Teacher Spotlight

Say Hello to Malvika!

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“you can choose not to observe your wounds and cracks with any sort of regret, but instead decorate them with gold.”

Miss May 2017: Malvika

Occupation:  Sourcing Engineer at Microsoft
 
Your motto or favorite quote: This quote by Victor Frankl from Man’s Search for Meaning: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

How long have you been pole dancing at Divine? It’s been three wonderful years.
  
Did you have any previous dance or fitness training before starting pole? I have been a dancer pretty much my whole life. I have trained in Indian classical, Bollywood, modern, hip-hop and belly dancing.
 
What made you decide to take pole dancing classes? I had lost a lot of weight by the end of 2013 but I didn’t feel very strong or healthy. I realized I wanted a work out that would nourish my body and soul because going to the gym and lifting weights was sucking all the life forces out of me. I didn’t want my health to be measured in pounds and how much fat I could see on my body. I wanted my fitness to become a part of my life that I enjoyed and it was more focused on the way I felt than the way I looked. Pole seemed like the perfect way to strengthen my muscles while doing my favorite thing in the whole world – dancing!
 
Favorite class? (spins, inversions, or boudoir), and why? This is really hard but I will have to say inversions. There is just something so liberating about hanging upside down, making beautiful shapes, and engaging every part of your body with intention. Inversions classes have taught me the value of perseverance, patience, building the right foundation, and that strength without the right mental intention/readiness will only take you so far. It’s been a great source of confidence and mental and physical growth for me.
 
What is it that you LOVE about pole dancing at Divine? If you watch closely, you can see everyone’s soul reflect in their dances. I have met some of my best friends at the studio. We felt close even before we hung out outside of the studio. I realized this is because you can learn a lot about someone in the way they move, and how their dance shows their feelings, their vulnerabilities, and their strengths. It is an honor to get to know someone so deeply. I cherish this so much and have started to want to know everyone in life that way…from the inside out!
 
Platforms or legwarmers? Both, but not together
 
What are you currently working on technically? In early February, I was working on handsprings and Janeiro. Now, after a hiatus, I am working on building back my core strength and flexibility. Sooo, a lot of shoulder mounts.
 
What are you working on artistically? Letting my body find its movement, slowly (since slowing down has always been really hard for me).

What is your favorite move? The Flying Angel in spins; Marley in inversions.

What is in your pole bag (ex: grip aid, journal, etc)? Grip aid, water, leg warmers, 3 different kinds of snacks and body spray.

Do you have a favorite song to pole dance to? Honestly, anything by The Weeknd or Rihanna always helps me find my mojo. “Skin” by Rihanna is probably my all time favorite!
 
We LOVE music at Divine. What 3 songs would be featured on the soundtrack to YOUR life, and why?  

1. Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara: Recent events in my life have taught me that you can choose not to observe your wounds and cracks with any sort of regret, but instead decorate them with gold. Highlight that you are better than new and understand you’re more beautiful for having been broken.

2. Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce: Because women do…

3. Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira: Because my hips don’t 😉

Guilty pleasure: Food wise – cake. Music wise – anything sultry. Other – frequent massages.
 
Final Question: 
Any inspirational advice you would like to share with new polers?

Ladies, Divine is a place where you can let it all go or let it all in. It is a place where you will mentally and physically achieve things you never thought were possible – things that will help you grow in so many ways. Just give yourself the freedom and permission to be present in class and feel the magic unfold before you!  

Jessica // Instructor

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instructor-jessica Jessica has been dancing traditionally since high school but caught the pole bug in 2012. So much so, that she’s competed in PSO events in LA and Seattle 4 times since then. When she’s not in class you’ll find her teaching FlyGym and Flexibility. She is a firm believer that life is better upside down.

Hometown?
Van Nuys, CA

Why do you love Divine Movement?
The incredibly uplifting community at Divine in addition to the style of teaching empowered me to love me for myself.

What do you consider your teaching style?
I’d say I have a little bit of a tough love approach to teaching only because I can be a cheater and I don’t want anyone cheating themselves.

What music is on your “Divine” playlist right now?
Way Down We Go – Kaleo
Wishing Well – Cheyenne Marie Mize
Blood On My Name – The Brothers Bright

Favorite Food?
Tacos. They work for every meal.

What is the farthest you have been from home?
In 2009 I went backpacking through England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Paris with my husband. This year we’re planning to visit my family in New Zealand and Australia.

When was the last time you cried?
There was a Whiskey commercial that came through my news feed a week or so ago with a beautiful poem in the background. I cried pretty hard at the end of it.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I still don’t know the answer to that. Which is how I wound up with degrees in Interior Design, Anthropology, and Liberal Arts.

Guilty Pleasure?
Pepsi

Favorite article of clothing to dance in?
Pants and long sleeves. As much as I love to invert, sliding around is my favorite.

Favorite quote?
It’s a song lyric really but it’s stuck with me ever since I heard it, “I can’t be told, it can’t be done.” – The Lumineers

Hannah // Instructor

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instructor-hannah My name is Hannah de Regt (pronounced like “direct”) and I’ve been practicing pole for about 2 and a half years as I’m writing this. It all started for me when my maid-of-honor organized a surprise pole party for my Bachelorette. We both had so much fun that we signed up right away for pole 101. It’s been an incredible journey for me – Divine has helped me to break out of my shell and feel comfortable with myself and it has pushed me both mentally and physically. If you had told me 3 years ago that not only would I be pole dancing, but that I would have competed 3 times, performed on stage 8 times and won 2 medals I would have said you were crazy! I feel incredibly lucky to have been supported by so many of our amazing instructors on this journey and am honoured and excited to be able to share my experience with others.

Hometown?
I was born in Solihull, England, but have lived for the past 18 years in Redmond/Eastside.

Why do you love Divine Movement?
I fell in love with Divine the freedom of movement and the message that we teach that it is ok to love your body. I stayed at Divine for the community of women and the many friendships I’ve made.

What music is on your “Divine” playlist right now?
Current favourites include “Slip” by Elliot Moss, “You” by Keaton Henson and “Feeling Good” by Avicii

Favorite Food?
Chocolate!!

What is the farthest you have been from home?
I suppose it depends if you consider Seattle or England home! I’ve been to Mauritius – that’s probably the furthest point from either place!

When was the last time you cried?
HA! I cry all the time, I’m a big softie.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A journalist. That turned out to be pretty far from reality.

Guilty pleasure?
I’m a huge nerd. I love youtube/webseries adaptations of classic literature such as Jane Austen or Shakespeare and tend to get quite emotionally involved while they are updating. I’m also a HUGE Harry Potter fan, but that’s more of a guilt-free pleasure.

Favorite article of clothing to dance in?
Mostly leggings/legwarmers and a tank top, unless I’m inverting, in which case shorts and bra. I’m pretty boring when it comes to clothing…I should experiment more!!

Favorite quote?
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore

Adina // Instructor

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instructor-placeholder I started dancing at Divine when my son was 8 months old and I was looking for a way to reclaim myself. I found not just myself, but an incredible community of women who take joy in supporting each other.

Hometown?
All over – I’ve moved so many times. But my heart’s home is the Seattle area.

Why do you love Divine Movement?
I love the sense of play – of being ourselves. I love that I can get to a place in my dance where I don’t care about what anyone thinks and just get to celebrate movement.

What music is on your “Divine” playlist right now?
Hey Mama – David Guetta; come Away with Me- Norah Jones; Waiting Game- Banks; Jonny Lang – Walkin Away

Favorite Food?
Middle Eastern cuisines

What is the farthest you have been from home?
I’ve travelled a lot, but the furthest I ever felt from home was in the Czech Republic. I was lonelier than I’d ever been. Usually when I travel I find a way to feel home.

When was the last time you cried?
Early January – overwhelmed from changing jobs and pressure to perform well.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I honestly have no idea. If I could go back and pick something, I’d want to be on Broadway.

Guilty pleasure?
Sweets, particularly chocolate. And pop music.

Favorite article of clothing to dance in?
Long skirts/ my hair

Favorite quote?
Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday for in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. – Rainier Maria Rilke

Erika // Instructor

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instructor-erika I found Divine in 2012, after a decade-long hiatus from dancing; it was just the thing I needed to get back to movement and to feel completely comfortable in my own body. I love the movement style that is uniquely Divine, but also completely individual to everyone who walks into the studio. Pole dancing at Divine is a constant reminder that we are all beautiful in our own unique ways and that we all have something to share and learn from each other. I can’t wait to see you in class!

Hometown?
Seattle, WA

Why do you love Divine Movement?
I love Divine because it is the most supportive and empowering group of women I have ever encountered. The instructors and students are all beautiful, intelligent, caring people from all different walks of life with whom you can’t help but feel completely comfortable baring your soul through dance.

What music is on your “Divine” playlist right now?
10,000 Weight in Gold by The Head and the Heart
Don’t Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes
Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran
All Along the Watchtower on Dave Matthews Band’s Recently album

Favorite Food?
Oysters. I could binge eat oysters.

What is the farthest you have been from home?
Paris.

When was the last time you cried?
This is a terrible question for me. I’m a cry baby. I cry when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m overwhelmed; I think I teared up a little bit the last time I explained how much I love this community of women!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A ballerina.

Guilty pleasure?
Someone really should stop me from buying concert paraphernalia; it’s a real problem.

Favorite article of clothing to dance in?
Leg warmers. I just love sliding around on those new floors in the Seattle studio.

Favorite quote?
“Above all things, if kindness is your king, then heaven will be yours, before you meet your end”

Laura // Instructor

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instructor-placeholder I started pole dancing in February of 2012. My coworker/ good friend had been dancing at Divine for around 3 years and finally (after lots of needed bugging) got me to sign up for the 6 week Pole 101 series. After the first warm-up, I was hooked! I fell in love with Boudoir dance.

Hometown?
Kirkland, WA

Why do you love Divine Movement?
Divine is so much more than a good workout (but it is that too!) It’s a place to build confidence and strength, meet all kinds of people with different backgrounds, and dance your heart out. You hear so many students say they feel “at home” when they are at Divine, and I could not agree more.

What music is on your “Divine” playlist right now?
It’s always super eclectic: Masterpiece (Jessie J), Gin & Juice (Snoop
Dog – always some old school rap on my playlists!), Nicest Thing (Kate
Nash), Secret Garden (Bruce Springsteen, aka “Dad Rock”), I Wanna
Dance With Somebody (Fay Wolf – I love beautiful, slow cover songs).

Favorite Food?
Mexican food! I could literally eat it every day for the rest of my life.

What is the farthest you have been from home?
Either France or Peru (not sure which is further away – *googles it*). The mileage is similar, but the furthest spot I’ve been in each place makes France (Monaco, specifically) the winner!

When was the last time you cried?
This weekend – but they were happy tears!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Always an actress. Even though I am not a professional actor, I grew up doing theater and majored in it in college. I feel like Divine gives me the same creative outlet as theater did.

Guilty pleasure?
2 words. Dance Moms.

Favorite article of clothing to dance in?
My jogger workout pants! They are great for sliding around on the floor.

Favorite quote?
“No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Liz // Instructor

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instructor-placeholder I started dancing at Divine in 2012; nervous, awkward, and uncoordinated. I fell in love with the freedom this type of dance offered and never looked back.

Hometown?
I grew up in Medford, OR

Why do you love Divine Movement?
I love the ability to walk into a space knowing I will be supported and encouraged by other women. The love I have for the dance itself is only amplified by this amazing community.

What music is on your “Divine” playlist right now?
Knockin on heavens door- Antony & the johnsons. (Kinda loving the old school covers lately)
Underflow- Emma Louise
I had me a girl- civil wars

Favorite Food?
Dilettante Ephemere Martini- that’s food right?

What is the farthest you have been from home?
Avesta, Sweden

When was the last time you cried?
Yesterday

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Zookeeper!

Guilty pleasure?
Bad Syfy TV movies.

Favorite article of clothing to dance in?
I love to dance in leggings so I can slide around on the floor 🙂

Favorite quote?
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Rachel // Instructor

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instructor-rachel What I love most about Divine is the transformation I see in all the women who walk in that door. Most of us start out a little scared, a little shy and stiff and within weeks, heck, sometimes even by the end of one class, I see women who are morphing gently, passionately into Goddesses. That probably sounds silly but I believe it wholeheartedly because I’ve seen it and I feel it myself when I dance.

I started pole in 2012 and I’ve been hooked ever since. I was drawn to the tricks and the cool moves but now I see it’s so much more than that! I love the strength my body feels, the challenge of learning new things and letting go, I love the way pole dancing makes me feel about myself: more confident and passionate.

My mantra:
I can do hard things!

Favorite song to dance to:
“Elastic Heart” by Sia

Hometown?
I grew up in Southern Oregon and lived in Los Angeles for a while. Now my hubby and I live near downtown Seattle.

Why do you love Divine Movement?
I love Divine because of the positive message it sends to women of all shapes and lifestyles. It’s incredibly encouraging and what we learn here is an inspiration. I love how I’ve changed and grown into my body and my own strength over the years because of Divine.

What music is on your “Divine” playlist right now?
I can’t handle Jack White’s “Love Is Blindness” song. It makes me convulse and dance like a dervish. (I love it!)

Favorite Food?
My favorite food is chocolate cake! For breakfast!

What is the farthest you have been from home?
Farthest I’ve been from home is Vietnam for a month teaching English with my husband.

When was the last time you cried?
Last time I cried? Ugh, always! I was probably watching Steel Magnolias for the nth time!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a horse rancher! Haha…

Guilty pleasure?
Mmm! Guilty pleasures! I’d say, chocolate cake for breakfast, reading celebrity magazines on a flight, watching and re-watching Grand Hotel on Netflix!

Favorite article of clothing to dance in?
I love me a good pair of booty shorts that don’t ride up too much, and a comfy, strappy sports bra!

Favorite quote?
“The point is not for you to do something that’s never been done before. The point is for you to do something YOU’VE never done before.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Jenna // Instructor

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instructor-jenna Jenna started dancing at Divine in 2012. With a background in rock climbing and yoga and was looking for a different form of fitness that was more expressive. She had always loved watching people dance but always felt too inhibited when doing it herself. Divine has given her an opportunity to transform, grow, and evolve into a more expressive, confident, and accepting person. She loves sharing her joy of dance with new students.

Teaching Style:
High-energy, quirky, supportive, creative

Hometown?
Boxboro, Massachusetts

Why do you love Divine Movement?
I love the unconditional acceptance and support within these walls that allows us to show every part of our soul. No matter what it looks like. I also the the authenticity of the friendships I have made.

What music is on your “Divine” playlist right now?
My music playlists are constantly evolving. I am usually inspired by songs that bring me back to a different time and place or are a little obscure. Current faves: All I Want Is You by U2, Made to Love by John Legend, Batuque by Dom La Nena, and Breathe On Me by Britney Spears

Favorite Food?
Dark chocolate!

What is the farthest you have been from home?
Australia. Mate!

When was the last time you cried?
Within the last 7 days most likely:)

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian. Before that, an astronaut.

Guilty pleasure?
Dark chocolate! And marrying ketchup bottles…And rainbows…Unicorns too…

Amanda // Instructor

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instructor-placeholder Amanda started dancing at Divine Movement in 2013 to find a new way to move after her years in Latin Ballroom as a dancer and choreographer, but minutes into her first class she realized it would be SO much more. Amanda immediately fell in love with the supportive female community, freedom and meditative element of movement when following her breath and body, and both the inner and outer strength she found through Divine. As an instructor, she hopes to empower, inspire, and give permission to explore to any woman in her class through movement, fun, breathing, and growth of confidence. “As women we so often put others first, wear five responsibility hats at a time, and hide our curves to keep up with an idea of what a lady should be. In classes at Divine I feel so honored to guide women in taking care of themselves, stripping off those hats even just for a few hours a week, and owning their gorgeous bodies with confidence and pizzazz!”

Hometown?
Puyallup, WA

Why do you love Divine Movement?
I love everything about Divine Movement! I think the main reason I initially kept dreaming about my next class was because it allows all women to dance their story feeling beautiful even while dancing “messy.” I come from a world of dance with mirrors and counts and everything just so, and it freed me to just breathe and let go!

What music is on your “Divine” playlist right now?
A little of everything! Bad Girls – MKTO, Your Heart is as Black as Night – Melody Gardot, Gold – Imagine Dragons, Desire – Meg Myers, I See Fire – Ed Sheeran, Murakami – Made in Heights, and Red Light Special – TLC are showing up as my top plays for this week…

Favorite Food?
Blueberries! Yumm….

What is the farthest you have been from home?
Germany

When was the last time you cried?
The last class I taught at Divine… you ladies give me the goosebumps in all your confidence and surrender to movement!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher

Guilty pleasure?
It’s a healthy (ok, maybe slightly unhealthy) balance of Reese’s and Pinterest

Favorite article of clothing to dance in?
Anything stretchy that I can pull on and off

Favorite quote?
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”

Divine Movement offers pole dancing lessons for all levels. Sign Up