Lizz Schofield Interview - Pole Fitness Association founder

Posted: Dec 18 2011

As a proud member of the Pole Fitness Association, we talk to founder Lizz Schofield to find out more...

1. How and when did you first get interested in pole dancing and what made you become an instructor?
I first became interested in Pole Dancing/Fitness in the early part of 2004. At that time I was unhappy at home, and needed a change in my life.  I was a miserable stay-at-home Mom, who needed to discover herself.  I could not find any pole classes in my area, and was very drawn to the idea of learning to pole dance.   I purchased my first pole in 2005, and started self teaching myself in my dining room.  I then started training to Fawnia Mondey's first dvd's, KT Coates, as well as Jamilla Deville.  I had become fully addicted and wanted more knowledge.  I wanted to get good enough to teach.  I have a Yoga and Pilates background, and the sport/science/dance/psychology of it intrigued me, I wanted to see how it was truly done.  I became a Group Fitness Instructor and started training with Fawnia Mondey-Deitrich is Las Vegas in 2006.  By 2007, my 11 pole studio was up and I was certified by Fawnia in her Pole Dance Instruction Certification program.  Now in 2011, I have Studio's in Brasil, Costa Rica, SLC, and Park City Utah.

2. What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
The way it makes me feel.  The way it helped me find myself.  The way I see it helping other women, and men do the very same thing everyday, all over the World. Pole Fitness/Pole Dancing does so much for our bodies and our minds.  It is inspiring, addictive, challenging, and FUN.  I am so happy to have found a method of exercise that has impacted my life in every possible way, it has made my life better.  It's amazing, simply put.

3. What are your 3 favourite pole moves and why? 
I love Pirouettes....all of them (there are SOOOO many!)
I love The Super Woman/Super Man, its such an interaction with the audience, and such a power move.
I also LOVE handstands of every variation,  likely my favorite of ALL.

4.What are the main fitness benefits of pole dancing and how has pole dancing improved your fitness, strength or bodyshape?
Pole changed my entire body.  I danced off 25 pounds in 1 year, just pole dancing.  It helped me become the most fit I have ever been in my life.  I didn't have to think about it, I just kept building stamina and strength and burning fat all at the same time.  Best thing I have ever done for my body.

5.You are also one of the founders of the Pole Fitness Association.  Tell us how that came about and a bit about the association and how it aims to help the industry.
The PFA is about unity.  About Uniting our Industry with knowledge, a common language (PFA flashcards), sanctioning events and certification programs.  We sponsor products that are high in quality and standards.  We aim to keep unifying out industry.  

We have just started our Regional Director program all over the world, as well as continue to support our many Ambassadors globally.  We promote safety, diplomatic judging processes, safe teaching, and proper certification for Instructors.  We also promote and have Pole Fitness Insurance for Pole Professionals to utilize, and highly recommend that they do.  We market together, share information, and assist each-other in the ever-growing industry.

6.How has the pole industry changed since you first started out?
It has become more friendly.  I see more studios, Instructors, Competitors and Performers working together, speaking the same Pole Language, and supporting each other's efforts.  It is a beautiful thing.  I see that quality has surpassed quantity, and that we are all in this together, trying to make our amazing Industry thrive.

This is absolutely imperative to our industry if we want it to grow, and develop the way it must if we want it to be considered as a real sport for years to come.

7.How can the pole industry improve as it becomes more popular and accepted in the mainstream?
We can all get certified in our teaching method to start.  Not just in Pole, but also keep up to date with Fitness methods of all kinds, and expand our education.  

We can get involved in local, National, and International Events and Associations.  We can support each other's methods, styles, and achievements.  

If we want Pole Dancing/Fitness to be mainstream, we need to support mainstream efforts like the effort to get the Olympics to see Pole as a sport.  Efforts that the IPSF are spearheading are a great way to assist Pole in being accepted on a more mainstream level.

8. If someone has never tried pole dancing before how should they get started?
A great way to start is to buy a Pole.  Dance on it.  See what your local area has to offer as far as Pole Dance/Fitness studios.  See if they have certified instructors, go with a friend and try it. Pole is a personal journey, and there is no "wrong" way to start.  

The PFA has a reference tool on our website where you can see listings of schools all over the world, it also has a list of PFA member studios to help direct you to safe, fun instruction in Pole.  Eventually we all need a teacher, but as long as you are loving Pole, do it!  Whether by video, self direction, alone in your living room, or in a facility with other students, just be safe, and enjoy the workout.

9. What’s next for you in the coming year?
We will have our annual Board meeting at the New Year, and we will be introducing yet another PFA Flash Card deck and design.  These will be introduced at the 2012 Pole Convention in LA, where we will also be hosting Business Workshops, selling memberships, and speaking to the Pole Public.  

The PFA sanctions 6-10 Competitions a year and will continue to do so in 2012 all over the World.  At these events you will always see a PFA Ambassador or Judge.  We will be supporting the IPSF Competition held in London this July 2012, and will be a part of the judging panel, as well as assisting in the International Judging guidlines on an Olympic level.

This next year you will see more retreats for Pole Fitness in more places all over the World.  You will also see more certifications and programs being developed and utilized.  I believe you will continue to see improvements with Pole products, Pole Competitions, and Pole Instruction on a global level. It will prove to be another amazing year for the Pole Industry, and for ourselves involved in such an amazing, ever changing sport, and Industry that we all LOVE.

To find out more about the Pole Fitness Association and how to join click here.



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  • Posted by Monster on March 05, 2012
    Wow, for a moment you easrcd me: you, not dancing anymore?!? I was anxiously wainting (for months) for your next blog! You quit? Nooooooooooo! But then I continued reading and breathed again. Oouuf!!So, about the sensual dance, I must say I agree with you in everything!! I was attending a pole academy, and somehow I missed something then I figured it out: I was only learning the pole tricks! Dancing: nada!! So, I quit that school and prepared myself for a long journey learning by myself, at home, with online lessons and YT. Fortunately, I found a great teacher, a former gymnast, and she is great teaching us to dance sexy and sultry. There’s only four of us, compared to 12 in each class of the other academy, but no way I will go back! I just love the way she force us to dance, to feel the song, and to move sensually! And yet, she is a gymnast I could go on and on, but the point is I think pole dancing is NOT all about the tricks! Without sexy and sensual dancing is just plain exercise!Glad you’re back! )
  • Posted by Mowgli Zettabaud on December 20, 2011

    Lizz is a very patient, calm and understanding teacher. I felt very confident in what she was instructing me to do! I would personally recommend this sport to men like myself. I felt as though I was doing yoga vertically on the pool. I sincerely enjoyed the challenge of trying to control my body true different positions. I believe pole dancing is the wonderful cross training sport for all the other activities I do in my life!!

    Much appreciation to Lizz & Lorinda at “Studio Soiree” in Salt Lake City, Utah: 310 e 800 s

    Mowgli ~;)

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