Need a flexibility guide? Try it with Bendy Kate!
Bendy Kate recently published her new book: Advanced Stretching Series and we were super happy that Dragonfly clothes were part of it. Since Bendy Kate herself says “It’s for polers, yogis, gymnasts, free runners, stunt people, aerialists, contortions, circus performers, fitness instructors but to be honest anyone who wants to improve their flexibility or help others with theirs,” it was immediately clear that we need to know more about this!
As the title would suggest, it’s focused on stretching and it’s divided into 7 chapters with each chapter focusing on a different part of your body. There are also some bonus chapters that will inspire you to stretch with your partner, to use a foam roller or to do wall, dynamic, active or combination stretches. Your stretching will simply never be boring with this book. However, it is not directed at complete beginners. So if you’re new to stretching, we’d recommend to start with some easier stretches and ask an instructor because doing it right is important. Nevertheless, you can still read the interview with Bendy Kate because it’s about all the things we love: the book, motivation and pole dance.
Tell us more about the book. How did you come up with an idea to create a book about advanced stretching?
Well, I’ve always wanted to write and book and maybe some sort of DVD to do with flexibility as it’s a field I feel I have a lot to give in. My degree was in Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation (BSc Hons) and I have been a competitive gymnast most of my childhood. Since adopting the nickname Bendy Kate from my friends and then it turning into my stage name I became really fascinated in flexibility and how to improve it effectively and safely. Luckily my manager Kate Edwards is already very knowledgeable in teaching fitness and creating fitness resources. So she inspired me to create the book on stretching after seeing her Spin City Pole and Hoop bibles.
How long did it take to create the book since you first started thinking about it?
I would say I first started thinking about creating a book seriously 3 years ago. Since then I had been collecting ideas, planning a format for the book, writing down stretches to include. A year ago I started planning and directing the photoshoot with Scrumptious Photography. After the first photoshoot, I had to go through the thousands of images to choose which ones I wanted to keep for the book. Then came the second shoot – to take all the ones that I had forgotten to take on the first one! (my manager told me this would happen – I didn’t believe her!). And then for about 6 months solidly I was piecing the book together on every long-haul plane journey, any free time I had before teaching workshops and even before I was performing too! After the book was finished there was still a lot of work to do with printing samples, changing anything I wasn’t happy with etc and finally okaying the book! It’s ironic because obviously a lot of work went into the book – but when it’s done you feel like you didn’t do anything at all!
Did you enjoy working on it? Which part of the creative process was the best one?
I think directing the photoshoot was my favourite part 😀 My friends; Caroline, Kirsty and Ali loved being involved and getting to wear Dragonfly goodies.
Who should definitely have it at home?
Polers, yogis, gymnasts, free runners, stunt people, aerialists, contortions, circus performers, fitness instructors but to be honest anyone who wants to improve their flexibility or help others with theirs. As the name suggests it is an advanced stretching book but it also includes plenty of beginner and intermediate stretches too!
And are you already thinking about your next book?
Of course! I’m working on two new books as we speak but obviously, can’t say anything about them at this stage.
You’ve been doing pole dance for quite a while now. What made you fall in love with it?
I think the creativity. When I was a gymnast I was one of the very few acrobats who choreographed their own routines (Most people would get their coaches to do it or hire choreographers). Pole enables me to do this again; tell a story through dance.
And what do you enjoy the most about it now?
For me training – I would say floorwork and flow, but this changes on a monthly basis. I obviously love teaching too as this is what I spend most of my time doing and I’m always so inspired by and grateful for the students who make an effort to come to my workshops.
What are your favourite pole dance figures or moves?
Again these change really often but I’m really into flexibility moves on the pole and hoop at the minute.
Where do you find inspiration, who and what inspires you?
Everywhere and everyone! My students, IG, youtube, facebook, dancers, rhythmic gymnasts, friends, music, movies. I’m a very influential person so the smallest things can end up inspiring me to create something bigger!
How often do you train? And how does your average training look like?
My training is dependent on my teaching and travelling. But if I’m home I train between 1-4 hours a day whether that is; pole, gym, gymnastics, hoop, silks, running, handbalancing, stretching or contortion. I try to vary my training each day though and have at least one day off a week to reduce the risk of injury.
Do you keep a special diet to stay fit?
My base diet is usually quite clean, lots of fish veg and fruit. But sometimes I have naughty snacks like; croissants or chocolate! But I think it’s important to have a “normal” diet and to allow yourself a treat every once in a while. I take lots of vitamins and supplements to keep me fit when I’m travelling and teaching a lot. With a job like this you can’t really get ill!
And when you’re not exercising, what do you like to do to relax?
I love walking and hanging out with my dog Peanut! Other weird and random hobbies include; adventure races, running, sewing, knitting and generally anything crafty!
What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far?
It would have to be two things; winning the World Championships in 2014 and writing and releasing my own book!
And do you have any goal that you’d like to achieve in the pole dance world?
I’d love to achieve a few things:
- To place in a few of the competitions I really admire
- To create more learning resources
- To create my own studio one day!
When you are travelling for pole events, what are the must haves for your travel bag?
- Dry hands
- Some form of costume
- Underwear (I have been known to forget this on several occasions!)
If someone has never tried pole dance before, what’s a good way to start getting involved in it?
Just turning up to a local class. You will make tons of friends too!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your Dragonfly fans?
That Dragonfly rocks; it’s one of my fave workout clothing because of the unique designs and incredibly comfy fabric!
Thank you for telling us more about your book and pole dance, it was nice to chat with you!