E-mail interview with Ming Leong

Posted On: November 1, 2010

1) Name
Ming Leong

2) Job title:
Owner of Acro Polates Pole and Aerial Fitness Studio (I’m also an entertainer known as Suzie Wong which has a separate website

3) Company name
Acro Polates

4) Website of company/ your profile
www.polefessional.com.sg (www.suziewong.com.sg)

5) How long have you been teaching dance?

I started Acro Polates two years ago, and have essentially been teaching for a mere two years. I have only started pole dancing four years ago, and developed sheer passion for it. I started out just like anyone out there without any dance background, but with hardwork and perseverance, my passion brought me to places and various performances. That was when I received requests for me to start teaching, and itself became an inspirational story for the others to follow, because I am aware of many other females out there might be afraid to try any form of dancing because of age, or other inhibitions. I have a better understanding towards that as I too, started from the ground floor. But I am a perfect example of as long as you have a passion for it, with hard work I can help to get you there, with or without any prior dance background.

6) What type(s) of dance do you teach?
Personally, I teach Pole Dance Fitness (both static and spinny) and Aerial Fitness. We are the 1st studio in Singapore to offer Aerial Fitness classes, which encompasses Aerial Silk and Aerial Hoop (think Cirque du Soleil style!). Our studio also have other interesting workshops, such as the unorthodox partnering flights and inversions (where couples are encouraged to pair up to sign up for the course), and exotic dancing.

7) How do you think dance or movement helps a woman to get in touch with her body?
Dancing is a form of expression of an individual’s inner self and during a dance routine, the dancer translates her emotions into her body language as a form of non-verbal communication. A woman has too much stress, too much inhibitions, and too many emotional burdens, and overwhelming insecurities and dancing helps liberate all of the above. It takes time for a beginner to get past the initial psychological barrier, the insecurities and the self-consciousness before she immerses herself into dancing. Once she gets past that, she is lost in her own world, and translates her thoughts, and her feelings about herself through the dance and movements with the control of her body. And with that, she realises she can be, and is in control, and there is always another peak she can push her body to, and she will constantly strive towards that, just like how a writer wants to have a wider vocabulary of words to express himself freely.

Personally, I teach pole dancing for fitness, as I am aware most women have that inhibitions as beginners. It is also a fabulous way to tone up muscles, and increase the fitness level. And with a more toned and fit body, women feel more confident and sexier about themselves. A better self-image exudes sensuality, and that I would say is very liberating for women.

8 ) How important do you think dance or movements is to helping a woman to get in touch with her body?

I think it definitely is very important as I mentioned how it helps to liberate a woman from her inhibitions to in turn, gain confidence, especially when she gets the right groove to sensualise her movements. While I believe dance or movements can help a woman express and be in touch with her sensuality, I believe it is not the only way. A woman can express herself in other ways, a woman is most sexy when she is confident and in command of her body, in that sense, a woman in a karate Gi can be as sexy as a woman in stilettos and a micro mini skirt, though it is undeniable that most men prefer the raw sexual appeal of the latter, hahaha.

9) How do you think dance or movement helps a woman with her sexuality or sensuality?

Dance and movements is visually stimulating and a communication of body language to the audience. They can evoke strong emotions and desires, and rouse reactions and feelings according to what the dancer is trying to convey. With dance and movements, a woman can slowly discover ways her body can move and express itself and the vocabs of her body language expands with time, so does her confidence when she realises she can string emotions along with each and every movement. Dance is an art form that embodies elements contributional to the “feel-good” factor of a woman, and ultimately it is all about the confidence that sums it up

Pole dance fitness, besides improving one’s muscular strength and endurance, motor skills, flexibility and stamina, there are also a lot of emphasis on bodily isolations. There are a lot of isolated usage of the neck, arms, hips, thighs, ankles, all these are deemed sensual parts of a woman’s body. With that comes more awareness and consciousness of these body parts. When our students discover they can do what most dancers can do, and what more, up there on an elevated steel pole, they feel even more empowered. But importantly at the end of the day, Acro Polates encourage different students to interpret sensuality in their own way, so we don’t limit their styles to only exotic dancing, but also jazz, lyrical, sporty etc, so it is very interesting to see how differently pole dance fitness is translated by different students, but undeniably they are all very sexy in their own ways.

10) What message about sexuality and sensuality would you like to communicate to women out there?
It is all about the confidence and how you feel about yourself and how you liberate yourself to express your emotions. Pole dance fitness is an art form, a fitness regime and a confident booster which will make you find out more about yourself, make you feel sexier with a toner body and pushing your body beyond the limits you have set for it in a safe, caring and encouraging environment. So come on down and try pole dance fitness, to give your body a deserving workout and yet let that sex appeal ooze!

11) What are some changes you have witnessed in your female students before or after attending your training?
There are plenty of success stories to share and I believe each one is a success story on its own, especially most of our students had started with little or absolutely zilch dance background. Overall you see a vast improvement in terms of techniques, confidence as well as coordination of body movements. Even for those who could barely touch their toes are not able to go comfortably into splits that I was almost thinking of opening a contortionist class (kidding!).

I have had many stories of transformation shared with me. It has even helped one of our students battled post natal blues and improve her poor self image she has had of herself after childbirth. This student has since recovered her sexy back!

We have also helped some students overcome insecurities and regain the confidence they have lost along the way in life. Some students were pretty much reserved from the beginning, and they slowly shape their personalities as they progressed with pole fitness and open themselves up.The most amazing thing is the bonding the students get from fellow students through the encouragements and help in getting those difficult pole moves and tricks. I have seen old friendships rekindled, and many new ones established (evident in all the chatting and exchanges in facebook).. Sometimes the students also asked questions they might be too embarrassed to ask in real life, like how to move the body in certain ways, or to get that right “attitude” with the moves. They shed the inhibitions to ask in class because for one, they know the teacher (yours truly) was not a born-dancer, and I shared the same problems before.

Their partners are also very much involved. Once in a while we do get a surprise visit from the curious hubby or boyfriend at the studio. The initial curiousity or skepticism of what has been keeping their women away 2 to 3 times a week turn into respect when their partners realise how pole fitness is actually by no means an easy feat, and they appreciate the fact that their other halves actually have a decently healthy and at the same time sexy hobby. It is especially hilarious when the men try it for themselves. So wouldn’t you agree that pole dance fitness actually helps bring couples closer in more than one way?

You can view one of our student’s testimonial here.

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