One of our exclusive interviews with European Pole Dance Champion judge Angy Night.
P2P: You were a judge at the European Pole Dance Champion 2011 competition. What were you looking for from the competitors’ performances?
AN: I love strength, control and balance with smooth transitions.
P2P: What do you think makes a good judge?
AN: I think a judge needs to know a lot about how hard the moves and transitions are and how the move should look if it’s perfectly done.
P2P: How and when did you first get interested in pole dancing and what made you become an instructor/performer?
AN: When my last (4th) baby died in the crib, I wanted to change my life in a certain way. I wanted to become someone, not be like everybody else. So I saw two girls pole dancing a little bit at that time in Belgium (1999) and I started performing and learning on stage, because there wasn’t a place to buy a pole at that time or shipping. I ordered my 1st DVD with a friend in the Netherlands because Belgium wasn’t even on the shipping list yet. My first DVD was ‘101 Pole Tricks’ from Pantera (I learned a lot from that). I started teaching after 2 years of performing experience. I started out with 1 school and after 5 years I started up my second school in a different location, which included teaching 5 days a week. I developed serious health problems (for life) since September 2010, so I needed to cut down on the teaching and I asked some very good students from my school to teach, but they also had to stop after some period of time. Now I have 2 teachers and 3 classes a week. I can only do 2 days teaching and 1 day performing, so 1 day class is given by one of my teachers.
P2P: What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
AN: Always wanting something more to do from a higher level – and I’m a daredevil, so I like drops.
P2P: What are your three favourite pole moves and why? (It can be your current three or all-time favorite three).
AN: Iron X because of the power hold and then going up. Flag transition to monkey brass also because of the power, and the Allegra move and Marlo move (oops, that’s four moves!), all because of the power that you need in combination with some flexibility.
P2P: What are the main fitness benefits of pole dancing and how has pole dancing improved your fitness, strength or body shape?
AN: When I was young I was more flexible, but now at 40 years I have more power. Because you want to do a special kind of move, you get to the point that you are training very hard to get that move, so you gain a lot of power. Also you need to stay flexible for certain moves, so I like (and need) to stretch a lot after teaching and performing. This is why I have enough flexibility to get my front and side splits, so I’m happy! I work hard to keep that up. Also with my health condition it’s harder to keep that up, but I won’t let go, not until I’m 60!
P2P: Pole performers are athletes like in any other sport. What is an average day’s training for you?
AN: I have always only taught, and while my classes were training, that was my opportunity to train a little bit every time for myself, because then I can also get people to tell me how it looks. I can’t have any extra training days – pity.
P2P: What pole performers inspire you, or who do you admire?
AN: Pantera because of her power and dedication – and she’s a very lovely woman. Zoraya for the grace, power and balance together, and she has the same style in looks that I have for performing – I like Indians. I also like Felix for her flexibility, but I don’t think it’s healthy for me to be that flexible in the future. Jenyne Butterfly is also amazing, but I think there have been so many great pole dancers in the past 2 years, so keep on going girls – girl power!
P2P: If someone has never tried pole dancing before, how can they get started?
AN: I always start my classes with a good warm-up and then my students get moves very easily on the pole. I think it’s important to be optimistic with your students to improve them, to encourage them a lot. I always tell my students to do it within their own possible power and body balance. Don’t do too much in one class; you will get there over time. It takes time to do something and I’d much rather students stay safe while trying out the moves.
P2P: What’s next for you in the coming year?
AN: Keep on training (on a lower base), and keep on organizing the competitions in Belgium – the Belgium, the Netherland and Luxemburg titles and the Benelux title. I’ve been doing that for 3 years already and I love doing it, and I will keep on doing it. I hope to get more opportunities to judge more in other countries in other competitions. Thank you very much for the opportunity I have had to judge in this panel, it was very nice and I enjoyed it very much.