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An Interview with Pole Superstar Felix Cane

By on July 11, 2017

Felix Cane is a pole dance household name. A three time winner of Miss Pole Dance Australia, two time winner of the World Pole Championships, former Cirque de Soleil solo artist, inventor of the Spatchcock and the Eagle – two of the most famous pole tricks, host of Felix Cane Championships and owner of Felix Cane Academy studio, she is one of the pole dance pioneers who has mesmerized and inspired hordes of polers worldwide to take their first lesson. After watching her 2006 MPDA winning routine, I was one of those pole dancers.

But after doing an interview with Felix Cane and learning more about her career behind the scenes, I was even more impressed. She is very inspirational off-pole as well. Not only is she the embodiment of old school pole dance where the focus is on showmanship, gracefulness and hours spent polishing a limited set of tricks until they are nothing less than perfect, but Felix is an exceptionally professional, sweet, hardworking and brave person.

Find out more about the important moments of her career and what she is up to now.

Bad Kitty: Do you still perform and compete?

Felix Cane: I don’t compete anymore and perform very rarely – I still love to perform but as I get older I find a lot more joy in providing the opportunity to younger polers to perform, and of course running the studio means that I have less time to train, travel and chase the stage.

BK: What advice would you give to the baby poler Felix in 2006? Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently in your pole career?
FC: I would say to her – follow your heart, but I know you will do that anyway.

BK: What did a typical pole class look like in 2006 compared to now? What has changed in 10 years, both from the perspective of a teacher and a student?
FC: In 2006 we had a very, very limited pole syllabus there was really nothing more advanced than a jade split. Maybe a Hand Spring? It was just not the era of tricks. So we did a lot of dancing and we fell off the pole a lot. We were innovative – there was a lot of room to grow and create too, it was a fun time to pole. There was also very little competition. So I believe we really had a lot of fun with not a lot of pressure.

Credit: Tony Aquino Photography

BK: What are some of your favorite moments of your pole career?
FC: My very favorite memory is in Vegas – my very first performance with Cirque du Soleil (CDS) in Zumanity. I was about to debut my pole act, the very first pole act ever in a CDS show and I was petrified. I was sitting on top of a prop television which was below the stage and was elevated up to stage level slowly at the beginning of the act. I remember feeling so out of my comfort zone that I wanted to run away. My heart was pounding and I was sure I was going to mess it up and be a laughing stock. As the stage leveled the audience was hushed, my eyes locked with my partner Brandon Pereyda’s, and he gave me the hugest grin and a cheeky wink and I knew I had at least one person on my side. I had him. We had become fast friends before we knew we would be dancing together and we have remained extremely close through the distance and the years.

My second favorite memory has also to do with one of my most beautiful friends Luba Kazentsteva. During rehearsals of the CDS show Micheal Jackson the Immortal World tour I had been involved in a horrible accident. After being rushed to hospital unconscious and needing emergency surgery my mind was a little fuzzy but one of the first things that I remember is Luba holding my hand. I knew she would always be there for me no matter what – and she always has been, just as I will for her.

BK: Tell us more about your circus accident and getting back on the track after it. What happened and how did you recover? Was it hard to come back? Do you lose your insane flexibility when you don’t train?
FC: I was involved in a mechanical accident that left me with a broken jaw, broken wrist, dislocated shoulders, chipped pelvis, a severe concussion and a few cuts and bruises. I received an emergency facial reconstruction and had walk around with a metal plate, six screws and four tooth implants in my head. I had my wrist in a cast and jaw wired shut for a few months. After my wires were removed I was sent home to allow my bones to heal fully. I returned to training about 6 months later, I started slowly with cardio but had to stop because I would become dizzy. The fear was that my concussion was the cause. I waited and tried again slowly, I had extensive physio to regain some of the mobility of my jaw. My shoulders were weak and sore. I had to build a stronger core to compensate for the loss of shoulder strength. I worked with a physio who developed a program with me and we trained together almost every day. The training was a combination of pilates, physio, free weights, resistance band and core training. I was able to maintain my flexibility training whilst recovering so the only thing I lost was strength and endurance. The muscle memory was there so it wasn’t like starting from scratch. I just had to be extremely patient. All of my doctors had told me I was extremely lucky to be alive so I found patience and worked as hard I could to get back to where I was. But it took me years and years.

BK: Have you ever experienced a pole burnout? Do you have days when you don’t feel like pole dancing?
FC: I think that now that I have opened a studio and run 2 major competitions throughout the year my issue is not that I don’t feel like dancing but that I don’t have time. I don’t think I have ever not felt like dancing. I love dancing with every part of my being.

BK: Tell us about your studio.
FC: My studio is my happy place. It is a gift and a dream all in one and there is nothing that I could love more. I have tried to create an environment that encourages camraderie and friendship over competition. I strive to make pole affordable so that you can spend the entirety of your free time at the studio without putting a huge strain on your finances. I want to share expert advice and experience but also have fun. We work hard and we laugh hard too. It was very important that everyone feels welcome at Felix Cane Academy. I believe that it’s more than just being the best that matters in pole dancing. It’s about growing and learning together as a community and that’s the feedback that I love to hear, that we are all like a great big family.

Credit: Vertigo Photography

BK: Who are your favorite emerging pole artists?
FC: I really don’t keep up to date with everyone, I find it very very time consuming so I try to be in the studio more than in front of a screen.

BK: What is your all time favorite song to pole to?
FC: The answer to this question changes more than the direction of the wind!

Thank you Felix for sharing your story with us!

For more on The Felix Cane Academy click here.

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Nina

Nina

A pole and lyra enthusiast, day-dreamer and the queen of procrastination.
Find her at Polebook.net
Nina

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