The first time that I met Jessica Smart in one of my pole dance classes, I had my eye on her. I have this innate sense of being able to spot women who want to just “blend in”.
I know because I was one of these women. For way too long. Although I still claim to be an introvert, I’ve also found my voice and passion for coaxing it out of other women.
Being strongly rooted and associated with introversion and shyness, I resonated with this beautiful Goddess.
The usual thoughts occur when you are an introvert…”keep to yourself, don’t draw too much attention, sit back and be cool. God forbid I make a fool of myself. Holy shit what will people think if they find out?”
I saw so much of myself in Jessica.
When I have the pleasure of finding women like Jessica, I am drawn to them.
I feel an insane amount of responsibility to guide them in finding their sexy side, owning their confidence and caring more about what they think rather than what the naysayers do.
Hopefully you enjoy reading the wonderful Goddess spotlight from the beautiful Jessica Smart below, it’s been a true joy watching her metamorphosis.
Occupation and age: Analyst/Public Information Officer; age 34
Kids? Grandkids? If so brag a bit: I have two kids – my son is 8 and my daughter is 6 – they are crazy, silly and wonderful, I love them to pieces and they remind me daily of the important things in life. The best things I’ve ever created!
Your life motto: Be humble and kind and work hard for what you want.
How long have you been a Goddess at Venus? I started at Venus in September 2015.
Have you undergone a transformation (physically, emotionally or both!)? Both! A little over a year ago I realized I had been walking around life in a fog – functioning and getting along fine but not necessarily living! Once I made that realization, I decided to take my life, my entire life, into my own hands… that meant taking care of myself (physically and emotionally), challenging myself (again, physically and emotionally) and generally bettering myself – a little bit every day.
Doing this makes me better able to take care of my family and generally handle whatever life throws my way. I feel empowered and more confident – I still have a long way to go, but I know myself more now and have a self-love that I never possessed before!
Did you have any previous dance or fitness training before starting Venus? For several years I ran to stay in shape – this worked with keeping me at a certain weight and lean looking, but I was absolutely NOT strong. The last year or so I’ve been doing Pilates and TRX and then slowly integrating pole dancing at Venus – that’s when I realized just how NOT strong I was!
What made you decide to take classes? As part of my new journey in truly living life, I started pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I’d heard about pole classes for a couple of years and while intrigued, it intimidated me – sexy I was not! But I just decided one day to schedule a class and I did and I’ve never looked back.
Although, that first class did have me nearly hyperventilating in the parking lot wondering why on earth I was pushing myself like this?! But I walked in anyway, despite my nerves, my self-doubt, my anxiety about it, my fear of the unknown and had my first Intro to Pole class with Gina (who is absolutely amazing!) and the rest is history!
What fears held you back (if you had any!) before you joined? What people would say if they found out (I still struggle with this). If it was something that was ok to do. While I still struggle with the potential judgement or harassment from friends and co-workers that could come out of doing this – I love it. I don’t shout it from the roof tops, but if it comes up, I don’t shy away from it, I am not ashamed of it.
It’s empowering and I think every woman should be empowered, even if pole dance class isn’t their thing, they should find their thing and do it. I also don’t do this for any other reason than for myself.
I now see myself differently and I love the transformation it has helped spur inside me – it goes beyond working out and being fit.
Favorite class and why? I love the 5-week Pole 101 sessions! I love to learn a routine from start to finish and do so with a group of women over the course of 5 weeks. Pole Foundations is another favorite because I am still new and growing my “bag of tricks” – this class certainly challenges me.
What is it that you LOVE about Venus? I love the environment and the variety. I’ve never felt judged – but inspired and challenged. I love that there are all kinds of women there – all shapes, all sizes, all backgrounds and fitness levels and yet we all share this bond of pole dancing. It’s an incredible thing and I always enjoy my time in the studio. We are all supportive of one another – people remember names!
I tend to be a wallflower, I don’t usually feel like anyone will remember me or my name… the first time Diane said my name during a warmup my head snapped up – it was both a wonderful and terrifying feeling of being seen. Seen in a vulnerable state. Seen and known and unable to hide – but in a good way, in belonging and being held accountable to show up because they know if you don’t! And that’s when I knew Venus was different. It’s a family and an accountability network and I look forward to becoming more a part of it.
My first “partner” in a class was Sammy – I’ll never forget how nice she was to me! She encouraged me, gave me tips and said “you’ve got this down, now let’s work on your sexy” – it made me laugh and feel at ease. I don’t know if she knows how much that meant to me – that she cared enough to want to see me do better and have more confidence in myself.
Platforms, barefeet or legwarmers? Platforms! Everything is better (and often more difficult – uh, pole squats anyone?) in platforms!
What are your current pole goals? I want to work on the ability to climb (with less bruising!) – make it look more graceful and be less painful. Eventually I’d love to be able to invert – the ladies that do it are amazing, it takes a lot of strength and dedication to get there!
What are your current fitness goals? I want to get in the best shape of my life. I want to look and feel strong. I’ve gotten past the number on the scale, I care now that I get fit, strong, firm and grow my confidence.
What is your favorite Goddess recipe? I don’t have one yet – can’t wait for the #strongandsexysummerjumpstart to find one!
Do you have a favorite song to pole dance to? Probably the “Crazy in Love” remix by Beyonce we performed to at the April Open House. I also like “All We Do” by Trey Songz
We LOVE music at Venus Pole Fitness. What 3 songs would be featured on the soundtrack to YOUR life?
- Confident by Demi Lovato
- The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy
- The River by Jordan Feliz
Final Question: Any inspirational advice you would like to share with women who are afraid to come to the studio and start their own transformation? The idea is scary – trust me, I know! BUT – it’s worth the nervousness to give it a shot. It will push you outside your comfort zone, but in the best way possible.
You will learn so much about yourself and you will get to meet an amazing group of women who actually care about you! And guess what? We’ve all been the “new girl” – we all took that first step to take that first class.
But watch out, it is addicting and soon you may not recognize yourself – in the best way possible!
If you would have told me months ago, when I sat in the parking lot wondering “what in the heck have I gotten myself into”, that I would have performed in an Open House the following April and ENJOYED it (in front of my mom and a slew of strangers, no less!) I’d have said you were crazy.
But that’s what happened, and I’d do it again.
What a great story right!?
Are you ready to finally step outside your comfort zone? If your head automatically goes to that place of “I could never do that” or “holy shit what would people think?”. That is the loud scream of your inner bitch feeding you a bunch of bullshit.
Standing next to that inner bitch is your Inner Goddess. She’s smiling because she knows you are up for bigger and better things. For owning your sexy side and being a little daring. She knows you’ll love the rush of doing something completely outside your comfort zone.
Your Inner Goddess is waiting on the other side of our latest transformation program, Goddess Body University and we are ready to help you meet her. She’s coaxing you to join us NOW because we start on Monday. Are you going to continue to ignore here? If you are ready to listen, make sure to go over and register before you change your mind HERE.