Our “I Am Her” series features the female movers and shakers of the industry to learn how femininity and power coincide beautifully and seamlessly together.
Pole dancing is one of the biggest artistic fitness activities in today's wellness scene. The undeniable grace and strength that comes with a single number is truly awe-inspiring. However, its sensual nature is still not completely accepted by some, relegating its messages of power, strength, and freedom.
This is why we turned to Kayleen Ortiz, one of the founding members of Polecats Manila and the highest certified aerialist in the Philippines, to talk about her journey on finding strength and identity in pole dancing. We asked her about her thoughts on empowerment and essentials, as well as breaking free from the objectification that is often associated with the sport she loves.
Name three words or phrases to describe yourself.
"I’m a Movement Artist, Fitness Creative and International Pole Champion."
How did you make your way into the world of pole-dancing?
"I was in my senior year in University when I first tried pole. I was completing a requirement for my Art Appreciation class, and I saw an ad for a pole doubles performance happening in Makati. I’ve never seen a pole performance before and was genuinely curious. So I went for it and wrote about it for my paper.
I loved the performance number, and I had never seen strength shown in that manner before. It was graceful yet undeniably powerful. At the end of their performance, I came up to the performers and asked them to teach me. That was when I met my first teacher, CD. I went to the studio, and little did I know that one day, my pole classmates in that room will become the Polecats Manila we all know now."