Interview with Kate Johnstone founder of the UK Professional Pole Championship

Posted: Sep 17 2011

Now the summer is over it seems to be all about the pole competitions.  The newest on the calendar is the UK Professional Pole Championship and we talk to founder Kate Johnstone to find out more...

1.Tell us about the competition and why you decided to set it up.
The UKPPC was established by myself and Varie Anderson this year. Having both competed - we felt there was a gap in the market for a professional competition that allowed professional dancers to compete against their peers and really showcases the athleticism and artistry of pole dance and the talent that exists in the UK. We hope that through the UKPPC, we will be able to dispel some of the common misconceptions of pole and show people what an art form it can be.

2. How and did you first get interested in pole dancing and what made you become an instructor?
A friend of mine was in the UK from Australia, she had been learning at 'Bobbi's Pole Studio' as she had brought her X-Pole with her - she offered to give me a lesson. I loved it so much, I completed an instructor course with Vertical Dance, and set up 'Spin City Pole Fitness'. My school now runs in Bristol, Exeter, Newbury and Hungerford! Teaching is my real passion - I love to see my students develop as dancers, artists and performers!

3.  What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
I kick boxed for a number of years before I pole danced and I love the fact that you got the feeling of a real workout from pole (similar to kick boxing!) but I felt like I was also learning a new skill, as there are always new tricks and moves to perfect!

4. What are your 3 favourite pole moves and why?
I love power moves so I would have to say Handsprings, Shouldermounts and any Drop!

5.What are the main fitness benefits of pole dancing and how have pole dancing improved your fitness, strength or bodyshape?
Pole dancing will leave your body feeling like you have done 100 press ups and 100 sit ups without the dread of actually having to do them! It works your arms and abdominals yet also gives you the cardio benefit when you work on routines. 

6. If someone has never tried pole dancing before how do they get started?
I would investigate whats going on in your area! There are loads of pole schools across the UK but don't be afraid to look at a few schools - find somewhere that you can go and watch a lesson, ask your instructor about their qualifications, their experience and find a style of pole dance that suits you! Failing that, if you cant find a great local school, there are loads of great resources - like the Pole Dance Community, X-Pole and Pole Motion that can help you get started at home!

7. What’s next for you in the coming year?
On the 2nd of October, I am going to be competing in the World Pole Sport Fitness Championships - representing the UK in the doubles category with my partner Bendy Kate. We have the UKPPC Semi Finals on the 9th of October and the Grand Final on the 11th of December! I haven't even begun to think about next year yet!

Find out more about the UK Professional Pole Championship here

Find out more about Kate's pole school Spin City Pole Fitness here

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