Be ACTIVE & FUN You!
We’d love to encourage women to stay active. Being active doesn’t have to always be going to the gym or working on a yoga matt. If you have heard about rocker chick, what about pole chick? Today we had an opportunity to interview Eileen Woo, one of the pole dancers who we have been following for awhile now and honestly we are impressed.
1. Hi Eileen, tell us more about yourself!
Hi! I'm a writer by day, pole dancer by night. I started pole dancing in 2014 at Viva Vertical and I've never looked back since. I also have a growing enthusiasm for contortion. I like travelling, history and the colours white and blue. I enjoy art, musicals and the theatre. I'm also a huge nerd. Ask me anything about Star Wars, Game of Thrones or Marvel. I pour over the folklore pretty regularly.
2. How did you start pole dancing?
I've always wanted to learn ballet and rhythmic gymnastics when I was younger, but my family never really had the money to send me for classes. So when I began to earn money on my own, I decided to make my childhood dreams come true. Pole dancing was the perfect combination of both, so I took the plunge!
3. How often do you practice in a week? Do you own a pole at home?
I practice about 3 to 4 times a week when I'm not competing. During competition season I try to practice about 5 to 6 times a week. I do have a pole, but I've yet to set it up as I'm moving between houses at the moment. If I could set up my pole now, I'd probably be practicing almost every day!
4. We've been watching your progress, you are amazing! Where do you get this motivation?
Thank you, that's sweet of you to say so! I've still got a long way to go. My motivation comes from within — my passion to get stronger and better as a dancer. I find myself constantly inspired by everything and everyone around me. I just love to dance! I love the feeling that I get when I'm up in the air, it's almost like I'm flying. When I'm on the pole, or any other aerial apparatus, I feel as though I'm one step closer to touching the sky.
5. Despite its growth, the pole dance industry is relatively small here in Malaysia. In fact, pole dancers are often labeled as "strippers" in the West. Have you ever been criticised for what you're doing now? Do you have any funny stories to share?
Actually, I have. An ex-boyfriend used to call me a stripper, especially whenever I danced in heels. I'm not sure if he was joking or not, but I felt very hurt. Don't get me wrong, I respect strippers but it's rather different from what I do. I've actually danced in bars twice, just for fun. It was great!
6. How do you break this stripper stigma?
Education! Most people seem to believe that pole dancing was originated from strippers, but there's no definitive proof of that. In fact, there are records that have shown forms of "pole dancing", dating back to the 12th Century. Mallakhamb, for example, is an Indian sport where tricks are performed on a wooden pole. There's also Chinese pole, which requires a lot of strength and can be dated back to 1000 years ago.
7. Tell us, how has pole dancing changed your life?
I used to be rather shy and introverted. I wasn't considered to be very pretty, so I was the last person to be noticed in my class, and I didn't have a lot of friends either. Pole dancing has really helped bring me out of my shell, and has allowed me to better embrace my femininity, no matter my looks. Pole dancing has been a sort of sanctuary for me, to shut out the problems of the world and be as creative as I can be. Thanks to pole dancing, I've learned that the human body is capable of so much more, and I believe that this is more beautiful than physical beauty.
8. Do you have any specific goals in your pole journey?
Yes! I usually try to set goals for myself. I believe it helps me stay focused in my journey. I'm largely fascinated with flexibility-based tricks, so I stretch as much as I can to stay on track. At the moment, I'm working on getting a fully-straight Rainbow Marchenko, more interesting transitions and finding my own style in dance. I'm not the kind of person who enjoys working out in a gym, but I generally work on specific conditioning exercises (like active flexibility) that would help in achieving my goals. I also join competitions to push myself in my growth.
9. What is your favourite pole dancing move?
At the moment, my favourite go-to pole move is the Eagle. I think it's a really beautiful and mesmerising trick.
10. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start pole dancing? Is there anything to prep beforehand?
Come with an open mind and heart. Be ready to learn and don't be afraid to try! Listen to your body, practice in a safe environment and don't rush your progress. Your goals will come in time. Oh, and come in shorts and a tank top. Or in a sports bra if you're feeling extra sassy!
11. Have you found bikini tari products suitable for pole dancing?
Yes! I find the bottoms extremely comfy and quite suited for pole dancing. :)
12. Which bikini tari product is your favourite, and why?
At the moment, it's my Jay bottoms! They were my first purchase and I love them. The design is really sexy and I was very impressed with the quality when it arrived. I kept touching the fabric... It was mildly creepy.
Would like hear more of her Pole Journey? Follow Eileen on her IG instagram.com/eileen_woo
Bikini Tari is a created to inspire women to be more strong and confident, to support and inspire each other #tarisista. If you know anyone who would like to share their story (lifestyle, travel, positive belief etc), please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear and publish their stories.