Interview with Jessalynn Medairy - International Pole Convention and Pole Pressure
Posted: Aug 13 2012
1. How and
when did you first get interested in pole dancing?
I became interested in pole when I saw something on TV almost 7 years ago. I was going through the ‘freshman 15’ (gaining 15+ pounds in the first year of college), not really focused on school work and just really enjoying the freedom of being out on my own when I discovered it. I took an introductory class at a studio in the Baltimore-area and wasn’t really sold on it right away. However, I took a liking to the staff so I applied for a front desk position. After an interview, they invited me to work their front desk at the opening of a studio closer to my family’s home. It was fantastic and so much fun! The clients were great to see time and time again and eventually I began instructing the classes too. I was still discovering the world of pole, even throughout my time at the front desk as I instructed.
2. Tell us
about your pole school?
Three years ago I opened my own studio called ‘Pole Pressure’. Since our opening, we now have four ‘Pole Pressures’ and two more on the way. Our teaching style is very progressive and our pricing is affordable to a middle-class, single woman/man. We allow our students the freedom to move up and down in levels as they feel comfortable. Everybody is different so we don’t put a time limit on when you can move up or down in levels; we inform our students to move up when their bodies tell them to. We have memberships and class packs and we practice ‘simplicity’. We have a few options that work for everyone. Our instructors continuously train with the World’s best at The International Pole Conventions, and we also host many pole stars at our studios. Knowledge is King!
3. You are
also the organiser of the Pole Convention that takes place annually in
America. How did the idea come about and what is the aim of the event? I wanted to organize an event where I could take classes from the
World’s best and allow everyone else to learn in the same forum too. I
originally thought I would rent an entire gymnasium and fill it with pole
stages but as the idea grew, so did the amount of people that wanted to attend.
I had to shift to a bigger facility which is why the event is now held in large
hotels and convention halls. I wanted to continue my growth as a pole fitness
instructor but I have never been able to take a workshop at my own event since
4. What was
your favourite moment from this year’s pole convention?
My favourite moment of this year’s event was watching the ‘POLE CONVENTION’ sign light up in the grass. My father built that display and I knew it was going to look great, but I just couldn’t wait for everyone else to see it too. When that lit up, my eyes lit up and so did my heart. I was immediately excited for this year’s event.
5. What is
it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
I thoroughly love the idea of expression through movement. I think pole can evoke so many emotions since there are so many shapes, directions and heights to go. I also really enjoy how it can transform a weak person into a stronger one, a shy person into outgoing, and depression into laughter. There is true science behind this workout and many truly ‘find themselves’ through this workout. I enjoy watching the transformations.
are your 3 favourite pole moves and why?
I’m a jade fan for sure, but I also like twisted grip lifts and the steal panther. The steal panther is my nemesis right now but I’m very determined to get it.
7. What are
the main fitness benefits of pole dancing and how have pole dancing improved
your fitness, strength or body shape?
I lost nearly 30 pounds in the first four months when I started to pole and it has completely restructured my body. I was always so curvy, but when I started poling, I really slimmed down and actually lost an entire cup size… probably not what most girls want to happen but I really have great chest muscles now.
your favourite move for strength training on the pole?
I think all types of lifting and grip training help strengthen me on the pole. I always like to do some basic lifting drills before I start such as lifting my knees to chest, slow inversions, and grip exercises away from the pole.
9. If someone has never tried pole dancing before how do you advise them to get started? I always encourage them to start with the basic level and build a strong foundation. Without a strong foundation, you may feel discouraged or get injured. Wait until your body feels comfortable before advancing to the next move or transition. There is no sense in rushing fitness because the only thing that will do is cause injury.
10. What’s next for you in the coming year? In the upcoming year, I’ll be hosting a Convention in West Palm Beach, Florida and Los Angeles, California. I’m hosting a Pole show for Pole Pressure this Fall, in January we have our annual ‘Miss Pole Pressure Competition’, in April I’ll host a regional competition, I’ll be opening a studio this September and another studio this time next year. We have full retail stores being put in all of our studio to introduce our new apparel and brands. I’m also planning on taking a short vacation to the Caribbean in December. Needless to say, my personality is Type-A and I’m a ‘mover and a shaker’; I dream big and I work a lot to make those dreams happen.
11. What are your hopes for the pole dancing scene/industry in the USA for 2012? I really hope that as the education in our Pole Community grows, so does the industry. I have really enjoyed the evolution of the sport over the last few years and would really like to see where it’s going next.
I am looking forward to bringing more public exposure to the sport to bring more awareness of our exciting growth. It’s my hopes that one day, I don’t have to explain in detail what I’ll do; people will understand my career choice just by hearing my job title.