Dr. Chris Talbot, 2014 Mr. Pole Dance World, is the Blue Phoenix – marine biologist, body transformation specialist, fitness model and pole dance instructor/performer.
1. You made history as the first Liquid Motion Licensed Instructor in the continent of Australia! Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion.
I first got involved with LM at Pole Expo a few years back. I took one of Jeni’s workshops and was totally hooked! A few years later, I was able to come to NYC to do my 1.0 certification (which was incredible) and become licensed to teach back in Australia! I connected with the concepts immediately, and loved how it changed my way of thinking about movement and coordination and flow! And its been an honour to bring it to my country to show the Aussies these amazing techniques and methods.
2. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?
My motto is: “Healthy Mind ~ Healthy Body ~ Healthy Life”. Everything needs a balance, and these things go hand in hand and facilitate each other! My teaching philosophy acknowledges that people learn in different ways and at different rates – and this should always be embraced and accommodated and celebrated accordingly.
3. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience? Your biggest struggle as an instructor?
The most rewarding thing about teaching is seeing my students develop and progress through the levels, and achieving their goals with their tricks/routines/strength/flexibility etc. It’s the best feeling to watch them grow! The biggest struggle has been the same for all of us this past year – COVID really killed our groove and livelihood – and trying to get everyone back on track and comfortable again has been a challenge, especially as conditions can change so rapidly. But we’re getting there slowly!
4. How do you apply Liquid Motion as a methodology outside of the studio? Do you feel that it impacts other areas of your life?
LM has really changed the way I teach my classes and do my own dance! I find I can help people more using LM methodology in developing their body awareness and coordination, and just general way of approaching dance. For me personally outside of teaching – I find I am more connected to my movements and feel more organic and powerful.
5. What are your goals in your own personal movement journey? Has Liquid Motion changed the way you work toward these goals?
My movement goals – it blows my mind how dance and pole evolve so quickly, so my ongoing goal is to always keep learning and experimenting and exploring. My style is slowly developing over time, but is constantly open to change and new concepts. And LM has been a HUGE impact here in an amazing way! It’s opened my eyes to more exploration, and I’m so grateful for this as I am feeling more free as a dancer – it’s wonderful!
6. How did you get the name “Blue Phoenix”?
Blue is my favourite colour, and as a marine biologist, it represents the ocean – powerful, always moving and flowing, and unstoppable! The Phoenix represents rebirth and always changing/evolving and adapting – learning from previous experience and coming out stronger and more informed/prepared. I also have a phoenix tattoo on my hip, and it was the name of my first horse – she was beautiful and wild and taught me so much!
7. The last year has been unprecedented for artists and performers. How has COVID affected you as a mover and instructor?
COVID brought us all to a grinding and sudden halt in EVERY way! As an instructor – we had to adapt very quickly to online teaching and making our own online matierals to provide/sell to try and keep a small living happening. There were no shows or performances (half my income) and teaching was almost gone completely too (the other half) except for some zoom classes. It was very lucky that we could still do online work and try keep our students motivated and strong and moving in some way, shape or form. It did give me a chance to do more dance for myself though, which was nice and comforting. I’m so sorry its been so hard for those in other countries as well, and hopefully we can all get back to our studios and routines and students and performances asap!
8. Do you have any hidden talents?
Hidden talents… Well, pole dance was a certainly a hidden talent for me! I was never a dancer growing up, and the opposite of fit – I was a scientist, and later a personal trainer… so this has been a huge change for me and I LOVE it so much! I can also whistle a bit – random and useless but amusing!
9. Do you have any tips for aspiring dancers and/or instructors who are hoping to build a supportive community for themselves?
Surrounding yourself with the right people is hugely important for building a supportive community for your own development. You will see and experience a lot of different personalities and opinions and styles and thoughts – so it can be overwhelming at times. But always be open minded and accepting, even if something isn’t your taste. Celebrate all facets and areas of your art and acknowlege them, and take advice and ideas from them into your own training and development. And be kind – everyone is on their own journey for their own reasons. People can be nasty and quick to criticise, but that’s THEIR prerogative, so stay true to yourself and enjoy your OWN journey with YOUR kind of people who you can grow together with. We have a special thing going here in the pole and dance and movement world – ENJOY it and learn and grow!
10. In one sentence, share a life lesson you’ve learned. What do you think everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime?
Every experience is a lesson in some way – in all areas of life (positive and negative), but if you don’t take a chance – you will never know what could have been.