2014 Semi-Pro Doubles champions, Pole Candy
2014 Professional second runner up, South Australian Pole Championships
2014 Group first runner up, South Australian Pole Championships
2014 Pole and Aerial All Stars competitor
2013 Amateur champion, South Australian Pole Championships
2013 Group first runner up, South Australian Pole Championships
2013 Amateur champion, Australian Pole Championship
Tell us your pole story... I first found out about pole dancing when I was 16. I was doing sport aerobics at school and to be honest it was probably the main thing I excelled at during my schooling years! I was never truly academic, I loved English but didn’t want to pursue it as a career. I wanted to do something that allowed me to express myself creatively but I was terrible at art, couldn’t act to save my life and never had any dance experience other than recreational gymnastics as a kid!
I was just YouTubing one night and stumbled across it, and as is the story with most people when they first see pole, I was absolutely amazed by the strength and skill and power it required and immediately fell in love. I knew of one studio in the state at the time but they required you to be 18 to start classes. I kept it in mind until my 18th birthday and then I went searching for studios and stumbled across The Pole Boutique, which little did I know was going to become my second home!
As soon as I stepped foot in the door I was overcome with the strangest feeling of belonging, as silly as it seems, and I always felt like I never really truly fit in anywhere. I knew it was a special place and I just knew that pole was going to be a big part of my life from that moment onwards, but I never dreamed it would take me where I am today!
Why do you love pole? I love pole because it gives my life a purpose! It is my creative outlet, my means of exercise, it gives me a sense of personal achievement, it challenges me, forces me to grow, lets me be myself. It is my passion, my favourite thing in the world, it makes me happy when I am sad, it has introduced me to some of the most amazing people. It is my life!
What are your 2014 pole goals? This year has already been a huge year for me polewise & goalwise! My first competition was the inaugral Pole & Aerial All Stars where I competed on a national stage against some of the best pole dancers in the country and was also selected along with Phoebe as an X-Pole Australia Protégé! I have since competed in two other competitions and somehow managed to place in all divisions! My next goal and one of the most scary ones yet is to compete in Miss Pole Dance SA, I haven’t competed in heels before or really tried to be sexy in a comp yet so its going to be a challenge but one I am excited to take on!
Following that, I should be done with comps for the year and I plan to focus on my flexibility, particularly in my back, and aim to get my dream move the Rainbow Marchenko by the end of the year! My life is very pole-oriented so my main life goals at the moment are to focus on improving my teaching skills as an instructor and working towards being a fitter, healthier me!
What goals have you recently achieved and what helped you get there? Competing in All Stars was my main goal for this year. When I received the email inviting me to compete I thought they must have sent it to the wrong person so I disregarded it but then later realised it was intended for me and absolutely freaked out! Coming up with a routine was so hard and I had just gotten back from a long overseas trip so I struggled to get back into training. I could not have gotten up there and performed that routine without the guidance, extreme help and encouragement from my boss Carlie Hunter. I am so lucky to have her in my life. She has shaped me into the dancer and person I am today and has helped me through all my successes. I’m trying now to be more independent and work things out for myself but I know she will always be there to help me when I need her and give me that extra push when I’m being lazy or am ready to give up!
Do you do any training other than pole? I have recently started doing adult gymnastics once a week for a bit of fun and to help with the acro side of pole. I'm also trying to slowly get back into running. I would also like to take up beginners classes in ballet when I have some more free time, to work on my dance technique! For me, I don’t think its all that necessary to do other training than pole, as I spend enough time on the pole in a week to qualify it as my main source of fitness! But it definitely helps to do a few extra activities or workouts during the week if you want that extra bit of fitness or strength!
What advice would you give to girls just starting out on their pole journey? Take progress pics and videos! When you look back on your pole journey over the months/years its so nice to be able to see how far you’ve come and how much you have improved! I think its also important to set goals to work towards, there’s nothing more satisfying than having a goal move that you are working towards and finally conquering it! I write down all my goals at the start of each month in my Lou Landers Pole Goals diary and ticking them off is the best feeling ever!
Above all though I think its very important to never give up. Its very easy to get discouraged in pole because it is a very hard sport. I think we forget that when we see our idols making all these crazy moves look effortless and then when we try them we don’t even come close! Its easy to want to give up and think you’re not good enough/strong enough/flexi enough. I often feel this way, but you have to just keep pushing through and training towards those goals until you get them!
And lastly, always believe in yourself.
Most/least favourite moves? My favourite moves at the moment are static power spins like the phoenix and ragdoll, along with my go to move the Eagle on spin pole! My least favourite move is anything that requires lots of grip! I'm terrible at grippy moves like teddys and elbow spins! And drops….for some reason I cant even manage a simple drop without making my instructor Carlie cry from laughter!! I'm currently working towards the Rainbow Marchenko and a proper muscle up on the pole!