One of our exclusive interviews with British Isles Pole Dance Champion judge Valeria Parsi.
P2P: You’re judging at this years’ British Isles Pole Dance Championship. What will you be looking for from the competitor’s performances?
VP: Expressivity and original stuff, together with a smooth execution and perfect lines.
P2P: What do you think makes a good judge?
VP: Deep knowledge of pole dancing, technique, and great passion.
P2P: How did you first get interested in pole dancing and what made you become an instructor/performer?
VP: I heard about Pole Dance on a TV program, ran in front of my pc and searched on YouTube for some videos. I saw Felix Cane’s winning performance of 2006 and fell in love with it. In 2009 I heard of the first school in Rome, so I went there and after a few months I was asked to teach, much to my pleasure!
P2P: What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
VP: The challenge of overcoming your limits and the sensation of flying, and the amazing workout, obviously.
P2P: What are your three favourite pole moves and why? (It can be your current three or all-time favourite three).
VP: Twisted Grip Lift, because it requires great strength but it looks like you’re going up without any effort. Cocoon, for the amazing flexibility you need and the shape it creates. Flag/Brass monkey climb, in which you’re really defying gravity.
P2P: What are the main fitness benefits of pole dancing and how has pole dancing improved your fitness, strength or body shape?
VP: Pole dancing gives you a totally new body shape – you get toned, your fat amount decreases and your self-confidence grows.
P2P: Pole performers are athletes like in any other sport. What is an average day’s training for you?
VP: There should be stretching every day and not too much on the pole. Then running, core exercises, push-ups and all that stuff. But for me, these should not be done just before climbing on the pole, because I sweat a lot and then it’s impossible to do my tricks.
P2P. What pole performers inspire you or do you admire?
VP: I admire every performer for the sacrifices this sport requires at high levels. Anyway, my favourites for their styles are: Jenyne Butterfly, Felix Cane, Alethea Austin, Oona Kivela, Anastasia Skukhtorova, Zoraya Judd, Marion Crampe and Marlo Fisken.
P2P: If someone has never tried pole dancing before, how can they get started?
VP: They should just go to a serious school and stick to the pole. Not too much at the beginning as muscles and strength need time to grow and we don’t want them to get injured. Having the right teacher helps a lot (I suggest not to try things alone at home and without mats!) and passion is the main ingredient.
P2P: What’s next for you in the coming year?
VP: I will continue teaching and holding workshops, training and learning from the best pole dancers with whom I like to have private lessons. I’ll be in the jury panel of various important competitions and I hope to meet new amazing pole people around the world!