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Julanne’s background is a crazy collection of extremes, starting with 25 years of intense training and competitions in Irish Dancing at World Championship level, then subsequently running a dancing school – training children to do the same. In the latter years of competing, she added an Art degree at the prestigious London Central Saint Martins which encouraged a rebellion on a massive scale through clubbing culture and its popularity.
A three year high of degree level creation and podium dancing came crashing down with a phenomenal bout of post traumatic depression which only a psychotherapeutic counselor could help. An ‘enlightened normality’ emerged after a 14 year counseling marathon, having explored a vast range of personal growth courses in addition. From Welding to Life Coaching, she is now a qualified Interior Designer, Reflexologist and Crystal Douser, Make Up Artist, and Fashion Stylist. She has also immersed herself in Acting, Singing, Holistic Therapies, even Stained Glass Making….you name the course Julanne has done it!
Following a very public family tragedy and subsequent setback in the road to recovery Julanne realised that every moment counts. The pole world came along at just the right time – and yes, more courses! She began traveling to every pole school, workshop, pole camp and training location possible; holistics, art and dance took on a whole new refreshed meaning.
The next step involved the inevitable Pole Instructor training exams, plus 7 years as a footwear and petite clothing fit model. Julanne then made a Pole ‘quantum leap’ when she moved to NYC for a year and a half with her husband’s job – spending almost every day training full-time at Body & Pole in Manhattan.
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Judging pole competitions seemed a natural progression for Julanne, utilising her attention to detail and ability to recognise what ‘works’ in artistic expression she then went on to train as an official IPSF Pole Sports Judge in LA. Having returned to London she now judges regularly for the IPSF, practices Freestyle dance and movement on a daily basis – and when not in the the pole studio can be found in the art studio, drawing, painting and designing.
[blockquote2]“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” ― Pablo Picasso[/blockquote2]
Julanne’s current varied and fulfilling life is no accident as she has vision-boarded her every goal and keeps endless gratitude journals. Stronger, more empathic and better than ever, Julanne decided it was time to evolve again and give back to the (pole) community that has given her so much love, support and personal development. She now enfolds all of her extensive learning into her FYF teaching at the London Dance Academy, along with her other pole classes and is stronger, happier and more grateful than ever!
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When Emily stepped into her first pole class almost 3 years ago, she never knew the path that it would carve for her. She never knew that this hobby, that grew quickly into an obsession, would lead her to so many beautiful experiences, friendships, and that it would grow to change her life forever. Pole dance had Emily picking up her life and heading to NYC to pursue a career, while working alongside all of the great New York pole names. What she has learned from this apparatus far exceeds flows and aerial passes. She finally feels like she has a community to belong to, and while transforming from student-to-instructor-to-movement-facilitator alongside of Tracee Kafer, she realizes that spreading her love related to pole and dance is what she is meant to do.
[blockquote2]“I look forward to encouraging fellow freestylers to reflect on their own journey, pull from experience, dive deep, practice often, and dance from within…whatever your story is, it’s beautiful.”[/blockquote2]
Emily is an avid freestyler…it’s where she gets all her ideas for flows and choreography, and quite frankly, is a safe place where she feels she can purge her soul. Freestyle has really guided her in her own process, a process that is continual and constantly shifting and changing, which for her may just be the most beautiful part of it! She focuses greatly on the ideas of expansion and exploration with anything she teaches. Emily feels lucky to perform in NYC and to call herself a 2-time PSO Level 4 Dramatic Champion, but for her, the merit of success lives in sharing, connecting, teaching and guiding students in their own journey.
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From a young age, Jess was a firm believer that everything in life was best expressed through movement. Just ask her Mom, who was forced to enroll her in dance classes at the wee age of three, “because she just moved around so much.” Fast forward many years, and Jess has danced a variety of styles (e.g., ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, salsa, modern, contemporary), all the while aware of the basic undercurrent in all of them – the ability of the body to express through movement what it cannot in words.
[blockquote2]“To Jess, freestyle movement is more than just “dancing”– it is a way of being in the world, of interacting with space and time; a way of living”[/blockquote2]
Since 2011, Jess has taken her love of movement to the pole, beginning at BeSpun in Los Angeles, and later transitioning to Body & Pole, where she also expanded to other aerial arts (hoop, silks). After taking her first FYF class in 2012, Jess immediately felt at home, relishing in the opportunity to move as she wanted to move, free from the binds of traditional dance classes. Upon getting to know Tracee, she knew that the two would become fast friends. Together, they started Pole Speak, an improvisational pole dancing company, and recently, have been working together to create workshops and retreats that meld somatic therapy techniques with movement. Jess’ training as a clinical psychologist, specializing in somatic psychotherapy for the healing of trauma, maps directly onto this work, and she is thrilled to be able to bring two of her biggest passions together: healing and movement.
To Jess, freestyle movement is more than just “dancing”– it is a way of being in the world, of interacting with space and time; a way of living. Unencumbered, open, and vulnerable, we are invited to harness intuition, follow our inner compass, and express ourselves in ways that ring true for us most clearly. Freestyle has enabled Jess to take bigger risks, open herself up to all of life’s ups and downs, and identify what she really wants. She firmly believes in the mantra, “we have to move to think,” and knows that her best ideas come when she allows space for the creativity to arise. Rather than “doing,” freestyle allows us to focus on “being,” a place in which life is richer, brighter, more joyous, and simply, more free.
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Dancing has enabled Josh to create a rich, satisfying, positive bridge between his mind and his body. Before starting classes in his hometown London at 16 years old, he had felt trapped inside his own head; through movement he has come to feel like he fully occupies himself.
In 2012, after 6 years of training in any discipline that engaged his curiosity, circus summer schools, a rather painful and humbling introduction to basic gymnastics (it is guaranteed you have never seen such a sad attempt at a forward roll or cartwheel as was seen in that first class), a short lived enrolment in a Russian method ballet school, his first pole dancing class totally redirecting his focus for movement and recovering from hip surgery, Josh saw a social media post from Tracee Kafer; she had surprised her husband for a weekend celebration, she was in London.
Josh immediately contacted Tracee, persuading her into taking some time away from vacation to teach him a private class. You can see a video of that first meeting here. Earlier that year Josh had met Marlo Fisken; she had transformed his understanding and appreciation for the geometry, planes of movement available and potential carried inside the human body. It was in his first class with Tracee that priceless information suddenly seemed to connect to him. Exploring movement, creation and music in a session that ended up running far longer than anticipated, Josh realised he had found one of the most important creative relationships in his life, and exactly the teacher and guide he needed to understand how to cultivate, rather than force, success in movement.
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Pursuing more time with Tracee, the deepening of his dance experience and the many other talented teachers found there, Josh travelled to New York City in 2013 for a 3 month intensive stay at Body & Pole and to accept Tracee’s invitation into the improvisational pole dance company Pole Speak. He walked right into a dream he had been having since that first dance class years before. In Pole Speak sessions and Finding Your Freestyle classes, Tracee showed Josh how movement could come from inside the body, and how much limitless potential there was to be found inside yourself. That epiphany led to the most important shift in Josh’s relationship with his own body and expressive self. Now movement was measured, initiated from and led by physical sensation. Now movement meant being totally and observationally present. Now movement was a way to interact with his environment, his emotional past and present, his imagination and those same things in the people around him. Growing first from mind into body, now he was coming back body into mind. And now Josh’s potential, passion and understanding grew beyond his own recognition. Insecurity started to be replaced by the wonder of the experience itself.
[blockquote2]“FYF is a perfect platform to familiarise dancers with their body as both a home and an instrument for internal and external communication.”[/blockquote2]
Josh has shared Finding Your Freestyle extensively, teaching it weekly during his time working at Body & Pole, taking the first FYF workshops to Asia, workshopping improvisational content with many elite pole dancers to facilitate creativity and utilising the many valuable tools he found through his work in FYF to maximise the experience in all the classes he teaches. He has cultivated a rich somatic coaching style based in applied anatomy, body mechanics and the melding of satisfying sensation and movement success. He sees FYF as a perfect platform to familiarise dancers with their body as both a home and an instrument for internal and external communication. Out of all the material he shares, he sees the emotional and physical breakthroughs found within improvisational movement to be the most valuable and transformative for his students, as they were for him. FYF has been an essential part of his success in pole dancing, and contributes daily to his happiness.
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To learn about the Finding Your Freestyle team at Body & Pole, click on this link to read the bios of Roz Mays, Emily Sanderson, Irmingard Mayer, and Kelly McLaughlin!
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