The results are in for the APDM Top 50 for 2019/20! This is a list of the Top 50 Most Influential people in the Australian pole community for 2019 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, teaching you, 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.
This year we had an unprecedented number of votes. With so many contributors in the Australian pole community it is impossible to pay tribute to them all! Many incredible and much-loved people will not feature in the Top 50, although over 700 individuals received votes.
We will be revealing the Top 50 in parts, ten people at a time. Here is the first instalment.
Perth’s pole dancing powerhouse, Camille slays all performance styles, from sexy and slow to hard and fast. She packs a punch while still showcasing smooth lines and ridiculous strength. A lawyer by day, she continues to ‘raise the bar’ in Perth – in 2019 she took out Miss Pole Dance WA, and slayed the MPDA finals, she competed in WAPC and APC, as well as teaching the lucky students of Bobbi’s Pole Studio in Perth!
49. Andrea Ryff
Current IPC Ultimate Champion (Masters), Andrea is the owner of Achieve Pole Studio in Sydney. She teaches up to twenty hours each week on top of running her beloved studio, plus travels to teach workshops. In 2019, Andrea was handpicked to become an XPERT Master Trainer and now facilitates these courses around Australia. She filmed a series of online tutorials for X-Pole TV, judged and guest performed at Mr Pole, judged PCS, NSWPC, MPDACT, ACTPC, Halloween Heaven and Kiss It. She ran a weekend of free pole workshops in the X-Pole/Shoe Me Aerial Park at the Australian Fitness Show to encourage newbies to try pole and is an X-Pole Ambassador. She was also featured in Australian Pole Dancers Magazine Spring issue.
48. Simone Wood
2019 marked Simone’s fifth year working at The Pole Boutique, SA. She worked alongside Carlie Hunter organising SAPC, MPDSA, a charity showcase at The Pole Boutique, along with working on and stage managing Slay It student competition. She also worked at The Pole Boutique’s stand at the Fitness Expo helping to promote pole in a positive light! Simone always prides herself in being a friendly welcoming face to new students at the studio, along with supporting and encouraging the returning students whenever they see her at reception. In 2019, Simone was also able to return to pole classes after recovering from a back injury, and also returned to school to begin her masters degree!
47. Brad Edwards
If you did a competition last year that wasn’t shot by Brad, did you really compete? Jokes aside, Brad spent another year dominating the landscape of competitive pole photography. We laughed, we cried, we appreciated all the gratuitous crotch shots and Sunday Bumday contributions he gave us. Sadly, after the best part of a decade shooting pole dancers near and far, Brad decided that 2019 would be his last year of (practically) full time shooting and hopes 2020 will bring a more balanced lifestyle. Far from retirement though, he’ll still be around shows doing what he loves – trying to remind performers that they’re incredible!
46. Melissa Comb (Melly J)
Melissa is the owner of Pole Dance Addiction in Victoria. In 2019, she spent most days teaching classes and privates, running reception and/or working behind the scenes to successfully grow her studio. The biggest challenge of 2019 for Mel was defending the pole community in the media. Her studio decided to run youth classes and received unexpected backlash from across the world. She shared her views on TV, radio and in newspapers to fight against the bullying and misconceptions. Happily, they had a huge amount of support from the community and are still running youth classes every week.
45. Dirdy Birdy
Pioneer in the pole community and all round hottie, in 2019 Dirdy Birdy had a busy year! As well as teaching weekly classes for Pole Dance Academy in Sydney, she placed second at Dance Filthy Pro, guest performed at Step Up Competition, and was a judge and guest performer at Pole Artistry Grand Master Competition in NZ. She also held workshops across Australia, Bali and New Zealand.
44. Rosie Walsh (TPB)
The last year of pole dancing for Rosie has been all about learning, teaching, rehabbing a back injury and creating balance between pole and her social life. She spent the majority of her time teaching and choreographing at The Pole Boutique (between 8-10 hours each week plus privates, she choreographs a lot!), as well as performing as a showgirl and choreographing group shows at the club she works in. She judged student competition Slay It and decided to stay away from pole comps, but is definitely ready and excited to get back into it in 2020. She snuck in a little show girl competition though, coming second place at Exotic Angels.
43. Phoenix Jaed Hardy
In 2019 Jaed spent around ten hours each week teaching for G-Force Pole and Fitness as well as coaching pole competitors. She competed in Pole Theatre Sydney (Pro) and came first in the Drama division with dance partner Gem. She ran and instructed on the East Coast Pole Cruise, and began organising the first Flaunt It Pole Championships – slated to launch this year but with the current unpredictable climate, competitors will need to keep a close eye on announcements regarding this event.
42. Luna (Tanya Watts)
Sydney-based pole and aerial performer and instructor, Luna had a massive year in 2019! It kicked off with performances in the final Encore! Sydney Pole show, followed by international competitions Sultry in the Philippines, and Exotic Generation in Russia. Exploring her aerial skills, she placed first runner up in Miss Lyra SA Semi-Pro and went on to compete in Miss Lyra Australia. Halloween Heaven, Glory Box and Heartstoppers were also part of her aerial adventures. Her passion for teaching regular classes and specialty workshops extended across several studios (Sydney Pole, Show Pony Pole & Burlesque and Aerial Pole Academy), whilst coaching several new competitors. For much of this time she also managed five Sydney Pole studios and regularly trained new instructors! Luna also co-organised the wildly successful bushfire fundraiser ‘Dance For Australia’ in January 2020 which raised over $20,000.
41. Cynthia Xu
The last twelve months were a fun and varied one for Cynthia. After competing in PCS 2019 (placing 4th), she went on to compete in June at Pole Theatre Canada and won the Drama category. On returning home, her full focus became teaching full time (pole and aerials). Cynthia says she has found her passion in teaching. Her career highlight of the last twelve months has been helping to co-organise ‘Dance For Australia’ the online fundraising raffle for bushfire relief. She says: ‘It’s been incredible to see the generosity of the pole community and I cannot thank everyone enough.’