Nicole Williams' fame soared to dizzy new heights after Rihanna tweeted and posted her audition tape for Pour It Up to her own Youtube account, reaching over 5 million views. Now Nicole the Pole steals the show, spinning around upside-down and walking on air in i-D and Diesel's new film, A-Z of Dance. P is for Pole!
i-D and Diesel's A-Z of Dance film sets hearts alight and clubs on fire. Krumping, Twerking, Rumba and Bhangra show off the verstility of Diesel's Jogg Jeans, but P is the sexiest letter in the alphabet and Nicole Williams is The Pole Dancer! The 33 year old, LA born and bred babe, was a personal trainer before attending a house party complete with a couple of pole-dancing strippers in 2007. Since then she's opened her own dance and fitness studio, Allure, performed on stage with Bruno Mars, and taught Loni Love how to work a pole on The Ellen Show - Nicole the Pole, you got soul! We find out how she got into the often misconceived sport and talk about the difference between the studio and the strip club...
What was it like working on i-D's A-Z of Dance?
I had an amazing time. Everyone treated me so nicely and made sure I was taken care of. On the day of my shoot there was also the 'Voguer' and 'Turfeinz' guys and I got to see them dancing. It got me hype to really do my thing and really show my skills.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a psychologist. I went through a rough upbringing and so I wanted to help kids learn how to deal with physical & emotional abuse. And I wanted to teach parents how to deal with their anger and not to take it out on their children.
How did you get into pole dancing?
I’m an all-around athlete, I grew up playing sports. I’m a major tomboy and love being competitive and playing with the guys. One day while at a house party, someone set up a pole in the house and two girls there were doing poletricks. When I first saw this, I never knew anything of pole dance and the girls there were strippers. They were flipping upside-down and spinning. It grabbed my attention because it looked athletic and cool, so I had them show me some tricks and I was addicted that night. A few months later I got my own pole for my home and started teaching myself in my living room by watching videos on Youtube.
"I don’t knock strip clubs or strippers at all because I enjoy watching women who have nice bodies and know how to work the stage. But that lifestyle just isn’t for me."
What were your views on pole dancing before you got into it?
Like everyone, I associated a pole with strip clubs and strippers. I didn’t know there were pole dance studios until after I started doing it myself.
What’s your favorite move?
My signature moves which are the Death Drop with Push up toss, the Phoenix, Ceiling Stand and Air Walk. These tricks never get old and are always crowd pleasers and excite people as they seem quite death defying and impossible.
Where were you and how did you react when you found out Rihanna had hand-picked you for Pour It Up?
I was in Las Vegas headed back to Los Angeles when I got a call from the casting director that I had got the part. It was so unbelievable but I know I killed it in my audition and knew I had to be a part of this video. I’m so honored that she loved what I did and chose me herself, that really boosted my confidence. There are a lot of amazing pole dancers out there, but I learned that there is only one Nicole The Pole. There are other pole dancers who are stronger, have dance training, who are contortionists and can do better tricks but there is no one else who can do me. So after getting that job and all the amazing jobs that came after, it further encouraged me to always be me. Never try to conform to what others may think I should look like, don’t try to be anyone else, just be me and do what I’m good at. And I always give this advice to new people coming up in this industry, to always be themselves.
What was it like working with Rihanna?
Rihanna came out on set once we got on the poles, she wanted to see all the action. She walked over and was like "Oh my God! You're so f*cked up. The sh*t you were doing on the pole was amazing. You are so strong, how do you do the stuff you do?" It was so dope to be told by Rihanna that I was amazing. She was super nice to all us dancers on set.
What’s the difference between the type of dancing done by strippers, and the dancing you do?
The biggest thing as that we perform in two different arenas. Strippers work in strip clubs and I teach pole dance classes in a pole dance studio, do competitions in a safe and professional venue, and showcase and perform in classy and upscale venues. Also, strippers take off their clothes or have to dance on a stage for a short time and then work for lap dances and tips. As a pole dancer, that is not my lifestyle and being a pole dancer does not make me want to work in a strip club at all. I don’t knock strip clubs or strippers at all because I enjoy watching women who have nice bodies and know how to work the stage, but that lifestyle just isn’t for me. The other big difference between what strippers do and what I do is really in the movement and performance. Strippers have what some may call, a more raunchy or exotic/sexual movement to how they dance. Whereas, as a pole dancer, I’m focused more on the athleticism and being sensual but not in an over the top way. But all pole dancers have their own style and that’s what makes the sport/art form so awesome.
Do you ever teach any strippers at Allure?
Every blue moon we get a stripper in the studio, but it’s rare. Most strippers learn in the club from other girls.
"I do street poling all the time. Any stop sign, bus stop sign, handicap sign, flag pole, tree. If it’s vertical and the circumference is small enough, my eyes light up and I’m attempting tricks."
If you did have a stripper name, what would you choose?
I always jokingly say my name would be Nikki Fire, because I bring the fire to the stage. Lol!
Your body strength is really amazing, what are your top tips for keeping fit?
I keep fit by doing pole dance only. I seriously stopped lifting weights in the gym when I started pole dancing in 2007. It’s kept my upper body in immaculate shape. I am truly a testament for having a Body by Pole.
Do you have a favourite pole dancer or dancer of all time?
I do not have a favorite of all time. I have a few ladies that I like watching online who inspire me to want to train more or learn to dance but I don’t have one favorite. One of the ladies I like is Phoenix Kazree who is a trained dancer and has performed with the Lion King. I also like Marlo Fisken because she is a larger frame woman but her body is amazingly ripped and she awesome on the pole.
Have you ever whacked out a trick on a lamppost or a street sign?
I do street poling all the time. Any stop sign, bus stop sign, handicap sign, flag pole, tree. If it’s vertical and the circumference is small enough, my eyes light up and I’m attempting tricks. Haha!
What’s your favourite music to dance to?
I love dancing to slow songs - R&B, alternative, bluesy songs, classical, piano songs, live band, instruments. This is the type of music that calls to my inner soul and the music is what calls me to move and is what inspires my movements.
Do you ever get insecure?
Oh yes, totally. I get very uncomfortable when only dancing in front of one person. When there is a room full of people, it doesn’t feel like one person is concentrating on you. I know I still have work to do and areas to improve in my gracefulness and performance value. Sometimes when I’m around other women who are stronger, more flexible, better dancers that can be a bit intimidating but I have to remind myself that we all have a something special and we all have our gifts that we can bring.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you’re doing?
I’d still be doing what I’ve always loved to do and that’s teaching. I love teaching about life, spiritual principles, fitness, health and creating the life of your dreams. My studio is more than a dance/fitness studio. It’s an empowerment center and I teach my clients how to be positive and to take what they learn in class and how to apply it to their daily lives.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Five years from now I see myself as an international powerhouse for fitness, sensual fitness and dance. I want to have instructional DVD's and be the guru for what I do and teaching what I love. I’ll definitely be doing motivational speaking and travelling the world and teaching others to create the life of their dreams.
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