Dr. Ken, besides being a pole dance instructor, judge, and competitor, is a Doctor of Chiropractic, professionally published author, and photographer. His second place win at Pole Expo 2013 was the launching point of his pole career.
1. What is your astrological sign and your Chinese Zodiac sign?
I am a Virgoboar!
2. What did you want to be when you grew up? If you are not grown up yet, what do you want to be when you grow up?
As a kid, I wanted to help people in as many and effective ways as I could. I realized that being a storyteller, whatever the medium, was the ultimate method of touching people's lives, and since I feel that writing is the most powerful medium of storytelling, the majority of my passion is in that--though photography/doctor-ing/performing all fits under the same umbrella of storytelling.
3. What would be your other dream career besides dancer/ pole dancer?
Oops, I think I already answered that above. My dream career would be a professional full-time storyteller, though photography as a medium for storytelling has become more and more seductive these last 8 months since I started shooting.
4. How do you feel about pole and as Olympic sport?
I'm conflicted, to be honest. I am bored to death by the Olympics as a viewer, and I feel that for many sports, the Olympic mission has stunted the creative energy of the performer. The entire community often is forced to become mere technicians rather than artists. That being said, I respect the discipline and the devotion to making a set of movements as perfect and standardized as possible. While there is still creativity in the Olympics, it does tend to reward perfection above originality. The Olympics would not be for me as a performer, though as a judge I'm sure I would be one of the best with my background as it is.
5. What is something most people may not know about you?
Most of my life, I was afraid of girls--until I got into pole, really. I'm still incredibly awkward, but I've certainly come a long way. Oh, and I've never been drunk, though I do drink socially...This is not an invitation to try to get me drunk, btw ;)
6. What's the most common people ask you when they find out you pole dance? I actually don't think they question much at all. Usually it's along the lines of, "Oh, okay... Like, pole dancing? With a pole?"
7. Sometimes, they try to "rescue" my implication. For instance, "Oh, you mean pole fitness/acrobatics stuff, don't you?" Which implies that they wouldn't expect ME to do what they think of pole dancing.
I usually enjoy leaving it right there, or clarifying that yes, indeed, I mean pole dancing, "No, it's dancing, with a pole."
Beyond that, a surprising number of people have actually "gotten it". Perhaps it's because I live in a very progressive city such as Boulder, Colorado, but many people answer with admiration. "Oh wow! That takes so much strength!" I suppose, times are finally changing!
9. What's rarely asked or do you think they could or should have asked?
They rarely ask right then where they can try it, but obviously *I* think they should be asking that straight away! ;).
.Photo credit: Somer Ahonen Lockbox Studios