It was scary at first, because I remember being scared to go to the pole at all. I never thought that, “Oh, I could easily be out of a job and I’d be out of here.” But I did it anyway. And I did it for an age thing and also to be my own person and be my own person in this sport.
Did that go over well with the dancers?
It was a really great time for me and I’ll remember it that way, not that I was successful. I’m still at it.
What did you do with pole dancing as a kid?
I loved performing. I would try to be the best athlete of the week because I had this dream to be on the Olympic team and I never went to school because you never knew who would be there. You just did it and you were happy. I never did any homework and I loved to play with the pole. I would be out there, jumping and spinning and jumping, just being myself.
What did the pole look like from a young age?
Pole dancing from an early age had never looked anything like this. I could have moved pretty good, but I never did. This was always my goal.
What kind of tricks did you do when you were young?
When I was little, my dad didn’t let me do my tricks. He’d give me a little tape recorder to record how I moved because my dad was always looking at me. He’d record me in class and do a video for me, and that’s how I built my reputation.
Were there people who criticized you or thought you didn’t have a chance?
There were a lot of people in this sport. There were a lot of people out there that were saying you shouldn’t learn to pole dance because you’ll never do so well. It was a very harsh message; there was a lot of that. But then, later on, I was on the international stage of the pole dancing and I did a lot of things. As long as I kept up.
It takes discipline when you’re doing pole. You have to be focused and you have to show up every day and train like a professional. It’s hard work, but at the end of the day, I’m just trying to prove to people who doubt me that there is something more out there.
Are you proud of the way you approached your life as a young woman who
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