Life presents us with challengers, and confronting them is part of the human essence.
Sandra Booker inspires us with her life story …
Would you tell us who Sandra Booker is?
My name is Sandra Booker. I am a professional musician, composer, arranger, and of course, pole dancer. I am currently in treatment for bladder cancer, but through music and pole dancing, I have changed the trajectory of my life, improved the quality of it, and perhaps saved it. I am committed to living in the now with joy, gratitude and grace and showing others how to use pole dancing as a way to create joy and gratitude and self-empowerment in their own lives. It has made this journey possible when it seems unbearable.
What was the reason you decided to go to Pole Dance?
I was recovering from a devastating car accident in 2007, which left me 50 lbs. overweight, a partially severed right shoulder, fractured left hip, facial lacerations, and overall, deeply depressed. I was emotionally, spiritually, physically, and socially crushed. I couldn’t work and my life was at a stand still. The operation in 2008 to repair my injured shoulder resulted in a disfiguring scar on my upper right chest above my breast and my financial life in shambles from suing the state of California under the MICRA laws. The attorney even kept the product liability settlement money.
In 2009, I would suffer the loss of my musical partner and friend killed in a car accident while on his way to perform our first in concert in New Orleans, LA. I was devastated! I began contemplating the value of my own life and if it was worth living any more. After being in a state of shock for two years, I happened to catch a commercial about a dance studio that offered pole dancing and aerial silk classes. I was captivated by the beauty of it, was close to my home, so I made an appointment to go. The studio was the now defunct Goddess Fitness Dance run by Emma Ridley in Sherman Oaks, CA. After trying pole dancing in 2011 for a few months on-and-off, I left convinced this was a young woman’s sport, but I returned in 2015 with a vengeance and it changed my life. I fell head–over-stilettos in love with everything about it. It was my life but it became my lifestyle. It gave me the power to see what I’m still capable of. It made me feel alive and strong on the inside and beautiful and brave on the outside. The reason I pole dance now is because it taught me how to love and be in love with myself no matter the circumstances of my life.
When I received my diagnosis in November 2016, I had advanced enough to be a dance instructor at Pink Pole Party (Burbank, CA) and this was a major blow. My motivation remained high and returned to work in less than 30 days after having a radical nephrectomy with a bladder cuff. Sadly, my cancer returned within 3 months of that procedure forcing me to take a leave from work and finally leaving studio in April of 2017. Nevertheless, I have continued to dance, and I have created a pole dance conditioning program for women suffering with various forms of cancer to remind them that they are beautiful on the inside and the outside. It’s 2018 and my battle continues with all the emotion ups and downs associated with this disease but it has also taught me how to let go of what we can’t control and to embrace the chances we have to live and grow in the moment and be better individuals.
Since when do you practice it?
I started practicing pole dancing in 2011 as a means of exercise. Now, I practice to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of pole dancing and how it has helped and still helps me discover and redefine my sense of self. Pole dancing requires a great deal of discipline, honesty, self-awareness and trust. It’s great stress relief too.
What does it mean for you to practice Pole Dance?
I practice because it trains my body and mind to communicate with one another simultaneously based on my imagination and creativity. It’s a physical form of artistic expression that doesn’t require speaking or singing. Although I have trained myself to sing jazz while pole dancing and it’s a great challenge. Collectively speaking, it’s gives me the foundation I need to create and present my art in a visual and musical way.
Why would you recommend Pole Dance?
I would recommend pole dancing because it saved my life…twice.
What inspiring message could you leave?
Life is for living and dancing is life. Let yourselves dance and if you can do it on a pole, that’s even better.
FULL NAME: Sandra Booker
Place of birth: New Orleans, LA
Place of residence: Los Angeles.
Music you prefer: Good music, genre optional.
Hobby: Learning to speak French, cooking Creole food, playing the guitar and becoming a better pole dancer and person.
Thank you Sandra for sharing your story with us …
Vanesa S. Zylinski – POLEGOOD Magazine.