So. Many. New. Studios!!!

Wow, it’s great to be a student here right now.

Since Milan Pole Studio opened it’s Singapore branch slightly over 2 months ago, a sudden rush of other new pole studios have been popping up all over the place like crazy!

Okay fine, 3.

..and that practically DOUBLES the current number of dedicated pole studios in our tiny island! Cos we were 3, then 4, and now 7!

Let’s meet the new players then, shall we?

So in no particular order (except of course, the vital sequence in which the appeared on my radar, lol):

#1 Studio Sands
They’re already open for business and offered free pole practice and some trial classes during their recent launch.

Apart from regular pole choreography, they offer Doubles classes, and also K-Pop pole if you’re into that.

You can check out their introduction video here, which they open by dancing around barefoot in an MRT station to classical music.

(Personally, I would have kept my shoes on cos MRT station floors are kinda gross and will no doubt turn the soles of your feet very black.)

#2 PoleLAB

PoleLAB’s Facebook Page says it will open around October. The concept looks to be that of a gym-cum-pole studio rolled into one so that you can work out, then work on the pole. I’m not a gym person at all, but I get how that would appeal to the more trickster-focused students and pole-fitness enthusiasts in general.

According to their website, their poles are both 40mm brass and 45mm chrome. Yay to 40mm brass, I say!

You can check out PoleLAB’s introduction video here. It doesn’t look like the space they shot this video in is the actual PoleLAB studio space though.


#3 POLE DANCE ACADEMY !!! (…of the Michelle Shimmy & Maddie Sparkle fame!!)

Okay, confession time: I’m actually not like a gigantic fan of Shimmy or Maddie yet.

Yet! I said ‘Yet’ ok!

Hey, I wasn’t even a fan of Prana’s either until I met her when she moved here for 2 months, and now I love that woman to bits and stalk her on Instagram.

So to be fair, I’ve never met Shimmy or Maddie but I have heard lots of good things about them and that’s a good start.

Anyway I feel the best way to see if you really-truly-for-reals do like a pole teacher, is not by just deciding that you like what you see on their YouTube channel, but to do a class with them in person.

Cos then you get to see what they’re really like as people. And yes I’ve taken classes before with some super-famous (non-Bobbi’s) instructors that I didn’t end up really liking even tho I agree that they’re greatly talented.

*Cos, not everyone will like everyone, and not everyone has to! End of story and don’t ask who cos I won’t say.*

But…. Michelle Shimmy will be coming to Singapore for their official opening on September 28th and conducting workshops! So I will get my chance to meet her, learn from her in person, and eventually become a raving fan of hers after all!

I’ve signed up for her famous ‘Booty’ and ‘Spinning tricks & signature combos’ workshops. So excited.  She’s also conducting a Handstands workshop too but I don’t want to kill myself by crashing all 3 of them in together, since she’s teaching them all on the same day. If you’re registered into the Handstand workshop, let me know how it went okay?


Photo taken from Pole Dance Academy Singapore’s Facebook Page

I do wish she was teaching more and staying for longer but since PDA just opened a new studio in Sydney, I suppose Shimmy and Maddie simply can’t afford that much time away.

Kind of like how Bobbi herself only flies in for workshops here once a year as well.

(Can we maybe get some sort of Sydney/Singapore instructor exchange programme going though? Just saying… I’m sure everyone involved would be happy! )


So there you have it, suddenly there are so many options for pole enthusiasts to spend their hard-earned dollars at.

And each of the new studios have apparently been started by ex-students of all 3 of the first main pole studios here. (Did I say that out loud? Nevermind! But… Are you noticing a trend here? Heehee..)

Incredibly, I’ve even been hearing whispers on the grapevine that there could be more people opening MORE studios too, in the I-have-no-idea-how-distant future.

I’m not sure how reliable that info is, but I say, Bring it!

Cos more studio options equals more fun for students! Wow can you say, ‘spoilt for choice’ fast enough?

The only problem now is that I need to find more money soon to fund me some new classes!!

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An interview with Felix Cane

Felix 1

Photo credit: damo photography. Picture taken from Bobbi’s Pole Studio Perth’s Facebook Page

Ah, Felix.

Probably the most household name in the entire pole dancing world!

I don’t need to tell you that she’s the legendary 3-time winner of the Miss Pole Dance Australia competition right? Or that she’s won the World Pole Championships not just once but twice… or even that she was famously invited by Cirque Du Soleil to headline her own solo pole act in Las Vegas for a few years.

Cos you knew that already, didn’t you?!

Just like you don’t need to tell me that maybe a small (or big) reason why you got into pole in the first place was because you were super inspired by watching her on You Tube.

And we both even know that she’s got haters too. Peeps saying her style doesn’t change, she’s not as current as the new generation of pole stars, that she’s all sorts of other things, blah blah blah…


You’ve probably figured out by now that she was my very first pole idol and she’s still my favourite one right?


So now that you’re aware I’m a completely biased fan-girl and you’re still here, let’s get on with it!

But first, some quick context about this little interview…

Earlier in the year, some of my girlfriends flew to Perth for the Western Australia Pole Camp, and of course they hit up Bobbi’s Pole Studio in Perth where Felix now teaches full-time.

Amongst their collective gushing about how friendly, cheery, and down to earth she is, they also mentioned that after their classes with her, she had casually invited them all to go visit the club where she works at night.

As a stripper.

Say whuuuut..???

(Btw, I liked her even more when I heard that. Yes, I think her being a stripper is pretty fabulous. Told you I’m totally biased, right?)

Then I heard all about how amazing her stage presence is, that she’s utterly classy and captivating, and also how they spent all their money tipping her that night.

And so I knew… that if I ever got the chance to meet Felix, I had to ask her about that topic myself.

Along with all the other usual dorky things I wanted to know.

So here we are! Enjoy…

Felix 3

Photo credit: Justin Tran Photography. Picture taken from Justin Tran Photography’s Facebook Page.



Hi Felix! So tell us… what have you been up to since Cirque Du Soleil?

Since I left the circus about a year ago, I’ve been teaching at Bobbi’s in Perth. And it’s been amazing! I love it there. It’s home, you know?

I’m quite enjoying not moving and travelling, cos I did so much of it with Cirque that for now I just want to stay in one place.

There’s also so many things that I haven’t had time to work on that I just want to ‘get back into my body’. You lose a lot when you’re only performing because you do the same things over and over again, so it’s been really nice to just train and get back to basics.

What kind of stuff do you want to work on?

Well, I want to develop things that look beautiful and aren’t difficult, because I’m old and broken… So that’s my goal. I want to broaden my vocabulary of pole moves.

Old and broken!? ..What nonsense! But since you mention it, do you have a lot of injuries?

When I was working in the circus, I had a massive accident. They had a mechanical malfunction as they called it, and I smashed my entire face to pieces and broke my arm and my wrist. So that was a mega one.

Apart from that I’ve got a rotator cuff tear which will need surgery if it gets worse, a tear in my wrist as well, my hips are wonky, and my back is out so I have back pain… Shoulders, wrists, back; everything’s a little bit broken! But it’s general wear and tear. When you perform at a high level consistently, it just happens. Bodies are not meant to do things like that!

How many hours a week do you teach? 

I teach High Advanced, Advanced, Prep Advanced, Intermediate 2, and Stretch and Flex. And a lot of Pole Grooves!

Phew, that’s a lot! Any favourite thing you love to teach?

I love teaching beginners actually. Or teaching moves from the very beginning, cos when it’s something that the girls haven’t done before, it’s exciting for them, and for me as well. So I like teaching new things. And I really love teaching Pole Grooves because it’s all choreographing and dancing, and it’s so much fun!

I also like students who really work hard, where you can tell that they’re stretching and doing stuff at home and it’s not just an hour a week for them to come in then forget about pole… Dedicated! I like that because I share a passion with them.

Do you prefer teaching to performing?

Gosh, that’s a good question…

I love teaching! I get so much joy from seeing people get things and progress. It’s so rewarding, and it’s a different sort of reward than performing. But that’s a difficult one. I can’t answer that one… I don’t know which one I like better! I like them the same, but they’re so different.

Would you ever compete again?

If I feel like I’m good enough. Cos I feel like I’m not at my peak right now. So if I feel like I get to a point where I’m like, ‘Man! I wanna show this stuff off!’, then yes.

I get so nervous when I compete!  I’m like, the worst with nerves. I’m worse than everybody I know! On the day, I’m almost, ‘Why did I do this to myself? I hate this! Why did I do this to myself!’

If you do pole dancing for say, the circus… they don’t really know what they’re looking at so you can just do the splits and they’re like, ‘WOW!’. But the pole community knows what they’re looking at and they expect things of you, so it’s really nerve wracking.

I love performing, and I love being on stage, but I just get really nervous. It’s that 15 minutes before that my heart starts racing, and I start shaking. I can’t breathe as well, I’m like “hurghh!’ I don’t know what I think is going to happen, but I just panic. And then I get on stage and I’m fine!

Do you think the competition scene has changed a lot?

Definitely. I think that across the world, competitive pole dancing has become so gymnastic. It’s ridiculous! It’s sort of lost the essence of pole, but I think the Miss Pole Dance Australia competition has maintained that authenticity, with the showgirl side of the whole performance and showmanship, rather than just being about tricks.

And it has shoes! Cos… wear your shoes! I dunno, I have my preference… whereas I know that other people like it better when its fitness, but to me it’s an art. And I kinda like the taboo-ness of pole…. and how it’s a little bit naughty, like 7-inch stilettos!

Talking about the naughty side of pole… what do you think about the whole, ‘I’m a pole dancer, not a stripper!’ thing?

Well, I’m a pole dancer and a stripper, so I think you can be both! It’s funny cos people sometimes say, ‘She’s a pole dancer! She’s not a stripper!’ And I’m like, ‘hmm, really?’ *giggles*

Do you ever correct them?

No, I don’t think it has anything to do with it. It doesn’t make me any better or worse of a pole dancer.

So you’re cool with people knowing that you dance in a strip club?

Yea, I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed about.

I think people are scared of what they don’t know and what they don’t understand. Just like with pole dancing, there’s a lot of stigmas and assumptions attached to the strip tease industry. You can try and convince someone as much as you’d like, but it’s pretty much like flogging a dead horse. Unless they know it and they’ve experienced it, or unless you’re talking to another dancer, there’s no point really trying to change someone’s mind about it.

Striptease is an art form as well, it’s not about being vulgar… there’s a way of doing it that’s beautiful. Burlesque is like old-school strip tease; it’s a beautiful style of dancing that’s sexy, too! So I don’t think that there’s anything to be ashamed about, because to me it’s just another style of dancing.

But I get it that people don’t like it, and I’m not gonna try to change the world on that one! *laughs*

When did you start in the strip tease industry?

I started working at the Voodoo Lounge in 2006, after I started pole dancing.

I started performing there because it had poles, and pretty much the only place in the world that had poles then were strip clubs!

So I went in and I was like, ‘I’m not going to take off my clothes! But I’ll do a performance for you.’ And they let me. So I started out with just doing pole performances.

But then I saw everyone else making loads of money! And I was a student at the time, and I was making hardly anything. The amount that these girls were making in a night was more than what I’d make in a month. So I was like, ‘ what’s the point of me working 9 till 5, training on the pole for 5 hours, practically dying, and not making any money?

Then I thought, ‘I can practice and make loads of money, I won’t be so exhausted, and I can still do what I love.’ So I just did.

There are so many different types of strip clubs as well. There’s some that are gross, and I would never even walk into them. But some, like The Voodoo Lounge, are beautiful! And the girls are beautiful, and you walk in and it’s an amazing venue, and it’s fun to be part of it.

Are there any moves that the guys really love?

In a strip club, they guys don’t really come to see your pole moves. To be honest, it’s all about eye contact. If you can make a guy look at you, and not look away, that’s the key.

Do you have any funny performance stories?

Yup! I’ve got a good one… from when I was working for Cirque Du Soleil, and it was during the Michael Jackson Immortal world tour.

So I’d do the Spatchcock in every show, and in a Spatchcock, your hands are out behind you, and you can’t really put them anywhere else. And in this particular show I had a very sparkly bikini on, but the bottom of the bikini didn’t stay where it was supposed to so my whole lady-ness was out for everybody in the audience to see! All 20,000 of them! In a Spatchcock! That was probably the most horrific wardrobe fail that I’ve ever experienced! *Laughs*



*Update: Since our little chat last month, Felix must have changed her mind and decided that she is indeed ready for the competition stage again because the Miss Pole Dance Australis 2015 finalists have been announced, and she’s been included as the ‘Automatic Wildcard’ contestant.*

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Time to stop playing and start working again

Trying to absorb some Twerk power

Trying to somehow absorb some Twerk power

In the past couple of months, and especially since Milan Pole Studio Singapore opened it’s doors, I’ve been playing around instead of working.

Basically I’ve just been having fun by doing loads of dance-based classes instead of working on any pole tricks. Hell, I dropped out of Prep Advanced at week 6 and just messed around with different classes!

I call them the ‘Sexy-Flexy’ stuff: Twerk, Exotic, Floorwork, Slap, Stretch, Contortion, etc.. All the stuff that’s fun and not too tiring cos they don’t really require that much strength or stamina.

I could happily do those kinds of classes forever, I swear.

But alas, pole dancing at it’s best does include doing difficult aerial pole tricks, and I do enjoy them too.

So it’s time to stop playing around, and get my (somewhat heavier) ass back to work.

And I did just that by going for my first session of pole practice at Bobbi’s again …after 2 and a half months!!

Now we all know that with pole, you are constantly subjected to the ‘use it or lose it’ risk. And after not doing any tricks for so long, I was wondering if my body still remembered how to do a spin climb into pull-up-V!

Thankfully, it does.

I like to think that all the yoga I’ve been doing to make my membership worthwhile has been keeping some of my strength, but in truth it’s just really good muscle memory from constant past repetition.

I took it easy by just going through all the basic tricks I could think of to make sure they were still there: Static V, Jade, Allegra, Fallen Angel, DVD cover, and thankfully yes they all are…


With Feeeelixxxxxxx!

…Except that god, I felt winded!

The last time I felt that tired was when I did Felix Cane’s Beginner Pole Grooves workshop last month!

Now that was some serious fun.

She was here for the Bobbi’s Affaire charity event showcase featuring different group performances by our local Bobbi’s students, and instructors including Bobbi herself.

I didn’t take part in any of the performances but instead was a pole cleaner that night with my pole pal Angela.

I’d always wanted to be a pole cleaner for one of the studio’s events and was super happy when they assigned me with the task! Cos this was like the event of the year. With Bobbi and Felix!

So back to Felix. It was surreal meeting my biggest pole idol in person after 3 and a half years of pole. Luckily, I’ve met quite a few pole stars by now so I think I managed not to spazz out completely.

I found out backstage that she suffers from actual pre-performance jitters. Which was also surreal, because she’s Felix Cane for goodness sake! 3-time MPD Australia, and 2-time winner of the world pole championships! She looks better just warming up on her bad side than most pole dancers can ever dream of!

But she does get nervous, and it is adorable. And watching her perform made me realize that I really need to get my shit together and just get back to working on hard stuff again if I ever want to be remotely awesome competent on the pole in this lifetime.

Pole cleaning at the Bobbi's Affaire

Pole cleaning at the Bobbi’s Affaire

And so I’m starting with pole practice for now, since I haven’t signed up for any classes at all this term due to a total lack of confidence. (Plus some travel plans)

I’m trying to get back into a weekly pole practice habit to start with, now that my unlimited package at MPS has long ended and I’m not feeling rich enough to buy another.

So it’s back to good old solo pole practice, and even some blogging!

Cos this poor space was growing cobwebs.

Okay, I’ll just say it: I probably won’t be blogging as much as I used to in the past, as all of the 3 people who actually read this damn thing will have noticed by now. But I will say that I at least conducted a casual interview with Felix while she was here where she talks about stripping, among other things.

…Do you want to see it?

I hope so!

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Every damned day.. almost

s-Exhausted...In the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve been going to the newly-opened Milan Pole Dance Studio almost every day. Yup, I signed up for their opening ‘unlimited’ promo that allows me to do 1 class per day for a whole month.

I wasn’t planning to, but then after the first few trial classes I did, I immediately fell super in love with Prana and decided that I must go for as many of her classes as humanly possible.

Personally I like instructors who can : a) Make me laugh b) Be patient, and c) Break things down clearly. Bonus point if they are Sexy too!

I honestly don’t care about how famous they are, how many competitions they won, or how impressive their backgrounds are. To me, any instructor who has those basic qualities is worth their weight in gold.

Thankfully, I don’t have to pay Prana 70kg worth of gold cos I can just do the unlimited class promo instead!

The only problem is, I’ve never done this many consecutive classes before and my poor body must be in shock because on some days, I can’t really feel my arms and legs anymore.

But apart from the fact that I wake up every morning feeling like I got hit by a van full of gorillas, I’m having a great time!

Surprisingly, my favourite classes so far are Flexy and Contortion, which involve no dancing and a lot of PAIN.

I haven’t done many Flexibility-based classes recently, and certainly none this effective. Last week, my toes actually tickled the top of my head and I think I sweat more during Flexy class than during Twerk class.

Speaking of which… Twerk is super hard! The twerking itself isn’t too bad, but it’s the hip-hop based routines we learn in each class that just mess me up!

I’ve never been interested in hip-hop choreography, and Twerk class is like taking a sudden crash course in it.

My two left feet have a really hard time trying to process new moves, and my brain only remembers new choreography in blocks of 10 seconds: I can remember the first 10 seconds, then once I learn another 10 seconds’ worth, the previous 10 seconds gets erased instantly. Which means I’m perpetually 3 counts (of 8!) behind, and move like a lost chicken.

Pole Dance Basic is much more manageable, but even then the style and transitions are different from what I’m used to.

And being directionally-challenged, I can only follow what’s being taught if I stand directly Behind the instructor. If I stand beside her and watch from the mirror’s reflection, I end up following the mirror exactly and doing everything in reverse from her instead.

But that’s okay, cos the best part about MPS is that at the end of every class, they switch the studio lights off and replace them with UV lighting that makes neon colors glow in the dark! So I tell myself that if I can barely see myself flapping around in darkness, then no one else can really see me either

No wait.

The best thing about the studio isn’t the club lighting… It’s the fact that they have an actual Bathroom, and not just one, but TWO sinks to wash your hands with!!!

Because the feeling of having clean, non-disgusting hands after class is pure luxury!

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There’s a New Kid on the Block… Finally!

Hello, Sparklebuns!

Guess who Sparklebuns is? 

Earlier in the year, there were whispers flying around about a new pole studio opening in Singapore. A Facebook page even materialized, with a promising ‘Coming Soon’ poster on their cover page. The rumours flew fast and furious, along with the speculation about who was bringing them in.

But when the months went by quietly without any real updates on the Facebook page, I resigned myself to the fact that no new studio was opening here. The fever of excitement was over…

*Cue sad face + tears of crushing disappointment*

Then a few weeks ago, Milan Pole Studio (MPS) suddenly announced that it would be opening a new outlet here in July! Just like that, things were getting exciting again!

Before we knew it, they released info online about classes, prices, promotions, and the fact that they were flying in Prana from France to kickstart the local branch!

I must have downloaded the booking app and signed up for a 3-class trial within the first 20 minutes that they opened their system for registration.

And yesterday I did my first Contortion class at the brand spanking new Milan Pole Studio Singapore branch (MPS) in Bukit Pasoh. That’s just 4 train stations away from my office!

I’ve never tried Contortion before, as there aren’t any Contortion classes offered here. I’d tried to drop into one to try it when I was in London, but the class was full.

So considering it was my very first Contortion class, and my first time setting foot into Milan Pole Studio, I was pretty excited and nervous.

…But I didn’t have to be, because the class was full of familiar faces! Haha, it turns out that there are loads of aspiring contortionists at Bobbi’s Pole Studio cos most of the students were my fellow Bobbi’s girls.

The MPS studio itself is airy and clean, with nice high ceilings and custom-made one-piece 42″ stainless steel Lupit poles. The space seemed bigger in person than in the photos I’d seen on Facebook.

We were instructed to partner up and share a yoga mat, so all of us managed to fit quite comfortably in the studio.

But first, Prana! I’d heard of her before but never really had any impression of her til now. She’s friendly, gives great instruction (she was nominated for instructor of the year 2013 by IPC, Duh!), has a killer buff body and reminds me slightly of Rihanna.

Bow pose has nothing on Partner Contortion... my back thinks it did 300 of these

Bow pose has nothing on Partner Contortion…
my back thinks it did 300 of these now

We also quickly discovered that if she touches you during class, your body is going to scream because she really knows how to contort and adjust you into brand new directions that you never imagined.

Last night I spent 40 minutes on my trusty Osim back massager before going to bed, which usually helps tremendously in easing stiffness the next day. But I still woke up shocked at how sore my whole back felt this morning. In a good way though, because I’m not in any actual pain or anything. It just feels as if I did 300 yoga Bow poses consecutively.

So now I can’t wait to try the other 2 classes I signed up for: Twerk on Tuesday, and Exotic Dance on Thursday. I heard the Exotic Style at MPS is pretty different from what Bobbi’s girls will be used to, which makes me feel quite curious…

Also, considering that Prana has already been nicknamed, ‘Miss Sparklebuns’ on the MPS Facebook page, I’m pretty sure her Twerk class is probably going to be quite different from anything I’ve done so far since I haven’t tried any Twerk classes before either.

I just hope she goes easy on us, because I watched this video and if that’s the kind of Twerking involved, then I’m totally screwed!

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Sometimes you just need a good SLAP!

Intermediate SLAP, where you discover the most creative ways to use a foldable chair

And you thought you knew how to use a foldable chair!

…No no, not in the face. Sheesh, calm down already! No one is bitch-slapping anyone here, okay? Lol!

I’m talking about Strip & Lap (Slap) classes.

I hadn’t done a Slap class for ages, and I’d forgotten how much fun it is to dance without the pole. Honestly, it’s just as hard to do a good chair & floorwork routine as it is to do a pole routine.

In fact, it can be harder when there are no pole tricks at all to hide behind. It means that you have to be 100% confident in your sensuality and dance coordination because that’s pretty much all that’s on display.

When I first started doing Slap classes ages ago, I was surprised at how far out from my comfort zone they brought me. I felt more exposed, more vulnerable, more awkward. SO much more awkward!

It’s easy enough to rush through dance moves for a few beats before jumping into a pole trick to distract yourself and your audience. But if you have to work on nothing else except those dance moves, it forces you to confront whichever parts of them make you feel uncomfortable.

Be it the moves themselves, or how you feel about the body parts that are being isolated through them. But if you stick with it, you’ll find your body moving in ways you may never have allowed it to before.

And so I feel that Strip & Lap classes are a pole dancer’s secret weapon.

They get the awkward out of your sexy, and help your body get comfortable with basically everything that happens in-between the tricks.

This term’s intermediate Slap routine was a doubles partner choreography, which requires even more coordination than usual. Why, just being able to wave your legs in sync facing your partner without hitting her on head with your foot is a skill all by itself!

I wasn’t even planning to do Slap this term (or anytime in the near future) but due to unforeseen circumstances, I ended up doing it during the last week of term. It was my first lesson, and the last lesson for the term. Talk about taking a crash course!

Luckily for me, some friends sent me their class videos so I could familiarize myself with the choreography, and Po.lita is a great teacher. I even managed to find willing partners to perform with during performance week too and had so much fun with them!

Messing around with my SLAP sisters

Messing around with fellow sexy SLAP sisters

So after months and months of not doing any Strip & Lap classes, my love for Slap has definitely been reignited and I’m going to resume with Slap in the new term, which starts next week.

And after a whole lot of consideration, I signed up for Prep Advanced again too… despite being stuck in a looooong pole slump recently. (The same pole slump that’s also resulted in major pole-blogging writer’s block.)

I reckon that I’ll never ride out this plateau that I’m on if I don’t at least push myself with Prep Advanced every other term. And quite a few of my pole pals are signed into it too so at least we can all practice together.

Plus, it’s this song!!!

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