Introducing Stefani Kate Robinson - Pole Fitness Ambassador 2013
Posted: May 20 2013
Say hello to our 2013 pole fitness ambassador! Drum roll please for Stefani Kate Robinson. Whoop!
1.Congratulations on being our first Pole Fitness Ambassador of 2013. How does it feel to be chosen and how do you hope you can inspire others?
Thank you very much, I didn’t expect to win at all, a friend of mine messaged me and told me as she had seen it on facebook before I had, I couldn’t quite believe it! I’m very proud of my achievements with pole, and hope others can learn a bit more and see the benefits from pole fitness.
2.Tell us about your journey in pole and how it has had a positive impact on your life?
Before I started pole fitness, I didn’t have a regular form of exercise in my life, I often wanted to go to the gym and get ‘fit’ but didn’t have the motivation. I also struggled with depression quite badly, which also makes your motivation to do anything quite low. Pole fitness gives you constant achievement, you’ll learn a move and feel like intimidated at how advanced it is, even the basic invert feels so hard when you first learn it! But with practice you master that move, which gives you have such a great sense of pride unlike most other forms of exercise. The atmosphere allows you to get to know your fellow polers and make friends with them, everyone is very supportive of each other and most places will have a group of people who started at similar times meaning you advance and learn together. Showcases came along and the confidence I had built pushed me to perform routines in front of people, something I could never imagined doing before. At first it was incredibly scary but it pushed my boundaries and in return once I finished the routine I felt such a sense of achievement this is what keeps my passion going. This positivity and love for something helped me to make major steps towards getting over the depression, it allowed me to become more confident and also independent. I’m now at a point where I teach pole a few nights a week, I’ll jump at performing in a showcase and I’m actively researching and taking control of my pole progression, in less than 2 years it’s an incredible change.
3.How did you first get interested in Pole dancing, what made you try it?
I decided to try pole dancing on my own as none of my mates were that keen on the idea, I’d seen it on TV and thought it looked like a fun way of toning up, I searched for a school near the Basingstoke area and the closest one I could find on the net at the time was one in Andover. I started there and it was fun but more routines based, we didn’t learn any tricks and I had no idea of what the pole industry was really about. I pretty much mastered most spins at this school, however it was only when I started at Spin City Newbury that my passion really took off with pole dancing, I met someone who had recently started there, she suggested coming along too and as it was a closer school for me, I changed schools… and wow it was an eye opener! I first walked in and saw people doing handsprings thinking that it was ridiculously advanced from what I was used to and how would I ever get to that level! But it’s the best thing I did - With Spin City I found my progression really took off and I think that has a lot to do with why I love pole so much, the school and atmosphere is very friendly and supportive. Plus I’m surrounded with people who have extensive knowledge of aerial arts!
4.Tell us about your favourite strength training moves on the pole and why you chose it for the competition?
Strength Conditioning is important, everyone knows that but you get some people who seem to be able to deadlift everything with ease. Unfortunately that’s not me! Initially when I started with inverted moves I felt unstoppable as they were mainly leg grips and I have strong legs… it was when it came to shoulder mounts I realised my bigger thighs and curvier hips were going to make things like that harder. So I started actively doing conditioning drills to get stronger in my core and arms etc. The SM tuck, lower and then raise is a great exercise for building up strength for deadlift SMs and also aerial SMs. (One of the moves I am currently training to master – pleased to announce I managed to get my aerial shoulder mount straddle from figurehead last week! J) The best thing with the SM tuck is you lower to your ability, so if its only an inch that’s great it will get bigger in time but you can progressively work at it, making it harder all the time, when you master the tuck you can extend a leg and so forth.
5.What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
The sense of accomplishment, thinking to yourself wow that move is so impressive I can’t imagine myself at that level, working towards it and nailing that move! Remembering where you were before and how you’ve improved is great for your positivity. Plus I couldn’t ask for better ladies to pole with, I’ve met some amazing friends through it which again doesn’t always happen when running on the treadmill!
6. What are your 3 favourite pole moves and why?
i) Shouldermount Straddle – It’s a good strength move, great way of getting up and down the pole and there are loads of harder vairiations.
ii) Split grip vairiations – I love a good extended butterfly by far one of the best intermediate moves which looks so impressive and beautiful…moving onto the harder variations such as Ayesha and straight edge, these are some of my fave moves, I prefer split grip to twisted as I feel stronger in it (and I’m aware of the damage twisted grip could cause when over trained)
iii) Cross ankle release – Another great intermediate move, this is one that is probably underrated by a lot of people as you learn it fairly early on, but I think it’s a great move for photos, great for breaks in routines and also there are a lot of complicated combinations from cross ankle.
7.What pole dancers do you admire or inspire you?
Kate Edwards, very lucky to have her as my pole instructor, she has a ridiculous knowledge of Pole and also aerial arts in general which means I can ask her silly questions about videos or photos I’ve seen and she can give me a sensible answer of how to tackle a move. Her accomplishments in doubles competitions with Bendy Kate inspired me to do some doubles routines previously and maybe compete myself in doubles in the future. Also Sarah Scott is very inspiring, she is so very graceful with everything I see her do, her strength is incredible and the way she constructs her routines to the music is beautiful and powerful. Also having being taught by her for a workshop, she is so friendly and down to earth her tips were really helpful and she had such a fun teaching style is was great.
8. How do you think pole dancing has evolved over the past few years?
I wasn’t into pole dancing when it first started and was a big thing as you might be compared to a stripper, I think over the year and a half that I have been strongly aware of the industry, the general acceptance of pole dancing is improving, you see it around much more and the general feedback I get when someone finds out I pole dance is ‘wow that takes a lot of strength’. One thing I think that is becoming much more apparent is the increasingly high level of amateur pole dancers. I haven’t competed myself because after a year pole dancing properly I went into teaching so now I’m considered as a professional – personally I don’t feel ready to enter professional competitions yet but in the future I hope to, I do however watch a lot of the amateur as well as professional routines and I’m amazed by them. It makes it very hard to categorise for competitions I’m sure, maybe that is something that will change and evolve in the future.
9.Three words that mean pole dancing to you.
Confidence, strength, expressive.
10. What would you say to someone thinking about trying pole dancing, but isn’t sure to convince them to give it a go.
Most people are concerned that its not for them due to not being skinny enough, strong enough, young enough… the list is pretty endless. I think its important that people realise there is a pole dancing style for you and that the weight or age is irrelevant, and the strength is built with time. I was not strong before I started, but I built that strength quickly and built up to the moves I can do today. There are lots of moves I want to learn which will require more strength and again that will be built over time. Pole dancing is not just a great for toning up and getting fit, but it’s great for building confidence, feeling positive about your achievements and meeting a great bunch of people. It’s the only type of exercise that I’ve felt so passionate about I can’t wait to come back week after week which is definitely a positive when trying to get healthy and in shape!