How old were you when you started pole fitness?
I was 6 years old but I started training seriously to perform and compete when I was 9.
What got you into pole dance?
My mum had a hair salon and on the side of her salon was a dance studio where Ruth Vass taught pole fitness at Spin City Brimpton . I thought the ladies were so cool as they got to go upside down and Spin really fast and I wanted to give it a try. At first mum said no so I would watch them through the window or look through the key hole to see what they were doing. After a long time Ruth said she would give me some lessons to see how I got on and I just loved it from the start but it hurt me and my hands were so small they wouldn't fit around the pole.
What are your best achievements?
- Performing at UKPPC in 2015
- Coming 2nd at BPSC and winning the best entertainer award.
- Coming 1st at the Cheshire Aerial Championships.
- Becoming Wink’s first ever youth Brand Ambassador - super happy about that 😊
- Mainly making people proud of me like Dan, Ruth and my mum and dad.
Who has inspired you the most?
This is a hard question because I am honestly inspired by every poler I have seen but I love following Daniel Rosen because he is always there for me to teach me and Ruth Vass too.
Bendy Kate has always been my idol and someone I look up to but I love Charlotte Robertson, Yvette Dusol, Sam King, Alex Schchkin, Dimitry Politov but there are so many more.
You recently did an Anti Bullying performance at Pole Theatre, why is this so close to your heart?
My brother Josh who is 3 years older than me was bullied when he first started secondary school about my pole fitness. It made him very sad and he starting hurting himself and hurting my mum. Josh was being told awful things about me by these kids at school, but they didn't even know me and had never seen me perform.
What advice would you give people if they were getting bullied?
Stay strong, talk to people. Don't listen to what they say as bullies only hurt people to make themselves feel better as they have things going on inside them.
Find someone you trust and let them help you. You don't have to go through it alone.
How has pole dance affected your confidence and health?
Pole has made me very strong and I like to see the progress in my body and muscles. I am not afraid to walk out on stage in front of an audience as long as I don't have to sing. I am very determined to succeed and achieve the latest pole move, but I am also dedicated to my school work. I do put my body through a lot of stress but I think it copes very well with what I ask it to do.
There is still a sleazy stigma surrounding Pole Dance and many are struggling to take it seriously as a sport. Have you ever been a target of this?
Yes, I have a boy who was stalking me at school about my pole fitness calling me names. I have 15 year old boys knocking at my door at home and running away and sometimes they stand outside my window calling me names. They call me a slut and a stripper because I do pole fitness but I don't want to say being a stripper is bad because who am I to say it's bad? I am 11 years old and I don't know what I want to do with my life yet. I do know one thing for sure, I will be a better person that the single minded boys who hover under my window calling me names.
The people who matter support me fully and that includes my school. I am a very lucky girl to have support from the pole community, friends and my family.
Wink recently launched the first children’s pole clothing range, we are also seeing more and more pole dance classes and competitions available for children worldwide. Do you feel as an industry we are managing to break this stigma?
This is great, I was so honored to be a part of the launch for Wink’s children's range. Wink is my favorite brand, I love all of their ranges and I was so happy that they were doing children's sizes. To be asked to be their first ever Youth Brand Ambassador made my whole year! I love working with Wink and I am excited for the future.
Photoshoot by Wink, the launch of their Children's Pole Fitness range
I also love that there are more competitions for kids, it's a real step in the right direction to get more people to take pole fitness seriously. We are athletes who are creative, part Unicorn, part machine! I hope that one day my mum will be able to say with pride to a stranger that her daughter does pole fitness and they will respond with ‘oh wow, that's awesome!’ without having to justify it. I am trying hard myself to break the stigma.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Ooooh, I have so much planned and I am so excited. I am competing at BPSC and the Cheshire Aerial Championships again. I am also going to Las Vegas and performing in Pole Expo and meeting up with my American pole friend Paige Olsen and her mom. Plus I am performing loads this year, I can't wait.
What advise do you have for anyone looking to start pole dance?
Do it, pole is for everyone! It is hard and you will wonder sometimes why you do it because it hurts but the feeling when you get that move you have been trying for so long is the best feeling ever! Pole Rocks and so do the pole community.
To follow Mimi's journey:
Website - www.mimipolegirl.co.uk