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Pussy Power Hour with Yvonne Smink!

Posted on April 20 2017

We interviewed the creative and inspiring performance genius - Yvonne Smink! Many of us have been astounded, moved and touched by her performances, and in this interview we ask what process Yvonne takes in creating her unique performances, and we get to know a little bit about the woman behind the dancer.

Yvonne is a truly inspiring and unique Pole Dancer, make sure to follow her on instagram (@yvonnesmink) and Facebook (Yvonne Smink - Poledance artist). All of the photographs are taken by the talented Luis Zamora Fotografia (instagram @sevdaliza)

What was your first experience of pole dance?

I was having a night out with a friend that took a course in pole. She showed me some moves on the pole in the middle of the club, and because I was doing wall-climbing as a sport, I already had strength to go upside down. From the moment I tried it, I was addicted…but unfortunately, there was no pole studio in my village (I live in the middle of nowhere), so I looked up tutorials on YouTube. One I loved watching was Karol Helms!

On a street sign that says: “no pooping for dogs” I tried my first fireman. Whoohoo! 😊

What is the general process that you take when creating a performance piece?

Good question! I am not sure if I have a general process for that. Usually, the concept of the performance comes first. Most of the time, it’s an aspect of my life or something that’s close to me and I feel inside.

In the beginning, the concept is often still vague and sometimes just based on a feeling. I freestyle a lot to let the emotions “sink in” and understand better what I am trying to express.

After the feeling starts to settle, I write down words that come to my mind when I think about the performance (like a moodboard, so to speak). Writing it down physically usually helps to create more order in the chaos of feelings in my head.

After that, I start to experiment with the movement (what type of movement is connected to my concept? What am I, who am I, in what way am I moving? Am I in a flow? Am I straight lines? Am I in control or…?)

Sometimes at this stage of the progress, I already have a music, but the more performances I make, the more I notice the music comes later. For me it’s the concept that matters the most.

After that, I start to explore actual combo’s/tricks. For some reason always want to do every move completely new and original, but in real life, that’s just not possible. So when time-wise the stress starts to kick in, I substitute combo’s that only worked so-so (or only are possible in my head 😝 ) with combo’s that I already have been doing and am comfortable with.

When creating a performance piece, what gets you into the creative mood? Do you have any advice for those who want to try something new or break away from their usual style?

Try a training with someone different than your usual style! If you are into pole sport, train with a exotic style dancer, learn from their movement connections and quality (and vice versa). Maybe bring a non-poledancer to your training, for example, a contemporary dancer, a capoeira artist…seeing how they move and/try out some of their stuff! That always gets me new ideas!

If that is not an option for you, go to YouTube (yes! It’s free!). So many interesting dance/art performances online… I love watching hiphop battles - So many crazy interesting things are happening on YouTube!

A fun one for you - If you could marry one well known pole dancer, who would it be? And who would be the maid of honour?!

Lisa Dee said in her last interview she would marry me so I could enter Australia again (I got deported in the beginning of this year and expelled for 3 years)…so hereby I accept her proposal 😊 ) Lisa, it’s a YES ❤!!! When can I move in? 😃

And Jacquie (owner of Bottoms Up in Melbourne) and her daughter Chilli can be my maids of honour? 😊

And maybe Chilli Rox help organise the hen party!?

Outside the pole world, what female inspires you and why?

Sevdaliza. She is an Iranian-Dutch musician based in my country, with a truly unique style. She is not afraid to show the pureness of her artistry, instead of the polished end product. That truly inspires me.

How many people these days dare to show imperfectness?

I love this woman.

If you could be highly skilled in any art, what would it be (pole dance is not allowed as an answer for this question!)?

I’d love to be able to write poems. I’ve always loved reading (I prefer it over watching movies or the TV), and I’m enchanted by the power of words, and the way they can reach the soul.

What really grinds your gears when it comes to the Pole community?

I can get annoyed by polers that are super protective about “their” tricks and constantly “claim” moves/combo’s. Relax people. Just enjoy your practice instead of putting all your energy into negative spirals that go nowhere. Remember why you started in the first place.

What is the BEST thing about the Pole community?

They make me feel like I am enough.

I am very critical towards myself, I never feel like I am pushing myself hard enough, developing myself fast enough, (cross)-training enough…When I teach in different places and people tell me they appreciate my classes, my style, my movement, or just even my energy and smile, that is the best reward I can get.

I know it sounds very cheesy, but it really feels like a warm bath for my soul. Even on social media, people can give me the best feeling in the world when they just write a simple comment under my video, saying that they thought it was beautiful. For me, that makes it all worth it.

Pole is my life and I am happy to share it.

What non-pole related achievement are you proud of?

I have been working for many years now on getting my Driving License…I have some mental struggles with driving and starting to work on myself to overcome my issues may not sound impressive, but is a huge achievement for me. I can’t say how much time it will take to actually get my license, but I am proud of myself on not giving up and keep on making tiny steps in the right direction 

What is the funnest performance you have ever done?

It was actually one of the first performances I ever did! I danced to “I want to break free” - Queen! I dressed up with a vacuum cleaner, heels, skirt AND moustache. I apparently didn’t glue the moustache that well, because I accidentally lost it in the first seconds of the performance and got caught in my heel. I can’t write this down without laughing about this again!!!!!! :D

If you have to chose one pole performance that challenged you the most, which one would it be?

That’s a difficult one. I feel like there is a difference between being challenged mentally and physically.

Mentally, I’d feel like a performance I did in Pole Art France really challenged me, because the concept was a really personal one and close to me. I had a few break downs in the process of creating it.

The physical challenge, is when I dance exotic. It asks for a certain mood/vibe/angle/detail of movement that are not usual for me, and combining that all together makes it super challenging BUT sooooo fun at the same time!…I am super in love with this style. I am probably Olga Koda’s number 1 Fan.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

I adore Lisbon. Such a beautiful city, clean, fresh food, sweet people, great culture, interesting movement and events. I fall in love with this city again and again…can’t wait to visit it this summer (counting the days!)

 If you had to name a pole person who is an inspiration to you, who would it be?

My sister Joanna Silva. She is not my real sister but I call her that because I think in another life we were sisters. She inspires me, in everything she does. The way she lives, the way she sees life, the way she trains, her state of mind…I adore her pureness and everything she does. Sister love <3

Pole dancing has empowered many women to be comfortable in their own skin, and express their sensuality. Is there a part of Pole Dancing or the Pole community that you find to be detrimental to feminism or body positivity? 

I think in every community (at least, a large and growing one like ours), there are “incidents” happening. Polers insulting other polers by the way they look, dance, or express themselfs. I don’t think these incidents will ever fully disappear, but I see the way the (online) community is handeling it is going in the right direction. I love following women like Michelle Shimmy and Roz Mays who are not afraid of speaking their mind. Much love and appreciation to you guys! <3

What a fantastic interview, we hope you liked getting to know more about Yvonne Smink as much as we did! Like and comment what you'd like to hear from this blog and other Pussy Power Hours! 

We also asked Yvonne what her fave piece is from the Teevocative range... she loved the XX tee! Shop Yvonnes pick here.  

xx tee

1 comment

  • Trisha: April 21, 2017

    Yvonne Smink is my favourite she is so unique! Come back to Australia please I want a class so bad with you!

    Her octopussy performance in France is just THE BEST!!! SO SO CREATIVE!

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