photo by Mike Quain
MIA ROSA Spotlight On
Dancer, Director, Producer, Choreographer
Kelly Yvonne Productions on Facebook
Over the past decade, Pole Fitness – or “vertical dance” – has become one of the hot workout categories for women. A strenuous, vigorous, inspiring practice that combines gymnastics with dance, pole fitness is getting serious consideration as an Olympic sport. There are well over 500 pole fitness studios now in the U.S.
Kelly Yvonne is one of the sport’s biggest advocates. A former dancer who, due to a foot injury, changed to pole fitness, Kelly turned her passion into a career and became one of the country’s leading instructors.
Drawing influences from her work training pole athletes and performers, Kelly Yvonne developed a curriculum she calls The Method. She then implemented it exclusively at The Choreography House, the first 24-hour pole dance training and rehearsal studio. Designed to prepare dancers for the stage, this method covers such topics as Concept Development, Musicality, Ballet Technique, Contemporary Jazz, Pacing, Choreography and more.
We caught up with Kelly (not an easy task, given her many projects!) recently to shine a MIA ROSA Spotlight on her.
- How did you get into this line of work?
I began pole fitness in 2009. Due to a previous foot injury, I had retired from professional dancing. I was inspired to learn how to pole dance because it provided me with a new dance outlet, without putting strain on my injury. It was also the best workout, so I was hooked immediately! That same year I launched Girl Next Door – a pole dance soirée to continue pursing my performance aspirations.
- What are you currently working on?
In February, we’ll launch SEVEN – our newest and most adventurous pole dance revue. It will make its debut in Hollywood. I co-own THE CHOREOGRAPHY HOUSE, a pole dance performance academy in North Hollywood, California. This is where the cast trains and new talent emerges. The studio offers a variety of classes, including pole, fitness, stretch and dance.
I also recently began working with music artists to create visual content for their music. The most recent was a video for Rico Love’s song, “Amsterdam”, which will debut in 2016.
I am, by profession, a celebrity pole trainer and instructor. I also teach pole dance to various celebrities for fitness, shows, performances and videos.
- What are some life moments (professional or otherwise) that stand out in your mind?
I recently made a huge blunder at a live event I directed and had to make a public statement to admit the mistake. It was a humiliating, yet humbling, experience. In retrospect, I am happy I faced my fear and addressed it.
Another pivotal moment in my life was in having the courage to switch degrees from molecular cell biology to architecture. I was on the road to becoming a doctor, but wasn’t finding my passion in it. And, so I made the leap my junior year of college and have been a risk-taker ever since.
- What advice would you have for aspiring dancers, instructors and other artists?
Don’t give up! You may hear the word “no” a lot before you hear that one ‘yes’. But keep believing in yourself and pressing forward.
- Was there one person you looked up to for inspiration?
Oprah Winfrey has always been my #1 mentor. Even today I listen to her interviews to find inspiration.
- How do you like to relax when not working or performing?
I love to travel and get lost in a new city. I also love to live like the locals do. My favorite thing is to go grocery shopping to find out about the local fare. You’ll also find me on trains, under bridges or on a rooftop.