FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY
Q & A with the One and Only, Jenyne Butterfly
BY NICOLE CHERRY PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID D’ANGELO
It’s never easy to catch a butterfly, especially one who’s poised to take over the world. Our cover star, for our sixth issue, is one of the most elusive of all butterflies. You have all seen her dance and move with grace and strength. If you were lucky enough to spend time with her, you would find that her innovative performances are only a piece of this amazing woman filled with energy, inspiration, love and smiles, introducing.
Another exciting day of jet setting across the world, I caught up with Jenyne Butterfly as she was boarding a plane to Stockholm, Sweden, to perform at Pole Art 2012. “I’m so excited for this amazing event, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone in my upcoming documentary!” says Jenyne. For the past year, she’s been producing & directing her own documentary of her trav- els through the her eyes. I wanted to hear in her own words, how Jenyne became a household name in within the community, and helped to bring this controversial sport to the mainstream.
vAF : When did you first EXPLODE onto the scene?
JB: My first notable achievement in pole was in 2009, winning the first ever US Pole Dance Championship. About a month, later I placed 2nd in the 2009 World Pole Sport Finals. I am the 8-time champion in Pole-a-Palooza., my favorite local Vegas competition, It didn’t take long for me to realize that competing isn’t my chosen avenue, and I have dedicated 100% of my time to creating artistry on stage for shows.
vAF: Who was your first inspiration that drew you to pole dancing?
JB: When I saw pole for the first time, it was Pantera Blacksmith per- forming 11 years ago. She was entirely my inspiration and started 3 months later, after figuring out I could create my own moves and style. I entered my first competition plaacing 2nd to Pantera.
Just over a year after, in 2003, I built the very first pole studio in Seattle, which was initially just a place for me to train myself.
vAF : What inspired you to make pole a career?
JB: Cirque du Soleil’s talented artists have been the fuel to my cre- ative fire. They showed me, early on in my pole life, that hard work pays off, and you and that it is possible to make a living on stage as a professional performer. I would have to say that the encour- agement and expert advice from my professional dancer fiancé Andrew Ball has been a huge part of me getting to where I am. He pushes and inspires me to be better every day. With the amazing growth in the industry and creativity, I stay focussed every day to
“stay on top” and keep moving forward.
vAF : Who are your biggest supporters who keep you grounded? Your Rock?
JB: “My Rock?”. ( laughing ) I just got a rock on my finger this year from my previously mentioned, extremely handsome, fiancé. He has definitely been my biggest supporter. Especially since he quit his job to work with me full-time! He is my tour manager, head of merchandise sales, personal sports therapy masseuse, keeps me eating right, and is doing the international filming for Pole Movement, my documentary. But there are so many others I have to mention: My best friend Amy Raven has been a big help to me, in learning about nutrition, inspiring me to stay focused on career, love myself and my job, to just be happy and healthy over- all. She is currently providing me with a home in between tours and I don’t know where I would be without her: my soul sister. One more major thanks to my assistant Juliette… She has done so much work to get my office organized and tours planned.
vAF : Can you recount a moment when you realized the impact you have made on pole dancing?
JB: Just ONE moment??? I realized I was reaching people around the world, and touching others’ lives, when girls were getting tears in their eyes just meeting me. They would tell me that my videos were changing the way people perceive pole dance.: di- rectly affected their families and relationships in a positive way. I have worked extremely hard on getting pole out there for others to experience as well. I love my job and feel grateful for every mo- ment! But I can’t take all the credit for what is happening here… Every single studio owner is to thank! Without them providing a safe place for people to gather and practice, I wouldn’t be able to pass on this passion on to my students.
vAF: We heard you were approached to participate in a few real- ity shows, but decided to film your own. Why do all the work?
JB: A lot of directors and producers have approached me. I per- sonally feel a very special attachment to my view on pole and wouldn’t want that to be portrayed, swayed, or altered in any oth- er way. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a control freak, but I don’t know if the vision I have could be created by someone else. I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to participate in almost every single major pole event around the world, and it has all happened so fast. The only way to capture it correctly was just grab a camera and go! I am still studying and collaborating to make sure the past, current, and future of pole is presented in the perfect way.
vAF: What’s on the horizon for Miss Butterfly?
JB: I just completed my first book! It’s called Vuelo, meaning flight or wing in Spanish, and can be found at www.vuelobook.com. It’s a photography book containing pictures of poses on my three
apparatus, showing the direct connection and similarities of pole and aerial. I hope it gets seen by many and can help with credibil- ity and appreciation for this art. My VERY biggest most exciting news ever is that Cirque du Soleil asked me to create a character to perform in their new show celebrating the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. They are such an epic company, the absolute biggest and best, for live entertainment, in the whole world. I am grateful to be taking this step in my career, and it couldn’t be more perfect at this time! I will be playing a role on a new appa- ratus, as the only female solo of the show, and happy to be back home in Vegas.
vAF : What has kept you striving to continue to raise the bar in pole dancing?
JB: Watching myself, actually! I am a pretty tough critic and every time I see one of my videos, I think of all the ways it could be better.
vAF: What tips do you have for staying healthy and strong?
JB: Eat right, drink more water, rest up, get massages often, soak in the tub, and spend hours up in the air, stretch, stretch, streeeeeeetch, spend time with friends, laugh, wear sunscreen, and PLEASE recycle….the earth needs to be healthy too.
vAF : What are your must haves for pole?
JB: I never leave home without my yoga mat, resistance band, Light Activewear shorts and top, Lululemon long sleeved warm- up shirt and pants, leg warmers, iPod, creativity notebook, baby wipes, and hand lotion for after practice. Every time I get to use X-poles it makes for a better performance, hands down.
vAF: How do you get your workout on? JB: You can follow me in my workout sessions on www.polean-
daerial.com. I try to spend 2-3 hours, 5 days a week in the studio. vAF: What cross training activities do you do?
JB: My schedule also includes practice in yoga, gymnastics, aerial silks, and lyra.
vAF : What advice do you have for those striving to make a career in pole?
JB: Well if you would like to make money and use your skills as a career path, you can submit to perform with my company! Mariposa Entertainment Artists, booking pole dancers and aerial- ists around the world at special events.
Find Nicole @ nicolecherry.net