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Women & Sports: Kartina Bart, Pole Dancer

Welcome to our new Q&A Blog format! We've had a mini hiatus fighting the mid winter blues but we're back from now until Christmas with all new Women & Sports content! 
This Month, we're introducing Pole Dancing, with Katrina Bart.
Katrina is self described as not a sports person but a chance facebook post saw her take up the sport. Through pole dance Katrina boasts about her amazing results with improved self confidence, body image and fitness. 
She also has some great advice for newbies finding a school and how cellulite is an advantage! YASSSSS!

Name: Katrina Bart (Katrina-Jane),

Sport: Pole Dancing

What type of pole dancing do you perform: sport, art, and/or sexy? Sport as in general pole dancing, but I’ve also tried ‘hoop / Lyra which is using a big hoop to do moves, ‘silks’ using a long hammock of fabric to do moves but my first love is pole dancing, the school I attend also does burlesque dancing which I enjoy as well. 
What inspired you to "get off the couch" and start pole dancing?
It’s something that I’ve always been a bit fascinated with, thinking you’d have to have incredible strength to do it, however always a bit hesitant because of the ‘image’ that people have of pole dancing (which is totally incorrect unless you’re in a strip club!). I was actually going through a bit of a crisis as in severe depression and low-self esteem and was finding ways to get out of my comfort zone and there I was on Facebook when a friend of mine had ‘liked’ a pole studio, that just happened to be 5 minutes from where I lived and I took it as a sign so I rang them and booked myself into the beginners class for the term (8 weeks).
You're turning 50 this year, was the idea of turning 50's the catalyst for you to start pole dancing or were you always into sports participation?  
I actually turn 50 in 4 weeks! The decision had more about building up my self-esteem and getting fit, getting out of my comfort zone that really pushed me to give it a go.  And nope, I have NEVER done a sport before! I was brought up within a strict Seventh-day Adventist household so no sports could be played, as they were played on Saturday. So a complete novice when it came to participating in something.
How has pole dancing changed your perspective of the sport? 
Hell yes!  I have the utmost respect for those that compete professionally – the strength and stamina that is needed for those moves!  I’m a huge advocate of it and when it’s ever mentioned on Facebook and people do the usual derogatory comments I stand up for all of us pole dancers! I also show my videos and pictures of my moves to all women encouraging them to give it a go, it’s amazing the strength you build up. 
How have you changed anyone else's perspective about pole dancing since you took it up? 
I show everyone what I’ve achieved because I’m damn proud of myself!  I do feel that my enthusiasm has changed people’s perspective of it, it’s great for overall fitness, bone strength and it’s one of the only sports where you want cellulite because it helps you stick to the pole!!!
Were you nervous on your first class and how many classes did it take before you were able to climb the pole/first trick? 
I was pretty nervous and self-conscious, however I must say I was actually amazed at my strength, I’ve always done some exercises at home, sit-ups / push-ups etc so I did have a bit of strength, within the first term you’re starting to do things, like being able to hold yourself while spinning around the pole, climbing the pole and I got to invert first time I tried! (that’s flinging yourself over backwards on the pole) – I have to say the joke in the family is that I must have been a stripper in a past life because I took to it like a duck to water! 
Best single piece of advice you've received or could give to new pole dancers? 
When you go into that class for the first time, have a look around and realise that we’re all different, different shapes and sizes and none of it matters because you’re not there to compete with anyone, you’re just there to push yourself. 
Do you have a community you can meet with either online or in person? 
Pol-Arise Newcastle has a Facebook page for the public as well as a private one for students – and I have to say it’s a great school, very supportive of everyone that attends. 
How do you recommend finding a reputable service in the readers area?
You have to feel comfortable with what they offer – don’t hesitate to ask, a lot of schools also will have introduction days – ours has a 4 week intro to pole, hoop, burlesque and silks so you can give them all a go and see if you want to do anything else.  If you don’t want to wear heels then find a school where it’s not mandatory – also, do a Facebook search and see what their community is like.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, and your new found ability to do the splits! (pictured above).
Find even more about Katrina Bart via her website, facebook or Instagram


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