Fundamentally sexy with Leigh Ann Reilly

The Brass Barre talks to Leigh Ann Reilly, owner of BeSpun LA and creator of the famous Pole Show LA, on staying true to your sensuous roots, and the different styles of sexy pole.

You're one of the pioneers of sexy style pole dancing in the U.S.. how would you define the American sexy style? (Compared to say, the Australian or Russian sexy styles.)

American sexy style is very fluid as opposed to the sharp hitting Russian style or the hair whipping kicking Aussie style. Both Russian and Australian styles are rooted in choreography while American sexy style was developed in freestyle. We use lots of momentum-based footwork, body rolls and floorwork that is independent from the pole. We don't dance on the beat necessarily but do hit big musical cues. I love American freestyle sexy flow. 

Click to watch her freestyle video

 Did you face any challenges in always maintaining the sexy style? We understand that many studios in the U.S deliberately market themselves as pole fitness to avoid being associated with strippers.

I love my roots as a sexy style dancer and am proud to have maintained it as my image. For a while we where dragged in the lyrical, barefoot and fongi direction as we tried to stay current but we soon realized it is more important to stay true to yourself than follow trends so we are happy to have maintained our sexy image at BeSpun


What do you think of the current #yesastripper hashtag on social media?

This is the first I've heard of it and I think its great!


You've trained so many pole superstars, do you have any advice for other pole instructors on how to bring out the best in their students?

I believe fundamentals are the key to great performers, ease and extension show up more than difficulty. All BeSpun dancers work their extension and fundamentals A LOT... That’s why everything looks effortless


Are you able to tell immediately whether someone will one day become a champion pole performer/ competitor? If so, how?

Some you can tell right away they have a special way of interacting with people, the pole or taking direction... others sneak up on you after years of hard work.  I love watching both kinds of athletes develop.


What is your favourite thing to teach, and why?

Leg hang switch, outside to inside,  it is a fundamental combination that many inverted tricks are built on.. It’s my favorite!


What was the best piece of advice you were ever given by a teacher?

I have never had a pole teacher but many of my inspirations come from my other sports coaches… From my diving coach: REACH AND POINT YOUR TOES! and my Muay Thai Coach: Always punch in combination never one at a time... I apply this to pole never doing one trick at a time always doing a combo of tricks trick in and trick out ;) 


You've choreographed some of the most amazing stage numbers both visually and conceptually, could you give us some tips on choreograph a performance routine?

Thank you! I love watching my dreams come true on stage :)) I always say start from the beginning a routine flows as you connect one move to the next... you never know where choreography is going to take you... as far as concepts I don't like to use a song as a concept. I like the song to just be a layer of the concept and add depth as oppose to just acting out the words of a song.


We would love to attend your Showgirl Boot camp one day! In the meantime, do you have any advice on finding your inner showgirl?

Confidence is the key to being a performer.  Find your confident voice inside and cheer yourself on from within, that is what makes a true showgirl.

Leigh Ann Reilly is one of The Brass Barre's guest choreographer in Term 4. Don't miss an opportunity to learn one of her slinky routines taught by the Instructors of The Brass Barre. View class timetable here 

This interview was written by The Brass Barre's instructor and resident pole blogger, Sue-Anne. She blogs on

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