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Full Time Pole Star: Nadia Sharif

By on May 5, 2018

As part of our series on Full Time Pole Stars, we interview various stars on the business of being a pole star. For this installment, we talk to Bad Kitty® Brand Ambassador Nadia Sharif.

Describe your daily routine? How long to you spend training in the studio or gym and how long to you spend at a computer doing the administrative stuff?

The daily routine varies so much depending on if I’m home, preparing for a performance or on the road. I spend anywhere from 4-10 hours a week at the studio either teaching or training. Admin work usually just consists of staring at my calendar, seeing if I have enough future work to support myself and then filling the gaps, along with creating content to post on my social media platforms. I likely spend at least 10 hours a week on admin. 

Do you work with any other service professionals to help with the stuff you’re not good at or don’t like? Such as accounting, social media, tour scheduling?

I don’t really use any other services to help me with bookings, accounting or social media. In the past I did rely on Poles On Tour for booking my international tours, but these days I do my best to avoid studio hopping tours. 

Broadly, can you describe your income streams and frequency? For instance, do you make a regular salary at a studio + some merchandise sales? Or does all your income come in batches like from doing a tour?

Income used to depend 100% on tours and I spent a significant amount of time on the road the past 5 years. For the past year I’ve developed a unique clothing collection that has given me the ability to stay home more, which I am very excited and happy about. 

How do you manage your daily/monthly budget?

My monthly income varies so much. So when I have a good month and make more money than I need, I know I could chill out the following month. Typically I make about 3x more on the road than I do at home. So when I do my bookings I keep this in mind. Being home is a necessity for my sanity and training. 

Are you saving for retirement?

I’m saving in general, but not necessarily for retirement. I’m not sure what my future holds but I’m down for the ride. 

Do you have a partner, spouse, parent, roommate or other person that helps you? With meeting your budget, acting as support “staff,” or other?

My mom is my world. She has emotionally supported me through this crazy life and I’m so grateful for her. She doesn’t help me with my budget or work life but she always reminds me how lucky I am and to be happy. 

If you had another job before – what do you miss about it?

I used to be an Instrumetation Engineer, and while I hated the hours and the dress code of working in an office, I do miss the feeling of completing engineering projects.  

If you didn’t have a job before – what do you think you’re missing out on?

The only thing I’m missing are the benefits of a corporate job like 401K, paid time off, sick leave etc. I’m happy missing those things with the life I live though. 

Are you worried at all about longevity of your career? And of your body?

I’m not worried about my body. I am a creative person and will always create in one way or another. When my body no longer wants to dance for a living, I will find a new path. 

What is your self-care and recovery regime?

Self care means rest at home for me. It’s nothing crazy or special. It’s just how I reset. An occasional chiropractic session and/or massages are just icing on the cake.

Have you ever been injured? How did that affect your career?

I’ve been injured a few times, usually always leading up to competition. I just do what I have to do to be able to continue with my schedule. There have been times where an injury is so serious I have to skip on work, but luckily never for long. 

Is there anything you wish you knew before you started on this road?

Not really. Learning how to live this life is a major part of the fun. When I first started I was a “yes” girl, taking any gig and any pay that was offered to me. These days I have the experience and expertise to decide what I should and shouldn’t do. 

Anything else you’d like to share with someone who is thinking of making the leap to being a full time pole-fessional (teacher, touring teacher, other)?

This life is not for everyone. There are no guarantees in this career. If you are doing it because of the money, you will be disappointed, not because there is no money in this industry, because there is, but without passion it’s not nearly enough. 



Colleen Jolly
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Colleen Jolly

is AFAA and elevatED certified pole dance enthusiast and entrepreneur. She has been poling for six years, runs and owns the International Pole Convention (PoleCon), teaches pole and lyra in the DC metro area at FIT4Polers and MyBodyShop, and is a partner and instructor with She loves performing, regularly competes, and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two kitties.
Colleen Jolly
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