Greta Pontarelli, Aged 69 next month, from USA, american pole dancer comes to Belfast, Ireland on October 26th and 27th to compete, judge and host master classes.
We are excited to be introducing legendary pole dancer Greta Pontarelli to World Pole Dance for the first time competing under the World Pole Federation
With 8 world titles under her belt she is set to follow in the footsteps of pole stars and legends of world pole dance such as the amazing champions & her idols Felix Cane and Jenyne Butterfly
Fear of osteoporosis got Greta Pontarelli up from her desk and onto a pole, but it was pure grit and daily affirmations that, just three years later when she was 62, won her first place in the 2013 Pole Sports World Championship. Since then her elegant, gravity-defying routines have made her an internationally recognised pole legend, so you can imagine our excitement when she agreed to travel to Ireland to compete and judge at world class level for the World Pole Federation.
Pole sport is a relatively new sport only being recognised in 2009 in the beginning by the World Pole Federation, creating a safe and non judgmental artistic platform for individuals to perform for the public for the very first time in Jamaica
We asked Greta some questions prior to her attending the Championships in Belfast, Ireland, on Saturday October 26th
Please connect with me on social media.
How did you get started in pole ?
When I was told I had the beginning of Osteoporosis I knew I had to take action because my mother had it severely. I did some research and learned I needed to do more weight bearing exercise to keep it at bay. I either had to lift weights or lift my body and pole fitness was recommended. I soon took a class and was immediately hooked by the beautiful artistry and how quickly one gets into shape.
I never expected to compete. However, when I was on American Ninja Warrior and heard the announcer say I was the oldest person to ever attempt the course, I was shocked. It set in motion an epiphany to use the stage as a platform to inspire others to not let age or limitation keep them from passionately going after their dreams.
At what age did you start pole?
I started pole the beginning of 2010 when I was 59.
Do you have a dance or fitness back ground?
I competed in gymnastics in high school and college and had a number of years of dance and martial arts. However, most of my training occurred between 40 and 50 years ago, so it seems like another lifetime at this point.
What other careers have you had before pole ?
I was a psych major in college. I have had extensive training in the healing arts, physical therapy as well as executive coaching.
What do your children say about you doing pole on an international level?
My family has been extremely supportive and have empowered me to go after my dreams.
How does your diet and lifestyle change when you are training for a pole competition?
Eating a healthy diet has always been important to me. So nothing changes when I am training more intensely for a performance. My diet is essentially Paleo. I eat organic food, freshly caught fish and free range chicken. I love cheese, so I sometimes include it in my diet as well as a glass of red wine occasionally. I eat very little gluten which keeps my inflammation low and hydrate with plenty of water.
Who do you learn from and where do you get your inspiration from for your performances?
I train at home in my Home Pole Studio. I teach Skype lessons to students there and occasionally connect with artists all over the world. I am empowered by so many people. Numerous philosophers, visionaries and artists have become important catalysts for me. It is by reaching deep within and connecting with inspiring muses that the magic unfolds, bringing not only a piece, but our entire lives to life.
Who and how do you chose your music for your performances?
I come from a musical family so finding the right music to frame a piece is paramount to me. I tend to be moved by music that is or could be a soundtract for a movie. A performance is really a 4-5 minute screenplay. It needs to have contrast, crescendos, moments that frame challenges as well as a victorious climactic ending that is uplifting and moves the audience.
Have you ever danced in exotic dance heels?
I tend to be more acrobatic so heels don't work too well for me. However, I am amazed by what those who do Russian Exotic can do in them.
What do your friends, the same age, think about your hobby and profession?
My friends as so supportive. They think I am a bit of an anomaly to do what I do at my age, but I don't. When you passionately pursue what makes your heart soar you actually feel ageless.
If you could chose one thing to change about your body what would it be ?
I would love to have perfect hips and the fast twitch muscle I had when I was young, so I could tumble and sprint again. After two hip replacements I have gotten stronger on the pole, but without cartilage in my hips I don't have the explosive power needed to tumble.
What one thing would you say to ladies who’ve never tried pole and are nervous to do so ?
Many people tell me that I have obliterated their excuses for not going after their dreams and it has changed their lives. That touches me immensely because my mission is to hopefully in some small way inspire the life of others.When you find real purpose in your life motivation is no longer an issue. It becomes a powerful alarm clock. We can always find an excuse and fear is a common one. However, I have learned that when we push through our excuses and crush our fears we find brilliant success.
Judge and World Class Pole Competitor