Welcome back to our series Celebrating Women! I have the immense pleasure to share this particular interview conducted by our dear friend Elise Leibowitz, who was just recently interviewed. She felt inspired to reach out to a friend that works in an industry that I think a lot of us women have questions about or have been interested in recently, or in the past. I am so grateful for Elise’s desire to continue working with women and uplifting their work and their creativity, therefore making it an easy decision to let her conduct this interview and share the answers with us. So with that, lets dive into these juicy details!
How do you feel like pole dancing creates a safe place for you to be able to express yourself?
Having the freedom to explore the many styles of pole dance available offers me a safe space to create without restriction. In this space, I am able to find what style best moves me at any moment in time, I am free learn what I want, how I want, and when I want to. I have also found it extremely helpful and comforting to know that there is such an uplifting and welcoming community of dancers who genuinely support one another. It is so important to have a support system that we can share our experiences with and learn from; pole dance is one of those communities. I love how everyone accepts and elevates each other no matter who they are or where they are at on their journeys.
Has pole dancing made you feel more sensually and sexually empowered?
Yes it has! I started pole dancing in strip clubs, which was such a great way to
get started. Not only did it allow me to practice an art form, the environment made way
for me to grow my confidence by exploring my sensual and sexual expressions. One
way it did so, was by making space for conversations that to the outside world were
deemed as taboo. Navigating these intimate topics brought awareness to my views and
standpoints on any given subject whether it was sexual or not. It also made it easier to
have more open and vulnerable conversations no matter where I was or who I was
talking to. Aside from conversations, being in the strip club placed me in situations
where I had to really draw my boundaries, which was empowering to say the least! I
soon came to realize that I am ALWAYS in control! I get to lead the conversations, and I
get to partake in seductive and intimate expressions without having to give myself away sexually if I don’t want to. With that, I was able to breed an immense level of comfort, appreciation, and understanding towards the human body and psyche, especially my own. I now have so much love for myself in all of my ever changing stages, and this allows me to walk freely in the power that I hold inside and out. Through all my experiences of honing in my power, I have become so hyperaware of my desires, standards, and boundaries which has improved the level of intimacy within myself, and in my relationships both romantic and platonic.
As people are becoming more progressive and accepting of authentic expression and sexuality, where do you think or hope the future of pole art is headed?
I believe the future of pole art will continue in its exponential growth of acceptance and participation. With it being an art form that gained its popularity in strip clubs, it has been deemed as a more radical means of self-expression, and I am happy to see this mind-state continuously changing. People are catching onto the fact that despite its origins it is indeed an art form and nothing less, and more importantly, it is an art form with many means of deliverance. I believe pole dancing is bound to be as common as yoga in the years to come, and if not more! With that said, it will be extremely important for us to continuously uplift ALL forms of the art, especially when it comes to exotic dancers in the sex work industry. We must remember that no particular style of pole dance is better or worse than the other, and as the art grows its audience and participants, we must remind them too.
Have you experienced judgements from others along your journey
and how have you processed them in a way that brings you back to
your own personal truth?
I have been fortunate enough to not experience harsh judgements from others
about my profession in pole dancing. Early on in my journey I was confident in my
decision to be an exotic dancer, but of course we all still have some level of insecurities
to work through. I knew that if I was truly worried about what others would think of me, I would either have to stop, or to get comfortable with not giving a f*ck about anyone’s opinions. I chose the latter. The freedom I experienced when dancing at the club was far too enjoyable to be worrying about not being accepted by others. About three months into dancing I realized it would be a lengthy experience, so I began telling
friends and family. I am so grateful I had a wonderful support system to live out my
truths; because of that foundation I was able to project into such an evolved version of
myself, which has given me room to nurture my creative abilities. It has also allowed me to handle any minor judgments from brief interactions with people who fail to look
outside the box of a simple title. My confidence instilled in self is far more powerful than anyone’s thoughts of what I do with my life.
With that said, I understand that not everyone has vast levels of confidence in
their decisions nor do they always have a sturdy support system. My advice to those
who experience such situations is to focus on what sparks passion in their life and feeds their soul. When we focus on those things, we are reciprocated with a support system of people who value those passions too. In that space, our confidence will continue to grow based on our decision to put our desires first and live out of our truths.
How have you found and created your own unique flavor and style of pole dancing?
I would say I found my unique style of dance by continuously observing all
different types of pole artists and allowing myself to incorporate things I’m highly
inspired by. Early on I was enamored by all the fun inversions and tricks that involved a
lot of strength. As I continued to observe the dancers that caught my eye so much so, to the point I couldn’t look away, I realized it was the smooth flow and flexibility that made them stand out the most. From then on, I was committed to incorporating tricks involving strength and flexibility, and making the transitions as fluid as possible. After a while I got that locked in but was still lacking something, SEX APPEAL! I began studying the ins and outs of what made pole so sensual and sexy and that led me to where I’m at today.
There are so many depths that you can study in pole dancing, and I feel as if I’m barely
scratching the surface, and I’m over five years deep! It really is a journey and I love how
it allows for continuous evolution. Just thinking about this gets me excited to have
another 5 years of experience under my belt! I know my style will be far more intricately evolved when that time comes.
What inspired you to mix pole art with your love and appreciation of roller skating?
One day I saw someone combine the two when I was scrolling through
Instagram! At the time I had just picked up skating and I was not nearly as advanced as
I am now in each individual craft. I combined the two once, and that was it. This was a
little over three years ago and throughout that time I’d been slowly but surely expanding my practice in each, but more so focusing on pole dancing rather than skating. Fast forward to this year when I started focusing on skating again and increased my skill level drastically. I was a lot more experienced on the pole too, so I figured why not give the combination another try? IT WAS A SUCCESS!!!!! It went way smoother than the very first time I had attempted! Since then, I make sure to incorporate the two here and there when I feel inspired to.
What do you want to tell every individual that has curiosity about pole
dancing but is scared that it will be too difficult for them?
I like to remind everyone that we all have to start somewhere! Often times we
forget that it is indeed a JOURNEY and not everyone is going to be super strong or
sexy when they first start, and let me tell you, I sure wasn’t either of those! With that
said, we cannot get good at ANYTHING unless we practice, so as scary as it may seem
we have to go for it! And YES, there is ALWAYS something that can be learned and
executed on the first go round without any prior experience. Just about everyone is
surprised at what they are able to achieve on their first day. Like I said, we aren’t all
going to be strong and sexy at first, but being able to appreciate the small wins instills
the belief that we can reach our desired aspirations. Lastly, it’s important to remember
that pole dancing is meant for EVERYONE no matter their size, shape, age, gender,
physical aptitude, or intention for picking up the art. There are so many aspects of pole
dance to be explored and there is not right or wrong way to do it!
In what ways do you find inspiration to stay motivated to enhance your craft?
It isn’t always easy to stay motivated especially when our individual progress is
ultimately up to us. Through my journey, I realized that having a conducive environment for growth is the most important key to staying consistently motivated to enhance and expand any craft. That environment is created directly from our own internal state of being. We must be very aware of our desires and do everything in our power to align our thoughts and actions with those desires. My desire is to be the best dancer I can be, and through that desire I was inspired to move to a city where it was more widely appreciated and valued. The club I began working at was full of amazing dancers and we all encouraged each other to grow. I soon created a pole studio in my home, to further aid in my progression, but still had distractions that prevented me from utilizing it enough. Since I was still focused on my ultimate desire, I worked through those distractions and finally reached a place where they couldn’t even have the time of day to deter me from my goals.
It takes a while to get through the phase where we succumb to our distractions,
but it CAN be done, and WILL as long as we stay consistent. The consistency will
expand, so always be gentle with yourself on days when you are lacking discipline. It’s a
journey with no set time frame so go as fast or as slow as you want in amplifying your
consistency. Just know there will be times when you look back on your journey and all
you can do is edify yourself for how far you have come. Trust that those moments will
too become more consistent!
All in all, LISTEN TO YOUR TRUEST DESIRES, and navigate through those
distractions. Create a space within yourself that always acts out of your desires and
never settle for anything that fails to align with them. By default, your external reality will be the most conducive environment to maintain your inspiration and motivation.
What is something that pole dancing has brought you that you never would have guessed?
A WHOLE CAREER PATH!!!!! When I first started pole dancing, never did I ever
think I would be a performer outside of the club, an instructor, AND have my very own
pole studio?!?! To give you a little backstory, after about three months of dancing I
realized I wanted to do it for about five years in the club max. By year three my love for
the art of dancing began to deepen immensely and thoughts of prolonging past five
years arose. However, by that point I began slowly outgrowing the club and that’s when
ideas of teaching started to cross my mind. Teaching was my best conceivable way to
not only continue my path with pole dancing, but to inspire and lead others as well.
I officially started my business, Sinferno Studios, a little over four years into my pole
journey, and as I’m answering this question, I realize that Nov. 10th is my one
year anniversary of Sinferno Studios! It was on this day last year when I finally thought
of a name and began my Instagram page to market my services!!!!! I stayed up all night
and through the next day because I was running so high on such an intense flow of
creative energy. I finally had my business name and the theme for my IG laid out, so I
got to work!!! I went and bought my infamous red backdrop to make my home studio
space match my desired aesthetic, and began writing down as many ideas for
marketing, teaching plans, and my overall intentions for my business. I had an amazing
amount of receptivity when I first began and more so to this day. I am beyond excited to continue on this path I have set for myself and for all that this journey will bring!
What is your ultimate vision for your business, Sinferno Studios?
My goal is to have a creative space for more outlets than just pole dancing. As a
multifaceted creative it is important for me to express as many forms of art as possible
and inspire others to do the same. My establishments will be a home for people to
amplify their crafts and utilize each other’s resources to build a network of creation. At
each location of Sinferno Studios we’ve got the pole studio, the dance/yoga studio, the
photography studios, the recording studios for musicians, the kitchen for spreading
awareness of nutrition, and so much more. Networking with a plethora of creatives in
different fields will help fulfill aspects of people’s visions that take a team to create. In
this space we will house events and workshops, classes, private sessions, and more.
Furthermore, the ULTIMATE VISION is to provide a space for individuals to enhance
their crafts and inspire others who are interested in beginning something new. I
understand that a vision this grand takes time and I am committed to continuously
aligning myself with the processes that will actualize my truest desires.
You can find Chelsey on her instagram: