TEACHER FEATURE – March 2016
Introducing the very fabulous and talented Faye Fonteyn.
By day, Faye is a Pilates Instructor, and by night she’s poking you in your sides and telling you stand up straight as our HAUS Barre and pole instructor.
Classes Faye teaches:
Monday 6.30pm Barre Open level
Monday 8.30pm Beginners Pole
Connect: Instagram: faye_fonteyn
How long have you been pole dancing for?
I’ve been Pole Dancing for 3 years now with a background a professional dancer in musical theatre.
Tell us about your first class. What made you decide to try pole?
I had a taster class in Singapore, and when I moved to Sydney I caught Amber Ray performing at the Victoria Room on my Birthday and….boom, my mind was made up! My first class? I just remember the overwhelming sense of empowerment I felt – I was addicted, and I also remember being pretty directionally challenged the first time.
What did your friends and family think when you started?
I didn’t tell a lot of people for a long time – eventually it would just fall out of my mouth. When someone said something stupid about pole dancing in front of my mom she whipped out a video of me training and said “you cant tell me this isn’t beautiful?! Faye’s been dancing her whole life and this is just an extension of that.” That memory makes me pretty happy.
Was there a defining moment when you thought ‘yep, this is for me!’?
The ‘ yep’ moment was when I gave up my morning take away coffee so that I could afford more classes. It wasn’t pretty.
What are your proudest achievements or memories from pole?
The great thing about pole is that I very rarely leave class without achieving anything – we all have good days and bad days but even on the bad days, the friends I’ve made and the wondrousness of dancing keep my soul feeling full.
Who or what inspires you?
Dancing, expressing, moving, music, nature. Once you tap that source there is unlimited inspiration.
What are your goals or aspirations in this career?
I’d love to compete in some of the more well-known comps – not necessarily to win, but to have the opportunity to share my style and artistry in the community. I wish there were more showcases in that sense. So beyond that the more moves you know the bigger your vocabulary to express yourself.
Have you entered any competitions or had some cool performances?
I’ve done a couple of comps and I’ll be doing my thang at Dance Filthy coming up soon. At my very first comp, my wig flew off my head and onto the judges table – not too cool for me but I think the audience got a kick out of it.
What is your pole style?
Pole style?? Are pretty lines and props a style????
Who is your most memorable student? Is there someone that has a special place in your heart?
I haven’t been teaching that long, but I’d probably say Sam Taylor – I could see the sparkle in her eye by her second class, (bringing and actually wearing her hells was also a dead give away). She was hooked, talented and dedicated. She’ll go far!
What does being able to pole dance mean to you?
It means I get to dance and hangout with my tribe. What more do you need?
What advice would you like to give to current/ past/ future students?
Anything that is good for you, be it your body, mind or soul takes time, and effort. The sweetness of the reward is equal, if not exponential to, the amount of effort you put in to achieve it.
What is your fave or ‘go to’ move?
I get stuck on things. At the moment I can’t do a routine without getting stuck in a Pegasus and I mean literally getting stuck there!
What move are you most proud of, or took you the longest?
Still working on handsprings and deadlifts. I got a Janeiro once and never again.
How do you recover from all the pole classes and training?
My favorite thing to do in summer is have a cold Epsom salts bath. And in winter I do a hot/cold/hot/cold/hot shower followed by tiger balm. I also try to go for regular massages.
Describe your class style:
I’m pretty fussy about technique but mostly I hear my classes are intense – I like to distract you with lame jokes but I think you’ll know the next day that you attended my class
Why should we join your class?
I like to mix things up and teach variations of the same move so you can start to learn and appreciate your own style. Also if you’re not getting it one way, you might find a variation makes more sense.
What is your favorite quote or saying?
My favorite quote ? “ you end where you finish”
Do you have any party tricks?
My friends are my party tricks
Any life advice?
If it doesn’t make your soul happy (use fingers to make a scissor motion)
Describe a typical day in the life of you:
Mostly I’m up at around 5, teach a bunch of Pilates classes, run around doing things or cleaning, teaching or poling in the evening. If there is a comp coming up you can replace that middle section with me at the studio staring at the pole hoping for inspiration to come.
Tell us a funny story. A funny thing that happened in class/ shows/ training?
Read the wig story above!
If you were an animal, what would you like to be?
Maybe a French Poodle?
Where is your favourite place in the world?
OOhhhhh! I love Paris but I also really loved Chicago and Zanzibar
Can you speak another language?
I can speak Afrikaans (though I’m out of practice)
What is your current home page picture on your phone?
It’s an artwork I saw at the White Rabbit Gallery. It’s a photograph of a topless woman and her head has been replaced by a flowering pot plant.
What was the last app on you installed?
Do you have any pets?
Tell us what you would say to yourself 5 years ago if you could go back in time.
You’ll never know if you made the right choices but life gets pretty good!
If you have to open a business and it had to have an pun as the business name, what would it be?
A bakery called “baked”
What do you love about HAUS (or dislike, but lets be real… haha)
(One thing??) I love that this is where my tribe is! I also love that I feel that its more about Pole “dancing” than sport or fitness or whatever. But at the end of the day – you can make it anything you want – each teacher brings their own style and quirks.
Why do you love coming to work at Haus?
What makes Haus different, why did you choose here?
Have you made lots of new friends here?
Most def! Some of my bestest and favoritist friends are here
What experience has Haus given you that you may not have otherwise experienced?
I think it’s really wonderful that we can all just come as we are, no judgment, no expectations, no pretense. We can really appreciate each other for our strengths and weaknesses without needing a blog or psychologist to dissect it.
You have seen pole help many women. Describe what you have seen and how it has affected you. Have you been a catalyst in this process?
I see this a lot. The best example was when a non-pole friend came to the Christmas party, as an ex-model and actress she was so moved by the freedom, encouragement and friendliness of everyone she met. She couldn’t stop talking about it all the way home. It gave her a new lease on her own life and inspired her to take her career to new heights (although, she’s not on the pole, yet). When you’re in it, you forget how amazing it must be to witness a whole bunch of half naked women just crushing on each other without it being weird or fake.
You walk up to a woman on the street and give them some advice. Paint us a picture of who that woman is and what you would like to tell them.
She’s angry, she has that constant line between her eyebrows, and down – turned mouth. I would tell her to open her heart and her hands because you cannot give or receive anything through a clenched fists. And its scary, but she’ll be ok. Then I would tell her to get into her body and go to Pilates or dance.
How has pole changed your life?
I think without a creative outlet I must be a massive pain in the arse. Really I do dance stuff out, especially when I feel overwhelmed or sad. My biggest take home though is the wonderful ladies who make my soul sing.