In honor of our 5th anniversary, NCPP is bringing back some of your favorite judges from years past! Please help us welcome your 2018 judging panel.
Amber Richard has been dancing since the age of 5 and has never stopped! Her first love is classical ballet in which she was trained following the Royal Academy of Dance method and competed throughout high school. She pursued her love of dance through college, graduating from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in Dance. After discovering pole dancing in 2008, Amber was immediately hooked! She was the 2009 West Coast Champion of the U.S. Pole Dance Federation, Pole Artist of the Year in the 2010 American Pole Fitness Association Championship, Veteran of the Year 2012 for Girl Next Door – A Pole Dance Soiree, winner of Best Lyrical Performance in 2012, and Best Group Performance 2012. She is known for her elegant, balletic style which emphasizes extensions, grace, and fluidity. Amber earned her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Southern California in 2013 and enjoys helping all individuals heal from injuries, with a special interest in dance medicine. After starting her career as a physical therapist, Amber started exploring the world of freestyle dancing and contact improvisation. This is currently her primary form of dance practice, whose priorities are authentic expression, innovation, curiosity, and playfulness. Her professional career supports the idea that movement is medicine, and dance is a powerful tool for physical and psychological healing. May we all dance through life, in whatever form!
Sasja embarked on her pole journey in December of 2009 as a student and became an instructor after only 4 months. Having no athletic or dance background, she took to the pole like a fish to water, becoming 2013 California Pole Dance Champion, 2014 National Aerial Pole Art Champion, 2014 Ink-N-Iron Champion and 2017 Pole Theatre Iceland Classique Pro Champion. This three time consecutive National Pole Champion and now International Pole Champion, has performed at Coachella Music Festival in 2016 with recording artist, Halsey, choreographed a pole dance segment for Christina Applegate on funnyordie.com and appeared on several pole dancing segments for network television including, Telemundo, Lifetime, Justin TV, a Fiat commercial and music video with Fergie. Sasja has shared her love of pole dance across the nation and abroad, teaching workshops with emphasis on not only technique, but the necessary mental component, as true growth occurs from the inside out. For someone who once considered shopping her cardio, she now has a deeper appreciation for the connection of body and spirit through the art of dance and fitness. “Every woman should give it a try. Your spirit will thank you for it.
Meet the Bendy Beast! Liz Kinnmark is a pole instructor, performer, and producer based in Memphis, TN. She loves big heels, big splits, and big theatrics. She runs the Memphis-based variety show Poleluminati, and is a co-founder of Queer Pole, a national organization promoting safe spaces and visibility for the queer community within the pole community. When she’s not on the pole, she also teaches yoga and practices graphic design.
Drusilla Ray is a Los Angeles-based pole dancer, instructor, and blogger since 2010. She’s has been teaching for over 5 years. She’s competed and won titles across the United States, including Pacific Pole Championships and Pole Theatre USA, and guest performed at Pole Show LA – Vegas. Her passion is to connect with pole dancers through thoughtful and technical instruction, helping them realize their inner beauty and confidence.
Renee Wu is the founder of Inspiration Studios. She instantly fell in love with pole’s endless possibilities during her very first class, and loves to explore different forms of movement, blending pole with her background in gymnastics and dance. She is known for her precise, detailed, and technical teaching style, and for her graceful, effortlessly fluid movement. Renee is the 2016 Pole Theatre USA Pro Classique Champion, the 2017 PSO Golden Gate Champion, the 2017 PSO National bronze medalist, and the 2017 Pole Theatre USA Pro Art first runner up, to name a few of her competition titles. When not on a pole, you can find her rolling around on the ground, drinking boba, or watching cat videos (often all at the same time).