Meeting Mai Sato :)

16 Mar

I am largely aware of the fact that shaking off the erotic exterior of pole dancing is a challenge that may take years to achieve. The appreciation of the beauty of the human form as well as the complex tricks it can manage to pattern itself into while suspended on a tool that bears sexual symbolisms is one that requires significant amount of time, not to mention, a lengthy process of debate and dialectic.

Though the cause of changing mindsets may seem bordering the impossible, it is important that individuals who champion it remain steadfast in their desire to witness the actualization of the goal. Success of a movement lies not in the immediate outcome that each singular act can reap. Instead, it lies in the existence of a force that remains consistent and intact amidst opposition.

Slowly but surely, this new art form will eventually transition from the borders of the obscene into the fold of legitimate and acceptable discipline. Our responsibility as forwarders of the cause is to constantly strive to master the craft. Our bodies are living examples of what can live outside of that whorish stereotype people see it to be.

The Trip to the Studio


Wandering the streets of KL on your own isn’t as bad as it sounds. Though admittedly, the threat of getting lost and never being found did scare me quite a few times throughout the course of my 3 day solitude. Minutes seemed to pass longer than usual, and details of the world around me seemed more vivid than how my dull senses would normally perceive them to be.

I spent most of the day walking. The idea of being alone in a land that knows very little of me seemed overwhelming. The newness of the entire experience was my main source of joy.

Viva Vertical

Back in Manila, I already heard stories about Viva Vertical as CD and Myla took their IPDFA certification under Emily. Making them the first ever certified pole instructors in the Philippines. This group of performing artists has set the bar on pole dancing in the Asian region to greater heights. I was determined to find them and to take a few classes as well.

But what made the trip to their studio truly special was the fact that World Pole Champion Mai Sato was there to conduct a special workshop on pole fit. Meeting her is great as it is, but the chance to learn under her is a dream. I was ecstatic.

Meeting Mai Sato

I took the train at Pasar Seni and got off at Dang Wangi. The train ride was pleasant and the locals were nice enough to fill in my lack of skill when it comes to knowing where I am. As I got off the train, the lovely Nana of Viva Circus walked me to the studio where the girls welcomed me with warm smiles.



I entered feeling nervous and excited at the same time. It was strange how something so familiar can appear to be so foreign.

I looked around and soaked in the beauty of the place. The deep purple drapes that cover the window panes were elegant. The crystal chandeliers that hang from the ceilings were absolutely beautiful. I was certain that I was in for a treat. True enough the class turned out to be more than what I had ever hoped for it to be.

Mai shook my hand as I introduced myself to her. She was nice and very pretty. It was amazing how so much talent could be that pleasant. Truly, she bears the heart and soul of a real champion. A trait that made her even more awesome than she already is. I offered her the gift we Polecats prepared for her. She delightedly opened the package and thanked me.


Meeting her was one of the best things ever. My consciousness still couldn’t manage to wrap itself around such truth just yet.


The Class

Mai started off the advanced pole fit class sampling a few tricks I have never tried before. It was a good thing that we do plenty of conditioning exercises back home at Gen Studios, because the things she taught were pretty intense. Not to mention, bordering the impossible. She is (I must say) beyond human. Strength was a major requirement to survive the class. This was the day I was more than thankful to have such manly arms. 🙂


She taught the class complex combinations that are both spin and trick put together. Her version of the stopper to a back-leg hook to a spinning inverted thigh-hold was epic. Most of the students (including myself) struggled at first. After much pain, grunting and sweating, we eventually managed to accomplish each task she laid before us.


She graciously smiled and praised us for every successful trick done well. Also, she was keen on pointing out errors that need correction. In fact, Mai even shared some of her own secrets on how to make each trick look extra pretty. One could really tell how great of a dancer she was by her awareness of how each move is perceived by the spectator.



After an hour of wonderful torture, I stayed and took the pole dance class. She taught us students a simple routine that emphasized a lot on flexibility and grace. I realized how simple things can look fabulous once done properly. In this class I learned that it’s not the complexity of the routine that makes a dance look beautiful. Instead, it’s the flawlessness of execution that truly captivates the audience.


Class ended with my body feeling as sore as can be and my heart as delighted as ever. We said our farewells and parted ways. I left the studio smiling to myself. It was truly an honor to have attended the workshop by Mai Sato. I remain eternally grateful to all those who helped make this trip possible.

I come home with renewed eagerness to get better and stronger in the craft that I have come to love and respect. I am certain that one day the world will see this art form through my eyes.



9 Responses to “Meeting Mai Sato :)”

  1. Claire March 16, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    OMG!!!! I haven’t read the article but I kiss the ground that Mai Sato walks on…..Oh my gawd! Ok, breathe, lemme read the article first.

    • polecatsmanila March 16, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      Claire! We all love her 🙂 Hope you like the article! Feel free to share it around!

      • sexysadie March 17, 2011 at 7:56 am #

        I so love her!!! She’s sooo awesome!

  2. Claire March 16, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    Can I have a pic taken with the autographed pole? Sigh….

    • polecatsmanila March 17, 2011 at 8:42 am #

      Hahaha! Claire you’re funny. When the extension happens to be at the studio GO! 😀

  3. sexysadie March 17, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    This is SOOOOOOO AWESOME! Mai Sato!!! 😀


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