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Interview with Pole Coach and Performer, Paulina

This is the transcript of our Episode 6: Meet Paulina, Pole Coach and Performer from Pole On The Call that aired Thursday, February 10, 2022.

You can watch this episode on YouTube, or listen to it on Spotify, Apple Music, or your favorite podcast service.

Follow Paulina on Instagram: @russianamericanpoler

Paulina’s pole career has started in 2014 with an introductory class taught by Makeda Agada at the London Academy of Pole. She is the gold medalist at the Division 3 Northeast Pole Championships 2016.

Paulina trains with the 2015 National Pole Champion Maggie Ann at Paradigm Pole Fitness in Worcester and in MyPoleSpace studio in St Petersbourg, Russia. Paulina has also trained in studios in Moscow, Tokyo and Paris. She is a founding member of the UMASS Dynamic Motion Dance Team.

Mentioned in this interview:

Video of the Paulina's piece "Therefore I am / Следовательно я существую"

Paulina Reviews Different Hand Grips:


Hey everyone it’s me Cris Rivers from Pole on the call and I’m Mændy Mac,

and today we’re going into episode six where we be interviewing miss Paulina.

Hi everyone I’m Paulina, I love it also so, Mændy do you want to start off and go into you can you can find Paulina on Instagram @russianamericanpoler and we’ll list her Instagram and all the other ways you can follow her. But Paulina is one of our amazing teachers at Pole in the Wall and she’s been with us from the very beginning, and even before then we’ve been pulling with her for so long and she’s just so amazing so we’re excited, to learn a little bit more about Paulina and what makes Paulina a pole dancer and other things as well.

Oh lord almighty so with that long intro, Paulina the first question how long have you been pole dancing ?

So I’ve been polling since 2014 which makes it which makes it essentially eight years in September which I don’t know where the time went it goes by so fast.

Yeah that’s amazing and did you always know that you wanted to teach pole or did you just like, where did you think pole was going to take you at the beginning.

Well that’s that’s actually one of my favorite stories about pole I um which starts not with pole at all, it starts with uh running I used to work a job that had really really long hours and I always liked a workout that not just makes you sweat it, makes you tired because then I sleep better and I had no other time but run and no other time but for running because you know it’s easy have your shoes and you just go essentially so I decided to train for a marathon. But I was not entirely body smart at that point so I didn’t do anything else I just run.

I was like no you know I’m not 30 yet I can just run and I actually ended up getting hurt I ran a marathon, but then I ended up getting hurt in my hip. I had like this sharp shooting pain where I couldn’t run anymore and so this big part of my life all of a sudden was removed right.

I really love eating and I love working out those, two things right so and you know the gym workouts weren’t cutting it and I started looking for something else to do and someone said hey you should try pole dancing it’s it’s a whole body workout I’m like do I look like a stripper to you I mean where are you trying to tell me to go the last time I’ve seen a pole dancer was in the club and my actually my boss paid for a lap dance at that time. I like I did not see an actual fitness person doing pole for fitness ever. I didn’t know that existed at that time and I was like not for me thank you.

Though I appreciate it so when I did get hurt I remember that conversation and I was living in london at that time and I went into london it’s london pole dance academy um near near the near not far from london bridge. And I took my first class and I thought oh my god this is like the best thing in the world, I don’t know why more people aren’t doing it. Everybody there essentially came to work out I mean it wasn’t a club right.

I entered I didn’t know what to expect I thought it was going to be a club with lights and everything no it was just like a bunch of people working out men women professional whatever like from all walks of life all shapes and sizes. I was like I can’t believe this is so amazing why isn’t everybody talking about it and I was like oh no people did talk to me about it, I just didn’t believe it existed .

I just got really really excited because it combined everything I loved right, combined movement of my dance, artistic expression, and it really was a whole body workout.

I mean like who knew we had muscles like right here and like right there and like on your back, like weird spots right, and like my whole body ached the next day.

I was like I love this, I want more of that so I i just, I i tried learning as fast as much as I could and then yeah that first class was like, I want to teach this one day. This is so much fun, I just love the way it was like how how well all the students were supported, and how excited the instructor was I’m like she really is excited, she loves this, I mean I love this too. I want to teach this one day so yeah it was like kind of love at first sight for me.

I love it, yes awesome thank you for sharing that!

Excellent, well you said that you got into it too from running, did you have a I think you had like a former background in dance?

I did do some dance.

I wasn’t one of those people that was like oh yes I did ballet since I was three, that wasn’t, that wasn’t me.

I always, was absolutely enamored by dance, but my family actually didn’t have that much money and means to put me through a dance schoo,

Even though I was born and raised in nursing, that’s kind of like what russians girls, do uh but we didn’t really have the right resource and a scout looked at me and said my bones were too big or too wide, and they’re like it’s not going to cut,like that’s not the look we’re afte.

Which actually, right now if you look back it would have been a pretty decent fit, because you do need a pretty good frame to be on point but in either case I didn’t. I didn’t it didn’t work out, and I wanted to dance the entire time, because I’m actually clumsy as a person, like I i will walk into that door if it’s open face.

Like right here, it will happen over and over again, like all the doors, all the furniture has known my wrath, I literally have bruises from walking into places, into things so.

I’ve always wanted to dance because I’m like, yeah I know I can move but you know I’m just, I was a little awkward and it wasn’t until we moved to the states, where I was a junior in high school, I started, you know there was an opportunity to play a sport so I started trying things out in terms of movement and in terms of a little bit of dance class.

Because when back when I was in Russia, unless you did ballet from age three,you couldn’t really do it recreationally. It was like you either do it to be a professional, or you don’t do it at all.

Right now it has changed but, back when I was born it was still soviet union, so it’s kind of like either you do it or you don’t at all. So when I moved here, I started exploring a little more dance and when I got to college, I started taking some dance class.

I also explored a lot of salsa, some ballroom, but I did salsa for a number of years and then I auditioned and got into one of the UMASS Amherst dance teams, that just started in fact like proud to say I’m one of the founding members of the dynamic motion dance team.

But that’s where I learned most of movement, because I had very little experience beforehand, so it was mostly in college. I would say that I started moving and understanding anything and everything about dance so I haven’t taken my first ballet class until I was like probably 22 or something 21.

That’s incredible, wow oh yeah, well Cris you want to take the next question

Okay so let me see.

What was the first, what is your competition experience, and I guess what was your favorite experience with competing?

Does this call have any like time limits? Because this might be a really long answer....

But okay, so you’ve asked what is say that one more time, because I just started going on tangents in my mind.

I guess like what kind of competitions have you been in, what do you have experience with and I guess what was your favorite one.....

oh did she disappear

I didn’t I’m right here. uh so uh let’s see so I have done quite a number. of PSO competitions, starting from level two all the way to level five. In terms of accolades, I’ve placed in level two three and four .

I’ve just yet to place on level five, and I think my very first level two competition, was actually maybe Mændy’s very first level two. I think Mændy and I both maybe was it, New York,

It was New York,

It was on the stage yeah yeah, when I was on the stage , I’ve always competed in artistic, or what used to be called dramatic, and I would say that you know probably the biggest rush, there’s nothing like the first time you take the stage right?

I mean it’s just, I think that’s that was the the biggest one in terms of, oh wow I should do that again , how many more times can I do it?

Today like I really want to come back, and you know if you weren’t hooked on Pole before, like and if then then you certainly are now, right?

I mean like if this doesn’t get you really in love with Pole, if you weren’t before then I don’t know what will because it’s just you know the community is incredible everybody’s so supportive. You know you get to explore your artistic self, you get to have an audience, and you get to really grow right?

Because there’s nothing like, knowing hey I have reserved this time in my life to train, to have this experience on stage, there will be people looking at me, also paid for my ticket. There’s nothing like that, to make you work and train harder, and more discipline.

Really everything else is like, yeah my New Year’s resolution, you know if you want a New Year’s resolution, sign up for a competition. Trust me you’ll work harder than you ever have before, so you know that’s kind of why I do it right.

I mean it just makes me a better athlete, and a better artist and a better mover. Just certainly you , you certainly won’t be bored right?

And then I guess my favorite, probably one of my favorite, routines was the one I did to Schindler’s List that was, I think level three a while ago. Just really a lot of things matched up, both like my tricks level was matching the level I was competing at, and I felt like the choreography really spoke, and kind of took it home.

It was kind of all in one, and then, yeah and I think like anybody and everybody who wants to grow, should at some point sign up to get some stage time. Because there’s nothing like it, there’s really nothing like it, definitely.

Thank you, yeah and and you’ve also coached a lot of students for competitions too, and you’ve led our competition session classes too. You lead everyone and help everyone for the big day.

What do you, what advice do you have for competitors, what is like one bit of advice you can give?

Well let’s see...

I think, do it for you is the one thing that I keep giving myself as advice, and everyone else really, I mean yes there’s going to be people, yes there’s going to be judges no matter what level you’re doing, but really you’re not really doing it for anyone else.

You know if you’re if the only reason why you’re doing it is to win, you may not be in the right place because you know it is really such a small part of what the competition is. Because the biggest,