To celebrate Pole Heart 5th anniversary, I invited Natasha Wang for an interview.
She is an inspirational and wonderful person!
First of all, thank you for accepting this interview in celebration of Pole Heart 5th anniversary in September 2022.
♡ You don’t need to be presented to the Pole Dance community, but can you
introduce yourself to new students?
I’ve been teaching pole for over 10 years, have judged virtually every pole fitness/pole art competition in the world, used to compete (a lot) back in the day and have won a few titles, like IPC Champion, US Pole Dance Champion, and others. I started pole at around 30 with no background in dance, gymnastics or movement and plan to be pole dancing to my grave.
I instruct in-person workshops around the world – including at Pole Heart – and still love teaching virtual classes. Last year during the pandemic, I launched an on-demand platform called Poletica Movement to help pole dancers unlock their power through movement they love.
♡ How and when did you start your journey in Pole Dance?
I started pole dancing at around 30 years old. I used to be very exercise-averse. I hated the gym, tried yoga and was bored to tears (I’ve since fallen in love with it), and was traumatised by running because my high school volleyball coach forced us to sprint in 100 degrees F (about 38 C!). From the age of 17-30 the only exercise I got was dancing at raves on the weekends.
Something happens when you near decade markers in age. So when I turned 30, I promised myself I’d get off the couch, spend less time at my desk (I used to work in PR) and quit smoking and partying excessively.
I signed up for an intro pole class and didn’t hate it like other forms of exercise. But I didn’t love it either! Eventually the movement, which had initially felt so foreign and challenging, developed into something I loved and couldn’t live without, like air.
♡ How Pole Dance changed your life?
Pole made me fall in love with my body, and to treat her like the queen she is.
Prior to taking my first class, I drank…I smoked…I did other things. But that lifestyle wasn’t conducive to what mattered to me most, which was getting up early for my pole classes and feeling my best so I could finally learn how to invert.
Pole dance has also led me down the path of being a teacher, which is the absolute best job in the world. To see my students achieve something they never thought was possible is more rewarding for me than any competition medal.
Teaching has truly given my life a sense of purpose and fulfilment.
♡ What inspires you to keep working with Pole?
There is just such an infinite amount of things to learn in pole. You could train every day and still not master every technique, nuance or move. And people keep creating and pushing the envelope, so the art evolves so quickly.
Even at the age of 46, I’m still learning and growing as a pole dancer. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning and wanting to learn.
♡ What inspires you to move and dance every day?
For me, it’s like eating or breathing. I need to do it. We’re creatures of habit, so I like having the routine of dancing or training a little bit a day, or at least stretching, practicing yoga and taking a walk.
Pole has also given me an outlet to release emotional and physical tension, and allows me to express myself creatively through movement. I used to write a lot of poetry, and the flow state I achieved through writing is similar to what happens in dance. Time stands still, there is a complete connection between mind and body, and everything flows effortlessly without thought. It’s my preferred form of meditation.
♡ What is your life’s philosophy?
Just be a fucking good human. Treat others with kindness, treat the earth with kindness, treat animals with kindness and respect.
♡ How do you describe your teaching methodology?
I like to blend elements of yoga, fitness and other types of creative movement like dance and handstands into my classes. I’m obsessed with technique and discovering modifications and variations so that everyone who learns from me leaves feeling accomplished and empowered.
♡ What can someone expect from Pole Dance, meaning why Pole Dance and
not any other activity?
There’s a freedom in pole dance that you don’t often find in other movement modalities. Not many other dance forms incorporate aerial dance, grounded flow and basework, floorwork, acrobatics, sensual movement, moving meditation and circus arts. For many people who were intimidated or bored by traditional fitness classes, pole dancing is like exercise disguised as play.
It’s also one of the more inclusive styles of dance and fitness. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, size, ability or fitness level can learn how to pole dance.
♡ How would you like to see Pole Dance evolve in the next years?
I would like to see pole evolve so that it not just borrows from strippers and strip culture, circus arts, dance and yoga, but becomes an artform in its own right, with a universally recognized language and movement vocabulary, and teaching methods that prioritize safety and movement longevity.
♡ You taught two workshops at Pole Heart and you also had some training time; can you share your thoughts and feelings about the experience at the studio?
I love the vibe at Pole Heart! It’s a little enclave of creativity and serenity in the city. For me, the best studios are ones that focus not just on the fitness aspect of pole dance, but the artistry and dance of it as well, and Pole Heart is definitely an artist/dancer/creative-driven studio.
♡ I organize Lisbon Pole Camp and you were the Pole Star Instructor in 2013, 2015 and 2016; can you share some memories from those experiences?
One of my best camp memories were the intimate group dinners hosted at that artist collective’s house, where we had an amazing Portuguese meal under the stars. The vibe fit perfectly with the camp - effortlessly cool, bohemian and welcoming
♡ Can you share with us?
A picture that inspires you.
A video that inspires you.
Few live performers are as brave as Tanya Tagaq.
A song that inspires you.
“Cosmic Dancer” by T-Rex.
This song speaks to me on a deep level!
A book that inspires you.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
A fun fact about you.
A few years ago, my friend Arloa Reston and I started a company making cat scratching posts that looked like X-Stages. We called it X-Purr, of course!
Follow Natasha Wang on her social media:
Pole Dance, Movement & Fitness Studio.