My name is Annie Norris and I have been in the pole industry since 2001 (nearly 20 years) I started to pole dance when I was 15 as I hated any type of fitness and very quickly fell in love with pole. I used to idolise my teacher who thought I was probably an annoying young girl following her around. Fast forward 4 years she moved away to France leaving the building empty. I quickly contacted the landlady and started my own studio as no one within a 50 mile radius was teaching. Back in 2005 there were no pole qualifications, so I decided to take my Level 2 gym instructor and first aid to really get me up to scratch with teaching. I will never forget teaching my first class to this day – the feeling was exhilarating and I knew this would be my job for life. So I ditched my place at university and used all of my savings to make sure I could build a career out of my passion. And teaching IS my passion.
In the pole world I compete, perform, judge and present seminars internationally but previously I have taken around 5 years off those things just to focus on my teaching – this was quite a risky decision but paid off. Whenever I get asked to teach outside my own studio I count as a blessing that other studios and students want to learn from what I have to offer.
At my studio I teach women and men from all different walks of life. It doesn’t mater the age or fitness ability I will cater to each individual. I love teaching mixed ability pole classes as I love having beginner level students all the way to advanced and catering the lesson so that everyone feels they have achieved in their own way with students of different abilities. My most favourite classes to teach are my exotic/stripper style classes – people come to these often shy, under confident or nervous (sometimes all of them) and over the weeks these people becoming confident, owning their bodies and feeling sexy, sensual and more happy with themselves.
Something that I am passionate about as an instructor is to always keep learning. This is so important to make sure not only students are safe but they get the very best out of classes. Over the years I have taken extra certifications in (I haven’t named them all but can do if needs be)
Xpert Kids Pole and Aerial
Functional Range Conditioning
The Shoulder Complex
Xpert The Science of Heels
Anatomy and Physiology Level 5
I always make sure I train with other pole dancers too. Sometimes I jam with other instructors around the world as its great to learn different techniques for teaching and have fun training for yourself too. I really love attending workshops (pole and also non pole) to develop new styles, ideas, teaching techniques and making sure your passion for dance is still alive and burning deep. In 2017 I travelled to Georgia USA to train with World Champion Heidi Coker for a week and I came back with so many new thoughts and ideas for teaching!
Lockdown has given me time to really focus on life and teaching, thank goodness for zoom so I can still connect with people. It has kept me sane teaching not only my current students but I have had people book on from across the world to learn from me (my speciality Stripper Slink classes have been a great hit)
I love seeing people grow in confidence, strength and start to believe in themselves and their abilities. My aim in life is for people to start growing confidence in their bodies, not for what they look like but for what they can do. If each time we achieve something, whether that’s getting a new move, understanding a technique or simple deciding that they believe in themselves just a tiny bit then my job has been worth it.
In my 15 years experience of teaching I feel I have achieved quite a lot, I have my own studio, a team of wonderful instructors and one of my absolute career peaks was being asked to become an Xpert trainer, this means to me that my teaching skills have been recognised to by an incredible company. Being nominated for an award reassures me I am on the right path for life and that others appreciated my instructor skills.
The most special thing about teaching is become a confidant to students. As you get to know them they tell you about themselves and you get to fully know and understand them.
Teaching pole isn’t about helping people get better at pole – its about watching them grow as people.
My most favourite thing about teaching is the smile. The smile on students faces when they become lost in the world that is pole. For an hour they forget about everything going on in their life and they are in the moment, dancing and loving themselves. (honestly writing all this has made me cry – not long now until i can see real 3D people on the poles again)
I teach at Pure-Studios in Hereford
My instagram @annienorrispole
My studios instagram @purestudioshereford
My studios facebook https://www.facebook.com/PurePole/