Watch: The Sway & Art Of Pole Dancing With Maple Asaro
Whether it’s on the pole or in the competitive F&B industry, Maple Asaro seems to possess a limitless range of mobility. The founder and chief instructor of Bobbi’s Pole Studio is also known for her creative vision behind luxe Southeast Asian cuisine and property empire Samadhi Retreats, where she works alongside her restaurateur husband, Federico Asaro.
In recent years, her pole dancing studio has proven to be a wild success, attributed to her burning passion for dance and choreography. Maple opened Bobbi’s Pole Studio 10 years ago, two years after starting her pole journey. An ardent Madonna fan, Maple had always wanted to do something of her own, and it was by chance that she found her calling in a dance form that marries the flexibility of a gymnast and the strength of an acrobat.
We came calling at Maple’s Bangsar-based studio, where the doe-eyed, bronze-skinned lady boss lifted the veil to her happy place.
It was by chance that Maple Asaro found her calling in a dance form that marries the flexibility of a gymnast and the strength of an acrobat
How would you describe Bobbi’s Pole Studio?
Bobbi’s Pole Studio is, to me and my students, a place we escape to discover our greatness, and shut out the world outside. Here, we unleash what we never thought or imagined we could be. You will discover what your strengths are and face your fears. People come and learn that they are flexible and that they are actually strong. They discover they are actually performers, and some even ended up being dancers.
Does one need to be a dancer or suitably fit to do pole?
Not at all. People always say ‘I need to be fit first’ or’ I need to be strong’. When you think that way, it’s like saying, ‘I need to build muscles first before I go to the gym to lift weights’. This is a place of fitness, it’s a place where you learn how to work out to be strong.
What are the different types of pole dancing, and which do you specialise in?
There is pole sport, which is on a static pole and very gymnastic. There is also lyrical, which is contemporary and without shoes. What we do here is sexy style pole dancing. There’s a lot of fun in what we do, from the high heels to the way we work the pole, the floor and even the chair. There are many ways to be sensuous, and also in the way we get dressed up in class. We do a lot of concept showtime in class itself. There are many themes we can create out of this style.
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What was your formative training background like?
Pole dancing is the only art form that I'm professionally trained in. Prior to that, my 'teacher' would be (pop queen) Madonna—I spent my childhood and teenage years watching and copying her. I was voguing and copying her many dance routines. I was a street dancer and then later on, hired to dance professionally; that's where I learned about choreography.
Why should women give pole dancing a shot?
Why not? I think every woman in their lifetime should do it once. It is a female empowerment thing to do. Once you set foot in the studio and you realise you can do a spin and you can hoist your body weight up, it is very empowering. It is a powerful thing when you realise that you are strong and you look beautiful.
Should men give it a try?
Men are born with upper body strength women don’t have. So a man can pick up a move that a woman would take two months to nail. And then there are the tricks - a man can go upside down on the pole on the first try.
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How has pole dancing shaped your daily life?
Once you start to pole dance, you get addicted to it. You eat better, and do more home exercises and conditioning so that you become fitter and stronger.
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- Photography Dean Shaari
- Videography Dean Shaari