Interview with Lucy Misch
Posted: Oct 14 2011
This week we talk to one of the pole dance industries serial entrepreneurs Lucy Misch who we recently had the pleasure of meeting at the UK Professional Pole Championship semi finals where she was one fo the judges.
1.You seem to be the serial entrepreneur of the pole dancing industry, what drives you?
My passion for pole and spreading the love has always been to the centre of my entrepreneurialism. I started in the pole industry before Xpole even existed, and since then I've opened a school, taught thousands of women pole and seen how much fun and joy they can get from it. I thought, 'why not reach women on a global scale' and my company was born to do this. I just engage with the idea to reach new people and share new ideas and concepts with the world.
2.What projects are you working on at the moment?
At the moment Pole Exercise DVD 3 is in post production, (which means the colours being sorted out, titles being put on etc). We shot this a few months ago with Annie Norris from Pure Pole and Thomas Dechaufour an incredible Chinese pole artist who we flew over from Belgium to share his incredible knowledge on our DVD. Alongside this we are working on developing the Pole Dance Dictionary (http://poledancedictionary.com) which is a free website with over 600 video moves of every pole trick in existence. This is developing to include a routine builder and also an app to download to smart phones. Our sister dictionary sites The Workout Dictionary launched a few weeks ago (http://theworkoutdictionary.com) and we are about to launch The Circus Dictionary (http://thecircusdictionary.com). These websites are all completely free to use, and just my way to giving back to the community and bringing everyone together on a global scale.
3.You're also a judge at the UK Professional pole Championship. What will you be looking for from the competitors?
I think every judge approaches the judging with their own preferences at the forefront. As I'm a trained actress, I approach it with an artistic and performance element first. Its vital I see competitors connect with the music. For example if they perform to an angry rock song and have a big grin on their face then i'll be marking them down - you need to act the whole time as its not just about fancy tricks and pointed toes. I'm really excited to be judging this competition and am also flying out to NYC to judge the AFPA championships.
4. How and did you first get interested in pole dancing and what made you become an instructor/performer?
I started doing pole before Xpole were founded. The only DVD on the market was Panteras DVD 101 pole tricks, which I bought and then discovered I couldn't do anything at all! I bought an old skool pole from a online company called Dance pole and drilled the pole into my living room. I started to play around on the pole, but couldn't do much. Then my friend who was an personal trainer visited and he could throw himself upside down and do some crazy tricks and I realised that the cross over between fitness, strength etc directly impacted pole. So I started to think, why not start a school to teach people the form as an exercise. I went to university in York and Pole Exercise school was setup - the first pole school in the world to teach men and one of the first schools to exist in the UK.
5. What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
I think pole is highly expressive, and accessible by everyone. Anyone can do it, no matter what their fitness or background is, and anyone who tries it gains something special. For me seeing the smile of someone who does a simple move on the pole and gives them that little bit more confidence to face life is everything, and I hope my range of DVDs and other products can help give this confidence to women around the world.
6. What are your 3 favourite pole moves and why?
My favourite spin is the Fairy. A simple trick but gets lots of oohs from the beginners when I'm teaching them. My favourite pose is the front splits. I remember inventing this move when I was training back at my old pole school. The students watching went out of their minds, they were so impressed. Now of course its nothing special but I still have a great connection to the move. My favourite invert is the Death Lay. I just think when performers do this at the top of a huge pole its the most awesome thing they can do.
7.What are the main fitness benefits of pole dancing and how have pole dancing improved your fitness, strength or body shape?
When I was flown to Saudi Arabia to teach a client for two weeks, her body completely changed. She lost two dress sizes, her butt and body got tighter and although she had lots of bruises to show for it, she was incredibly happy. Pole can impact everyone, no matter what their fitness or background is, and it gives women tone and definition if they train with pole
8.Pole performers are athletes like in any other sport. What is an average day’s training for you?
I haven't done large pole performances now for many years, as my focus is on the business and growth of my company. I teach one-to-one clients occasionally and work with Xpole at the shows. Training wise I go to the gym regularly and eat well. I visit the pole with friends at jams at my place every couple of weeks - and that's all I have time for!
9.what other pole dancers to you admire or inspire you?
I would have to say Pantera as she was the reason I started, and I credit my journey into pole after watching her first DVD and being so inspired by it (but also wanting to create a DVD where women can actually do the moves when they are a beginner!)
10. If someone has never tried pole dancing before how to they get started?
Google is the best tool on earth for finding places. Call the school, go on FB and ask for recommendations. Or if your on a budget buy a pole and a DVD and get started in your home. Either way, try to talk to others who have been to classes and see what suits your budget and lifestyle in order to attend classes. I personally think that one-to-one classes are the best way to learn any new physical skill as you get full attention from the teacher and they can work to your pace and development.
11. What’s next for you in the coming year?
Gosh! I try just to get through each week! But this year we have the launch of Pole Exercise 3 DVD, another fitness DVD which is the Ben Challenger Olympic Athlete workout. We've got some more dictionaries in the pipeline including knitting and scuba diving. We're working on a pole dancing documentary and then the company is due to expand in 6 months time, get new office space, take on some full time employees and go from there. I'll keep you posted and thank you for the interview - it's been fun!
Find out more about Lucy and her company here