Valeria Parsi Italian pole dancer and pole champion was featured a couple of months back in Pole2Pole Magazine. Here is her Q and A interview from the October issue. Enjoy…
Valeria Parsi Stats
Name: Valeria Parsi
School or Club: Vertical Dolls Studio
Favourite Song: Anything that gives me emotions
Splits or no splits? Lots of splits!
How did you find pole dance or did it find you?
I heard about pole dance on a TV program and afterwards I searched on YouTube for some videos. I saw Felix Cane’s winning performance of 2006 and fell in love with it.
Who taught you, or how did you learn?
In 2006 there was nothing for pole dance in Italy – no schools, no places to learn; I even thought to move to London. However, in 2009 I heard of a new school, so I started attending classes and after a few months I was asked to teach. My teacher’s level was barely intermediate, so I can’t say that I really pole danced then. After winning the Italian Championship in the Pure Pole section (the most technical one) in summer 2010, I went to study and I got my first certifications in Manchester at the amazing Bodybarre Studio, training with Karen Chaundy and Penny Howarth. I became a professional member of PFA and FIPD (Italian Pole Dance Federation, run by Simona Nocco). Then the Vertical Dolls Studio opened in Rome, which is where I teach at the moment.
I took part in the World Pole Sport and Fitness Pole Championship 2010 in Zurich; I often do shows and I’m a passionate teacher. I’ve been a special guest in the most famous Italian TV program (Sanremo Music Festival), which was broadcast on Eurovision and performed there, so that many people could see what pole dance really is. I’m so glad that I have found so much love and passion in my job. I often train with the best pole dancers, I feel very lucky. I just got other certificate and became X-pert Crunch instructor.
How did you think and feel back then, being a newbie?
Oh, I felt like I was not going to be able to do anything. I don’t have a sport or gymnastic background and I remember that I always had stomach cramps doing the Chair Spin because I had no abs at all, so I always tell my students that anyone can do it – it’s normal to feel stupid, to slip and to be covered in bruises!
Now I know I’ve got limits, but I want to work hard and always get better.
Where or who do you get your inspiration from?
I often take my inspiration from music. I love pole dance because it makes me feel strong and graceful at the same time, defying gravity and floating on air as if I were just a soul. Anyway, I spend hours watching videos of my favourite pole dancers, there’s always material to be inspired by.
Describe your dancing style in one sentence.
I like to dance as if I danced on the moon, with 1/6 of the gravity we feel here on Earth: slowly, holding tricks, being flexible.
What are your thoughts and opinions about the industry and pole dancing being more mainstream now?
I’m happy it is becoming mainstream because now anyone can try the best workout in the world. It just lets you leave your life problems behind you for an hour, because you have to be focused, and then you feel so much better and more self-confident.
What are your favourite moves?
Crescent moon, Allegra Oversplit, Flying Ballerina, Cocoon, Marion Amber, Rainbow M, Phoenix, Knee Hold, Iron X, Air Walk, Superpain, Flag/Brass Monkey Climb. There are so many! And the most important thing is the way you do them and how you get on and off smoothly.
How long did it take you to nail those?
I haven’t mastered all of those yet, but achieving something new is the best satisfaction in life and no matter how long it takes, it will come, even if you’re discouraged.
Who are your favourite dancers out there now?
Jenyne Butterfly, Felix Cane, Alethea Austin, Oona Kivela, Anastasia Skukhtorova, Karen Chaundy, Zoraya Judd, Marion Crampe.
What competitions have you entered or won?
I won the Italian Championship in 2010 (Pure Pole category), I’ve been a Semi-finalist at the World Sport and Fitness Pole Championship 2010 in Zurich, and I entered the Finals in Pole Dancing Universe 2011 in Denver (Showcase category), but unfortunately could not attend this last one.
What are your future plans for pole dance?
I want to start being a judge in competitions, in fact I’ve been chosen to do it at the World Sport and Fitness Pole Championship in Budapest (29th Sept – 1st Oct) and also at the British Isles Competition (29th Oct), where I’ll hold a workshop too. Let’s see what happens next! In the meantime I’ll keep teaching – it’s my biggest love!