines and combinations with a more ridged formulae to technique
What do you think pole dancing is so seductive for men?
I believe pole dancing is seductive for both men and women who appreciate the beautiful form of a woman’s and man’s body, demonstrating the athleticism and wonders of the human body can achieve, defying gravity creating shapes in such a mesmerising and super human way. For me pole dancing incorporates strength inside and out as it is much harder to achieve than it looks
my motto being empowerment confidence fitness & FUN!
How do you see pole dancing in the future?
I see the pole dancing spreading everywhere, from gym to gym to park to beach from village hall to the front room – pole dancing is an activity that has no boundaries or prejudices, discriminations to age, gender or physical ability
I have witnessed the blind and deaf, the young the old, the disabled and the ill move beautifully and creatively around the pole – for me there are no boundaries for the pole –– we have taken it to the highest mountain in the UK, we have taken the pole in the sea, we have taken it to beaches parks and roads - let’s not stifle the creativity and possibilities of pole
Do you think it's just a fashion, or it will last longer?
For me a fashion is something that only has a season or two – Pole has been around for me for 15 years therefore no this is not a fashion I believe we are still learning and developing the industry and there is so much more to come
Tell me more about the UK pole dancers, and people's opinion about?
Over the years the barriers are changing, initially 30 year old women, age bracket was only interested in pole then suddenly 5 years later the 20 years were interested, now all ages, young and old, men and women are interested. The media has helped, the facebook community has helped to educate the naïve – people opinions are changing for the positive and will continue to do so. The level of professionalism has increased and education has progresses and I believe we still have exciting times ahead
Kay Penney – Pole Passion Ltd | Miss Pole Dance UK | World Pole Sport & fitness Championships |
Pole Pioneer UK