Most Inspirational Student

Emma Collins

Entrant Details

Emma Collins

My name is Emma Collins but most people know me as Ema pole, I’m 35 and when I’m not hanging off a pole, I’m a full time social care worker.
I’m young free and single (hint hint)
I started my pole journey back in 2013, and it’s probably the most emotional seven years of my life. There have been smiles, and loads of tears, but I wouldn’t change any of it.
Pole has made me love me for who I am, and I have realised anything is possible if I just try.
Back in 2017 I lost my brother to cancer and I felt like giving up, it broke me I lost my pole mojo and I fell out of love with it, but with the love and support, not only from my instructor, but other pole instructors I know, I had help that allowed me to love it again, and reminded me why I started pole in the first place. It also showed me that it doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, if you love something and it makes you happy, then do it. Go out there and be you, don’t worry what any one else thinks of you, we have one life and we should live it doing what makes us happy.
I love encouraging people and supporting people on their pole journey because I know how hard mine has been.
I support the plus size pole industry where possible. I joined Polehog brand athlete team back in 2018 to help promote their plus size range and show other girls out there that you can feel beautiful in sports wear.

Studio: Vertical Joy
Gainsborough
Instructor: Sarah Myers
Email: Sarahjdwyer@yahoo.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Emz.sexipepsi.Collins
Instagram: @poleema1985
https://www.instagram.com/poleema1985/
My blog: https://www.facebook.com/poleema1985/

Morgan Lily Hollyoak

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Morgan Lily Hollyoak

My name is Morgan Lily Hollyoak, I am 15 years old. I have been training in Aerial Hoop and Silks for 5 years now. But when my studio moved to a larger unit, just under 3 years ago, I started taking pole classes. It instantly became my favourite thing in the world!!Last year I qualified as part of the British Team and took part in the IPSF World Championships in Canada. It has to be my biggest achievement so far.

I had big plans for competing at Nationals again this year hoping to qualify for the finals again, as well as many other competitions throughout the year. But lockdown stopped all that!

I am lucky enough that my studio managed to create an amazing online schedule and I have been taking 10 classes a week to improve and maintain my strength and flexibility. As well as balancing my GCSE online learning, that was being sent through from my school.

Studio: Addictive Fitness
Instructors: Karen Gaunt, Ellie Bradsell and Amie Beth Sabin
Studio email: addictivefitness1@gmail.com
Instagram account: aerial.bendy_Morgan

Jennie Marshall

Entrant Details

Jennie Marshall

My name is Jennie aka “Rainbow Girl” as I love all things brightly coloured, sparkly and rainbow – I hope to make everyone’s day a bit brighter with the clothes I wear! I am 20 years old and started pole just over a year ago, I didn’t have any sort of dance background and wasn’t flexible at all so I was nervous to start but fell in love with the positive energy and sense of achievement that everyone created at classes. I love how we all build each other up no matter what level we’re at and all make each other feel at home at pole. In normal times I would be going to classes 6 times a week but at the moment I have had to fit online classes around my job at a supermarket, I am lucky enough to have a pole at home. I have struggled with anxiety for the past 4 years or so and pole has enabled me come out of my shell and be my confident happy self, at first I didn’t have the courage to go to classes alone but as I started to gain confidence with all the positive vibes that surrounded me and seeing the progress I made from one week to the next I was able to go by myself. Pole is the only exercise I have stuck to for so long and it introduced me to another love of mine now – aerial hoop. It has not only changed my physical health but also my mental health in day to day life as I am more adventurous than ever before thanks to my instructors and all my pole friends and I love it!

The studio I attend is Even Flow Pole and Yoga, my instructors are Amber Boyden-Wilson (amberboydenwilson@outlook.com) and Mandy Rice (mandymoo91photographer@hotmail.co.uk).

My Instagram handle is @jamjennie

Jane Fitzpatrick (aka Bendy Wendy)

Entrant Details

Jane Fitzpatrick (aka Bendy Wendy)

A bit about myself: I’m Jane, I’m 25 (26 next week!) . I’ve been attempting pole for about a year and a half now- I absolutely love it. Pole helped me become physically and mentally stronger, it was always something I wanted to try but I’d written it off as something I’d never be able to do, (Previously didn’t even have the upper body strength to do a forward roll!). It lets me be the best version of myself and it inspires me to try harder.
Lately, I’ve had a rough time health-wise, the past 6 months in particular, and there was a point I struggled to walk: but I’d still try to get on the pole! The thought of getting back up there kept me focussed. 9 out of 10 times I slid to the bottom /fell off but I kept at it. (I learnt the hard way bandages don’t grip the pole ). As a result I’m stronger/more flexible than what I was before! It gave me the confidence to start running again too, showed me that I was strong enough .

Additional info: As soon as I was able to I went back to work to help my colleagues, I’ve worked for the NHS for almost 2 years now- more recently mostly in coding. Of course in current circumstances this is quite stressful, and pole can be a welcome escape.

Every year (bar this one of course), I run the GNR for a charity. I also paint and sketch in my spare time, sometimes working on commissions.
My recent health struggles have included; vitamin deficiencies, uncontrolled Asthma, Raynauds and an undiagnosed immune condition. This causes painful skin reactions where my skin will break/blister- obviously for gripping the pole that isn’t ideal! I had a particularly bad reaction on my leg which caused a secondary infection and consequently I had to give up pole for a short while. I also had to have numerous biopsies and stitches.

My amazing instructor is Gemma Fielding, email: northumbriapole@gmail.com, from Northumbria Pole Fitness Studio- where I am a student. Even when I was housebound, she was constantly supportive/encouraging.

I have a public Instagram, which is janefitzpatrick94.

Abi Pepperman

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Abi Pepperman

Children’s doctor by day with the child’s dream of running away with the circus at night. Any spare moment is spent spinning, hanging and dropping from any aerial equipment within reach. I stumbled into pole a year ago and became instantly hooked. It’s not just the elation on finally nailing ‘that move’ or excitement at getting some heels on and trying something new that keeps me coming back. I have found me a pole family full of amazing, supportive and inspirational people at The Train Station Fitness who encourage and help each other throughout.

Attend: The Train Station Fitness, with huge thanks to instructors Cheryl Cummins, Clare Kendrick and Jade Strugnell

Instagram: @abi_pepperman
Email: pepperman@doctors.org.uk

Gemma Dumbill

Entrant Details

Gemma Dumbill

I started pole in March 2019 at a time when I had zero confidence in my body and my abilities. I was struggling with my mental health conditions, with my body image and I was starting to see myself as a lost cause. I started in private classes because of my anxiety but it wasn’t long before I wanted to dedicate as much of my time as possible into going to group classes and trying my hardest even though it required a big push mentally to even just get out of bed some days. This was the best thing I’ve ever done, because just over a year later and I can now say that I know what it’s like to be confident, to love myself and that I shouldn’t doubt myself. The best part for me though is the people who have seen my journey as a pole student and have gotten motivation from it. Nothing makes me happier than seeing them grow in confidence and determination too. For this reason, I’m a student in two ways; I’m a student at the studio taking classes, and a student on an Xpert training course with the end goal of being able to support others on their journeys in the future.

Your studio you attend and who is your instructor ?
I attend The Pole Loft in Liverpool and my instructor is Alena Forsyth.

Any Social Media handles including facebook, instagram, twitter.
Instagram.com/Gemmermaid_

Your instructor name and email
Alena Forsyth – thepoleloft.liverpool@gmail.com

Please also let us know any other information we may not be aware of., what you are involved in and any additional info.

I did an Xpert training course in the Essential Science of Heels in March 2020 in the studio I go to and alongside my instructor. I did this because I really wanted to expand my knowledge further for myself and to know how to teach others.

I am currently in the middle of doing another Xpert training course; level 1 and 2. I didn’t think I would be doing this only one year into doing pole, however since kicking my insecurities to the curb I decided to go for it. I want this to show anyone that they can do anything that they want to if they put their minds to it and let go of the self-doubt.

I have struggled with my mental health to the point I didn’t think I could turn things around. Especially I had a problem with my body. Yet now no matter what my weight is, I’ve learnt to appreciate my body and all the amazing things it can do which is something I try to encourage other people to do as well. I even made it a mission of mine to do a photoshoot in november with my stomach showing to challenge myself and prove to myself that I don’t need to hide it. I kept wanting to back out and I didn’t know if I was going to go through with it. But I did and now they are my favourite photos that I share and I tell my story in the hope to spread body positivity.

Lockdown has been a challenging time in so many ways. I didn’t know what to do but I kept my membership the same as usual and stuck to doing 5 classes a week and getting involved in 3 challenges on Instagram which were out of my comfort zone. It has made me realise that no matter the circumstance, I can get through and with silver linings too. I have become more independent with my poling, challenged myself by exploring freestyle dance for the first time and getting comfortable with it. I’ve also gotten more comfortable exploring my sexy side when I’m dancing and now I never miss a sunday bumday. I am just doing what I love and when I’m on the pole or doing floorwork, I am unapologetically me. Something I never would have dreamed of doing before.

I just want to end this by saying that my life has changed so much for the better since starting pole, I went from a life that I struggled to live, to now thriving and being the best I have ever felt and I hope to continue to inspire others to see themselves in the way they deserve to be seen, as the beautiful and talented people they are.

NeQuisha Sylve

Entrant Details

NeQuisha Sylve

I am a beginner poler that goes by the name Bad Teacher. I teach Pre K as my 7-3 but my alter ego comes out when I’m in the studio. I have been poling for 2 years. In the beginning I never would have thought that I would make it this far. In my mind there were so many obstacles to overcome. From being plus size, having a fear of falling to listening to others thoughts on pole dancing, the fact that I’m still doing it is an accomplishment. Throughout these 2 years I have fallen in love with pole. When in the studio surrounded by others who are on the same journey makes me feel empowered. I want everyone to feel how great it has made me feel. I recently started teaching my own beginner pole classes where I focus on the confidence of being a pole dancer. Please know I don’t stand alone. My studio, instructors and pole sisters stand with me. I only share the inspiration they have given me. I am forever grateful for this nomination.

I dance at Pink Poles Studios in Atlanta, GA and was nominated by one of my instructors Milan. Her email is info@milanmethodfit.com

Ig: the_bad_teacher

Thea Wilson

Entrant Details

Thea Wilson

I am amazed and a little bit emotional. This all started out after a trip to my local tip this January, I was feeling a bit lost, having just been discharged from hospital after I had reached my 5 years of remission. Was terrified of anything that resembled a bruise on my body (image attached to help you understand why). I was so very sick, on diagnosis and immediate admission to a haematology unit was told I probably only had days to live. Bonkers, I was a walking time bomb. FFWD 5 years I am still here. ‘YES GIRL’ my pole instructor would say.

So back to the Tip, saw the banner about Pole Fitness and thought hell why not, took down the number and made the call.

“will I get bruises”
“yes darling you will”
“great when can I start”

So I started mid January with private lessons at Liberty Pole Dance Academy with Sally Brady. Covid Hit and I received my letter that although I am discharged I will forever be a patient – I wasn’t allowed out. I quite literally dug up and excavated my garden, one woman, one shovel and a whole lot of sweat and grunting – I dragged bits of old shed clearing enough space for the XPOLE I had purchased (buy now think later). It took me 3 weekends to do this with a few deliveries of bark for XPOLE site 1 then recently did more digging to put hard standing down XPOLE site 2.

Sally switched from studio to back garden and I signed up to 2 PT classes a week. My neighbours are now used to either a head or a foot popping over the garden fence. Sally has also pre recorded splits classes, back and shoulder flex classes, floor work and shoe fundamentals…Shoes…..I need shoes. Thanks to Pole Junkie and Royal Mail I am now fully equipped.

Sally also set up a Whats app group to keep us all in touch, it is really active and has been a great way to support each other through Covid and Isolation.

I also dragged my work colleagues into my pole adventure and started morning Yoga and Barre classes (brilliant complimentary training) – the entire lock down we have done Barre 3 times a week and yoga 5, it gets us all up and committed to start a productive day and my strength and flexibility has greatly benefited – I will and I did get into Teddy, Rainbow, the start of Ballerina, Jumilla and my first invert (last week) safely spotted by my boyfriend who could finally visit me.

What more can I say I am about 6 months into my new most favourite thing in the world then an email lands from you with my nomination. Blown away and for the first time I am not scared of being bruised. I am proud of them because I know in the process of getting them I worked hard and it’s not leukemia it’s a gift from my pole.

I am 43 on Monday I didn’t think I would reach 40 now look at me the strongest I have ever been. Thank you Sally and thank you Pole x