The Samurai Queen of Pole!
I have just completed a Masterclass with Becca Butcher, this year’s international trixpert – winner of ‘Polarity’. At this point, all I know about Becca Butcher is what the internet tells me : – that sometime in 2009, she sprung from the ground and entered a high profile pole dance competition alongside some of the current greats. Becca’s dancing made people gasp with awe, after only pole dancing for a short time this is a rare thing. I wanted to see more so I started looking around for all things Becca, THEN I found one of the coolest things ever:
Becca overnight became pole’s first samurai fantasy superhero figure, with kick ass swords and an ‘I am capable of kicking you in the face’ kind of physique…works for me. Yet when I met her and talked to her for this interview….well, read and you’ll see – you couldn’t find a sweeter girl in the world, everything about Becca is earthy and beautiful….I might be in love xxx
Just from that one video alone, Becca’s performance gave me the kick up the ass I needed to get back on the pole (after having a baby) and get back into shape. This was a time in my ‘pole life’ when I needed all the support and motivation I could get and to my absolute delight – the hero’s at Halo Vertical Fitness in Lancashire got their finger out for pole and organised….yes….a Becca Butcher UK masterclass tour! BINGO…
After completing the masterclass I felt INSPIRED, with a huge urge to tackle my pole with a ninja superhero attitude, without fear and ready for anything! How has Becca inspired me? read and find out a bit about who she is….she’ll probably inspire you too!
Candy & Chrome’s Interview…
Tiny: Hi Becca, lovely to meet you – so excited! First question….I ask EVERYONE this….How old are you?
Becca: I’m 30yrs old lol..EEP!
Tiny: I am 30 too. *Grimace* So according to the internet, you just kind of ‘appeared’ in 2009 – at pole fetish. How and when did you first start pole dancing and why?
Becca: Pole Fetish was my first competition, but I started Pole dancing about 10 months earlier, just for fun and to have something to do twice a week. My husband took me in for a suprise date and had scheduled a private couples class, and that’s where I was first introduced to it, and it all started from there.
Tiny: So Pole Fetish was your first comp after such a short period of learning under your belt. What was THAT like?!
Becca: Yes I had been training in Pole for 10 months so I was really nervous about putting together a routine for Fetish, since I really had no idea what judges were even judging on! So I just picked a song that inspired me to move and went with it. I ended up winning the tricks battle and taking 2nd place in the advanced dicision
Tiny: Tell us about your martial arts background
Becca: I guess you can say Martial arts is in my blood. My father is my instructor/sensei and it was always a big family thing for us. Everyone in my family went to karate 2-4 nights a week, and having 4 brothers it was really the only place where I could really defend myself against them, lol! I achieved my first degree Black when I was 17, and I’ve been moving up ever since.
Tiny: How did you find the transition from martial arts to pole?
Becca: Well Martial arts hasn’t really been the only physical sport I’ve done…I’ve really done just about everything so jumping into pole, (another physical sport) was really easy, and I was surprised how well my body liked it. It just responds well to pole…which I think is kinda funny. It’s interesting trying to slow everything down and smooth out my movement though, since I’ve been trained to move “sharply” from Karate. I never did any dance as a kid so I’m definitely the odd duck, haha!
Tiny: Where did you learn pole?
Becca: I learned Pole from my local pole fitness and dance studio..it was called Adult dance and fitness back then, but evolved to “Studio BLUE” which is what it is called now.
Tiny: How difficult was it to progress from martial arts to pole? What I mean is, did your strength give her benefits? or was it more of a hinderance?
Becca: I really wasn’t doing much for about a year before I started practicing pole. I was looking for something at the time to fill that need, and pole became it. I was pretty soft starting out but my strength builds fast, so it was pretty easy to tune my body to pole. But I still struggle with slowing my movements down.
Tiny: What was THAT video for? (ninja one)
Becca: That video was done for an America’s got talent audition. they wanted to see pole dancers but wanted to see multiple talents being performed on the pole etc, so I tried to mix it up a bit.
Tiny: Tell us about each of the competitions you have entered, and how you prepared for them.
Becca: Most have been about the same.
I start out by “marking” specific spots in the songs for different tricks or my favorite movements, then build my routines around them. after that, it’s just training and tuning my body to the routine everyday so that if I forget where I am at in it, my body knows without me telling it, so I can focus on tecnique and crown involvment more.
I always pick music first…and it’s usually a song that inspires me to move and I can visualize most of the routine before I even start writing down sequensces.
Tiny: What do you think won the Polarity comp? Was there anything you weren’t happy with?
Becca: I think I won the trixpert competition because my routine contained alot of really difficult tricks and some new original ones no one had ever seen, that I debuted there..also, I like to put unique spins on my tricks as well. I think overall no one really knew what to expect from my performance and I like to think that my uniquness was a major contributor.
Tiny: How are you handling all the new recognition and attention you are getting?
Becca: I dunno, I’m just kinda me yunno? I think it’s good that people can see the hrad work that I have put into the stuff that I have done, that’s what gets me most excited, especially when I see someone doing a move that I invented, I love to see people get excited about stuff that I get excited about!
Tiny: Are you an instructor now? Do you have a school?
Becca: I mostly do privite lessons, either at my house or someone else’s ….sometimes at other studios. I enjoy doing the workshops as well, they are a lot of fun, there’s nothing in the works yet for having my own school but maybe one day.
Tiny: How are you finding touring?
Becca: Touring is really fun, seeing different places and everyday meeting new people. It’s nice to come to a place and be a new inspiration to people.
Tiny: Your masterclasses are the first of their kind that I have seen, what prompted you to re-design the way workshops are done, deviding the different levels etc? and can you tell us about it?
Becca: Where I used to instruct we had different levels, every once in a while I would substitute a class for another teacher and we would work on struggle points. I was always good at being able to break things down and help someone who struggled with technique and teach thing outside of their normal training regime. So the reason I decided to break into different levels is because I don’t believe that a person should have to be a master to work with people who are really good at what they do. It always good to get outside opinions on how to get in and out of different moves – it helps us all grow as pollers.
Claire (from Halo): Sorry to butt in here but err….do you like fajitas?
Becca: Why do you ask? You know…I like eeeeeverything! LOL I like all food I haven’t even come accross anything I have an aversion to!
Tiny: For the benefit of the tape, we lika the fajitas! Ok… What other hobbies do you have?
Archery….I am dead serious I LOVE archery, I have a bow at home that’s amazing! Errrr….painting, sculpting…
Oh good lord…hobbies…rock climbing, running, offroading, racing horses, jump roping! You name it I have done it and probably loved it and put a lot of money into it!
Tiny: And you find time to do all of this?!
Becca: Yeah! I pretty much have tools for everything! And oh god martial arts! Don’t tell my Dad I nearly forgot that! I love anything that makes me think or move or do! ANYTHING that means I am not sleeping.
Tiny: What’s your favorite aerial art?
Becca: Rope. Corde lisse. I love it because it’s like pole but you can move so much more around it.
Tiny: A birdie (ahem JAMIE, it’s always JAMIE) told me that you keep a lot of animals, what pets do you have?
Becca: I have a blue and gold Macaw – he’s my baby…I take his feathers everywhere with me so I don’t miss him so much! He says c’ mere so I have to go over to him and then he says the same thing all the time in this sequence because he knows it melts me…he says…I love yoooou, then he’ll say can I have a treat?! And I always have to give him one!
I have fish, a dog, a cat, rats, that’s all we have right now – we got rid of the trantula and the ferret though.
Tiny: So …you’re husband is a hottie, and likes to tinker with swords too. Is that how you met?
Becca: My husband IS a hottie, thank you for noticing. He has been into martial arts all his life and we met on the internet and I guess yeah because of martial arts that he took notice of me in the first place, plus I was a single Mom and he was a single Dad and we both were teaching karate at the time too, and I was going through some frustrating times so he was sending me just the sweetest messages…and yunno on myspace you usually get just jerk messages but he was the first person to say such a sweet hang in there kinda message so I took the time to reply to him and after that we started month long talking for like 4 hours every day and we both got really excited about what eachother was teaching and things, so it was real easy for us to find so much common grounds.
Tiny: Well that is my next question actually I wanted to ask if you had kids….with THOSE abs??!!
Becca: Yes I have two children, and he has three so we have five now that we raise together.
Tiny: OMG but I have only got the one just now and I feel like such a slug on the pole for it and you have two?
Becca: But your doing great! Yeah but mine are a bit older now, my youngest is ten so I had some time off.
Tiny: How do you two balance all of your hobbies and talents with home life? Does it all tie in together nicely or is life just mad?
Becca: Well because I teach private tuition, I can work my schedule how I like and around his and we can each work around what works out for the kids and stuff, him teaching martial arts means that he can kinda do the same thing so I can be home whenever he’s not and he can be home if I’m not so we get a lot of time for the kids and a lot of time together in the mornings.
Tiny: I can see you have a lot of lean muscle. Is that MOSTLY from pole, or from a pre-conditioned martial arts body? Or do you diet?
Becca: It’s pole, I do go to the gym mostly to sit in the hot tub and recouporate! and stretch. Oh and I do go to the gym to run.
I think cutting back on what you eat doesn’t work for the body because store when you stop eating, so when I cut out food it adds weight on me. So I try to increase my intake, it’s like drinking a lot of water – you need to drink more so you can shed more and faster – I do that with food! I eat more but I try to eat the right stuff. But also, as long as you are doing some sort of cardio every day – even if it is just running up and down the stairs I think it’s ok to eat whetever your body tells you it wants to eat!
As far as diet goes…I don’t believe they work
I like to take protein though too because I burn a lot of calories and I need the protein to keep my body from eating the muscle! But that’s about it.
Tiny: How do you train? and how often etc…
Becca: My daily schedule is like – I’ll get up in the morning and go run, If I feel like I have target muscles that haven’t been worked from pole that week then I will focus on that muscle and try to strengthen them….usually it’s my back. And then I will sit in the hot tub and stretch. I usually have private lessons throughout the day so I do some polling, I try to do a bit f freestyle pole cardio at night – just turning on a couple of songs that get me going and I just jam til I am exhausted then stretch it out and go to bed.
Tiny: But you do stretches in the hot tub?
Becca: Oh yeah! it keeps your muscles super super hot so steam room or sauna is good too, it forced the blood from your core to your extremeties.
Tiny: What is your favorite kind of music for pole….what gets you going?
Becca: Oh – it depends if I want to do something sexy and I have the heels I like to choose something really slow, or if I want something exciting I choose something with a bit more beat to it, I do like stuff that fluctuates in speed and tempo though – the ones where they start slow and then every once in a while it picks up…but the ones that you have just GOT TO move to – those are the ones you don’t get sick of!
Tiny: What is your favorite pole material and why? Brass, chrome, steel, size?
Becca: I like each for different reasons I guess. I have trained on chrome so much and it is generally more slippery.
I like to train on chrome so I am prepared for anything.
Tiny: 50 or 45?
Becca: OOOOH! 45mm….skinny poles girls you have so much more grip! It really makes a difference. If you get to a point where you are doing chinese stuff you gotta try skinny pole..soooo good!
Tiny: If it weren’t for pole, what would you be doing with your life?
Becca: I probably would have gone through about another 7 or 8 more hobbies! I dunno…what would I be doing? I think little things would take me to a new path, so many opportunities present themselves. But I’ll do pole forever, pole and aerial, I think I will always be doing it.
Tiny: We know that your style is strength, control and athletism, but what is YOUR favorite style for pole?
Becca: Hmmm….I like a mix. I am not so into the floorwork stuff but that’s just me, I like Jenyne Butterfly has a very good balance of all things pole, she is extremely sexy and ridiculously strong, she can just hold those power moves forever. So my favorite style is Jenyne style!
Tiny: That was another question I wanted to ask you….Who inspires you?
Becca: Everybody inspires me in some way, everybody that I have watched. Marlo though….good lord….she can hold a crowd! she excites me. But everybody inspires me because there’s always ways I could get better – I like to watch and sometimes I’ll think OH! she does that SO well, I’d like to work on that myself!
Tiny: What are your weaknesses?
Everything is a weakness! I am still working on everything! flexibility is still one of them.
Tiny: Are you shitting me? you are incredibly flexible!
Becca: Oh – if you would have seen me before when I first started! I worked really hard for it I have spend HOURS in the hot tub stretching! LOL and I still feel like there so much further I would like to go, strength as well and stage presence….I never want to feel like I am just sitting good. I don’t think I want to be comfortable because I feel like that would be me stopping myself from learning….I want to keep pushing!
Tiny: Do you ever use grip aids? or other pole products? what are your favorites?
Becca: Absolutely…I use Dew Point, I love the owners – she is such a beautiful person and she has created a beautiful product…everything in it is natural, there’s no weird stuff in it that you can’t pronounce, it’s fantastic and it works so well! AND I can use it all over my body! I use dry hands just when I know I am going to do strength work but that’s it.
Tiny: What are you personally working on right now?
Becca: I have a list of tricks and combo’s but I get pole dreams where I am doing all kinds of crazy things and I will get up and write them down….sometimes they lead to nowhere, other times they lead to things I otherwise would have not thought of. I have about 6 tricks that I am working on now, one of them I will call the Butcher but I haven’t quite got it yet…I am working on it! I need more back flexibility to get it to look the way I really want it to, I can do it half way but I don’t wantto perform it half way! It will look awsome once I get it figured out!
Tiny: What are your plans for pole in the future? more comps? the Worlds?
Becca: I would like to do worlds next year, but I am kinda done persuing most of the competitions, I am happy just teaching and learning myself now. If feel the universe is telling me to enter one then I will do it for sure!
Tiny: If you were going to enter the Worlds, what will you do differently to prepare this time?
Becca: I will work more on my technical points like….my lines, my lines dissappointed me with my last competition but everything else is doing ok, my stamina held out pretty good and my strength is ok, but my technique I didn’t like, when I watch my videos I’m like…urgh dead knees! point the toes! oooohhhh nooooo my hands! So tidying up my technique.
Tiny: And before I go I wanted to tell you (because I am not sure if you know) of the few things I DID find on the internet….did you know that you are in Maxim lad’s mag website? They hosted your ninja video.
Becca: *gasp Nooo!? really?!
Claire: I did know that… I actually contacted them too to tell them she was coming here because they like voted her their worlds sexiest pole dancer or something but they never emailed me back.
Tiny: How rude ok well…..MAXIM LADS MAG…..Start answering your emails you slackers! We had your sexiest pole dancer right here and you missed it.