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Profiling | Bobbi’s Pole Studio

Keep it in your pants, boys.

Not everyone who pole dances is like a certain Lohan in a certain show where the character somehow knows who killed her. Don’t worry we are equally confused. Jokes aside, let me reiterate that the people at Bobbi’s Pole Studio are serious pros in the business.

As we stepped into the studio, the immediate feeling we felt was the sense of coziness and intimacy. It certainly had a different vibe than the promiscuous imagery portrayed by senseless TV shows and hopeless C grade movies. And of course the poles. I must say that we got a little too excited over the poles (they spin!!!)… but you have got to admit that pole dancing is not an everyday topic; and this little chat has definitely opened up my eyes to the exotic world of pole dancing.

ActuallyMAG speaks to Linna, director of Bobbi’s Pole Studio Singapore, and she talks us through the many aspects of pole dancing, and how she disagrees and dismisses the taboo on the exotic routines.

So how long have you been pole dancing?

Linna: I can’t really pinpoint exactly when I started… probably about 6-7 years ago? But it only got more intensive over the last 3-4 years.

What inspired you to start pole dancing?

L: I always liked doing something different; something new. I read in the papers and internet saying that pole dancing was the new fitness craze; so naturally my interest was piqued. There was nobody doing it in Singapore then, so I decided to buy a pole and have it flown over. I then bought a DVD, and things just started from there.

So you basically started as a self-introductory crash course?

L: Yeah it was mostly self-taught. I mean of course the DVD taught me, but I basically experimented and did it by myself. That’s how I started.

The welcoming interiors of the studio

Why do you think people pick up pole dancing? Do you think it’s because of the health benefits, the sex appeal, or?

L: Well, various people join for various reasons. Sometimes people join because they want a different form of exercise, or because they think it’s exciting and sexy, or maybe even to lose weight… but I’d say that nothing changes a woman’s body more than pole dancing. This is basically doing weights by lifting your own body weight, but at the same time you get to dance, wear high heels and look sexy; so there really isn’t a more fun and beneficial workout for a woman.

Do you get weird looks when people learn that you pole dance? Or do you get more “WOW’s” instead?

L: I think generally people will not be so rude to say, “Ugh, pole dancing?” But generally, it has always been, “Wow! Pole dancing!” Pole dancing is really not much of a novelty right now. These days, everyone is so much more open minded. And also, I think that people are getting more exposed thanks to the media. Yes, it originated from strip clubs; but the way we do it is nothing like at a strip club. Nobody’s doing this for money; everybody’s doing it for their own fun and fitness.

So is it safe for me to say that you completely do not agree with the taboo on pole dancing?

L: Absolutely! I don’t know what are they concerned about… But why would you say it’s a taboo?

Well Singapore is becoming more liberal, but in general, we are still a rather conservative country. Not many people are thinking of pole dancing as a new form of exercise, but instead are still stuck on the stereotypical stripper mindset.

L: I think such people are really narrow minded. If you went out to a club and started taking off your clothes, then yes: I’d say you might have a problem. But if you do it in the confines of a studio, curtains closed; you get to just let go. You know how sometimes you’re home alone and you decide to dance in your underwear? *laughs* It’s almost like that. For that 1 hour, you get to unleash your sensuality, be sexy, exercise, listen to music and just dance; it’s so liberating and wonderful. Really, I don’t know what the taboo is about. It’s just ridiculous.

You’ve been dancing for quite a while now, did you have any accidents?

L: Of course! I have to fall before I can teach my students not to fall. The teacher is usually the one that experiences the most injuries in that sense. Because when we fall, we know, “alright don’t do this”. For myself, there have been injuries where I had to take a break for a couple of weeks; but never bad enough that I needed to stop.

The animated Linna as she speaks about pole dancing

Tell us a little more about Bobbi’s Pole.

L: Bobbi used to be a showgirl. She was in Japan for about 11-12 years, before she returned to Australia. When she got back, she realized, “Wow lots of people want to do this!” That’s when she started classes, and they just grew and grew. Now, they have two studios in Sydney, and the studios are unbelievably packed with close to 2,000 students. There’s another studio down at Perth as well. We’re the first franchise in Singapore, and there’s another one in Kuala Lumpur.

Do you have male students?

L: Yes! We have classes for men. But the male classes do very little to no dancing, as they focus more on circus-like pole acrobatics which really works on the core muscles.

Something like Pilates?

L: No not really. Pilates builds your core… yes. But if you really want to compare, Pilates would be ‘softcore’, and this would be ‘hardcore’. *laughs*

What’re the plans for Bobbi’s Pole in the near future?

L: We hope to open another studio in another location or somewhere in South East Asia. Or some other part of the world. Or the US.

Targeting for global domination eh?

L: *laughs* maybe next time MRTs will have spinning poles.

… Do you think I would do well for pole dancing?

L: You? Of course! Would you want to come and try our classes? Come! How about you! *points to our photographer*

– Text by Toke, Images by Izuan

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