In Bed with Sally Ann Giles
I first saw Sally Ann at the Pole Diva’s competition in 2007, I was actually there to support another brilliant pole dancer, whome I was convinced had won the competition, but then SHE seemed to just come out of nowhere and was so brilliant she literally stunned the crowd and claimed the title.
I was curious about this random ‘mystery woman’ and wanted to find out more. As I completed this interview, ‘mystery woman’ ended up becoming the pole dancer that I most respect in all the world.
Sally Ann then went on to win every competition she ever entered so when I had the opportunity to meet her again at LIW 09 I wanted to find out more about where she had come from and how she came to be such an influential and inspiring pole dancer. THIS was her performance at Pole Diva’s – her first ever (REAL!) competition, and the first time I clapped eyes on Britain’s most celebrated and multi award-winning pole champion:
Candy & Chrome’s Interview:
Tiny: Hi Sally, it’s great to see you again, I hope it’s ok to steal a bit of time with you! My first question is ……How old are you?
Sally: I’m 32
Tiny: YEY! I’m so glad because I’m getting close to 30 myself now and I think sometimes ‘should I really be trying to learn the splits at my age’? And you, you look fantastic and you’re becoming more flexible all the time.
Sally: Yeah, you just cheat!
Tiny: So, tell us a bit about your background…. How did you first get into pole?
Ok you want the truth? Basically I have been a lap dancer for 12 years.
Sally: Obviously in those 12 years dancing there has always been a pole, so because I wasn’t confident with the guys, and I had always been a GoGo dancer in the clubs before that, I spent more time on the pole then I did actually trying to make money! So that’s how I got to how I got……then I was working in a club in 2007, and there was a pole dancing competition which I didn’t really want to take part in because I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove, but when they were running the heats some girls didn’t turn up so I substituted.
It was held in a strip club and it was the first one I did, and I went through to the final! It was being run by a glamour magazine, so then when they asked the crowd who they thought had won everyone shouted ‘CJ…..CJ!!’ like that, but I didn’t even get placed first second or even third, so the whole bar went mental….I bust out crying, and so I handed in my notice and thought – ‘I’ll show you’!
So then I entered a professional competition!
So the last heat of Pole Divas was in Scotland about that time and I just so happened to be in Scotland and the rest is history……
Ok you want the truth? Basically I have been a lap dancer for 12 years.
Tiny: So THAT’S where it all started huh?!
Sally: Yeah, so I won Pole Diva’s that year, then I won my second comp, then my third, fourth and fifth and I’m still going!
Tiny: Well – We will get to the future in a bit but for now…..Caaaaaan’t help but notice how muscular you are! Really, I mean you’re immense! Is that all from pole?
Sally: Yep absolutely! I don’t do gyms, well……the only time I am ever in the gym is when I do cardio fat burning pre-competition. And that’s it, the rest is all pole.
Tiny: So then have you always been quite well rounded and athletic like that?
NEVER been a size 10 ever…I mean a size 12 isn’t massive anyway but because of the body weight I carry compared to thinner pole dancers, I have gained a lot of muscle.
I have always been a big girl, I’m a size 12, I am 10 and a half stone.
So I can’t do things like the Chinese flag or twisted grip stuff because I have no flyweight, I am packing a lot of muscle and it’s heavy! But I can do the dance stuff and the power stuff.
Tiny: So then do you have any special dieting programme?
Sally: Yep, pre competition for three weeks (which I have just started now), the only carbs I have are at breakfast time, so I have my cereals or crumpets or bagel, with maybe raw salmon on it or eggs or something……then for the rest of my day I try to eat every 3-4 hours, something, even if it’s only just a handful of grapes, but I eat loads of fish, chicken or turkey (I prefer turkey), vegetables and fruit.
Tiny: Thanks for that, that’s really helpful because I think not many pole dancers are eating for pole as part of their regime, or even for competitions.
Sally: Yeah it’s important to me because I eat so much crap! I love burgers, Chinese, Indian, and as I say I weigh 10 and a half stone, but pre-competition, I am down to 9 stone……but I can’t keep it that way because I love food so much!
Tiny: So how much do you train then?
Sally: I don’t. I don’t really train at all, I work as a dancer so I get access to a pole over 3 times a week, for a few hours.
Tiny: So you have won 5 titles now…….How do you train for your competitions?
Sally: Well, primarily there’s my diet, because if I loose 1 stone beforehand, it’s less sweat because it’s less effort for me to lift my body up. Also, pre competition I try and focus on new moves……..except for this year.
This year I am entering the British Isles Competition and they have a static AND spinning pole, and nobody’s ever really seen me on a spinning pole before so I don’t have any new moves this year really, but I am working on this new element that nobody’s seen from me before. Everybody has seen Sally Ann perform before, but now I’m able to put a bit of CJ into it this time. So I’m gonna do the norm at first, be quite dancey and funky but then I am cutting the music, moving over to the spinning pole and I am going to be a lady for once in my life!
Tiny: And what about your costume? Will your costume be reflecting that?
Sally: Yeah well, without saying too much, people are going to see me as Sally Ann, then they are going to see a whole other side of me, a bit more sensual.
Tiny: We will look forward to that then! So, which competitions will you enter this year?
Sally: The British Isles, Then the Essex comp again that I won last year, if you win 3 years in a row you win a super trophy, I have won Pole Diva’s twice so I won’t be in that one this year.
Tiny: Drat! That’s the one I’ll be going to watch this year though.
So being successful in the competitions you have entered, what do you think makes a winning performance?
Sally: My dancing! I’m not that technical!
Tiny: So if someone wanted to take you on….how would you beat them?!
Sally: Learn to dance! Although it’s not something EVERYONE can do, I even dance to adverts – I have a natural interpretation to music, I don’t do routines, I mostly freestyle, make it all up on the night……I mean I know what moves I want to include and what I can and can’t do or I have some combo’s but when the music starts I just tend to move!
But I do get really sweaty hands though.
Sally: Yeah it’s like the walk of shame as you approach the pole but then I do a few spins to get me into it, then my handspring and after that I can relax a bit.
I look calm on the outside but inside I am shaking!
Tiny: Wow….coz to look at you could not possibly even think that someone like you could be nervous!
So what would you say is unique about your dancing style? What really does it for you and makes you stand out?
Sally: Erm……because I freestyle. And nobody’s taught me, everything I have learned I have learned by myself, obviously on the more extreme moves I have watched video footage lots, but my style is my own.
Tiny: You are recognisable on the pole, this is unique to you but do you have any tips you can share with us to help us improve the quality of our pole work overall?
Sally: When I watched a lot of footage, I tend to see (which isn’t a criticism) is a lot of girls concentrating on pole tricks, pole tricks, pole tricks, when I have had MY judging criteria back, they say I am not as technically good as other girls, but I gain points on audience participation…..I mean, they are there to watch a show, so maybe try and work on an off-pole routine too.
Me, my music is varied but don’t go outside of the box on that one.
Choose music that you are used to, if you’re a rock chick choose rock, if you’re a dance chick choose dance, or RnB, choose music that you would listen to in the car
Tiny: Who is YOUR pole inspiration?
Tiny: So let’s talk about your moves, what are you working on at the moment?
Sally: I would love to be able to do the splits! So I am working on that, loads of girls have tried to show me how but I just feel so uncomfortable with it.
Tiny: I can see from your myspace page that you do a lot of touring and workshops, but you are just setting up a school of your own now is that right? The ‘Heart and Soul Pole Fitness Academy’. Tell us about that.
Sally: It’s only little, I won’t be intending on taking on any instructor’s or anything, I also have my own little studio at home, and I will also be starting teaching from Fitness First in Birmingham on the first week of November. But my best plan is I will be doing something called ‘In Bed With Sally Ann’, where by for a small fee, students will be able to come to my home studio, they may have as much polling as they want, they get dinner and a bottle of wine, and their own bed and they get to chill out with me and ask me anything they want or get help working on whatever they want. Bit of a girly pole party really.
I do still love doing the workshops and tours too but I only work for people who treat me with respect, I belong to no-one, therefore contract to no one.
Tiny: What do you think the future holds for you?
This will be my last year for competitions.
Sally: Because they are getting bloomin good I’m telling ya! So I am undefeated so far and I want to stay that way! And then after this year’s competitions I just want to teach.
Like I said I don’t want to go big with my school either, it’s all about me and me just doing what I love from now on and I love teaching, to anyone who wants to learn anything.
Then hopefully maybe find a man, settle down and get married one day!
Tiny: Really? Sally Ann?
Sally: Yep….I’m single babes!
Tiny: What do you think will happen with pole dance in general in the future?
Sally: Hmmmm…it’s getting very serious, so I think hopefully it will go to the Olympics which is what we all want really….to go towards it all being taken seriously. What WE do we do with passion, and so I would like to see it regulated too, I have my ETM along with 12 years experience, and I think this sort of thing should be minimum requirement really.
As a fitness instructor, you can’t go and teach in ANY gym without a fitness instructor qualification so why should pole be any different? You need to know about proper warm ups and injuries and first aid etc…..And I think that’s really really important, but that’s just my opinion though.
Also I see a lot of girls try pole for like only 6-12 months and then go and teach it, I think there are 4 levels which is beginner, intermediate, advanced and professional and I think you should reach a professional standard before you go ahead and teach, and maybe everyone should try and compete, even if it’s just once.
Tiny: Well, my last question is will there be a Sally DVD before you quit and get married and all that?
Sally: There was talk of it, but naaaah…..everybody’s doing it aren’t they? I’m not like everybody else. BUT I never say never! I prefer to teach on a One2One basis so I can connect with people properly and you can’t do that with DVD so I don’t think DVD is going to be my thing then.