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Getting to Know Jeni Janover – Co-Founder of Liquid Motion

Getting to Know Jeni Janover – Co-Founder of Liquid Motion

Getting to Know Jeni Janover – Co-Founder of Liquid Motion

Comments Off on Getting to Know Jeni Janover – Co-Founder of Liquid Motion
It’s funny because as small as our community still is in comparison to others we still have Pole Celebrities. People admire these pole-ebrities, want autographs, can’t wait to meet them or take a class with them. Sometimes, just like any other celebrity out there, we can forget that they are just like everyone else – they have setbacks, problems at home, a busy life with kids etc. Jeni Janover, while maybe not at the level of stardom as Alethea Austin, Felix Cane and Jenyne Butterfly, is a rapidly growing name in the pole industry with her signature Liquid Motion workshops taking place all over the country. Jeni opens up to UPA in this interview about what life has been like for her since starting pole dancing and what got her into it in the first place. Take a moment to learn about this caring, passionate woman who may be coming to a city near you very soon!

UPA: Tell us how long you’ve been pole dancing and what types of activities or exercise were you involved in before pole?

JJ: I have been pole dancing for three years this March. I was a competitive figure skater when I was young and that’s probably why I don’t get dizzy on spin pole. And I am classically trained in ballet and Jazz. I credit my very strong legs to growing up jumping and dancing. After college I became a gym rat, trying to lose that “freshman 15”.

UPA: What was is specifically for you that drew you into pole dancing?

JJ: Well …..I was in my mid-thirties and I had just finished losing the baby weight from my second son. I was feeling SO frumpy, and I had forgotten what it was like to be a sensual “wild woman”. My life was diapers, daycare, and poop. I am also happily married for 8years, but at that time in my life sex or any other sort of physical contact was off the table. I was either too tired or feeling undesirable. A friend of mine thought I should take a pole class after I had mentioned it in passing. It was something different and since I used to be a wild woman, I gave it a shot. It saved my life physically and mentally, it saved my marriage and gave me purpose beyond motherhood. I found what I loved and what worked for me as a normal every day stay at home mom, and I felt I needed to give back. I am convinced that if I hadn’t taken the big first step (I’m sure your readers know what I mean) I would be lonely.

UPA: There are times lately where you feel like “you want to throw in the towel”, can you tell us a little more about that?

JJ: Oh yes. I recently injured my shoulder, quit badly. I have a new business and lots of tour dates, I was training and getting ready to expand. I had lost sight of the future I wanted and started to get wrapped up in the “new trick fix”. I had some health issues when I was younger that left me with some long term damage, and consequently, I am very prone to injury. So BOOM! I injured my shoulder. I got greedy, if you will, and NOT for money. I wanted that next trick. I wanted to be like the 24 year old girl who started 6 months ago and had passed my level 100 times over. I forgot what I had loved and what I teach!!!!!!. I forgot where I had come from, and how I was doing things at one time in my life when I could say “If I can just do that I will be amazing!” and that was enough for me. I lost my focus, and paid the price. It’s now been 12 weeks I still can’t use my right arm, and I might need surgery. This is something I have to come to terms with, and I will figure it out. I cry all the time wishing it would heal. I have good days and bad. Because of this last injury I have wanted to throw in the towel so many times these last few months. Thinking how will I ever come back from this? Thinking I’m not good enough and feeling lost in a sea of tricks and very strong young bodies. But then I taught a Liquid Class ….. And there it was right in front of me: why I love what I do. I help people realize that they can also be amazing. I sweat, I yell and scream through my class “YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!” I was the drill Sargent of free movement. Then they danced and I cried. I cried because it was so beautiful to watch them grow because of what I taught them. Sometimes injury or hardship makes us really look into ourselves and see what we really want, and what is really possible given our circumstances. Do I still want to throw in the towel every time I wake up and I can’t use my right arm the way I need to? Yes. But do I give in to it? NO NEVER.

UPA: Pole dancing is hard sometimes.  What challenges have you had to face recently? When you first started pole dancing, what types of challenges did you face then?

JJ: Well I did have a lot of health issues starting out and with the help of my good friends and peers I have gotten through it. But I deal with the things we all do, the balance between life and pole, Family and pole, and drive vs obsession or as I like to call it …….LIFE. Yes, LIFE got in the way of my pole LIFE. I live in CT with my husband and 4 and 6 year old boys. I have an 18 year old sister and two very wonderful but very involved parents. I made choices. I teach, I started and run my own business, and I am a stay at home mom. This does not leave a whole lot of time to train. I fall into the FB trap, I compare myself, as we all do, to the girls or guys who just get in what seems like no time at all. But then I think, “Wait a second, considering all the other things I do and the amount of time I can logistically put in, I’m doing great!” I realized that my biggest challenge is myself. As for the pole stigma, sure I deal with that all the time, and now I just say “Screw it”. I don’t have time to deal with society’s shortcomings. No lap dances for them ….. Just kidding.

UPA: What would you say to someone who is feeling like “throwing in the towel” when it comes to these types of challenges that you have had to deal with?

 
JJ: My advice is to remember where you came from, how you started, and why you do this. Are you trying to be the next world champion, or are you someone with a passion for something you love. Evaluate what you want and then prioritize your life to make it happen. I would say step back and remember that first pole class, remember the first time you saw someone climb the pole. Remember what you wanted then, and remember how far you have come. Remember that things are not always what they seem, and that the person who seems perfect or that never struggles … they do. Remember that as wonderful as it is….. ITS JUST POLE. Be creative; if you are injured find a way to challenge your mind. Maybe sit in on class, take notes. Train something else, and work on your verbal cueing if you teach, or take a needed break. If it’s a money issue, see if you can work study, or get a scholarship (that’s what I did). If its time, find as much time as is reasonable and undisruptive to the rest of your life, and base your progress ON THAT. At the end of the day there needs to be a formula that works for YOU, not for someone else.
UPA: We notice that you have very loyal students/fans.  Besides being awesome, why do you think this has been the case for you and Liquid Motion?
JJ: Wow thank you. This is a kinda long answer but it’s the most important. Yes I have very loyal students and friends, but awesome I am not. I think Liquid Motion and I have been so successful because I am a normal everyday person. I am not gifted in any way shape or form, and I don’t hold myself to any standards. I am totally ridiculous and silly and honest with everyone I meet. I am totally dedicated to everyone who takes my class, whether its pole or Liquid Motion. I make it a point for everybody to leave that class feeling great. I tell them that if they leave class learning one thing they did not know before they have succeeded, because that’s what I do. I don’t have a lot of fancy credentials; I just have my own life to draw from, and what worked for me. If my methods do not work for them, I try to find them someone whose methods will. I pride myself on knowing, what I DON’T know and what I’m NOT good at. I feel I have a way of understanding people and can make them feel at ease. Let’s face it, what we do is crazy, and sometimes we look ridiculous, or things happen that we can’t control. For example…
A fart. Yup I said it, a fart. So if my student farts when they shoulder mount, well guess what so do I. No one should ever feel embarrassed or stupid EVER. I have no filter obviously, but because of this people seem to feel at ease, and supported when I teach. I laugh, I swear I cry, I say “ass”, “boobs” and “crotch” all the time, and if I’m just kicking back with a student, I will share stories about my kids and their poop …… hahaha! I’m totally honest with my students about everything. At the end of the day I remind them that I am just like them, but maybe with a little more experience.
Lastly I just want to say to everybody out there whether you’re a student or instructor, remember people look up to you. That does not mean you always need to be the poster child for perfect!!!!! Sometimes our greatest downfalls can be what teach someone something. The expressios “learn from your mistakes”, well remember other people can learn from them to. I love your Pole world and I how I will always have your support, but more importantly your respect. Thank you to United Pole Artists for asking me to do this interview. I feel truly honored.

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