Name: Sophie Black
School or Club: Ascentrix and Dance Inspires, Oxford
Location: Oxfordshire, England
Signature Move: Remi
Favorite Song: Every Chance We Get We Run – David Guetta ft Tegan and Sara
Splits Or no Splits? No Splits
Q: How did you find Pole Dance, or did it find you?
A: On my 21st birthday my friends surprised me with a pole party at Dance Inspires and I’ve been hooked ever since!
Q: Who taught you, or how did you learn?
A:. I have danced at Ascentrix, with my lovely instructor Becky Barton and have increasingly spent my time at Dance Inspires with the amazing Nicola Ghalmi.
Q: How did you think and feel back then, being a newbie?
A: I was super keen to learn as much as I could. I only stopped when my arms turned to jelly and I just couldn’t do any more. All I thought about was pole!
Q: And now?
A: I started to lose my passion for pole, as I felt I was stuck in a rut and not getting much further forward. Starting doubles has given me a new found love for pole again. I love having the opportunity to be more creative with moves and using each other’s strengths to do something different and cool!
Q: Where/who do you get your inspiration from?
A: The most inspirational poler I’ve ever met has to be Nicola Ghalmi, our instructor in Oxford. The things that she has achieved in the last few years… And continues to do is inspirational, in many respects. She’s so down to earth and caring. I love that her pole dreams are coming true. She deserves it.
Q: Describe your dancing style in one sentence.
A: I’m told I use my hips a lot when I dance!
Q: What training regimes/diets do you have?
A: If I’m honest – I have always hated exercise! But I work out to help with my pole strength, dance (ceroc) once a week and for the past year I’ve been doing yoga (2-3 times a week), which has really helped with my flexibility.
I don’t follow a particular diet, but I’m a vegetarian and juice daily.
Q: How often do you pole, and how long for?
A: Due to being so busy, I usually only have time to pole once a week for 1.5 hours.
Q: What are your thoughts and opinions about the industry and pole dancing being more mainstream now?
A: I think it’s fantastic! It’s widely recognised now and its great meeting other pole lovers!
Q: How have things changed?
Q: What are your favorite moves?
A: I really enjoy all our doubles tricks and creating combos with them. Otherwise my favorites are pretzel and superman!
Q: How long did it take you to nail those?
A: Superman took me months…! Worth it though. I like to be able to do a move well and consistently, rather than for a quick photo opportunity.
Q: Who are your favorite dancers out there now?
A: Obviously Terri and Lisette are big influences and we’ve had the pleasure of meeting Lisette, who’s lovely. I also really enjoy Jamie Taylor’s style and attitude to pole.
Q: What competitions have you entered or won?
A: We had our first competition at The Pole2Pole Doubles 2014. This year we entered Midlands Pole Competition and came 2nd before coming back to Blackpool again this year!
Last year we were entered into other various competitions but due to bad health from both of us, we had to sadly pull out.
Q: What are your future plans for pole dance?
A: I’m enjoying what we are doing now! But Natasha is always on the lookout for new things for us to do and places to compete!
Q: Do you have any upcoming events?
A: We are planning to go Lincolnshire Pole Competition on 6th February 2016.
Q: What hints and tips would you like to share with our readers?
A: Pole is there to enjoy – don’t get hung up on what you can or can’t do, compared to others. Do what you enjoy, keep trying to improve and do it safely!
If you’re thinking about trying doubles – go for it! I find it far more fun than singles. Natasha and I work together because we are similar heights, builds, strengths and levels. We didn’t know each other well at all, but we soon got over the fact that you have crotch shots and sometimes land on each other – and our friendship has grown immensely.