Bendy Kate Interview
Posted: Oct 06 2011
With the UK Professional Pole Championship taking place this weekend, we talk to one of the semi finalists Bendy Kate who also took home silver at the recent World Pole Sport Fitness Championship with her doubles partner Kate Johnstone.
1.Congratulations on your second place in the doubles category at the World Pole Sport Fitness Championship. What was it like to compete alongside the world's best pole performers?
Thankyou! It was totally inspiring, I loved the different moves different countries had come up with and variety of themes which were presented! And you know what all the competitors are lovely which made the atmosphere really calm and ideal for competing.
2.How do you come up with the ideas for your routines and how much practice do you have to put in leading up to a competition?
I have a very different, unique taste in music which inspires my themes. I play a track and see what it makes me feel like. The song I found for the worlds from the micmacs soundtrack made me and my doubles partner,Kate Johnstone want to do a comedic, circus themed routine then we came up with a mime theme (which is one of my favourite ideas yet!) From there it was easy to create a story and choreograph the routine with help from the "how to mime" videos from youtube!
3.You are also a competitor in the Semi-finals for inaugural UK Professional Pole Championship. How does performing on your own differ from doubles and which do you prefer?
I would have to say I prefer performing on my own (kate knows this lol) because I like to train hard and include as much of my acrobatic experience as possible. With doubles it was difficult to train as me and Kate lived far apart also I think Kate found my training ethics a little full on bless her! The benefit to doubles is I love my doubles partner, it is really amusing, inventive, there is less pressure and really funny when one of you messes up! (Usually me!)
4.How and why did you first get interested in pole dancing?
Whilst studying I came across a pole fitness society at my university (uwe) and they held free taster sessions, I went along on my tod and then ended up running the society the following year and have never looked back since - it really has changed my life in such a positive way!
5.What was your first lesson like? How did you feel?
I was so excited it my first lesson at spin city in bristol! I took to the beginners moves even more naturally than I took to gymnastics! When the instructor saw me she recommended that I spoke to the boss about training as my gymnastic background shone through. And from there Kate Johnstone (the boss) has been my mentor and looked after me!
6.What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
I have discovered that I am a true performer. And performing is my favourite aspect of pole dancing, however there are so many other benefits to pole such as meeting the lovely competitors and students, the strength you gain, getting guns for the first time ever, exercising in such a unique way and teaching and sharing your experiences with other pole dancers.
7.Do you have a pole at home?
Yes I have the pole up in my bedroom that I won when I won the uk amateur pole performer championships in 2010. My flatmates boyfriend went on it the other night - he was actually really good!
8.What are the main fitness benefits of pole dancing? What benefits have you noticed?
The main fitness benefits are six packs, toned shoulders, back muscles, guns and a massive increase in core strength. Its amazing how much pole tones your body! But I do think it needs to be supplemented with cardio like running or swimming.
9.Pole performers are athletes like in any other sport. What is an average day's training for you?
For me I usually train for at least an hour on the pole a day and then either circus (aerial, acrobatics and hand balancing) or gymnastics training. I also make sure I stretch for at least 30 min a day to maintain my flexibility. I try and go for a run once a week and cycle when I can.
10.What are your 3 favourite pole moves?
Hmmmm probably twisty grip variations, the rainbow marchenko (because its very rare) and my latest move the starfish (just because I thought I wouldn't be able to do it!)
11.If someone has never tried pole dancing before how to they get started?
They should go on the pole dance community website and look for a school local to them which is approved. Then if they enjoy the class they can order an x pole to practice at home too! Definitely give it a go though - you've got nothing to lose!
12.Would you recommend pole dancing?
Of course! And I do all the time! Its amazing sport, art, workout, social experience and community. People should give it a go before making any judgements