How long have you been Pole Dancing for?
B: I got a taste of it in 2010 and started with classes in 2012! I think my poleversary (It’s a thing.) is in March.
What got you started in pole fitness?
B: A good college friend worked at my New Brunswick studio! At the time I was working in an office and was looking for a fun way to get into shape. I was too shy to join the studio at first. It took a few months to get me in!
What kept you interested in the sport?
B: Definitely the pole community! I have met some of my closest friends at my studios.
Why did you decide to become a pole fitness instructor?
B: My New Brunswick studio needed staff, so I was offered the job. I was so nervous! It only took one class for me to realize that teaching and coaching was something I was passionate about. I completely changed careers after that!
What is one of the most challenging things you find about being an instructor?
B: I love every minute I spend at the studio, and find myself spending my home time planning cool lessons and choreographing routines. I guess my biggest challenge is making myself step away from instructing to focus on my amazing life outside the studio!
What do you find rewarding about pole dancing?
B: I love hitting strength goals! I never knew what I was capable of doing before I started pole. It changed me both physically and mentally! A good strength trick can make me as happy as a full pizza.
Tell us more about your competitive spirit. What made you decide to start competing? What do you enjoy about it? Is there anything you dislike about it?
B: I am addicted to competing. I’ve had years that I question myself- but then with every new song I listen to, I find myself closing my eyes and beginning the choreography for my next piece. My first competition was in the doubles category- I had only been doing pole for a few months. I was asked to fill in last minute for a partner who had backed out! That was in 2012. I have since competed in several regional and national competitions, in the semi-pro and professional divisions. I love the crazy months of preparation, the bruises, and the rush of being onstage knowing that I finally made it.
As for what I dislike- the 10 seconds before your music starts onstage are the WORST. I am lucky to have a fiancé who supports me through every step and pushes me to always be better!
If someone is interested in competing, do you have any tips you could provide them with?
B: I have a million! Most importantly though- put in the work. Listen to your song a million times, get a coach, cross-train, eat well, stretch a lot… do something every day for your piece. The people who win competitions are the people who are 200% committed for the full duration of their training season. Even if they don’t walk off stage with a medal, they walk off with pride.
Betty Leblanc – Aradia Fitness Edmonton/Sherwood Park/St. Albert Pole and Aerial Hoop Instructor