Klara Pergolis, from Pula, Croatia, tells us her experience of working with children in the discipline of Pole Dance.
We present an authentic trainer of future stars …
Klara, could you tell us how your relationship with the Pole began?
I’ve been in modern dance since 2006. and became a dance teacher in 2011., which gave me an opportunity to work with kids and young dancers and fall in love with it. As I loved to explore other styles of dance, pole dance also caught my attention. It was back in 2014 when I first tried a fireman spin at my best friend’s mom’s Pole studio ‘S POLE DANCE’ in my hometown Pula. It was very challenging to try something like this and as soon as I tried it, I knew immediately I wanted to learn more.
How did the decision to start a school come about?
One day after my pole class my pole teacher Žaklina Kostešić and I discussed how would it be great if we also offered pole for kids, but we also knew we might face challenges since we live in a small country, in an even smaller town Pula. At that point we didn’t know how people would react if we started a POLE KIDS group in her studio. But as you know, polers are brave so I told her LET’S DO IT and she agreed. So here I am, training these awesome kids this amazing sport for almost 2 years now.
Can you tell us about the institutional project that you develop with the Children?
Well it’s more like a big family than an institution or a project. It did start as a project to teach kids a new way of exercise, to learn new elements and new things, to widen their perspective, and now each individual has already an idea what this sport is about and what can be achieved. We are trying to make them put their ideas out there, because they taught us some things too. Kids have great imagination and passion, and with a proper push from this family, they will achieve greatness. I’m getting as much inspiration from teaching my students as they are getting motivation from me, not to mention the pride I feel every time I watch them do new tricks, grow and develop into the pole stars of the future, but most important, I teach them respect for themselves no matter their looks, weight or condition, as well as respect for everyone else around them.
What benefits have you found that has the discipline of Pole for children?
Pole sport is not much different from any other sport like gymnastics. Many children are actually quite confused as to why pole dance is not recognized as much as gymnastics. To them, the pole is simply a fun equipment to use as a prop and perform tricks on. Pole dancing uses all of the muscles in your body and you are always moving – making it both a great isometric and cardiovascular exercise. We are always doing a good warm up which includes games as a cardio exercises, strength exercises on pole or bodyweight floor exercises. Combined with good balance and flexibility, increased kinesthetic awareness allows them to avoid nasty common accidents like slipping, falling, and knocking things over and having them fall on your feet. Children learn quickly and they are fearless, flexible and strong. As a dance teacher, I always pay attention on the choreography, musicality and coordination of my students. Pole sport is an incredible way for them to keep fit, learn an incredible skill and teach them to lead a healthy lifestyle, which is what we all want for our children.
What type of students attend?
I have kids starting with 4 years old up to 14 years old, and everyone is different and needs a different approach. It’s interesting how one sport, hard and challenging as pole dancing can be interesting and fun to all generations. I have many children with no previous experience with exercise, and after a few months they become real beasts on the pole ☺
Any phrase that identifies you?
I’m always saying there is no space in this room for “ I CAN’T DO THIS”. I always say I will throw ”IT” out of the window and then everybody laughs because I love to be dramatic sometimes while explaining it.
What expectations do you have regarding the discipline of the Pole?
I can’t wait for pole dancing to become an Olympic sport so everyone can see the beauty in it. But the thing I want the most is to become a regular way of exercise for kids . People have so many prejudices about pole dancing for children. They are not well informed and it’s hard to change people’s’ minds without proper education. However, people do change their opinion when they see my first pole class with children. The popularity of Pole Sports is dramatically escalating in the world and I hope it will start to be like that in Croatia too. Like any sport, the future truly lies with the younger generation.
Any message you want to leave us?
I want to thank you for your call because you are helping us spread the word that this is a legitimate sport, and not an easy one, you have to give up many things if you want to achieve something, but that goes for everything that you wanna succeed at. Don’t stop dreaming and don’t hesitate to try pole dancing, and the best part is is that it doesn’t have an age limit!
Thank you Klara and POLE KIDS for letting us know part of your Pole story.
Vanesa S. Zylinski – POLEGOOD Magazine