Antoni Wanders Stats
Height: 5ft 10″
Weight: 11 stone 4lbs (160lbs)
School or Club: Antoni Wanders Entertainment
Location: Breda, Noord Brabant, Holland
Signature Move: The Flag
Favourite Song: Rihanna – S&M
Splits or no splits? No
How did you find Pole Dance, or did it find you?
I discovered Pole Dancing via my current work at the time. It had just been launched in Holland as the newest way to get fit. The fitness director asked me to give lessons and I started teaching myself using dvd’s and a lot of trial and error whilst then attempting the moves. I had a lot of bruises at this stage!
Who taught you or how did you learn?
I am fully self-taught and quickly realised that I was developing a passion for everything and anything around the theme of pole dancing. It was only after 3 years that I had the feeling that I could call myself a ‘pole dancer’ and I’m still learning new moves every day.
How did you think and feel back then, being a newbie?
It felt quite strange since many people found it odd and just plain weird that I was a) a guy doing pole dancing and b) that I was giving lessons in something that was still seen as an erotic activity, even in an open-minded country like Holland. I had to learn very quickly how to cope with the critique and even now, when someone makes an awkward comment, I tell them that Pole Dancing is a sport and that they should try it first and then tell me that it’s not.
Pole Dancing has given me muscles in places where I didn’t know I had them. I am fitter than I ever have been and it’s given me even more confidence in how I cope with criticism in my life.
Where/who do you get your inspiration from?
When I first started learning Pole Dancing using dvd’s, I followed the lessons of Denise Mulder and she became a big inspiration for me. She broke through my pre-conceptions of what Pole Dancing could be about.
Describe your dancing style in one sentence.
Show, entertainment and style.
What training regimes/diets do you have?
My diet is a lot of dance and exercise through teaching adults and children various forms of dance. I luckily do not need a training regime due to the fact that I have my own company, Antoni Wanders Entertainment, and am kept very busy with people always demanding more pole dancing workshops, since it’s become quite a large hype in Holland.
How often do you pole and how long for?
I give lessons for 5 hours in the week and each lesson lasts an hour.
What are your thoughts and opinions about the industry and pole dancing being more mainstream now?
I think it’s brilliant that it has become more accessible for the general public. I have heard from people in my workshops about how they had always wanted to try it, but were too embarrassed. Now they can proudly tell their friends what they are doing, and usually that causes their friends to come to one of my workshops and become hooked too.
What are your favourite moves?
The Flag, Cliffhanger and The Superman.
How long did it take you to nail those?
The Superman was the first move I learnt, then came Cliffhanger and finally The Flag. I am a very quick learner so The Superman and Cliffhanger were a matter of a few days. The Flag took a bit longer since you obviously can only do a move like that once certain muscles are developed. It took me a few weeks to learn this move, but I already knew about it for a few months prior to that point.
Who are your favourite dancers out there now?
Ilse Meulenbroek and Mai Sato are two of my favourites.
What competitions have you entered or won?
The Pole Move Battle was the first competition I entered and I won, which was a big confidence booster as I’m sure you can imagine.
What are your future plans for pole dance?
I would like to enter more competitions and teach many more workshops to pass on my passion for the pole.
What hints and tips would you like to share with our readers?
Practice, practice and more practice. Make sure your pole is always clean to avoid unnecessary accidents. If you’re going to attempt a move where you will be upside down, then either make sure someone is there to practise with you and if that’s not possible and you’ve got a pole at home, use a mattress for safety. If you really want to get better at pole dancing in a fast tempo, then take as many aerobics dance classes as possible for your general fitness level. It sounds obvious, but the better your muscles are strength-wise, the easier you are going to be able to complete the more complicated moves.
Photography by: Roos Komar (www.rooskomarfotografie.nl)