Iris Smoot

Performing Art – Los Angeles - Downtown, CA

I first became fascinated with movement while taking gymnastics classes as a young girl. When academics pulled me away, I never thought I would return to that world. But in 2009, I discovered pole dancing videos on YouTube and got the itch to try a class- just one, just for fun. Having no prior dance experience, I wasn’t sure if I would fit in with the other students. However, after the first spin, I knew I had found one of my life\'s great passions. After three years I have fallen in love with the art and the community. I currently teach classes at The Vertitude, a studio in Canoga Park. I gravitate toward more athletic, nature-inspired dance, but my style is constantly evolving and I try to push myself to explore new influences. Through every performance I strive for authenticity, precision, grace, and drama. I always want to live in the moment and remember to breathe in time with my audience. Bellydance nearly seduced me before I found pole, if only for the costumes. So I love to create a complete character with a story for each performance. Pole is not aerial gymnastics to me - it is a contemporary expression of one moment or thought, stretched out and lived in. Besides pole, I am a professional visual journalist and photographer, and I find the art forms very similar. For me, a photograph is a mental experience for photographer and viewer - dance is its physical counterpart. ...more