BEIRUT: Anastasia Sokolova dreamed of turning dance into a career all her life, though she might not have known as a child that it would be on a pole.
Sokolova, from Kiev, was dubbed the world’s top pole dancer after her performance on “Ukraine’s Got Talent” went viral around the world. Rather than the sex appeal, her choreography is impressive for its sequences of intensely controlled acrobatics. The 24-year-old is among a growing number of athletic women turning pole dancing into a high-powered sport.
She performed in Beirut last weekend as part of a variety show at the Phoenicia Hotel’s nightclub, fundraising for the Lebanese Autism Society. She performed alongside others working with La Fiesta, an entertainment agency that provides aerial and stage acrobats, musicians, dancers and other performers. Sokolova talked to The Daily Star about her job.
Q: How long have you been pole dancing for now?
A: Four years.
Q: How did you learn how to poll dance?
A: All my tricks I learned alone in the studio. I watched lots of movies, which gave me ideas, but the choreography is all made by me.
Q: What is your training like? Tell us about your workout routine.
A: I warm up for 20 minutes and do dynamic stretches [stretches that include constant movement].
Then I do hard and aggressive dance on the pole with a choreographed acrobatic finish, and at the end, I do a static stretch.
Q: Do you have to stick to a healthy diet?
A: No [laughs]. I eat everything because my body spends so many calories during the hard workouts.
Q: What are your favorite foods?
A: Meat, crab, tomato soup, salad and chocolate cake for desert.
Q: In your free time, what are some of your hobbies?
A: More training.
Also singing karaoke and learning aerial acrobatics.
Q: Poll dancing has become increasingly popular as a workout and recreational activity. Why do you think women are becoming more interested in it?
A: Because it’s a very beautiful kind of sport. The performance is also very sexy, so all women can give an amazing present to their partner at home, too.
Q: Since appearing on “Ukraine’s Got Talent,” what has life been like?
A: I became very popular all around the world and have many job offers.
I really enjoy my life.
Q: Was this your first time in Beirut? How did you come to perform here?
A: I agreed to be here as part of this famous group, La Fiesta, which is a spectacular project by Pro Eventum [a nightlife marketing agency]. Yes, this is my first time. I’ll be seeing the city, tasting Lebanese food and enjoying my free time as much as I can.