Our instructor introductions wouldn't be complete without Zorena! As chief instructor, studio manager and general all-round boss of everything she makes up the majority of the workforce here at SFAA! Let's find out more about our supreme overlord by reading on below!
I had always wanted to do pole... As a child in the late 90's we drove past a lap dancing and pole club in town, I asked what went on there and my Dad carefully explained. I asked if the girls there made good money - he must have said yes because I decided there and then that that is what I wanted to do!! My parents didn't discourage it too much, as it was never going to happen - at the time my little sister dreamed of farming pigs! Years later, going through the school system had convinced me to aim for a career as a doctor or a teacher, and my earlier aspirations were forgotten. I was always active though, as a competitive gymnast and gymnastics coach, a swimmer, lifeguard and dancer.
In 2009 I started my degree in Modern Languages at Southampton University. It was around that time that I discovered that Julie was teaching pole, so I started lessons with her regularly in 2010. I had the best part of a year off while I was living in Majorca training to be an English teacher, and then Italy as part of my degree. I started teaching a couple of pole classes a week when I returned in September 2012. This is also when I started hoop! The following year I started teaching hoop too,
I teach classes in pole, aerial hoop, youth hoop, youth pole, stretch and flex, body sculpt and kettlebells at the studio as well as private lessons. I am also the official instructor at both Solent and Southampton Universities. I am a PDC Level 4 approved instructor. I am the head instructor at SFAA and as a sole trader, I am the business owner - which some of you may not know! A lot of people think I work for Julie, that's not actually true - she runs lessons for SFAA - although I hire the studio from her... I do most of the behind-the-scenes admin, advertising, newsletters, website editing, finance and answering emails/teamup queries! (Although I must admit I've had a LOT of help from Emily with all this in the last year!)
I've done a fair amount of competing, both as a solo and doubles act, and some guest performing and judging too. Plus I've been organising the Solent Pole & Aerial Hoop Competition with Julie for the last few years, and the youth aerial hoop competition, as well as our summer showcases too.
A couple of years ago I suddenly got into the gym and decided to train for and compete in some fitness modelling competitions. I won my first one in 2015, then competed in the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion show in London. In 2016 I went to Miami Pro and placed 2nd in both the Muscle and Figure Model categories, gaining my Pro card, I also placed 5th in the Fitness Model category!
I have done my level 3 Personal Training and Sports Massage courses and these are other services I've been offering and will offer again soon now I'm back off maternity leave. I had my son in April 2017, I continued training at the gym and studio, and teaching lessons until a couple of weeks beforehand and returned to teaching a few weeks after! I even competed in the elite category of a pole competition when he was just 13 weeks old!
In case you were wondering - I did graduate with my degree, I've not really used it since but I am glad I have it! And my sister is NOT a pig farmer (although I'm sure she still would be if she had the chance!) Running SFAA is mentally and physically draining, and teaching pole & hoop is not the money spinner people seem to think it is, but I do really love it and wouldn't have it any other way. (In general!)