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VOLUP2 Magazine's ULTIMATE PLUS SIZE POLE DANCE GUIDE by Cristina Bonilla

VOLUP2 Magazine's ULTIMATE PLUS SIZE POLE DANCE GUIDE by Cristina Bonilla

Cover photo of Ro'Yale (@daqueenofcurves) by @John-Paul Steele / Barcroft Images

VOLUP2 spoke with 3 plus size pole dancers to get some advice and insight on pole dancing when plus size and they were kind enough to share their insights with us. Enjoy!…

 Meet Ms. Vegas

Ms. Vegas (@thefamousmsvegas) • Instagram photos and videos

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Ms. Vegas (@thefamousmsvegas) • Instagram photos and videos

2,634 Followers, 1,387 Following, 1,759 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Ms. Vegas (@thefamousmsvegas)

Facebook: Ms Vegas Poleformer

How did you get into pole dancing? How long have you been doing it?

 I've been a passionate pole dancer for 10 years now. It began while I was in college. To be honest, I was in a much different place when I was younger. I had a great deal of body confidence issues and suffered from low self-esteem. I remember one of my first visits to a club that featured exotic dancers; I was so impressed by what they could accomplish physically and the confident energy they radiated. I decided that, even if I did not intend to work at a club, I wanted to learn how to move my body unashamedly and defy gravity like they did. Ten years ago, pole studios weren't as common. As luck would have it, I came home to visit over the summer during college and googled pole studios. The first pole studio in America (Pole Fitness Studio Las Vegas) was a 15 minute drive from my parents house and just happened to be hosting a free open house for interested customers. I attended that one open house and was completely sold and have been pole dancing on a near daily basis since.

What is it like being plus size and a pole dancer? Is it more challenging for plus size people to pole dance? What is the biggest challenge? What is the greatest reward? Did pole effect your relationship with your body?

Ten years ago, it was a bit lonely. No matter where I was, few people looked like me. I even remember one of my first instructors politely telling me how weight loss would do wonders for my ability to dance. Luckily, as the industry has become more diverse and the community has grown, there's a visible and strong presence of plus size polers. On the one hand, my plus size identity is a huge marker for why I am recognized in the pole community - I am a chick that can do those crazy bendy things, own a stage AND SHE'S FAT?! Mind-blowing. The fact that I am big makes some of the physical things I do more impressive to on-lookers because it seems like I've overcome an additional barrier. In the pole community, I have been met with tons and tons of support as a plus size dancer. However, outside the community there's still pockets of hate.

But, alas, the question of "what is it like to be plus size and ____" is always going to highlight something I can never escape from - that plus size is "other" or "atypical." Many plus size people can sympathize that, no matter what, 1) your "bigness" is immediately visible and is impossible to hide as an identity marker and 2) with that visibility comes a great deal off assumptions and, even, discrimination or biases. It's no secret that the public life of an online fat person is not without judgment or hate. This became especially evident after I did America's Got Talent. For every, "You go girl" I got, I received an equal amount of, "Eww, disgusting, she's promoting obesity!" As if being a fat person that works out perpetuates more fat people.... also working out? I never understood the public's obsession with people's size, but it's a sad reality I get to be reminded of often. In my mind, I am primarily focused on just being a damn good pole dancer, but there are many things that will consistently remind me that I can't forget, "Girl, you're also big!" Due to my size, some things can be more challenging. Basic physics will teach us that heavier things require more energy to lift. Therefore, a girl who is half my weight needs less strength to lift her body than I do. However, keep in mind that this does not mean I cannot lift, I just need to be stronger. I once stood in a class with my slight friend and cried to myself, "I just wish I was strong like you," to which she replied, "Oh, I have no doubt you're as strong if not stronger than me. You just have more to carry." That statement stuck with me and gave me the push I needed to just keep working on strengthening. Yet, there's plenty of parts of pole that are not tied to size that I can be great at. For example, I can confidentially say that my flexibility is a signature part of my performance fame. Chasing flexibility was all about my work ethic and was neither helped nor hindered by my size. My stage presence and ability to connect with an audience is also not affected by my size. Because performing is a combination of all these things and people are unique in their abilities in each area, I would say a plus size poler can and often do find their own success. Although I am constantly feeling challenged building strength to keep me aerial, nothing feels better than proving people wrong and showing them that, not only am I "good for a big girl," but I am just objectively a good performer period. I love having that position of inspiration. I came into this sport seeking confidence and found it, which has led to me being very appreciative of what my body can do, rather than angry at it for not fitting into some beauty standard. How can I hate a body that can handstand daily, give back-to-back memorable performances and bend like few others are capable of?

 What are some of your favorite songs to dance to? What inspires your movement?

In the pole world, I am known for being able to do a plethora of different styles. I make it my mission to do it all - from the sad, tear-inducing dramatic routines, to the cheeky little comedy characters, to the twerking vixen, even to the classic rocker. There isn't one genre that speaks more to me than the other. In fact, it often depends on my mood. Sometimes I am inspired by an event (ex: I won a national title after a sad break up that led me to do a heartbreak routine. I was top 8 in USPDF when I presented a tribute piece after a family friend passed away). Sometimes I like to provide social commentary (ex: I have done two comedy Trump routines, one pre-election and one post). Other times, I literally just like a song a lot and have to get it out of my system (ex: my most popular YouTube video: Kiss from a Rose). I go with the flow and try to alternate styles between shows to keep myself challenged.

 Do you have any tips to get into it?

Have a good mindset! If you're thinking, "I'm not strong enough... I'm too _____.... I’m going to not be able to do it." well DUH! This sport that I do is in no way, shape, or form natural to anyone's body and so, yes, there will be some growing pains and a bit of awkwardness at first. But go in with an open mind; a forgiving one that allows you to try something uncomfortable and stick with it when it doesn't come naturally right away. Enjoy the friendships you will make, the fun shows you can attend or perform in, and the cool gram-worthy photos you can take when you learn something new.  It's ok if you spend months in a beginner class or if you take a long time to master a thing. Be patient, be forgiving, and have as much fun as you can :)

Meet Ro’Yale: Da Queen of Curves

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Instagram: Ro'Yale (@daqueenofcurves) • Instagram photos and videos 
Ro'Yale (@daqueenofcurves) • Instagram photos and videos

5,040 Followers, 360 Following, 203 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Ro'Yale (@daqueenofcurves)

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Daqueenofcurves/
Twitter: daqueenofcurves
Skype: Ro’yale aka Da Queen of Curves

Website daqueenofcurves

 How did you get into pole dancing?

I was approaching a huge milestone birthday and headed for crisis mode. I wanted to do something that was different for my birthday and it had to make me feel like ALL woman. My friends turned up their noses to do a pole party with me…so I went alone. Here I am 8 years later, known to many as a familiar staple in plus size poling.

 How long have you been doing it?

I have been pole dancing 8 years now. The first 2 years initially as a student and the last 6 as an instructor and performer

 What is it like being plus size and a pole dancer?

It’s amazing! I never knew I was too different until my world-wide viral video that totals over 33 million views came out with Barcroft Media and 60 Seconds Docs featuring myself and the ladies from my Vertically Voluptuous series. The pole community is so accepting. I knew I was different in size but I had a lot of respect from my peers as far as what I brought to the pole game.

 What inspires your movement?

My movement is very fluid and sensual. I definitely love to play with exaggerations on musicality with the songs I choreograph to.

 Is it more challenging for plus size people to pole dance?

It depends on what your goals are. Of course there are challenges for me, just like anything in life. We can be limited in certain moves due to our size but sometimes that theory can be smashed based on flexibility. I continue to be amazed all the bad azz curvy polers I see all over social media just straight defying the odds with power moves I would have never tired. They give us all hope! Right now sexy is back in style for the pole world and what we like to call “Low Flow”, which does not require any climbing or power moves and makes it easier for us voluptuous polers to ride a sexier lane in the pole industry. That’s right ladies climbing is NOT required to have an amazing pole life.

 What is the biggest challenge?

I have two challenges: Home/Work/Life balance and remaining injury-free. Just like any physical activity, I have reminded myself not to just jump into stuff like I used too to avoid injuries. Its just so easy to just get going if a song is on and you forget to get a good stretch in before trying a move that’s challenging. Then there is the challenge of balancing role of mom, wife, instructor, career woman and Da Queen of Curves brand. It’s a lot to manage. I never think I have it right, or will ever have right, but I do my best. Pole definitely helps keep me sane with all that I juggle because it allows me access to supportive outlet with beautiful smart woman who help me keep things in perspective.

 What is the greatest reward?

It has to be meeting new clients that say you inspire them. You never know whose watching. It tickles me to see them in class and leave with such a new found fondness of self or cant wait to continue of their pole journey after having a class with me. I also love seeing students that started with me progress to these strong women physically and mentally. This is the icing on the came for me…”GROWTH”

 How does it feel to pole dance?

It is a powerful experience that everyone should try, man or woman. Trust me.

 Did pole dancing effect your relationship to your body and is so how?

It changed the way I viewed myself. It made me way more confident and happy with whom I am was a person physically. I still have goals and changes I would like to make, but in the meanwhile I am loving what is in front of me. No longer depressed or worried about how other view me physically. Pole dancing also makes it so that I am not afraid to approach or speak to anyone and try a lot of things I would have never considered earlier in life. I am a whole new excitable person.

 How important are the shoes in pole dancing?

99.999999% of the time you will se Ro’Yale in heels. So I will say they are pretty important to me. This is where I am most comfortable and I have worked too hard to learn how to rock my Pleaser heels with over 20 pairs and counting. They are also a factor in helping tone the legs and calves along with increasing confidence for pole dancers.

 Do you need chalk or powder or anything to stay on pole?

Yes, I love to use Dry Hands and Mitchum Paste- I like to make sure I stick really well. If you are a beginner, please stick to Dry Hands. The Mitchum Paste requires great knowledge of your skin and application techniques to prevent over sticking.

 Do you have any tips on getting into it?

Women find it hard to get them to come out for 3 main reasons: They don’t have enough upper body strength; they are waiting on that friends to come with them that is never going to commit to come or they don’t know how to walk in heels. Throw all those excuses away. I am the expert and have been doing this for years. I know what you need. All you need to do is step into a classroom. Nobody starts pole fitness with upper body strength. Quiet as its kept, I rather you come with no upper body strength than having it, its easier to teach and requires less correcting since women that do have it tend to over compensate with their arms and don’t evenly distribute their weight in all their muscles which results in very bad techniques. As far as waiting on your friends, leave her! Come to class and when you perform and invite her to show her what you learned, she will be wishing she started earlier, be a leader. Don’t be afraid of heels. Platform heels are way more comfortable than typical “mall shoes”. Do this for yourself, because you are worth it. At least try it once!

 

Meet Eda’s Climb

Instagram: Eda Anna (@edasclimb) • Instagram photos and videos 

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Eda Anna (@edasclimb) • Instagram photos and videos

4,741 Followers, 2,344 Following, 2,408 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Eda Anna (@edasclimb)

FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/edasclimb/

Snapchat: @edasclimb

Youtube: Edasclimb

How did you get into pole dancing?

I got into pole dancing when I found videos online and realized it was a studio close to my house. I really wanted to rebuild my relationship with my body and thought this might be start.

How long have you been doing it?

I have been pole dancing for almost 5 years in January 2019.

What is is like being a plus size and a pole dancer?

It can be challenging, but it is challenging for anyone to start anything new. I would say figuring out the modifications for certain tricks or learning which tricks are just more attainable for your strength level.

What inspires your movement?

My feelings and interactions with people inspire the emotion behind my movement. The inspiration is all around me and I use it to create art.

Is it more challenging for plus size people to pole dance?

It depends on the person, honestly. Ive seen some amazing pole dancers that are beyond my ability. You just have to decide you are going to stick with it to accomplish your goals

What is the biggest challenge?

I would say the biggest challenge for me would be balancing cross training with weight lifting and learning new tricks. Sometimes I’ll hold myself back from learning new tricks because I want to get farther in my weight lifting

What is the greatest reward?

The greatest reward is everything I’ve been able to accomplish in the 5 years from losing 100 pounds to competing twice and placing 2nd in pole

How does it feel to pole dance?

For me, pole dancing feels safe. I can really be myself and let go of any negative feelings. It’s almost therapy for me.

Did pole dancing effect your relationship to your body and if so how?

Pole dancing helped me love my body for its ability instead of the appearance. I feel sexy, strong, and confident

How important are the shoes in pole dancing?

Shoes are not important for pole dancing unless you want to use them.

Do you need chalk or powder or anything to stay on the pole?

I use Dry Hands as liquid chalk on my body for better stick to the pole.

Do you have any tips on getting into it?

My biggest tip is just do it and let yourself make progress 

Inspiring Pole Dancers

Torwa “Fiya Starta” Joe owner of Vertical Joe’s Fitness Studio in Atlanta, GA

Crystal Belcher

Carmine Black

Amy Hazel

 Bendy Kate

 Pink Puma.

Rafaela Montanaro

Anna Kia

 Butter and Filth crew

Olga Koda

Molly Meru

Abbey Eff

 

Clothes for Pole Dancers

www.curvygirlspolecom

Polesmart

Curvy Girls Pole

Artista Activewear

 Vertical Joe's accessories.

Poleform

Yandy

 



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TOLD ME LIES - Marna Michele's Music Video Debut Introduction by Jamie Cole

PLUS SIZE VEGAN GUIDE         Interview by Cristina Bonilla

PLUS SIZE VEGAN GUIDE Interview by Cristina Bonilla

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