Nourish your Creativity & let your freestyle flow

Pole Profiles

Nourish your Creativity & Let your Freestyle Flow
By Dani Atkins

Do you find your students becoming stuck? Feeling unchallenged creatively? Do your students find
freestyling a challenge? It can be tough to keep things fresh for both instructors and students.
As an instructor you might find your cup of creativity feeling a little light due to constantly trying to keep things new in interesting for your students. Constantly creating lesson plans and full choreographies can be taxing especially if you are trying to keep up with the latest social media trends to flood your students’ minds.

As a student, one can start to find class becoming stale and start to lose interest but what students need to understand, repetition builds skill. The best way to master a move is thru repetition; practice makes progress and progress isn’t linear. When asking fellow dancers why they think free styling is important here’s what they had to say.

“The ultimate goal of a dancer is to take all of it and be able to speak through movement. Expressing
ourselves, feelings and thoughts through movement rather than words is kind of like fully body sign
language. Once you learn the language of movement you can speak if more fluently”

– Sandra @twist_of_fatefitness

“Free styling allows you to come up with something creative without the pressure of nailing a set combo or choreography”

– Ashley @polejciak

“If we aren’t willing to experiment with how our bodies like to move, we will never develop our own
aesthetic and flow. Free styling can be messy but empowering for finding your unique style. While keeping structure in mind, it is important to nourish the creative spark inside each dancer. Free styling can help a dancer tap into their sensual and uncontrolled side, just waiting to be unlocked. Unstructured movement can help a dancer learn to allow their bodies to follow their natural pathways. Free flow dancing can lead to discovering moves or sequences that you might not have discovered or thought of before when following a structured plan. The pressure of hitting a certain count or mark can be a lot and free styling removes those pressures which could be causing fear in the mind for your students. I don’t want to just dance like my coaches, I want to dance how my body feels best. Freestyle allows you to live in your own moment rather than be a copy of another.”

– Krissy @strykeabows

Free styling can be interactive with partners, an entire group or be a solo activity.

Here are Six methods to help stimulate freestyle movement within your classes

Magic Mirror

Partner Activity; This can be done free standing or using poles.
Partner up your students and select a song. Partners must maintain eye contact with each other as they dance. Partners will take turns leading while the other follows and the pathways will continue to form, alternating who leads and follows.


Group activity; This can be done as a floor class or as a pole class. The instructor will start the class off with a move or sequence. Then each member will contribute a select move one by one.
If need be the instructor will break down the suggested move but also provide a regression for those
students who might need one. Once a combo has been created have the class experiment with their tempo by speeding up their movement as well as slowing down and not rushing things by milk each movement.

Don’t Let Go

Prolonged Contact; Solo Activity.
Have your students focus on keeping a specific body part connected with the pole or floor at all times. For example, where will your movement take you if you must keep your leg connected the entire time or were unable to remove one hand the whole time you dance. Students will find themselves in new pathways, some may even find themself stuck and having that challenge of discovering how they might escape. Example; You must keep one foot connected to the floor at all times. Create new windows to thread your body thru and find new ways to transition from move to move.

Ice-olated Incident

Focused Movement; Solo Activity; Can be done free standing or using poles. Focusing on a
certain movement can help a student understand the mechanics that make a movement work.
It can help a dancer feel more connected with the moves. Instruct your students to focus their
movements on a specific body part. Let all action stem from that body part, let it led the way.
For example, the focused move is Rolls- body rolls, head rolls, shoulder rolls etc. Let the rolling action lead your body and follow it thru. How will your movement develop when you don’t cut your pathway short?


Solo activity: Can be done as a floor or pole exercise. Everyone is blind folded taking away their
sense of sight while increasing their sense of touch. Students must literally FEEL their movements happening. This will take a little bit more trust on their part as they can’t see themselves in the mirror and must rely on instinct. Instead of seeing, what you should do, students are able to feel how their bodies are connecting. There  is no pressure you having anyone watching you or you watching others.

Emotional Rollercoaster

Solo or group, Floor or Pole; Instruct your students to portray an emotion or action thru their
dancing. Can you be fluid like the water flowing between the rocks? Embody the cold harsh winds of the mountains. Dance to the feeling of sadness or admiration. What happens when you dance the same movements but with two different emotions, how some movements will soften while others will become harsh. When you put emotion behind your movements you give life to your dancing. This allows your students to personalize their movements and truly make things their own.
You can aid your students by song choice, music can play an important part in free styling.

“I like the mind/body connection and the ability to express and interpret the music.”

– Elaine, @eli_try

During the final dance students should be adding their own spice or magic. You have given them the
movements, now it is the time to make them their own. Encourage your students to personalize their movements by add their unique style. I always tell my students as long as you are using proper grip, technique and or stance that everything else is subjective. Dance is ultimately about experimenting with different styles and finding how your body likes to naturally express flow.

License to Thrill Fundraiser Show

Pole Profiles

This past November, X-POLE sponsored “License to Thrill”, a James Bond-themed fundraiser pole and aerial show for the Renton, Washington-based Ascendance Pole & Aerial Arts. The show paid homage to the legendary women of James Bond, with more than a dozen performers captivating a packed theater on pole, fly pole, Lyra, and silks.

This show marked the five-year anniversary of Ascendance. One of the only 501c3 nonprofit pole studios in the United States, this pole and aerial arts studio is a unique place where everyone is encouraged to express themselves through movement in a safe, inclusive space, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. Through benefit shows like License to Thrill, Ascendance raises funds to provide scholarships and other programs that help make these forms of artistic expression more accessible.

In the spirit of this mission, one audience member with a lucky raffle ticket even went home with an X-POLE SPORT pole, donated by X-POLE, to begin their own pole journey.

“This show was a labor of love and a tribute to the iconic women of Bond, but most importantly, it’s a testament to our commitment to the arts and the joy of movement,” said Tara Steed, cofounder of Ascendance. 

Learn more about Ascendance at

Photo credit: Vanessa Gray

WA State Strippers Are Organizing for Better Workplaces

Pole Profiles

Strippers are Workers (SAW) is a dancer-led organization that fights to raise Washington strip club industry standards and create a dancer focused community. WA dancers are facing a predatory business model that strips workers of rights and fair pay, and dancers deserve to work equitably, safely, and sustainably.

After successfully passing basic industry safety and security measures in a 2019 bill HB 1756, SAW is now introducing their Strippers’ Bill of Rights bill in the 2024 legislative session. Through building consensus with hundreds of dancers across the state, they developed a policy that will make massive changes to their industry and establish basic workers’ rights and protections. 

The 2024 bill includes minimum club security staffing, decriminalizing a dancers’ standard night of work, mandatory club employee training, anti-discrimination protections, and a cap on what fees clubs can charge dancers while also eliminating the practice of indebting dancers to clubs. The bill will also end the alcohol prohibition in WA strip clubs, which means that dancers won’t be clubs’ only source of profit, and the increased funds will go towards better protections for dancers. 

The strip club industry is already an industry that lacks workers’ rights, and WA is a notoriously difficult and slow place to dance. SAW’s bill will create a sustainable business model for clubs, generate a healthier customer base, and revolutionize dancer rights!

To support its organizing efforts, SAW throws Pole Showcase Fundraisers to raise community awareness, get dancers paid, and fund its organizational needs. With the support of X-Pole and their donation of a X-Stage Lite, these fundraisers were made possible- leading to raising thousands of dollars for the org., thousands more in tips for dancers, and the spread of community support for dancers’ rights.

SAW needs continued support to pass its Strippers’ Bill of Rights in January 2024. Click here to purchase tickets for the next Seattle fundraiser on November 29th. Visit to learn more about their organizing and how to support WA dancers!



Pole Profiles

Pole dancing is not only a great way to tone your muscles, but it also has many other benefits that you might not have thought of. This article will explore the benefits of pole dancing and why you should consider purchasing a pole dance pole for your home.

Full-Body Workout

One of the most significant benefits of pole dancing is that it is a full-body workout. Pole dancing requires using almost all your muscles, including your arms, shoulders, back, core, and legs. It is a great way to tone your body and build lean muscle. Unlike traditional gym workouts that can get boring and repetitive after a while, pole dancing is a creative way to increase your heart rate and burn calories.

Improved Flexibility

Pole dancing also helps to improve your flexibility. Many pole dancing moves require stretching your body and holding positions that you might not typically do daily. Over time, this can help to increase your flexibility and range of motion. Improved flexibility can also help to reduce the risk of injury, especially if you participate in other physical activities.

Get fit while having fun

One of the most appealing aspects of pole dancing is that it doesn’t feel like exercise. Pole dancing is a dynamic and engaging, challenging and entertaining activity. Pole dancing requires strength, flexibility, and endurance, so you can get a full-body workout without realizing it. As you progress in your pole dancing journey, you will see improvements in your overall fitness and strength without feeling like you are forcing yourself to work out.

Boost your confidence

Another great benefit of pole dancing is that it can help boost your confidence and self-esteem. Pole dancing requires vulnerability and trust in yourself, which can be empowering and liberating. As you learn new moves and progress in your pole dancing abilities, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride that can translate into other areas of your life.

Stress relief

Exercise is a natural stress reliever, and pole dancing is no exception. It can help to reduce stress levels, boost your mood, and improve overall mental health. Pole dancing allows you to focus on the present moment, which can help to calm the mind and reduce anxiety.


Pole dancing classes provide a supportive and encouraging community of like-minded individuals. You’ll find that the community is very welcoming and supportive, which can help to make your pole dancing experience even more enjoyable. It’s a great way to meet new people and make friends while achieving your fitness goals.

To sum it all up, pole dancing is an excellent way to stay fit, healthy, and empowered. It offers a full-body workout, improves flexibility, boosts confidence, promotes cardiovascular health, relieves stress, and provides a supportive community. Whether you’re looking for a new workout routine or want to try something new, pole dancing is a great activity to consider.


Pole Profiles

Pole dancing is a fantastic exercise and creative outlet, providing numerous physical and mental benefits. However, like any exercise or endeavor, it is possible to experience burnout if you don’t take care of your body and mind.

Here are five ways to avoid pole dance burnout and keep your practice fresh and enjoyable.

Take Rest Days

Rest is crucial for any type of physical activity, including pole dancing. Overworking your body can lead to fatigue, injuries, and burnout—schedule rest days into your pole dance practice to give your body and mind a chance to recover. You can use this time to focus on stretching, foam rolling, or any other form of self-care that helps you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Vary Your Routine

Repeating the same pole dance routine can quickly become monotonous and lead to burnout. To keep things interesting, try switching up your repertoire by adding new moves you’ve learned in class or choreographing to a different musical genre from your usual selection. You can also experiment with different styles of pole dance to keep your practice fresh and get new inspiration.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated and focused. Still, it’s essential to make sure they are realistic and achievable. Suppose you set goals that are too challenging or unrealistic. In that case, you may become discouraged and lose interest in pole dancing altogether. Start with small goals and work your way up as you improve.

Find a Supportive Community

Joining a pole dance community can be a great way to stay motivated and avoid burnout. You can find a community through social media groups, local pole dance studios, or online forums. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who share your passion for pole dancing can help keep you inspired and motivated.

Take Time for Self-Care

Pole dancing can be a demanding and physically challenging activity, so taking time for self-care is essential. This can include anything from taking a relaxing bath to getting a massage. Whatever helps you feel refreshed and rejuvenated, prioritize self-care as part of your pole dance routine.

Pole dance burnout can be avoided by caring for your body and mind, varying your routine, setting realistic goals, finding a supportive community, and prioritizing self-care. These tips can keep your pole dance practice fresh and enjoyable for years.

Original Sin Show

Pole Profiles

Original Sin Show is excited to be producing their second annual pole competition at Apple Jelly Studios in St. Pete Florida. Welcoming sinful pole dancers from all over the world, the Original Sin Show’s theme for 2023 is Dante’s Inferno. In Dante’s Inferno, everything is a perversion of something in Heaven or on Earth. Journey with us through the nine circles of Hell: limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. This show is unapologetically dark, tenfold more wicked, and brimming with win.

What makes Original Sin Show | Dante’s Inferno so different? We have a completely immersive environment, cash and other prizes for winners of each category, a 360 degree stage, a gluttonous amount of sponsors and vendors, a divine emcee, and we let our performers get as sinful on-stage as they imagine.

Looking to burn with us in the Inferno? Competitor applications open on January 7th through our website and tickets go on-sale in February. Keep a watchful eye on our IG @originalsinshow and Website for more information.

See you in the depths of Hell, Sinners. 🔥

Zoraya Judd

Pole Profiles

Zoraya Judd – One of the pioneers of the pole fitness industry. Zoraya is an aerial pole performer, instructor, wife, and mother to 3 boys. She is based in Utah and is the founder of Next Level Pole Training – a unique training experience meant to progress you 1-2 pole levels in a very short time period. Zoraya has been traveling, on a regular basis, teaching pole studios around the world for over a decade. Zoraya has participated in many international competitions and has been awarded many titles. She has guest judged and performed at large pole functions and competitions, performed with and for numerous well known actors, musicians, festivals, large corporate private events and has been featured in many magazines, news papers, fox sports, and movies.

Zoraya’s goal is to continue to show people the art and fitness side of aerial pole. She absolutely loves everything that has to do with pole. But, for her it is the strength, control and flexibility that she finds so beautiful and intriguing.

Don’t miss your opportunity to learn from this legend. Her strength and technique combined with her many years of experience is unmatched and is sure to take your pole to the next level.

Pole Resume:

  • First competition, “Miss Pole Fetish Utah 2009”, She placed 1st in the advanced division.
  • One of the 12 girls chosen to compete in “USPDF West Coast Regional 2009 Competition”, where she received her “Pro Status”
  • Sexy in SLC, Oct 2009
  • Competed in “Vertical Pole Challenge”, where she secured a spot in the Finale.
  • Became a clothing ambassador for Bad Kitty Pole Fit Wear.
  • Competed in “USPDF National Championship 2010” in the Pro Division.
  • Performed with Felix Cane at corporate event. 2010
  • UPA Pole Artist of the month, May 2010
  • Toured southern California doing pole workshops at multiple pole studios.
  • Guest performer at the International Pole Convention 2010
  • Inspiration of the month for Mika Yoga wear July 2010.
  • Performed as an opening and closing act for rapper Common in Las Vegas NV 2010
  • Performed as an opening and closing act for singer Mia in Las Vegas NV 2010
  • Guest performer at EMW west coast competition 2010
  • Zoraya wanted to give back, so she got involved with “All Childrens Charity”. A charity that seeks to empower, educate and nurture talent in children all over the world.
  • Competed in the “World Pole Dance and Fitness championship 2010”, where she made it to the final round and became a part of the top 13 in world. Held in Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Toured all over the UK and Europe doing pole workshops at multiple pole studios.
  • Competed in the “American Pole Fitness Championships 2010” in October, where she was awarded 2 awards. 1st runner up and Pole Athlete Of The Year (out of the males and females).
  • Was featured in Pole Spin Magazine August-November 2010 issue
  • Toured East Coast doing pole workshops at multiple pole studios.
  • 2010 won “Pole Idol”
  • Zoraya is currently performing with Zen Arts ( and Revel Society, a premier event entertainment and production company.
  • Competed in “International Pole Championships 2010”, December in Tokyo, Japan. Where she was awarded International Pole Art Champion 2010.
  • Was featured in Pole Spin Magazine December-March 2011 issue
  • Photoshoot for Affliction clothing and for Throwdown in January 2011
  • Performed for the 2011 Maxim Magazine party, January 2011
  • Performed for the 2011 XBIZ Awards in February 2011
  • Competed in “Aerial Pole International Championships 2011”, March in Switzerland. Where she was awarded Best Trick award and strongest pole dancer by Dominic Lacasse himself (The Flag Man).
  • Toured all over the UK and Europe doing pole workshops at multiple pole studios. March 2011
  • Has a 5 page spread in Pole Spin Magazine April-July 2011 issue and is considered an inspirational role model world-wide
  • Performed and toured in Mexico city May 2011 teaching pole workshops
  • Was featured live on Fox Sports in Mexico City during Cinco de Mayo 2011 to represent pole as an art and sport
  • Toured Northern California and Tahoe May 2011 teaching pole workshops at multiple studios.
  • Performed two nights in a row on the main stage at Lightning In a Bottle, May 2011, Los Angeles CA
  • She has also been featured and interviewed by numerous news reporters, magazine articles, and tv personnel around the world.
  • Performed 3 nights in a row on the main stages of “Electric Daisy Carnival” in Las Vegas, NV with Zen Arts.
  • Performed at XPOLE showcase of the top 12 pole dancers in the world. “Pole Reflections” Sydney Australia, July 2011
  • Toured all parts of Australia teaching Pole Fitness workshops. July/August 2011
  • Competed at World Pole Dance and Fitness Championships 2011, Hungry Budapest October 2011 where she was awarded “Best Entertainer” in the finals.
  • Toured all over UK and Europe teaching pole fitness workshops, October 2011
  • Performed at Gravity First 2nd edition 2011 in Mexico City for XPOLE Mexico. October 2011
  • Toured all over the Mexico teaching pole workshops at multiple pole studios. October 2011
  • Photoshoot with Rebok for the cover of a fitness magazine in South America. January 2012 issue.
  • Cover girl of Vertical Fitness Magazine in USA, February/April 2012
  • International Pole Championships 2012, Hong Kong. Awarded First Runner Up Pole Art Champion and First Runner Up Pole Idol 2012
  • 2012 featured in Rolling Stones magazine
  • International Judge for 2013 World Pole Dance and Fitness Championships in Switzerland
  • Judge and Guest Performer for 2014 Miss Pole Dance Argentina
  • Judge and Guest Performer for 2014 Miss Pole Dance Mexico
  • Guest performer at PWN Awards 2014
  • 2015 through today: Main judge for most of the largest international and world pole competitions
  • 2015 through today: Traveling the globe teaching at many pole studios
  • 2015 through today: Teaching MANY international guests at her personal training facility in USA
    (Next Level Training)

Zoraya is sponsored by:
Dry Hands
Mighty Grip
Mika Yoga Wear
Mika Yoga Swim

Zoraya continues to tour the entire globe teaching the art of pole to at pole studios everywhere.

Annual Halifax Theatrix Pole Competition

Pole Profiles

This year, X-POLE sponsored the 2nd Annual Halifax Theatrix Pole Competition hosted by Studio In Essence in Halifax, Nova Scotia.inesS™ put on a fantastic sold-out show that highlighted the talent of pole artists throughout Atlantic Canada in 5 categories: Pole Amateur, Pole Doubles, Pole Comedy, Pole Art (A) and (B).

The floor-to-ceiling brass competition poles gleamed like gold on the beautifully lit stage, framed by the black curtain backdrop and the warm wood floors. The Pole Amateur category was won by Christine Ausman, with her emotional performance about love and loss that tugged the heartstrings.

The winning duo for Pole Doubles was Faith Flemming and Melissa Rutherford, who created a fun and heartwarming performance about friendship and inspiration.

The Pole Comedy category was swept away by Candice J Prior, who made the audience laugh out loud as she battled the elements to be rescued from a deserted island.

The winner for Pole Art A was Jasmine Mah, who lit up the stage as Pele, the goddess of Fire in an explosive performance.

Finally, the 2019 Pole Art B winner was NaRae Lee, who astounded the audience with her powerful performance that gained her an entry into Spinning with the Stars, an annual charity event that raises money for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.

Studio In Essence Owner/Director Christy Sanford, “We are proud to foster such a creative, supportive, and driven community, and we greatly appreciate the role our sponsors play in helping this community continue to grow and flourish. We hope to make next year’s competition even more vibrant and successful!”

We can’t wait to see what next year holds for everyone who competed in the Halifax Theatrix Pole Competition. Thank you to everyone for making this such a success.

For more info, please check out:

Samantha Star

Pole Profiles

Samantha Star combines her knowledge of pole, gymnastics, yoga, and hand balance to be a dynamic performer and informative instructor. She believes perfecting the fundamentals is the best way to gain strength and coordination to achieve a higher level of fitness and grace. By focusing on technique and core, she helps students attain a solid platform with which they can achieve confidence, strength and power. Samantha teaches at Body & Pole in NYC and also travels the world to perform, compete, judge, and teach workshops.


Instructor at​ Body & Pole


1st Place PSO Atlantic APC 2019
3rd Place PSO Nationals 2019

6th Place – POSA Worlds 2018
2nd Place – USPSF (Qualifier for POSA Worlds) 2018
2nd Place – Pole -a – Palooza 2018
1st Place – Pole -a- Palooza 2017
2nd Place – Pole Olympia 2016
3rd Place – USPSF (Qualifier for IPSAF Worlds) 2016
3rd Place – USPSF (Qualifier for IPSF Worlds) 2015
2nd Place – Australian Pole Fitness Championship 2015
1st Place – IDSA World Pole Dance Championship of Sports Standard (China) 2014 2nd Place – Pole Championship Series 2014
1st Place – Women’s Division – Pole Classic at Pole Expo 2013
4th Place – Nationals Pro/ Level 4 Championship – Pole Sport Organization 2013 2nd Place – Atlantic Level 4 Championship – Pole Sport Organization 2013
3rd Place – National Elite Division – Midwest Pole Dance Competition 2012
APFA Pole Athlete of the year 2012

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Continuing Education


Yoga Meridian Therapy – Science of Self 2019
FRC Certification
elevatED L1, L2 Pole – elevatED L1 Flex Power Monkey Fitness – Ring Thing
KT Coates
AFAA Group Fitness
200hr Yoga Teacher Training: Back Bay Yoga


Secret Circus 2019
Let them Eat Cake – 2018
USPSF Regionals 2018
Filthy Pony 2018
Halloween show at Body & Pole 2018
Showtime – an immersive circus at Body & Pole 2018 The Wall Art Openings at Body & Pole 2017, 2018 Mountain Pole Camp 2017, 2018
Pole Convention – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Schtick a Pole In It – NYC 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018 SoSi – An AERA production NYC -2016
Pole Show La – 2014, 2015, 2016
Pole Expo – Las Vegas 2015
Pole Revolution – 2015
Aerial AllStars Australia 2015
Arnold Australia 2015
Gravity First – Fifth Edition 2014
Pole Expo – Pole Star Showcase 2014
Arnold Classic – Arnold Sports Festival 2014
Live Dancing Girls – Nashville, Tn 2014
La Gente – An AERA production – Nyc 2013