Everyone knows Felix Cane as one of the best pole dancers in the world. And for being the legendary 3-time Miss Pole Dance Australia champion, 2-time World Pole Dance champion, and the first pole dancer ever to be invited to star in her own Cirque Du Soleil pole show!
But you might also have heard by now that she's been busy reinventing her role in the pole industry: setting up her very own pole dancing academy and hosting her own pole competitions. We managed to catch up with the very productive Felix to hear about her transition from dancer to studio owner and competition organizer!
So Felix, you've been a huge name in the pole dancing world forever now, what made you decide to finally open the Felix Cane Academy?
I have been lucky enough to travel the world and have a hugely successful career performing as a pole dancing artist. And though it has been wonderful, living life out of a suitcase is not an easy task! After being away from home for nearly a decade I felt it was time to come home and settle down, and share my knowledge and experience with the pole community.
How will the FCA be different from other pole schools? (Apart from having the legendary Felix as its principal, of course!)
I am excited to bring all aspects of my personal training into the syllabus at FCA! Including adult ballet, core training, power moves and flexibility. I am striving to bring the most current and up to date moves as well as making pole accessible to everyone and anyone who wants to try it. I want to provide a hub for all things pole, so if its sensual pole you love or the more gymnastic sporty style you can find it all here.
What's the hardest part of opening a studio been for you?
The hardest part of opening FCA was spending so much time in a pole studio and so little time on the poles!
And what's the best part?
I think the best part for me is finally having me own space to train and be creative. Which amazingly, I have never had before so its very, very exciting.
You've also hosted the first Felix Cane pole competition last year. We love how the main focus was on stage presence and showmanship! Why did you decide it was time to run a competition based on those factors?
I felt that there was a real lack in the competitive pole circle for a competition that was more reflective of a career as a Performing Artist.
The more sporty comps are wonderful and I adore watching them too but I really felt that in my experience, the majority of pole artists who are performing for a living are doing just that: Performing! Putting on a show, glitzing up the costumes, going all out with make up and false lashes… and most importantly for myself, they evoke feeling in me when I watch them.
I love to see a true showman get up on stage and command the audience. It's a joy for me! It’s also something that was absolutely vital to me in my performing career, and I wanted an opportunity to encourage that in the next pole generation.
How important do you think it is for pole dancers to develop the showgirl in them, and why?
I think that it is totally up to the pole dancer themselves whether or not they wish to take their dancing to the stage. Dancing is one of those wonderful things that can bring you just as much joy when you dance alone or before people. Being onstage can be very intimidating but also very rewarding. To show the world what you have achieved is a great feeling and there are people like myself who adore being on stage more than anything.
I think that like anything, performing is a skill and it's not one that we are all naturally gifted with. However it is something that can be nurtured and developed over time. As with any skill, practice is key! And with more experience comes more confidence. I think in my life that is where being a showman comes in handy because it gives me confidence in all aspects of life. If I can spatchcock live on TV in front of 5 million people, I can do anything!!’
What do you look for when watching a pole dancer perform?
I am sucker for beautiful lines. It's the ballet in me. Lines, smooth transitions, and audience interaction.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking about joining their first pole competition?
My advice would be to be prepared. I have been competing in dance since I was 9 or 10 and even so when I entered my first pole comp I went around the whole of Perth offering to do free shows so that I could practice my show on every pole possible.
We get very used to our training environment, and show conditions are extremely different! The more experienced you are, the easier it will be to handle these differences.
Learn your music so if you forget your choreography, you can improvise. Practice improvising! Only put in tricks that you know you can nail 100% of the time - don't be risky be great.
And most importantly, be kind to yourself. Train hard, go out there, and do your best but if you go badly don't worry, there will be a next time, and every time you get out there on the stage you are gaining experience for the next time.
What are your tips for developing your inner showgirl?
Find a style that you like and master it. Then find another style and master that and so on and so on.
Most importantly, put your own flair into your dancing. We have so many great role models these days it is easy to find someone whose style you love, so learn it then add yourself into it. The key to great showmanship is having a great character, and your character cannot be great if you are carbon copying someone else's. Be your own version of awesome.
Please give us a little preview of your upcoming comp in April.. What new amazing-ness can we expect to be dazzled with?
The theme this year is Guilty Pleasures.. OOOhh lala! It will be very cheeky, sinful and naughty… tantalising, to say the least! As we did last year, we will be presenting an Encore Screening Online 2 days after the competition, on Sunday the 1st of May for anyone who can't make it all the way to Perth.
Click here for Facebook event page.
Do you still dance at the Voodoo lounge?
Noooooo - too much to do and not enough time! I haven't danced at Voodoo for a few years now.
We notice that you've reinvented your look lately, (we are loving the new bombshell image!!) does that have anything to do with reinventing your role in the pole world?
I think it had more to do with just getting a bit older and saggier in general. Though now that I am not performing as my main occupation it did give me more time to recover!
Is life any different now that you're blonde with killer cleavage? Or just as a dancer? (Only if you're comfortable discussing it!)
I feel like everything is much the same, the only difference is you can't see the blonde hair on my tiles at home as much as my dark hair, so there’s more time between vacuuming. That's a plus!
The cleavage is great… I have to say - I feel like a WOMAN. Most of my life has been spent boobless and the more training I do the less boobage I have. After turning 30, my boobies just couldn't keep up and my abs were sticking out further than my pancake flaps of boob so at that point I thought, ‘ok it's time for some implants’.
Would you mind talking about the challenges of dancing with new boobs? It's a topic that lots of pole dancers consider too!
I decided to go "over the muscle". For me it was the only option I would consider because of the recovery time and the procedure. Going over means a much shorter recovery, so it was a no-brainer for me. The look of the breast is much more "fake" though, so I feel like if you want a more subtle look then maybe what I did is not the way you want to go.
But because I hadn't damaged my very important muscles there is very little difference on the pole now. Also, with recovery time being so short I didn't lose that much strength. I have to say on the whole it's not really that different dancing with big boobs, there’s just a little extra padding sometimes.
Felix Cane is one of The Brass Barre's guest choreographers. Catch Polegraphy by Felix Cane in Term 2! The class will be taught by our very own Instructors! Click here for timetable.