The results are in for the APDM Top 50 for 2018/19! This is a list of the Top 50 most influential people in the Australian pole community for 2018 as voted by you.
Our aim with this list is to create a platform which allows you to show your appreciation for members of the community who have influenced you in some way. Be it through opening/running a studio, putting on a pole competition, coaching you, creating wonderful and inspiring costumes, taking beautiful images, being an inspirational performer, or even being the friendly receptionist always ready to help. So many people are making amazing contributions to our local community!
For this reason you may not know all of our Top 50, but rest assured they are doing great things in their corner of the country, and have touched many people with their work. We are proud to give you this opportunity to show them how much people appreciate their tireless efforts.
While we were flooded with votes we also know that not everyone will agree with the results. With so many contributors in the Australian pole community it is impossible to pay tribute to them all! Many small business owners, studio owners, event organisers, photographers, performers and teachers will not feature in this years Top 50 although almost 500 people received votes.
We will be revealing the Top 50 in parts, ten people at a time. Here is the second instalment.
40. BRAD EDWARDS
2018 was a slightly quieter and somewhat difficult year for Brad. He secured a corporate role (yay!) that meant that the time available to him to undertake creative developments and private shoots was limited. This meant less time behind the camera and more time in the office (boo!). It took some time for Brad to come to terms with his new role and its demands on his time, and that his availability for photo assignments in the future will be limited. He did manage to shoot several comps in 2018 and as usual, the results were jaw-dropping. Brad also fell in love with a wonderful woman, and they started living together last year which made all the difficult times a little bit easier. Yay for love!
39. MEGAN B
Proud co-owner of Blak Apparel – Australian made polewear for individuals who are “Brave Lit And Killin-it”, released at the start of 2018, Megan had a busy year last year! She was humbled to be invited into the core teaching team with PoleSphere – the only progressive learning platform for pole dancers across the globe. She placed second at VPC and third at APC, judged MPDNSW, MPDV, RPAC and Hardcore – where she also guest performed. Megan is an instructor at Kylie J’s Pole Studio in Geelong, teaching around nine hours each week and coaching students on the comp scene. Aside from all these commitments, Megan works as a nurse and owns her own hip hop school, BC Beatz. Damn girl!
38. FONTAINE BRADBURY
Fontaine is known for her unique exotic style of movement. She is part owner and head instructor at Blackbird in Melbourne where she teaches tricks and dance. In 2018 she travelled Australia and the world to teach, judge and perform. She was a judge and guest performer at Pole Candy, guest performer at Pole Theatre Sydney, choreographer for the Miss Pole Dance Victoria closing show, guest performer at LA Pole Show and taught at the Carmine Black Sexy Seminary in New York and at the Indi Pole Wear exotic retreat in Bali.
37. MEL GRACE
The incredible Mel Grace was crowned Australian Pole Champion last year, a much deserved win. With her stunning lines and divine movement, her passion is advocating for pole art. Her goal to inspire students to dance all styles, however, and not be defined by one. As she says “Some days there’s nothing more I love than 8 inch pleasers and heel bangs!”. While clearly at home in the lyrical pole realm, Mel also represented WA in the finals of MPDA last year for the fourth year running. Last year she created the static pole syllabus for Bobbi’s Perth where she teaches regular classes and coaches up and coming competitors. When she isn’t immersed in the pole community, Mel is working as an Occupational Therapist. What a woman!
36. MELISSA COMB (MELLY J)
Melissa Comb is the owner of Pole Dance Addiction which she opened at the end of 2017. 2018 was spent teaching and growing the studio, she spent most days teaching or looking after reception with her number one goal being to make sure every student who walks through the door has the best experience possible. Melissa says the best thing about teaching is sharing the student’s feelings of excitement and the passion and self-confidence that starts to develop as the students fall in love with pole. To top off the year, Melissa and her studio were featured on the cover of Australian Pole Dancers Magazine.
35. ROSIE WALSH (TPB)
2018 was full of teaching, training and performing for Rosie. She taught classes at The Pole Boutique, whilst taking the time to learn more about the body and conditioning for flexibility. She competed and placed second at SAPC, and guest performed at TPB in-house competition Slay It. Unfortunately after that she found out she had a fractured spine and her training turned into rehab instead. She continued to teach for a while, but a couple of months ago made the hard decision to take some time off teaching to focus on herself and her own training. We know she will come back stronger and bendier than ever!
34. BLUE PHOENIX
Best known for his fluid exotic wavy legs, Sydney based Blue Phoenix had a very eventful year in 2018! He got around on the stage, performing in the Pole Classic, Fringe world festival, Dance for a Difference and Mardi Gras and competing in Pole Candy, Pole Theatre Sydney, Felix Cane Pole Championships and Mr Pole Worlds where he placed 3rd. Blue Phoenix also taught at Cleo’s Rock n Pole high school and judged Dance Filthy Sydney and Pole Theatre USA where he also did guest performances. To add to his achievements, he became the first male ambassador for brands Shoe Me and Lucky Layne.
33. CAT FISH
Cat Fish teaches pole full time between G-force Pole and Fitness and Sydney Pole. In 2018 she “took a break” from competing and only did two major competitions – Survivor and Pole Theatre Semi Pro where she came second with her Napoleon Dynamite routine. She also was a part of the opening show for Pole Candy which was run by Sydney Pole. Aside from teaching, Cat Fish also helps out on the East Coast Pole Cruise every year as it is run by G-Force. She also enjoys enhancing her knowledge as a pole instructor by actively attending workshops and classes on the cruise. Cat believes the best part of Pole is the community and the friends that we make.
32. KRISTY LEE
Mother of APDM’s Most Adorable Pole Pet of 2018, Ollie, and owner/manager of Pole & Aerial Divas Caroline Springs in Victoria, Kristy Lee exploded onto the competition scene last year. She took out first place at Survivor (Advanced Division) and then went on to win Hardcore Semi-Pro. She also competed in doubles, winning VPC and nabbing first runner up at APC. Last year, she expanded her studio to include aerials, and also teaches there around 20 hours per week. Would you believe she also works full time as a Corporate Relations Advisor for the port? This woman is a machine.
31. CALI ROSE
Cali Rose is the studio manager at ShowPony Pole and Burlesque, she also teaches, is the brains behind Cali Rose Creations and Co-founder of Glitz Show competition! In 2018 Cali Rose produced the first ever Glitz Show Competition which focuses on the show aspect of routines. She sponsored a number of events, shows and competitions with her costume label Cali Rose Creations as she believes so much goes into putting a show together and getting it up on stage, and she wants to be a part of rewarding performers for their hard work!