Name: Sammy Lee
School or Club: PoleArts Basel, PoleArts Freiburg, PoleArts Strasbourg
Location: Swaziland, Germany and France
Signature Move: The Shiver
Favourite Song: JJ – My Life
Splits or No Splits? I can do the splits and I love all splits.
P2P: How did you find pole dance, or did it find you?
SL: Pole definitely found me as I was given a pole dancing workshop for my birthday as a present from a very good friend, and this is what made it for me.
P2P: Who taught you or how did you learn?
SL: I learned first from Nele Sehrt/Germany ADC – she was my first pole idol. I found that I was talented for this wonderful art and I afterwards learned from lots of other amazing and great instructors around the world. I wish to say thank you to all of my pole idols for inspiring me and always giving me the support to reach new goals. I feel blessed.
P2P: How did you think and feel back then, being a newbie?
SL: A newbie means a newcomer! It felt great because I saw that I could also inspire the girls in my three pole schools and all over the world through Facebook. I get messages from certain countries and it’s just so good to get this feedback. By following the path I’m walking at the moment, pole has changed my life in such a positive way.
P2P: And now?
SL: At the moment I concentrate on my pole studios, my workshops and the education I give. I decided to try again to make it in the PoleArts competition this year, but it’s tough and the level is getting higher and higher every year. I worked hard and concentrated on my own strength and flexibility and searched for the best teachers in each category to make me better. I am very passionate!
P2P: Where/who do you get your inspiration from?
SL: Jenyne Butterfly is my goddess but I also adore Marlo Fisken. These are the two women I have to watch a lot and I can say that I am so proud to know them and to have trained with them. It wish to try to travel next year once more to the USA and spend for the first time some weeks at Body and Pole and, of course, take some time to see Jenyne in Vegas at the Cirque de Doleil – I can’t miss that.
P2P: Describe your dancing style in one sentence.
SL: I come from a gymnastic background and have been a professional fitness trainer and aerobics trainer for many years. I would say all movements involving strength are super easy for me to develop. I need to work a lot on my grace and elegance as this, for me, is what makes a performance in pole dancing. I also try to tell a story with my pole dancing routines and hope to touch people’s hearts in the audience. I studied acting and performed for three years in the theatre and this is why I feel very comfortable on the stage
P2P: What training regimes/diets do you have?
SL: I am an athlete all year round. I eat clean and train dirty! This is what I try to tell my girls. I want healthy strong muscles and a lean body to lift my weight easily to create the illusion that I’m flying or defying gravity. I have a personal coach in the gym and follow his plan: ABC (Athletic Boot Camp). I have a personal trainer for flexibility and for hand balancing. I am still searching for a dance coach and I work at the moment with a choreographer from Cologne.
P2P: How often do you pole and how long for?
SL: I pole 1 hour a day beside all my other gym training and lessons. This hour is just for me to develop several tricks and to practice making them fluid and easy.
P2P: What are your thoughts and opinions about the industry and pole dancing being more mainstream now?
SL: I love the industry and I see it growing, but I don’t like the politics. I wish we could all work closer together in every country and build a solid, stable family who support this wonderful art.
P2P:How have things changed?
SL: My life has changed in a way that makes me almost cry. I have never been as strong and flexible as I am now. I have never felt so good in my body and I’ve never reached new borders let alone step over them. It’s possible to do even at 30 years old and with a child. I started pole 2 and a half years ago and I regret not one single second of it.
P2P: What are your favourite moves?
SL: I love to play with so many tricks and find new ways to get in and out of them. I can’t make a decision but whatever the move, it’s important to make it look easy and elegant. I love to find me and my own moves and try pole moves which at first look impossible.
P2P: How long did it take you to nail those?
SL: Some took a really long time, like the Phoenix for example. It took me three months to do it. Some were easy though, like the handspring – I guess that took me 1 hour. But to make the moves look easy and with a nice finish and smooth transition, of course you need to practice a lot. I never stop doing the Jade – every time it becomes more precise and beautiful. It’s never-ending.
P2P: Who are your favourite dancers out there now?
SL: I think Jenyne and Marlo have the complete package.
P2P: What competitions have you entered or won?
SL: I entered the World 2010 after 3 months of doing pole, which was just a bit of fun and not really serious, but it was a great opportunity to meet all my idols and get close in touch with all of them. In those times the World was the biggest and best competition. I was in Montreal at the Polebattle from Dominic Lacasse and there I won the prize of Best Artistic Dancer, and at your wonderful contest – the European Pole Championship in Vught – I places 3rd in my category. Lastly, at the Polemasterscup in LA I placed 6th, which was great for me and I felt good with this place.
P2P: What future plans do you have with pole dancing?
SL: I want to make the Polearts and at the same time I want to concentrate on teaching in my schools, educating trainers and giving workshops. I am in a very big TV show in Germany right now (Germany’s Got Talent) and I have made it through to the semi-finals which is going to be live. I will be performing on a new form of pole which I first saw in Las Vegas at Haze, performed on by Jenyne. I want to do shows afterwards which touch the audience and bring the art of this sport to the stage
P2P: Do you have any upcoming events?
SL: Yes – I have two world championships in bodybuilding. I take part in the smallest category (bikini) and I own the title of Miss Bikini 2012 in France. I also places second in the Europe championships of this category and qualified in the World Universe. Pole has made all of this happen. I am also doing more and more fitness modelling and have made a TV spot in Switzerland for a sports label. After this, I will do the Super Talent Show in December and try my best to reach the final. Please help me and vote for me – it’s live.
P2P: What hints and tips would you like to share with our readers?
SL: All I can say is that anything is possible and all hard work pays off.