I’ve always been curious about Pole Dancing – I can hear all you young men out there who are sniggering right now – and I’m not referring to the young ladies that shuffle their feet left to right whilst holding a pole for balance. I’m talking about the true acrobats and dare I say it athlete level artists that propel themselves around poles creating incredible shapes demonstrating otherworldly levels of stamina and endurance.
And so, the Bowl decided to investigate who might be practicing or even teaching Pole Dancing on the Island of Phuket. This curiosity led to not only locating a studio but actually finding a Champion winner and Master Pole Dancing teacher. The Bowl had struck lucky once again.
I met with Jenny Liebert at her fully kitted out and palatial home studio where she teaches in Kathu Phuket. Her first studio used to be based in Patong, however, a change in circumstances prompted a move. A delightful and energetic French young lady, she quickly introduced me to her equipment and where she would be performing, and we got work setting up the cameras. Jenny told us that we would be getting treated to some demonstrations on a pole in two forms, several with the pole released to allow it to swivel – I thought they were always static – and some fixed where she would spin around the pole. The demonstration would end with some aerial work with a solid hoop that was to be connected to the ceiling.
“Pole Dancing empowers women physically and mentally”.Jenny Liebert, owner and Master Instructor – Pole Dance Phuket, Khatu, Phuket.
I let the camera’s role and watched with an open mind. I was in all fairness mesmerized. I have some experience in dance myself having attended stage school in my youth, so I’m familiar with how difficult it can be to hold positions that are in perfect alignment whilst being exhausted. Jenny’s movements and flow made you think at times that there was some invisible force connecting her to the pole. She leapt into the air cradling the pole with her legs, and then in the blink of an eye she was inverted and spinning at speed. Her control and balance seemed effortless.
To close the pole work I watched Jenny ascend to the top of the pole and then fall at incredible speed to the bottom. Just when you thought she might crash into the floor, her legs locked, and she stopped and dropped her head as if to bow. It was a performance that made you smile with childlike wonder because you realize that however much you’d like to have a go yourself, it just isn’t going to work.
To end the demonstration, Jenny’s boyfriend helped her attach a large hoop to the ceiling and she graciously jumped into the hoop. This in my opinion is clearly dangerous, and I was conscious of the fact that I would be filled with guilt if she were to her hurt herself, however, I quickly reminded myself that Jenny is a master pole dancer and aerialist that also specializes in contortion.
Once the demonstration was over, we both sat down by her swimming pool and had a talk about her career. French born Jenny Liebert has been pole dancing for 15years. When she was competing, she was a finalist several times, however, she won first place in 2011 becoming a champion in Luxembourg.
I put to Jenny what her thoughts of peoples preconceptions of pole dancing are and if there was anything that she would like to say about it. “Some people think that women just want to learn pole for the benefit of their partners, however, it is so much more than that” she said. “Pole Dancing empowers women physically and mentally” she added. For Jenny pole dancing is a lifestyle, a pursuit she has dedicated her life to. I’ve seen similar looks in the eyes of martial artists and athletes.
I noted from Jenny’s website that her specialty is contortion. When I think of contortion, I think of circus acts and people – usually small women – curling themselves up into back breaking shapes and fitting into a small box. I’ve often thought that you must have to be born with this ability and that it is not something to be learnt. Jenny say’s otherwise. If you have mobility – no previous injuries or inabilities – then you can achieve the same results.
I asked who is taking her classes right now and what can be expected of a class. Jenny said that classes are limited to just four clients. They learn to stretch, get fit and strong and gain confidence from learning the movements and techniques. And of course have fun.
I managed to meet one of Jenny’s students, a charming fellow Brit called Laura who also lives in Thailand. I asked Laura about the classes here and what pole dancing meant to her. She said “Classes with Jenny are amazing, its more than just the pole. She helps you to overcome fears and that can be applied to all areas of life”.
Thank you to Jenny for the demonstration and talking to the Bowl. Your abilities are an inspiration.
Thank you readers.
Pole Dance Phuket
Owner/Instructor: Jenny Liebert
Address: 131/121 moo 7 Vichitsongkram road, Kathu, Phuket, 83120.
IG Link: https://www.instagram.com/pole_dance_phuket/?hl=en
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/9Zpxcs1rZ8vfRwEaA
(This studio is in a Private Residence on The Green Golf Course Residence).
To watch the video that supports this article please use the media viewer below or go to the Farangbowl YouTube Channel.