Tracey Simmonds is a Pole Fitness Instructor and Pole Performer from the UK with over 10 years experience. She is the co-founder of the SA Pole Sports Federation (SAPSF) which strives to uphold and promote a positive image of Pole Sports through education, events, performances and pole fitness competitions in South Africa. Moreover, Tracey is the creator of four Pole Fitness instructional DVDs. The trilogy ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Pole Dance’ from 2009.
Tracey we would wholeheartedly like to thank you for accepting our invitation and honouring us with your interview that is hosted here on Vertical Wise. What brought you to pole dancing?
I read a magazine article about pole dancing classes in London back in 2005. It is funny to think that is was what started my career!
What is your performing experience like? How long have you been performing?
I started performing in 2006 before I started teaching. I danced at parties, in clubs, at theatres, in corporate shows, in music videos, in TV shows and in films (most notably for Madonna in her 2007 production, Filth and Wisdom). I performed at many exhibitions in the UK, Europe and South Africa. Aside from working for Madonna, my favourite performing experience was being one of the opening solo acts for Dita von Teese at London Erotica. There were thousands of people in the audience. That was an unbeatable feeling!
What is your biggest accomplishment in pole dancing?
My branch of ‘The Pole Studio’ in South Africa.
What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to success?
A really thorough warm up and persistence on the things I want to achieve.
What is your diet like?
I eat much more than the average small person. I hate to train when I am hungry.
What is your coaching philosophy?
I hope that I instill values such as patience, consistency and personal creativity in the people I work with.
What are your future goals?
Developing pole sports and pole fitness. Create educational programmes in pole fitness in Europe and South Africa.
Where do you see pole dance in 10 years?
I hope that pole fitness teaching will be more highly evolved in terms of standards. I foresee that competitive pole sports will become even more popular, with many more countries competing at a high level.
What will you change to make the pole dancing experience/community better?
I think that some studios are not teaching safely. I would like to see more certified and experienced teachers working from a specified minimum knowledge base. This does not have to cost any teachers their sense of being unique. Standards do not have to be limiting or prescribe a particular pole style. The more professional we can be (as a community), the more respect we can gain.
If we asked you to provide a training tip or advice to our readers, what that would be?
A complex movement is just a number simple movements all put together. Break everything down and only focus on one thing at a time. Reward yourself for every small improvement you make. I generally like to sum every situation up with a corny analogy like, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. But it’s true! It takes patience and dedication to reach goals worth attaining.
Thank you Tracey!