I invited this young woman to be a part of the MCBMI campaign because of her athletic talent. Her story is very raw and heart felt, but what I really love about it, is she is still evolving and working on what once was broken. She has found a way to embrace who she is and celebrate her uniqueness through her craft. In reading her interview, you will get a sense of darkness in where she was, and light in who she is now and where she is going. I believe, ‘Growth and Change’ is the best way to describe her. She is yet another testament as to what will and determination can do for you both physically and mentally. I hope you enjoy reading her interview as much as I have.
Activity: Pole Instructor, Dancer, Performer
Q: You grew up in Oregon, what drew you to Florida?
Yes, I grew up in Oregon. I was in a really abusive relationship that I needed to escape from and after vacationing there and loving it, I moved across the country and have loved it for two years now.
Q: Were you active as a child? If so, what sports did you play?
I was very active as a kid. In Oregon everyone does sports, lol, it’s just part of the culture. I did gymnastics, soccer, ballet, and pole vaulting. Gymnastics though, was my passion, I did that for 17 years.
Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?
Growing up, I wanted to be one of two things… ruler of my own planet or a dancer. Turns out there were no extra planets for me to rule so I dance 🙂
Q: How did you get into pole dancing?
Actually, I got into pole dancing at a bar one night. My friend dared me to jump onto the pole, and I stuck there, so I figured maybe I could go upside down, and it worked. It took a short amount of time to go from dancing at a bar to legit stripping. In Oregon there is a ‘no contact’ rule so I always felt safe and I loved it. Despite what everyone has said about strippers and strip clubs, I enjoy the sexual fantasy and energy and it’s amazing to feel desired like that… of course it’s not a glorious life by any means, so I decided to go into a real studio in August of 2014 and get really good at pole.
Q: How has it changed your life mentally and physically?
Wow that’s a big question. Pole dancing changed my life completely. Mentally, I have a painful history of fearing how unique I really was. Growing up in a small town, being the only one of color hurt me in a massive way… it made me feel ugly because no one wanted the “weird one”… I’d try to fit in when I didn’t. Pole is freedom to be YOU, and express your uniqueness in beautiful ways, so I have been, and am still, growing, and learning to see beauty in my difference. Physically, I still struggle, and not with strength. I struggle to maintain a feminine figure… I’m naturally slim and fit, so I build muscle quickly. I have a hard time with that, because I wish I was curvier and more feminine. I try not to think about it though, because it makes me seriously depressed. I try to focus on what I CAN do with this body…
Q: When you started pole, did you ever think it would grow as much as it has as a sport?
Without a doubt, I knew what this was going to become. That’s why I took it so seriously, and still do.
Q: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
In five years, I see myself as a professional performer doing shows all over the U.S. and hopefully in the UK as well; possibly co-owning an alternative acrobatics gym and having my own athletic clothing line.
Q: What message do you think women are not getting when it comes to their health and well being?
I think women are not understanding that their bodies are their bodies forever… treat it well in EVERY way you can. These women who are injecting, getting liposuction, and implants, are 1. suffering from the delusional need to be someone else’s idea of “perfection” and 2. they are damaging themselves permanently for a temporary reason. Women today are basing their ideas of beauty off men who know women will bend to fit what they want. I can’t wait to see the day when women are proud of themselves naturally. When they allow men to see their beauty as real women.
Q: Looking back to your teenage years, if you could go back, what advice would you give that girl?
I wouldn’t give her advice because that teenage girl was angry afraid and wouldn’t want advice. She wanted an escape, she hated everyone and everything for damning her to such a lonely place where no one understood her and she wanted to hurt everyone around her. The only thing at that point she would have wanted to hear is “hold on little one…it’s okay to hurt”.
Q: When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Is it the person you show the world?
When I look in the mirror, I see different things every day because I grow every day. Some days I am a Terpsichorean goddess with everything to give, and some days I am meek damaged and in need of help. The most important thing to me, is that I see myself and love every side, trait, and piece, because it is me, and I better get to know myself well cause it’s just me with my own thoughts forever more. That’s not a sad thought when you really love everything about who you are. I don’t know if that’s what I show the world honestly. I try to show that it’s not a bad thing to be “only human” and to me, that means accepting and showing that dark and light exist together in us all. To lead by example is what I know best.
Q: Do you exercise outside of pole dancing?
I don’t really exercise much outside of pole since it’s what I do for a living, I do it all day, lol. Between the studio and the club, kinda leaves no time to workout, but I occasionally get the chance to do squats. I do teach acro but there isn’t much difference between that and pole.
Q: Why do you think it’s so hard for people to commit to living more active lives?
To be frank, I don’t know why people struggle with living more active lives. I have been an athlete my whole life, and literally don’t understand what it takes to be normal so the only thing I can guess is that it’s hard to answer to yourself. I like to do things that are hard for me so it really makes no sense to me, not to workout because it’s difficult, but that is one of the most common complaints I hear “it’s too hard.” In my head, I think, “you just don’t want it that bad.”
Q: Do you actively watch what you eat?
Aside from allergies, no, I don’t watch what I eat at all. I eat whatever I want, when I want, but that’s because I am in recovery from bulimia nervosa which I have fought since I was 11. Dieting or any change in my food would spiral me back to bulimic tendencies. I hate to eat, lol if I could take pills as meal substitutes I would.
Q: Why did you agree to be part of the MCBMI campaign?
I agreed to become part of this campaign, because I love the idea of women sharing their stories and empowering one another through knowledge we each bring to the table whether it be about emotional, physical, or mental health. I have watched women grow in my classes and it makes my heart swell with pride to see them share what they have learned. So if I can be a part of a group of happy, empowered women others want to look up to, then heck yes I’m all in! I believe that happy healthy women can do wonders and I cannot stand on the side and not be a part of such a powerful movement. I have a lot to offer despite what I may have thought of myself in the past and through answering your questions I see that now for myself…💗