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Who We Are

Our Mission

To create a supportive, welcoming and fun environment where your needs and goals as an individual are recognized and supported. A place where creativity and expression are met with encouragement and the support of a greater community. We want to help you to gain strength and confidence and to become the best possible version of yourself, both physically and mentally.

We want you to experience empowerment and positivity in each and every class, and to take this with you outside of the studio to positively impact and improve the world at large.

Our Team

Arlene

Arlene is an ‘old school’ pole dance legend and is the heart and soul behind Irish Pole Dance Academy. Originally from Co. Louth, she started taking pole fitness classes with her mum as a keep-fit hobby in 2006. She was a shy person with no background in dance and went on to become the first ever Miss Pole Dance Ireland in 2007. She has won many titles since then including Miss Burlesque Ireland 2016/17 and Pole Theatre USA Comedy Winner 2018.

She set up IPDA in 2011 after 2 years of being an unemployed graphic designer and a social welfare statistic in the last economic recession. Her vision was not only to create a space where she could share her expertise in pole dance, but a community that brought people together and made them stronger.

Now, she has achieved that and so much more. She has traveled the world to compete, perform and teach, including Las Vegas, Istanbul, Auckland and more She has also worked extensively over the years in helping to develop pole dancing into the art form that it is today in Ireland. 

Her certifications include: Liquid Motion 1.0 & 2.0 Floorwork Methodologies, Liquid Motion Heels, XPERT Essential Science of Heels, elevatED Pole Fitness Level 1 & 2, XPERT Pole Fitness Levels 1 – 4, Vertical Dance Pole Fitness, Exercise to Music & Freestyle Fitness Yoga. She is also a certified Moon Mná Women’s Circles Facilitator.

Arlene’s favourite things apart from pole dancing are depressing hipster music (especially The Smiths),  very strong coffee and Existentialism.

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Leela

Leela (she/her) is originally from France and began her pole dancing journey in Paris in 2017 while studying computer programming. She dropped out of college shortly afterwards as she knew already that her heart was in dance and she wanted to become a teacher.

After some to-ing and fro-ing as well as struggling with her mental health, she found herself in Dublin and fell in love with the city and it’s people. Pole dancing permitted her to feel strong and sexy at the same time during a phase in her life where she felt like none of those things.

Leela graduated as a personal trainer in 2019 and joined the IPDA team later in the same year. Her goal as a teacher is to help her students to reach their goals, to share with them her passion for pole and being unapologetically seductive.

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Jillian

Jillian (she/her) started pole dancing in June 2011 and has been hooked ever since. She loves to share her passion for pole dance and education with others; she completed the XPERT Pole Fitness instructor training in 2013 and this combined with her own experience as a language teacher has laid important foundations for her journey as a true pole professional. She has also gained certifications with Spin City instructor training.

Jillian’s goals as an instructor are to help empower others to feel as good as they can in their own bodies and to help students to overcome challenges, experience triumphs and see improvements at each step of their pole dance journey.

She is certainly has first hand experience of this herself. She says that pole dance has helped her not only to learn how to love her body again after having her son, but also to help her maintain her sense of self when walking away from a relationship that was no longer serving her.

Jillian is also an avid reader, loves to travel and loves to challenge the status quo with some intersectional feministin’.

Guillermo

Guillermo (he/him) is a life-long dancer from Caracas, Venezuela, where he became certified and taught pole dancing at Gala Dance Studio.

He came to Ireland as a refugee and has been through the Direct Provision system. Now, he lives in Dublin and studies music production, as well as sharing his love of dance in his classes at IPDA.

Guillermo says that dancing makes him feel connected to himself and brings him inner peace and freedom. His dream is that the world will one day be a place where you can be whoever you want to be without the fear of being judged or criticised and where people are kind and compassionate to one another for kindness sake.

When he is not dancing, his favourite things are collecting vinyl (his favourite artist is Florence And The Machine), human rights activism, watching Rick & Morty as well as anything by Studio Ghibli.

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Xavi

Xavi K (they / them) Is a queer stripper, vegan anarchist and a recovering addict. In the course of a chaotic ill-spent life they’ve been an escort, a bike messenger and a graffiti artist. They are currently studying for their license in both bike mechanics and tattoo art. Their philosophy is: life’s a garbage can, be an urban fox and you’ll find gold amid trash.

Their qualifications include: Spin City Beginner Pole Instructor, Spin City Strength and Conditioning, Pole Passion Intermediate-Advanced instructor, Xpert Fitness Essential Science of Heels, and Liquid Motion Floorwork Level 1. Their Xpert Flexibility Flow cert is in progress and they are also currently a student of Image Fitness aiming to qualify as a personal trainer in early 2022.

They fell in love with movement while working as a stripper and also practised contemporary dance and ballet. Their core goals as an instructor are:
1.) To help other marginalised people strengthen, heal and celebrate their bodies through movement. To exorcise the shame and trauma that comes with just surviving for all too many of us, and learn to inhabit our bodies fearlessly together
And 2.) To bring a strong message to the pole world that it owes everything to sex workers, and that it must honour that legacy rather than seek to bury it and push strippers to the margins. This is an art because we created it and live off it – show respect or get off the pole !

Their other passions include ; activism for harm reduction, music (punk and death metal), Krav Maga, building/mending bikes, art (from iPad screens to the walls of abandoned buildings, from glitch to stencils: visual creation gives them life), rescuing animals – and on a smaller scale: black coffee, lock picking and fluffy socks. They are Hard of Hearing.

Their message to new dancers – be fearless, it’s the key ingredient of flight!

Follow Xavi

Santina

Santina Spitfire is the friendly voice you will hear when you call our number! Santina handles all things admin at IPDA, and also happens to be an internationally published pin-up model and award winning Burlesque dancer.
 
Santina is Miss Burlesque Dublin 2016/17 and Miss Pin Up Milan 2014. She is also a familiar face on Irish TV as an advocate for body positivity and Burlesque. She is a buxom, confident broad and all-round good gal who lives her life by the ageless, shapeless, timelessness of Burlesque.
 
In Santina’s free time, she is passionate about veganism, environmentalism and story-telling, particularly ghost stories!

Follow Santina

Our Team

Arlene

Arlene is an ‘old school’ pole dance legend and is the heart and soul behind Irish Pole Dance Academy. Originally from Co. Louth, she started taking pole fitness classes with her mum as a keep-fit hobby in 2006. She was a shy person with no background in dance, strength or flexibility, but went on to become the first ever Miss Pole Dance Ireland in 2007, and has won many titles since including Miss Burlesque Ireland 2016/17 and Pole Theatre USA 2018 Comedy Champion.

She set up IPDA in 2011 after 2 years of being an unemployed graphic designer and a social welfare statistic in the last economic recession. Her vision was not only to create a space where she could share her expertise in pole dance, but a community that brought people together and made them stronger.

Now, she has achieved that and so much more. She also has taught pole dancing classes all over Ireland and the world including Las Vegas, Istanbul, Auckland and more.

Arlene’s favourite things apart from pole dancing are depressing hipster music (especially The Smiths),  very strong coffee and Existentialism.

Follow Arlene

Leela

Leela is originally from France and began her pole dancing journey in Paris in 2017 while studying computer programming. She dropped out of college shortly afterwards as she knew already that her heart was in dance and she wanted to become a teacher.

After some to-ing and fro-ing as well as struggling with her mental health, she found herself in Dublin and fell in love with the city and it’s people. Pole dancing permitted her to feel strong and sexy at the same time during a phase in her life where she felt like none of those things.

Leela graduated as a personal trainer in 2019 and joined the IPDA team later in the same year. Her goal as a teacher is to help her students to reach their goals, to share with them her passion for pole and being unapologetically seductive.

Follow Leela

Jillian

Jillian started pole dancing in June 2011 and has been hooked ever since. She loves to share her passion for pole dance and education with others; she completed the XPERT Pole Fitness instructor training in 2013 and this combined with her own experience as a language teacher has laid important foundations for her journey as a true pole professional.

Jillian’s goals as an instructor are to help empower others to feel as good as they can in their own bodies and to help students to overcome challenges, experience triumphs and see improvements at each step of their pole dance journey.

She is certainly best qualified to do this as pole dance has helped her not only to learn how to love her body again after having her son, but also to help her maintain her sense of self when walking away from toxic relationships.

Jillian is also an avid reader, loves to travel and loves to challenge the status quo with some intersectional feministin’.

Guillermo

Guillermo is a life-long dancer from Caracas, Venezuela, where he taught pole dancing at Gala Dance Studio.

He came to Ireland as a refugee and has been through the Direct Provision system. Now, he lives in Dublin and studies music production, as well as sharing his love of dance in his classes at IPDA.

Guillermo says that dancing makes him feel connected to himself and brings him inner peace and freedom. His dream is that the world will one day be a place where you can be whoever you want to be without the fear of being judged or criticised and where people are kind and compassionate to one another for kindness sake.

When he is not dancing, his favourite things are collecting vinyl (his favourite artist is Florence And The Machine), human rights activism, watching Rick & Morty as well as anything by Studio Ghibli.

Follow Guillermo

Xavi

Xavi K (they / them) Is a queer stripper, vegan anarchist and a recovering addict. In the course of a chaotic ill-spent life they’ve been an escort, a bike messenger and a graffiti artist. They are currently studying for their license in both bike mechanics and tattoo art. Their philosophy is: life’s a garbage can, be an urban fox and you’ll find gold amid trash.

Their qualifications include: Spin City Beginner Pole Instructor, Spin City Strength and Conditioning, Pole Passion Intermediate-Advanced instructor, Xpert Fitness Essential Science of Heels, and Liquid Motion Floorwork Level 1. Their Xpert Flexibility Flow cert is in progress and they are also currently a student of Image Fitness aiming to qualify as a personal trainer in early 2022.

They fell in love with movement while working as a stripper and also practised contemporary dance and ballet. Their core goals as an instructor are:
1.) To help other marginalised people strengthen, heal and celebrate their bodies through movement. To exorcise the shame and trauma that comes with just surviving for all too many of us, and learn to inhabit our bodies fearlessly together
And 2.) To bring a strong message to the pole world that it owes everything to sex workers, and that it must honour that legacy rather than seek to bury it and push strippers to the margins. This is an art because we created it and live off it – show respect or get off the pole !

Their other passions include ; activism for harm reduction, music (punk and death metal), Krav Maga, building/mending bikes, art (from iPad screens to the walls of abandoned buildings, from glitch to stencils: visual creation gives them life), rescuing animals – and on a smaller scale: black coffee, lock picking and fluffy socks. They are Hard of Hearing.

Their message to new dancers – be fearless, it’s the key ingredient of flight!

Follow Xavi

Santina

Santina Spitfire is the friendly voice you will hear when you call our number! Santina handles all things admin at IPDA, and also happens to be an internationally published pin-up model and award winning Burlesque dancer.
 
Santina is Miss Burlesque Dublin 2016/17 and Miss Pin Up Milan 2014. She is also a familiar face on Irish TV as an advocate for body positivity and Burlesque. She is a buxom, confident broad and all-round good gal who lives her life by the ageless, shapeless, timelessness of Burlesque.
 
In Santina’s free time, she is passionate about veganism, environmentalism and story-telling, particularly ghost stories!

Follow Santina

sinead taking pole dancing class in dublin

It’s really cool to be able to take up something in your mid-thirties and see improvement and growth each week. I’m really happy with my body in a way I haven’t been before. It’s able to do things I wouldn’t have thought possible. I’m so much stronger and more flexible than a year ago. I definitely feel sexier and comfortable with my body from that perspective too.

Sinead