Masterclass by Maxine Betts

Today I attended a truly inspirational masterclass given by Maxine Betts, UK Pole Champion 2009 over at Taylors Retreat near Dorking, with 4m high poles.
Maxine has an incredible mix of strength and elegance that makes her an awesome pole dancer! However, her classes are tough, really tough… After an hour of spins, i’ve got blisters across my hand and wrist, followed by bruises down my arms and legs from the drops and inverts sessions.
After 3 hours of pole, we then had a 20 minute abs workout which just about finished us all off. But it has given me some new exercises to help work on core strength which I hope will pay off in time.
I can’t say I mastered everything today but I’ve got lots of moves to practice though perhaps I’ll wait until my blisters and bruises have settled down a bit.
Sorry, no time for photos today but here is a link to Maxine’s winning performance last year.

Suze’s background

Many people ask how I got into pole dancing, so I thought I’d start this blog with a little of my background. I’ve always been fairly involved in sports. As a child I did gymnastics (hence my love of pole tricks!) and althletics and various team sports.

As an adult, I was on the GB ladies Dragon Boat Squad for 5 years. Here is a small pic of me in action – that’s me in the front of the boat (right).

I later turned my attention to runnning, and amongst my escapades, I ran the London Marathon, Marathon Des Sables (150 miles self-suffient across the Sahara Desert, finishing 1st British woman) see the pic left, Marathon of Britain (175 miles from Malvern to Nottingham, finishing 2nd woman, twice) and various other long distance races.

I’m currently a member of a triathlon club and have competed in several sprint events. However, this year, I focused on cycling in order to complete the gruelling Etap du Tour in July 2010. This is an event run alongside the Tour de France, usually on the most difficult mountain stage of that year, held a day or so before the main tour. It’s not for the faint hearted. It has strict cut off times, so to finish is intself an achievement – I finished just 20 minutes before the cut off time! This year, it was 182kms, taking in three mountains in the French Pyrenees.

So how did this all lead to pole dancing? Although I love sport, I wanted to supplement it with something a bit different. I wanted to do something active, that would use my body in a different way, something a bit more femine I dare say.

I was really nervous when I turned up for my first lesson with Jolene, but she quickly made me feel at ease and I love it! I was totally hooked there and then! Here was an activity that used my strength and helped me to feel a bit more flexible, all in a fun atmosphere – what could be better? I won’t say it was all easy – my co-ordination takes a little working on, and having not come from a dance background, there was a lot to learn.

So four years later, here I am, a pole fitness instructor for Purity Pole Dancing. Almost all of my pole instruction and technique has been provided by Jolene, to whom I cannot be more grateful for providing me with such a wonderful atmosphere to work, learn and have fun in.

My qualificaions include: Exercise to Music (level 2), Supple Strength, First Aid.

My current favourite pole song: You make me wanna die, by The Pretty Reckless

Sooo looking forward to a masterclass with Maxine Betts next weekend!