Steffi is my Pole Trainer and I know her for more than two years, now. I have kind of grown along with her Pole Studio and, therefore, I feel connected to her in a special way. I am, however, especially grateful that Steffi has taken some time to answer all our questions, we always wanted to ask.
1. How did you become a Polerina?
This is a funny story because I actually had my first contact with Pole Sports through a television documentary. I was looking for a new sport in Berlin and I was immediately amazed by it. I then started to look for a trainer who offered Pole as a sport, because I was never a huge fan of the erotic side of Pole. Finally, I ended up with Cindy, at Cindy’s Pole Dance.
2. Why do you stick with Pole?
It definitely is the constant challenge. It just never gets boring with Pole. There are always new moves to try out and I just hate monotony. Aside from Pole I also do martial arts, but you are facing a different kind of challenge there. At Pole Sports, you challenge just yourself. Yourself and your mind. Pole Sport means pure body control. You constantly have to overcome your fears and there are always moves when I say to myself: Never ever! You are 31 years old and you will never manage to do that move. You will not start to become extremely flexible or acrobatic in your age – forget about that move. Then I continue my training, I do other moves and I start to develop a certain feeling that I might try this one move again. Then, when I actually manage to do the move – this is pure pride. I think: Yeah! Wow, that you have actually managed to do that. I feel invincible then and for this feeling I love Pole Sports so much.
3. How would you describe your style?
Definitely as sporty. I rather focus on strength, because I would not describe myself as overly gracile. Naturally, I am not very flexible and therefore I prefer moves that require strength.
4. How do you motivate yourself when you are stuck?
My advice: Try something different. Every move requires time and I also always tell myself that every move has its specific point in time. You need flexibility and strength for a move. When I do not instantly manage a move, I stay relaxed. I try another move or I repeat some old moves I am already good at. In the meantime, I keep working on my strength and flexibility and then I return to the move I wanted to do in the beginning. For example, the Janeiro is my damned move. I have only managed to do it once. I was training on the Pole and then I thought to myself: I really want to do the Janeiro now. It would be really cool, if I would succeed and –whoop- I did it. Since then, I have never been able to repeat the Janeiro, but I will. Some day. In the meantime, I train for my Iron-X, haha.
5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Well, I definitely stopped watching videos. They are not my source of inspiration anymore. Of course, I watch Pole Videos from time to time, but generally, I find them rather demotivating. Especially on Facebook, there are just too much and everyone does special tricks which I probably will never be able to do. And also, I dislike this Move-Hype. Suddenly, everyone does the same move and only this move anymore. In the meantime, other moves are forgotten. The videos are beautiful, but they are mostly unrealistic for me.
I prefer to be inspired by workshops. I invite the people I admire to my studio and get inspired through their classes. For instance, Contempoleary from Shaina Cruea was a huge inspiration to me. As I already mentioned, I started Pole as a sheer sport and I almost avoided any dance elements. However, Shaina’s workshop was such an inspiration. She has completely changed my perspective regarding Pole Dance and since then, I try do integrate more dance elements into my choreographies, too.
6. Three songs from your Playlist of Success
Skunk Anansie, Alanis Morissette, Metallica (This was my first performance music)
7. How come you opened up a Pole Studio?
I did not want to work for the beverage store of my husband anymore. Instead, I planned to open up a bar and I already had all my certificates: my cocktail license (you need a license for everything in Germany) and every other license you would need. I really had everything together when I visited a place for the bar and instead thought, throughout the viewing, that this would be the perfect location for a Pole Studio. The place was completely unsuitable for a bar, but it would have been perfect for a studio. Since then, I could not stop thinking about opening up a studio. Why should I not pursue my hobby as a real job? I then started giving pole classes in a small room in the back of my husband’s beverage store. I had only three students, but, still, I started looking for Pole Studio locations. Until then, I had only been into Pole for a year myself and of course I had doubts about my plans. What if students would be better than me? Am I professional enough to open up a studio? In retrospective, I have been very lucky and everything worked out just fine.
8. What would you say to people who plan to turn their hobby into a job?
I will be honest with you: I had sleepless nights for at least half a year. Would I be able to finance everything? Was this not sheer insanity? In addition, you need a lot of time. My work does not end outside the walls of the studio. When I am at home all the administrative work begins. I have to answer emails, plan workshops, keep my website updated etc. To be self-employed takes a lot of time and energy. Especially, energy. You should really bring a lot of that, in case you are planning to become self-employed. If you have that then do it. Nobody should be frustrated about their job. The worst that could happen to you, at least in Germany, is that you turn broke. Then, however, the social system will transitionally help you out. Yet, you really need nerves of steel.
9. What is so special about being a trainer?
I just love my job. I find it so amazing to see how shy and insecure my students first enter the pole studio. You look at them and you see how they think that they will not make it, that they will never be able to climb this pole and what the hell they are actually doing here. Then their faces start to glow when they manage to climb the pole for the first time and to touch the ceiling. I do not focus on getting people more sporty. I try to give people a greater self-esteem. I love my job, because people leave my studio happy, albeit all the bruises and ailments and they return happily. And they say just the way you did, the first time you were on the pole, firstly: Oh god and then cool.
When I think of pole I think of a rollercoaster ride. At first you are thinking: No way. I want to leave – aaaaagh and then: That was awesome. Let’s go again.
10. What are your plans for the future?
Oh Gosh. So much. I am planning a German Pole Sommer Camp at the baltic see (I am already looking for suitable locations, but – psssst). I want to move into a bigger studio, I want to get more trainer certificates and I want to make more people fit and self-confident.