This is the transcript of our Episode 4: Meet Jamie Wong, Pole Coach and Performer from Pole On The Call that aired Thursday, January 27, 2022.
Follow Jamie on Instagram: @thepoledancerlifecoach @ehh_lodielouise
The Pole Dancer Life Coaching 12-week program The Pole Dancer Life Coaching Program and Jamie Wong, LLC are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Boston Pole Fitness. Should you have any questions, please direct your inquiries to the appropriate organization.
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From small-town Virginia, Jamie Wong has been pole dancing for 10 years. She started off in the club, but quickly realized she wasn’t cut out for that life. She signed up for pole dance classes to see how she could build on her existing pole skills. She has competed at PSO many times, earning a few silver and gold medals. When she’s not getting slinky, flexy, and strong on the pole, she enjoys reading, eating authentic Chinese food with her hubby, and spending time with their cat, Charles.
Hey everyone, we’re Pole on the Call! Thank you for coming out today. My name is Cris Rivers.
And I’m Mændy Mac.
And today we’re going into episode four! I’m so excited! Which is…
Our interview with the amazing Jamie from Boston Pole Fitness! So I’m repping Pole in the Wall, but I also have underneath…
Thank you Jamie so much for meeting with us this morning and talking all about pole!
Thanks for having me!
Yes thank you! So we have a couple questions that we would like to ask. Mændy of course is gonna start. And feel free if you have any questions, and answer as openly as you want because we really want everybody to know the truth about pole and just know the real life experience mainly. Take it away!
So first of all, how did how did you get into pole? What was the the draw for you?
Yeah so I’ve been doing pole for 10 years now. I initially started from the club, from the strip club, and then I started taking classes. My roommate was a dancer and so you know, I was like, wow she’s so cool, you know. Like I want to do what she does! And then I really fell in love with like the actual, or the artistic and the athletic side of it, and so then I started taking classes and just never stopped!
Nice! I feel like we all have similar similar stories to starting pole too. j
Just fun. Thank you for that honesty. That is awesome, such a beautiful history. When did you decide, and how did you go about, well first when did you decide from not only being a dancer, but to start teaching, and how did you go about that? To get um to get certified?
Yeah so I actually even though I’ve been pole dancing for so long, I’ve only been teaching for two years. Yeah so originally I was, you know doing my full-time job, and then I was just taking pole classes on the side and competing. But then when I moved to Virginia Beach area with my now husband, I was taking classes at a studio and they just came up to me and approached me, and they’re like, hey we saw that you know you can do stuff! You know we would love to have you as an instructor! And I was like are you kidding, yeah, of course! And so yeah, they you know trained me and everything.
I love that! That is awesome!
You got scooped up!
Pretty much we’re like we need you and we’re gonna have you like you have to! I love it! Awesome! And like you said, you were a dancer before but did you have any like dance background growing up or like?
Nothing. Nothing, I was in a marching band you know, I was in orchestra, choir, theater. I did everything but dance!
That’s so funny! Was it easy for you, to like just pop into it or no? Because it looks so natural for you!
Oh thank you that was incredible to hear.
Like no dancing. You make it look like you’ve been doing it for a long time.
Well 10 years is a long time I guess.
Wow like your motions are so fluid. Like I’ve been doing it for five years and I can’t even imagine like being as fluid as you. Like you really look like you’ve been doing it for such a longer time than 10 years.
Thank you, thank you. I appreciate it. Don’t worry you’ll get there. You’re already amazing, so you’ll be!
And also you do lots of choreo, like what is your inspiration for choreo? What’s your favorite style?
Yeah so the choreo really has come with teaching honestly. You know before, I really really struggled with choreo. Like I didn’t take a lot of choreo classes because I was honestly embarrassed. If I wasn’t if I wasn’t nailing it, you know. If I wasn’t like, on cue, I was just like, oh my god! People are gonna be judging me. I have two left feet! And so it just really has come from like, forcing myself to do it. And just being like, I have to teach it, so I have to be — I have to know what I’m doing. And just forcing myself to practice. But yeah it’s interesting you ask about the style because I really don’t know what my favorite pole style is! I think even 10 years in I’m still discovering what my like signature style is.
From many people, they say they specifically come to take from you, and they love your choreo, so you must have some sort of style that you have emerging in yourself!
Thank you, thank you. I don’t know where it comes from. I really don’t I love it! I guess the art of it. It just like, comes from wherever. And then you, it is your own. I find we can really just be ourselves with the pole when we’re able to be ourselves, like our style comes out in it, no matter how unique it is. Which is awesome.
Yeah so my question is, what was, like you, so you’ve been at it for 10 years, what was your pole nemesis? And by that I mean like the trick that you wanted to get but you just couldn’t? And then how did you go about to get it eventually? Like how did you work to eventually get it, no matter how long it took?
So I would say initially it was ayesha. Definitely a nemesis move for me. I’m not naturally strong like I said. I didn’t do dance or gymnastics. I had no upper body strength. I couldn’t even imagine like being upside down with my head pointing down towards the ground. Like no nope nope nope! But you know with time and with my teacher Shannon Hester in Richmond, Virginia — she was amazing, and she’s like such a badass. Can do so many amazing tricks. And I think she just was great at really tailoring classes to us and and trainings, like tailoring things to what we needed at that time. I just kept coming back and eventually I got it with her guidance.
So that’s awesome! Thank you for sharing! It’s so important to share that because a lot of us were like, I just can’t get it! and I’m never gonna get it! So we stray away from that. So it’s awesome that you share that you just kept coming and kept doing it, because a lot of people need to hear that. Just keep coming and eventually you will get it! It’s truly amazing!
Yeah and then going back to strength moves. Do you find that you prefer strength moves over flexible moves or do you find that you are, you know going in through all of them the same?
So that’s interesting because yes, I would say now I do prefer the strength moves. However when I initially began I think I was relying on my natural flexibility and my youth, and I was like, oh I can do a split! I could do this! I could do that! You know, but I didn’t have the strength. I didn’t have any sort of support. So I was getting into flexible moves that I couldn’t necessarily have the strength to support. So now I kind of like more of the strength, with a little bit of flexibility. Because yeah aging will do things to your your flexibility, it really does.
Good answer! Do you um also like we’re in the whole world while learning about our bodies too like our hypermobility. Do you have any of that?
No I mean I don’t think so.
Elbows and knees that bend backwards and all that stuff?
Thank goodness yeah that’s that’s scary.
Right yeah it’s a whole other world once we once we find out that we have these things we have to work with them on the pole.
Respect yeah you really have to pay attention to your body because I didn’t know until Mændy told me and uh so I definitely understand that you get.
Another question I had for you was other than pole do you do anything else? Like do you have a like, a muggle job? Or is pole just like everything that you do?
So currently pole is all that I do now! Um yeah!
And that just recently kind of became a thing when I moved up to Boston. So I’m super proud that I can do something that I love full time.
Right that’s amazing!
Again like that’s so cool that you’re able to make that work because I know that’s like a goal of many polers. And maybe you can like talk about like how you make that work, like what are sort of the different types of things that you do, to like you know make a living doing what you love? y
Yeah well first I should definitely shout out my husband, um my amazing husband, because it wouldn’t have been possible without him. Because you know there are periods where you know, wouldn’t have that full income. Especially dealing with an injury that I’m coming back from, but um yeah. I mean you really just have to make it work. You just have to like always be open to new ideas um and always be open to thinking about okay how can I somehow monetize this? Like I’m serving people in this way I’m passionate about it can I also make this help support me in my living so and it’s possible.
And from what you were saying um brings up another question, if you don’t mind Mændy.
No you said you’re coming back from an injury. What do you, um how are you going about that? What do you recommend to other polers who might get injured doing what they love?
Yeah so physical therapy um is yeah what I’m doing right now two times a week. I definitely recommend scheduling your training, and not overdoing it. So really planning in your rest days, and really just listening to your body. Like if you have just even a small nagging of like, oh this is starting to bother me when I do like xyz moves, like listen to that. You know go to your doctor get you know a preliminary. Like oh this could be this, before it’s a full-fledged injury. Because you don’t want to have to do surgery. Thankfully I was able to avoid that, but it’s so prevalent in pole, and it’s just really important to listen to your body.
Thank you so much for sharing that. Thank you, truly.
And do you have any other, like as far as injury prevention. Do you go to like, because a lot of times that we end up lopsided — or like we’re using muscles, and the other muscles aren’t getting used, so I go to the gym a lot. Do you have like a gym regimen, or any other fitness stuff that you do?
Yes um so I do go to the gym right, now I’m in physical therapy so that’s my gym, twice a week. But typically yeah I had a personal trainer when I was still in Virginia. I haven’t found one up here yet. But yeah I would go once a week and work on arm strength, and she had me doing all sorts of crazy stuff with the TRX bands and um yeah. So really important to cross train — definitely shoulders. You got to protect them so they got to be strong.
Yeah and hopefully your shoulder heals soon! I know like that’s like the worst thing to injure as a pole dancer because like what can you do?
But you’re on the tail end of it though?
I am. I am. I’m going to start back with my full schedule of teaching in January so.
Excellent! Okay I have an another question and it’s about um your like, how, what kind of hand grip do you use? Like do you have any like rituals to put it on?
Um oh okay!
Yeah stuff like that. Like anything that like your little like pole rituals that you get ready for pole with?
Yeah okay when I saw that question initially I was thinking you’re talking about like hand grip like which like twisted split or cup? But now okay that makes sense! Yeah I am a Dry Hands kind of gal um especially in the summer, Dry Hands, Dry Hands, Dry Hands. I use in the winter Corn Huskers lotion, so it’s like a glycerin base lotion. Because my skin’s very dry. So you can’t moisturize because then it’s too, you know, you’ll slip! So yeah I use that and then for my tricks and stuff I’ll use it or trick tack interchangeably.
That’s pretty much what I use exactly!
Nice! That’s cool!
We're the same person!
Yeah if it works it works you know right!
Excellent! You, I know you have experience with judging, and PSO, and I think maybe other competitions. What advice would you give to competitors like as a judge from your different experiences? I don’t know um what kind of things you have judged what kind of categories but what what do you want to see in dancers who have never competed in pole and want to get into it, and are probably scared shitless?
Oh yeah so I have so I have so much advice here! Let me try to like tailor it down and choose like one or two things. As far as like getting over the fear, um experience is the best thing. That’s why I do love pole sport org that is the only um competition I’ve done and judged for. But they are very supportive of that um they don’t turn anybody away, as you guys both know. They you know, they welcome everyone on the stage. And so I think that is a great environment for a first-time competitor because you know you’re going to be welcomed, you’re going to get applause. Like no one’s there to like judge you even the judges! Like we have to give feedback but we’re not there to judge you, we want to see you do well! So yeah I would say just you know get experience as much as you can. Start with like having a friend watch you, and then maybe a couple friends, and then maybe a couple people at the studio you know, and just the more you do it the more comfortable you’ll get.
Excellent along those lines too, uh what mistakes do you see competitors making that you wish they didn't do, old or new beginner competitors beginner competitors or just both advanced competitors who have been doing it for a while or even newbies?
Well so this is a tricky one because I think it depends on if you’re talking about artistic or technical.
Like the two different judging systems?
Yeah with technical it’s the pointed pointed toes, you know, the micro bends in the knees. With artistic I think personally, I’ve learned this also as being a competitor for artistic categories, I think you really have to make it clear to the judges what it is your concept is. Like it’s all fine and well if it’s abstract and that’s fine for you, but as far as a as a judge speaking as a judge like I want to know exactly this is about. This this confident, this routine is about being sad because they lost their loved one. You know, this routine is about taking empowerment and you know being a boss ass [ __ ]. Like I want to know exactly what it’s about.
And I’ve made that mistake in the past so I can speak from personal experience it was like cool in my head I was like oh yeah and this will mean this and this, but like other people don’t know that so you have to tell them. Tell them with your dance, with your movement, with your prop ,with everything. So just like literally bang us over the head with it. And like everyone will have so much more fun.
Thank you all for sharing that cause there are so many ways to judge it and it is important to know. And you’re right whatever might seem awesome to us is abstract. Then it’s it like my first competition was this one and it was so humbling so I thank you for sharing that it’s really important for everyone else to hear.
Yeah yeah I definitely feel that experience with the the dramatic category too. There was one time that I was a death fairy and I knew I was a death fairy…but the judges didn't. So I think that’s a really good, good comment to make it. Needs to be very very clear.
Yeah and it’s subjective so that’s where it’s like you have to take the subjectivity out of it, and make it like, we all know what this is. Um yeah and get second opinions. Yeah it happens to the best of us like we’re all very creative we have these beautiful ideas in our head but it’s translating that you know into the real life.
Awesome and do we have any more questions about uh competitions Cris?
What have you performed in any other types of competitions?
No I’ve done my studio showcases, and then I’ve done PSO like five, six times.
Wow amazing! Yeah!
Moving to uh another question. Who are some of your pole inspirations?
Oh great question OMG!
Well definitely I would have to say for tricks based movement, um my teacher in Richmond, Shannon Hester who was my teacher for like seven to eight years. Um yeah for exotic style sensual movement umm hmm there’s so many.
Heather Williams her her buttery style definitely was a huge inspiration. Um yeah let’s see for spin pole Sammy Picone. Um I have so many like I could keep going, uh —
Yeah you can like list as many you know and then everyone will, you know, go on and follow them too and hopefully be inspired just as you have been!
I love that you broke it down too because you have your favorite poler for like a specific reason, which is pretty much how it is right? Which is why I’m like I need — I don’t have that yet. I don’t have my signature movement like Mændy you have like exotic style heels you know, you own that. I’m like I just do everything, I’ll teach whatever.
I think your your choreo and your flow is pretty memorable, I mean when I think about you that’s what I think about. So yeah even if it’s just me I think you have a style for sure.
Definitely and you’re incredible! I started following you after PSO. I was like why haven’t I found her before like this is ridiculous!
Yes I’m still learning how to use instagram um…
Right though it keeps changing like it’s so annoying! But yeah it’s the only way you can communicate hopefully.
What was your favorite or most memorable poling experience or experience in pole dance?
Wow that’s a big question. That’s — I feel like…
When you got your nemesis move? When it when you won at PSO? When you performance you didn’t became…
Yeah um I guess I’ll just go with the easy one. I mean I have so many so I’ll go with the easy one. When I won um first place at PSO Liberty for championship level four!
Yeah that’s awesome!
I didn’t I really didn’t think I was gonna win so it was like what? Are you sure? Uh okay I’ll take it! Oh yeah!
When was when was this?
Ah so right before COVID.
Yeah it was the summer, yeah summer 2019. Nice.
Wow that is awesome a little gift before I went down, right!
It seems like so long ago I’m like that can’t be right I thought it was 2018. It seemed so long ago. I know well we are about to be 2022 so I guess.
Where’s the time going? No idea! Where’s the time going?
What what are your plans for the future?
Yeah! Continuing to teach pole dance! Yeah continuing to make it my full-time job. Expanding my online pole dance coaching business. I just signed two clients and we’re starting in the new year, so super excited for that!
Yes that’s so exciting!
Oh yeah yeah I wanted to ask also if you had anything up and coming that you wanted to plug — anything at the studio or personal things that are going on?
Sure yeah — um so as far as, I’ll talk about the online coaching business. First um so yeah I just launched that. I have three spots open, looking for three more pole dancers before 2022 who want to start transforming and smashing their goals! So very excited for that!
And as far as Boston Pole Fitness, I mean we have so many events — like so many exciting things! We have Donna Carnow coming um I think that’s like literally the first week of January. We have um the photographer Don — help me out —
Yes Don Curry thank you. I don’t know why that was like blank! Don Curry is coming in April, so a while away but you know — so many things! Like there’s always exciting events at BPF so definitely check out bostonpoolfitness.com.
This episode will probably launch probably like late January, so as far as your um your online train