Ascendance

Ascendance Pole & Aerial Arts is a nonprofit studio coming soon to the downtown Renton, WA area.

Meet our Instructors | Shanice

Up next, we have instructor Shanice who were are excited to have on our team! She'll be teaching Pole Orientation along with some L1 classes. 

Shanice_on_stage.jpg

How long have you been pole dancing? How did you start?

I've been Dancing for almost 6 years. I started pole when a friend asked me to join the class, I refused unless there was an instructor who understood plus size dancers. 4 weeks later that instructor contacted Shanice for her first class and she has been dancing ever since.

What made you try Pole Dancing?

I decided to give pole dancing a try because it seemed like fun, and I was willing to try everything at least once, or in the case of pole 6 classes and then see if I still liked it.

What advice do you give beginning pole dancers? Advanced students?

To beginning students, nothing is perfect to start with, you are going to do a whole lot of flopping and feeling ridiculous before you feel pretty or sexy or even graceful. To advanced students, keep testing your limits, set new goals and find the space where you still feel challenged. Try moves on both sides, perfect your moves and keep reaching for the unattainable ones. At one point you couldn't even imagine doing all the moves you do now.

Why did you start teaching?

I started teaching for the fun of it, pole allowed me to feel graceful and sexy in a way I never thought I would and I wanted to help others find a space where they loved the body they had been given.

What is different about your teaching style that you think students are drawn to?

I'm a pretty goofy instructor, but at the end of the day I understand students who have body image issues. No matter your size we all have things we don't like, but anyone can dance ANYONE. Plus I think that occasionally dancing to Disney music is good for the soul.

What would you say is the biggest struggle or obstacle among pole dance students that you come across? What would be your advice to them? 

I think the biggest struggle students will come across is the one in your own head. Society has trained us to think about ourselves in very specific ways often it is the voice in your head holding you back above anything. My advice to them would be to keep trying, combat that voice and find your inner beauty in everything you do.

What would your advice be for students who want to find their own style in dance?

Absolutely find your own style because no one dances the same, I can teach you moves but at the end of the day, your body moves the way your body moves and that is a beautiful thing.

What are your feelings about pole dancing for fitness being associated with exotic dancing/stripping?

Pole will always be associated with exotic dancing, but it can be as sexy, naughty, dirty, or athletic as you want it to be. If people want to judge they aren't worth your time anyway.

What are your thoughts about pole dancing being included in the Olympics as a sport?

It would be awesome if Pole was included in the Olympics. I can't dance at that level but I have seen women who can and WOW. Goals to strive for. 

What is special in pole dance for you in your opinion?

Pole dancing is special to me because it is place where a person can be completely free and enjoy the sensuality in their own body. Pole allows someone to enjoy music with their whole body in a way no other type of dance has allowed most before.

What has been your biggest challenge in your pole journey? How did you overcome the difficulty/challenge?

Size has been a real issue in my pole journey, I am also slightly bow legged and left hand dominant when I pole. I have overcome the difficulties by reminding myself everyone's body is not the same, and finding modifications that work with my issues. Sometimes I just have to table a move until later after I figure out how my body can make those shapes.

What has been the most challenging move/trick to learn?

Going upside down, I still cannot invert on my own. Hopefully soon, stay tuned.

What is your favorite pole dancing move?

 I love the angel, it is my go to move, it is a knee hold side spin. I accidentally discovered it while attempting a front knee hook and it has been my go to move ever since.

What are you currently working on? What are your goals for this year?

This year, still working on that invert. And a double climb, my brain gets confused once I get off the ground.

What has made you stick with Pole Dancing?

Pole gives me an outlet I don't get anywhere else, it makes me feel beautiful and it is a place to release all the stress I deal with in my day to day life. 

How did people around you react when they learned that you were doing pole dance?

My brother still calls it stripper class, and a lot of people react the same way. But more and more people say that they heard it was a great workout that they would try if they were not so self conscious or smaller or fill in the blank excuses to be afraid. It is an act of bravery to admit to being free enough to try something that people see as naughty or sexy only.

Do you perform regularly?

I perform twice a year.

What is the most important in a pole dance performance in your opinion?

Picking a song that speaks to your soul. If you don't love the song your performance will suffer for it.

What is your favorite pole workout wear?

I love artista activewear, derbyskinz, and swim wear from Torrid for pole. I am all about cheap with good support and coverage.

What is your all-time favorite song to pole to?

Sail by Awolnation

Give us a sexy floorwork song.

Desire by Meg Meyers