#051: The art of pole dancing - Lauren Pei-Lee

By Jordan Michaelides
January 31, 2018

Lauren 3Image: Lauren Pei-Lee by Vertigo Photography

🎧 Listen via iTunes or Stitcher

Lauren Pei-Lee ( @lauren_peilee ) is a semi-pro who competes nationally in the burgeoning performance art of pole dancing - a sport that combines dance and acrobatics on a vertical pole. 

Pole dancing is a sport that has fascinated me since I met Lauren, because at the same time I was learning about the GymnasticBodies movement and people such as Ido Portal. This form of exercise and control over my body was a lot more interesting to me, rather than just completing rudimentary weight training. When I saw people like Conor McGregor also start to use Ido Portal as part of his training camp, I was intent on broadening my exercise routine into this area. 

The sport has rapidly changed over the last decade, to the point where it’s now been provided observer status by the GAISF, the body in charge of classifying sports for the Olympic committee - possibly paving the way for its inclusion in years to come. The connotations of stripping still remain for the layperson, but I think there’s enough BuzzFeed & VICE videos online now to show that perception is changing, there’s numerous studios providing a base for talent, and competitions that become more competitive as each year goes by.

Lauren is a good friend of mine, and an incredible talent. She’ll help broaden your understanding of this new sport, and what opportunities it provides for athletes interested in the performance. In terms of topics we covered:

  • Her earliest experience and how she began dancing

  • Different styles of dance

  • What pole dancing is as a sport, and how it works

  • Training, trainers, and competition

  • Where, what, and who she draws inspiration from

  • Staying in shape day-to-day

  • Training for competitions and F45 training

  • Pole Star Idols: Pole dancers she looks up to

  • How she got into competing and how competitions work

  • What dancers overlook and Lauren’s strengths and weaknesses

  • Advice for beginners on getting started

Enjoy the episode!





Show notes

01:58 - Introduction

06:05 - Earliest memory of dance

07:49 - Styles of dance & how she began pole

10:11 - Pole dancing as a sport

12:50 - Training, trainers, and competition

15:19 - Pop culture and pole dancing

18:03 - Where, what, and who she draws inspiration

21:45 - Staying in shape day-to-day

27:56 - Training for competitions and F45 training

29:53 - Where people can go to train in Australia

30:37 - Pole idols: dancers she looks up to

31:39 - International pole dancing

35:00 - How she got into competing

36:30 - What dancers overlook, strengths & weaknesses

38:49 - Where she performs outside of competitions

40:52 - Advice for beginners on getting started

47:01 - Criteria and judging of competitions

48:19 - Morning/evening routines

49:52 - What music she enjoys to dance to

50:14 - Best purchase under $200

51:35 - What she’s most proud of

53:04 - If she could have a billboard anywhere in Aus

53:46 - What historical figure she most identifies with