Nadia Sharif

Date of Birth: March 03, 1986
Born in: East Los Angeles, CA, USA
Occupation: Retired Electrical Instrumentation Engineer, Active Pole Dancer, Instructor, Performer ;)
Favorite City: As of now, either Prague, Czech Republic or Thessaloniki, Greece
Favorite Food: Salmon and hearts of Palm (palmitas)
Favorite Drink: Tequila
Favorite TV Shows: So You Think You Can Dance, Daria, Southpark
What do you do for fun: I love lighting fireworks, BBQing, doing drunken acro, and walking around foreign cities.

My Life as a Pole Athlete

Dance Background: I did competitive dance between the ages of 10-13 and won a few regional an national competitions in song, lyrical and jazz. Then I left dancing to be a cheerleader for my high school. I was a freshman on the Varsity squad and didn't trust the girls to base me so I lied and said I knew how to tumble... spent the summer in the grass teaching myself how to do aerials and back handsprings, they weren't great, but they were good enough lol! Cheerleading didn't work out for more than 1 year, never really fit in with the crowd. I didn't get back into dance until community college, where i took Jazz and failed ballet repeatedly for having poor attendance and focus. We did a show at the end of every semester and built some great relationships with the dancers. I then transferred to a technical university where the dance program was basically non-existent. So I just watched dancers on YouTube to fulfill my dance passions.
First time Pole Dance: While surfing YouTube, I came across the famous Felix Cane Australian win video. This inspired me more than anything! I then put up a pole in my room and became addicted to watching pole and teaching myself what ever I could. Since my first pole was a piece of closet rod from Ikea I could really stick good enough to climb, leg hand or thy hold properly. So all I did was spins and attempted handsprings, iguanas, and pull up climbs... almost always fully clothed since I had NO IDEA that skin would stick LOL!
Favorite Pole Trick: Well, I have a few but they all consist of anything with a flare, a twist or a WHACK! My favorites are the chinese phoenix, the chinese pop and the swizzle stick... all my signature tricks ;)
Most inspiring Pole Athlete: This one is tough because it changes... Originally it was Felix Cane, for making it look effortless, for displaying grace, beauty, flexibility and strength while keeping it sexy, tasteful and artistic. Some other inspirations have been karol Helms for being creative and innovative, Pantera for being aggressive as hell, Marlo for being so versatile and being an athlete at the same time as being an artist/performer, Steven Retchless for being the biggest diva and so LIVE, Kyra Johannesen for being a visionary and amazing choreographer, Yukari Makino for her skills in silks and transferring them to pole, and of course my amazing partner Mina Mortezaie for showing me how to pay attention to the details of every movement and opening my eyes to what doubles pole could be.
Training Times: This one is tough... It depends on if Im home or on tour, if I have an upcoming competition or not, and if teaching is considered training. So I'll share some average numbers for each. I usually teach about 10-20 hours a week if I am touring. This means workshops or privates in pole, aerial, acro or stretching. If I am home and preparing for competition, I like to do 2 hours a day about 3x a week, on top of my teaching schedule at home which is usually about 4-8 hours a week. I also truly enjoy taking others classes, in pole, aerial or stretching. So thats another 3-9 hours a week. So on average I probably train about 15 hours a week, including teaching... but if we are talking about just me training me or taking classes I would be very lucky to get 5 hours a week.
How I define Pole Dance: I can't use words to describe pole, I usually just show them a video... maybe of Oona, Marlo, or Felix Cane.... and if my mom is with me of course she will make them watch my videos ha!
Pole Dance is...: Loving community, Family, Art
Pole Dance vs. Pole Fitness: I would say they are like colors, Pole Dance being red for example and Pole Fitness being blue. They are both colors, but completely different. However, you need more than one color to make a rainbow so we are all in it together. It is important that we support both, and both are great for different reasons. The word "Dance" makes it artistic, and opens up the pole world to explore hybrid movement pulled from belly dance, african, jazz, contemporary etc. While pole fitness, is more easily accepted for children, gym rats, and non dancers, exploring more of the athletic and sporty side. It is often true that a well rounded performer can display both pole dance and pole fitness in one routine, as they often go hand in hand.
Be a Dancer or Judge: I have decided not to compete in my country anymore, since I have been competing Nationally since 2008. By 2012, I gained championship titles in State and National competitions so I feel satisfied with that competitive career. I chose, to share all my knowledge and skills with the people around me and not feel the need to "save" any of my moves for competition and just give them back to the community that has given me my new life. So now, I prefer to judge, but last year I would have said I prefer to be a competitor. Although I am still competing internationally, I would prefer to judge on a national level.
Titles I hold: 2012 National Aerial Pole Art Champion, 2012 California Pole Dance Champion, 2012 International Pole Masters Cup Doubles Champion - with partner Mina Mortezaie, 2011 USPDF 2nd Place AM, 2010 Bi-Poler Champion - with partner Mina Mortezaie, USPDF Pro, X-Pole Girl, Bad Kitty Brand Ambassador, Girl Next Door - Principal Dancer
Reason to quit Pole Dancing: I would quit if my body couldn't take it anymore. I hope that is not anytime soon!

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