Interview with Holly Munson - PoleFreaks Founder
Posted: Oct 21 2013
1.How did you first get interested in pole dancing?
2.What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
I love the feeling of achieving a new move. The potential months of trying beforehand aren't always that great though! It's the little wins - getting slightly closer each time, holding the move for half a second longer. I love waking up looking forward to coming up with my next pole routine
3.What are the main fitness benefits of pole dancing and how has pole dancing improved your fitness, strength or body shape?
Pole Dancing is amazing for the whole body - and it's a fun way of working out so you want to keep doing it over and over, despite all the bruises! Pole Dancing really does increase strength and tone in almost every muscle - even the ones you don't think you are using. You can awaken and feel muscles you've never really used before. For me, my arms are a lot more toned than they have even been. My abs are actually there - sometimes it's only a 4 pack though! I've got a lot more stamina and ridiculously strong thighs - I'll never fall out of a tree again!
4.Has pole dancing had an impact on anything else in your life such as giving your more confidence or making new friends?
I've recently moved to a new area and am hours away from my friends. I met a girl in one of my non-pole related fitness classes and discovered on a throw away comment that she also did pole! We're now really great friends and she's introduced me to other pole people and other friends. I love going away to anything pole related - training courses, workshops, retreats, competitions. You learn so much from people and really quickly make some great friends.
5.When did you start PoleFreaks and how did the idea come about?
PoleFreaks launched almost a year ago today - 15th October 2012! And I'm amazed by everything we have achieved so far! At that point I had a pole at home and use of a pole studio at the gym and so was teaching myself some moves. Some of the moves came more naturally than others. I'd try a move over and over again and sometimes just trying wasn't enough. I didn't have an instructor to hand and had no-one to ask. I kept trying to look up how to do moves or find little hints and tips to try out. Or even just find strength and conditioning moves that I thought might help me. I was really surprised by how little good quality information there actually was on the internet. I remember when I was first learning over 5 years ago that there was hardly any accessible information out there. I'd come across membership sites promising that they'd tell you how to do moves if you paid for access. I thought that I'd come far enough to actually be able to help others that were learning to pole. I wanted to tell people all of the handy little tips that I'd come across. I just wanted a platform from which to share my pole experiences and help others. I thought it would be fun!
6.Tell us about your pole studio firefly poles.
FireFly Poles is an idea that I've had for years and years that has actually finally come to life... well, on Thursday it will! I've been teaching pole for over two years and have finally taken the steps to actually run my own pole school. I'm very excited about it - my first beginners classes sold out in 2 days! I'm making sure that I'm doing everything right this time around, doing all of those things that I never did, but wish I had... practicing on both sides, strength training, working on my flexibility... If I had done all of those things, I'd be unstoppable! Maybe there would be a pole move named after me
7.What are your 3 favourite pole moves and why?
My ultimate favourite is the Air Walk. It's so beautiful and graceful and you feel so strong doing it. I slipped into it one day and was amazed! Second would be the Flatline Scorpio. I STRUGGLED with this like never before. Everyday I tried I was so frustrated by it. I came home covered in bruises. I bashed my knees, hurt my side. And one day, I figured out how to do it. Now it comes so naturally. I'm proud I got this one. My new obsession is the Floorsweeper Spin. I think it's such a beautiful move and is the next to tick off my list. One day I'll get it!
8. What are your favourite strength training moves on the pole and why?
I love to climb the pole, take my legs off and slowly lower myself down... and then do the same on the way up. Lifting your body up the pole with just your arms is very empowering. I go up into an Air Walk and from there lift my legs up to either a tuck or pike position and switch sides. This one really gets you everywhere. Simply lying on the floor with your shoulder to the bottom of the pole and hands on, then lifting your legs up towards the ceiling is great for the abs. There are so many different variations, that you can really tailor it to every persons level.
9.Where would you like to see pole dancing in the future?
In the Olympics! :D I would like people to respect pole dancing for what it is - a challenging sport. I find people that judge, are those who haven't tried. Let's give a free lesson to every skeptical and spread the pole fitness love!
10. What pole performers do you admire or inspire you?
Jenyne Butterfly inspires me greatly. She was the first pole performer I came across. Actually my boyfriend found one of her performances on YouTube and since then, we have both been fans. Evgeny Greshilov is just amazing. I was lucky enough to see him perform last year. He is very funny, graceful and strong in performances. He actually did an interview with PoleFreaks as well and he's a very nice, chilled out guy. Zoraya Judd - her pole pics are amazing! She could make a fireman spin seem out of this world. Anastasia Skukhtorova - unbelievable flexibility!!
11. What would you say to someone who is thinking of trying pole dancing for the first time to convince them to give it a go?
Just do it! What's the worst that could happen? Every beginner feels the same and you'll never achieve a move if you don't try it. It's made so many people VERY happy
12. Three words that sum up pole dancing for you.