The rhythmic music seizes each of her fibers … the magic transforms the atmosphere … her shapely hips initiated the ritual that her long legs took care of accompanying … every movement distilled an incited sensuality … the dance is hypnotic and each trick is a flight towards freedom, towards that personal destiny that she has as her engine, the passion to continue discovering that there is more to give …
With us, MAKEDA SMITH!
How did your relationship with the Pole begin?
I started my pole journey at the age of 50. I am 57 now. My life was pretty down in the dumps at the time and I was hoping to find a physical exercise that would keep me from feeling so depressed. I took one pole class out of curiosity – and was hooked forever ! Taking classes kept me motivated and inspired. The workouts were very challenging, and sometimes frustrating – but I was up for it. Every time I conquered a pole move – I felt amazing !
Since when do you practice it?
I practice pole and the aerial arts every chance I get. I am usually in the studio every other day. I have been studying pole art for almost 8 years now.
What do you try to transmit with your performances?
When I perform, my ‘dancer self’ takes over. Her name is ‘sheBA’ – she is an ancient temple priestess and her dance is spiritual and sacred. sheBa is my inner goddess.
What challenges does it represent for you, to do pole dance?
As an older dancer I am sometimes challenged because of my age. I was actually cyber bullied for being a ‘granny’ pole dancer. A video of me went viral and thousands of people ridiculed me online. I now use the hashtags #grannyonapole and #grannyandherpole with much pride ! Also, per training, I move slower than the younger students in class and sometimes it takes me longer to master the pole tricks. There are also pole tricks that I cannot do because of flexibility.
When preparing a choreography, what aspects do you consider?
When I prepare choreography, I think about how I want my audience to feel. I also think about conveying the feeling and message of the song I am performing as well. I consider the music and song to be art and I become a visual and moving representation of that art.
What sensations does being on a stage generate?
My very first performance I was so nervous I could not sleep – but once I got on stage, sheBA took over and everything was fine! I don’t get as nervous now, just a few jitters before going on stage. Once I am on stage though, after a few moments – sheBa takes over and the dance movement becomes my only focus.
Why would you recommend pole dance to women your age?
Pole dancing is a gateway to uncovering your inner goddess. With women my age however, 50 and over, I usually recommend exotic flow movement classes first – so that they can become comfortable with their bodies again. I have found that a lot of older women are intimidated being in pole classes with younger women. The idea of the pole and high heel shoes also makes many of them nervous. I teach my FlyingOver50 Flow Movement classes to older women and I find that for many of them, something as simple as rotating your hips can be
daunting yet very liberating! As we get older we stop moving our bodies and often lose our sensuality. Hip movement is the beginning of reawakening that sensuality. I have had several students move on to beginner pole after taking flow movement lessons with me. The flow movement opened them up to their goddess selves and they are then ready to explore pole !
What inspiring message could you leave?
My message is for all women, but particularly older women. It is that ‘sexy never gets old!’ You can reawaken the sleeping goddess within you – start by shaking your hips – you don’t need a pole to revive the magic. The magic starts with you – move your bodies – never stop dancing ! And when you are ready – the pole will take you ‘high her ! ‘
Note: I would like to graciously thank Vanesa S. Zylinski and Polegood Magazine for interviewing FlyingOver50 and for inspiring pole dancers around the world.
I would also like to thank MercVille Productions and Flying Curves Dance Studio, the team behind my “Goddesses In Motion: Pop Up Pole Video” – and Christina Villegas, the director and dance teacher/performer who directed the video shoot !
Full Name: Makeda Smith ( stage name: sheBA )
Zodiac sign: Capricorn
Place of birth: Los Angeles, raised in Chicago
Place of residence: Los Angeles
Music you prefer: mellow music like neo soul and smooth r&b and also jazz
Hobby: pole dancing, aerial hammock, lyra, walking, meditating and golf
Social Media Links:
Facebook at: FlyingOver50
Thank you very much Makeda for letting us know part of your beautiful story.
Vanesa S. Zylinski- POLEGOOD Magazine