Melissa – Director - Founder
Melissa – Director - Founder
Alexe – co-founder
Alexe – co-founder
Alexe co-founded LAP / LDA (originally the London Academy of Pole Dancing) in 2006, following her passion and success as a pole teacher and events manager.
After graduation from a prestigious London university with a BA in Music Business & Management, Alexe created a successful events company which organises concerts and festivals in England, Ireland and on continental Europe (totalling over a hundred sensational bands from 5 continents) while making LAP her number one professional activity at the same time! Identifying the gap in fitness industry the market for pole dancers flexibility and circus performers like herself and teaming up with Melissa, LAP was born, Being the first to offer these types of classes soon took the fitness industry by storm in gyms such as LA Fitness, Virgin Active, Fitness First to name a few.
Having danced all her life and performed on stage from a very young age (including the Royal Festival Hall with Lionel Blair), Alexe applied her unmatched organisational skills to multiple roles in the industry (prominent things from events, sales and promotion, stage manager to performer and teacher).
Moving her way up everywhere around London, from Spitalfields, Kings Cross Scala and Camden venues & clubs, LAP came to synchronise many of her passions. performance, dance, management, marketing, and most of all, being free from anyone else’s intervention.
With over 15 years teaching experience, Alexe has also been a part of different Circus troupes and perform at a wide range of events from Glastonbury to Torture Garden.
Over the years, Alexe and Melissa have expanded LDA from being the first in providing not just pole dancing and LDA designed classes such as Extreme stretch, Bikini bootcamp.
Now an umbrella company LDA: Proposing event management and/or performers for major corporate clients, hen parties supplier, designer clothing range for dancers and run a Dancers & Performers agency . They officially opened their very popular London Dance Academy studios in the trendy Old Street area in 2012.
Now Alexe has now retired as LDA director, concentrating on starting her new family.
Alexi is a Level 4 Master Trainer with 8 years experience within the Health and Fitness Industry as a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor. With a degree in professional musical theatre training across a variety of dance styles, Alexi has taught Pole Dance at Beginner and Intermediate Level at a LDA for 5 years now.
Specialising in Sports Specific Conditioning, corrective exercise, functional training and Flexibility, Alexi will take you to the peak of your ability, with a primary focus on strength and conditioning to unleash your true potential. Expect to work hard in her classes and watch your fitness excel. Expect a variety of training approaches within her classes, with a fun and energising yet results orientated approach. All abilities welcome.
Alexi teaches the following class formats: Kettlebells, Reformer Pilates, HITT, Pole Dance, Boxing, Skill Circuits, Bootcamp, Beginner to Advanced Core Workouts, and Deep Dynamic Stretch. All abilities welcome.
Andrew teaches our Pole Lads classes every week at London Dance Academy. Having completed his pole instructor qualification, he continues to refine his skills in house through our ongoing teacher training.
Andrew has competed in and won the Parapole title at both the IPSF European Championships and IPSF World Championships in Canada. He was also voted Male Athlete of the Year.
Andrew first discovered London Dance Academy through chance after reading about Antigravity Yoga; London Dance Academy was the only studio in the UK offering classes at the time. Although he hadn’t exercised for 16 years, following an accident that left him with reduced use of his leg, Andrew enjoyed the class and the studio and soon became curious about the pole dancing on offer.
Watch Andrew’s incredible story in this short film on youtube
Despite his worries about his injuries, Andrew became addicted to pole from his very first few classes. “When you achieve a move that you’ve always wanted to do and you finally get it, the elation is amazing.”
Although he eventually took the decision to have his injured lower leg amputated in early 2018, Andrew got back to training very soon afterwards. Just over a year on, he is now a Parapole World Champion, having won gold at both the IPSF’s championships in Holland and World Finals in Canada.
Andrew loves the “endorphin rush” of new tricks most of all, especially in challenging or unusual combos. Expect to build some serious strength and achieve impressive moves in his classes!
Andrew insists that with the right support and people around you, you can achieve anything you want in life. “There’s something out there for everybody.”
Angeliki started dancing at the age of four and her training includes ballet, contemporary, jazz and modern theatre dance.
In 2014 she graduated from the National Centre for Circus Arts in London with a Foundation Degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Circus Arts. Specialising in aerial straps, Angeliki blends movement principals with straps technique to create her own unique style of performance.
For the last few years she has been performing and teaching a variety of aerial disciplines in the UK and abroad.
Anna started rhythmic gymnastics at just 5 years old and in 1997, she spent a summer in Moscow, training with the Russian National Squad. From 2001 she formed part of the British Rhythmic Gymnastics Squad. After graduating with a language degree from Cambridge University, she moved out to Argentina in 2007, where she first discovered her passion for circus. She began training at ‘Club de Trapecistas’ in Buenos Aires and by 2011, she was performing on a regular basis as an aerialist with the contemporary circus collective ‘Amor Eterno.’
In early 2013, Anna moved to São Paulo, where she joined the prestigious circus company ‘Grupo Ares.’ She performed at a number of international events, circus festivals and theatre shows as an aerialist and contortionist. Some of her performances have included hanging from cranes to perform her aerial hoop routine, as well as doing aerial dance routines on some of Sao Paulo’s highest sky scrapers and famous monuments. She worked as a guest artist for a number of companies and directors including “Circo Vox”, “Trupe Guezá”, “Circo Show”, “Febre Coletivo”, “Companhia Base” and “Diálogos acrobáticos.” In the summer of 2013, she performed her aerial hoop routine at the famous Zur Wilden Renate Club in Berlin. In 2014, she won the Capital Fitness Pole Dance Championships in Brasilia.
Anna has a passion for teaching and during her time in Brazil, she worked as an aerials teacher at ‘Competition Gym’ and as a pole and flex instructor at pole dancing schools such as “Metrópole”, “Escola Duda Ribeiro” and “Miss Pole Dance.” She has also taught a number of experimental aerials workshops in São Paulo, with a focus on physical theatre techniques.
In 2017, Anna won several titles in national and international competitions, including: UK Aerial Championships (1st Place), Pole Art France (1st place, semi-professional category), Pole Art Spain (1st place, semi-professional division) and UKPPC (1st place, Instructor category).
Anouska has been training at LDA since 2016. She first tried pole dancing on a ‘whim’ and soon became obsessed.
Pole dancing gave her more confidence than she ever thought possible and brought true happiness into her life. Her goal is to pass on the magic that she has discovered through pole onto others so that they can fall in love with it as she has.
Anouska is also a qualified personal trainer and has a background in martial arts.
Cat has been doing pole for 6 years (back when everyone used 50mm). She is now an Elite level pole dancer, having recently begun competing internationally. She loves flow and enjoys getting lost in the music when dancing. Cat thinks the best part of pole dance is making it your own and enjoying it. Having no background in dance/gymnastics and not being able to even touch her toes when she started she is a firm believer that anything is possible if you put your mind to it!
Over the past few years she has competed often, including Winning UKPPC Professional 2015 and 3rd Place IPAAT Champions and has also competed at Pole Art in Cyprus and MPD UK. She has also judged for MPD Semi Pro 2016 and Bangor Inter Uni Pole Competition. She loves to perform and performs pole, hoop, hoop doubles at any chance she gets.
Cat is a qualified PT and Sports Nutritional adviser. She offers pole, PT and nutrition guidance, advanced flexibility and competition choreography/prep packages.
Charly (aka Marie-charlotte aka MC) is a cover teacher at London Dance Academy. She is Exercise to Music (ETM Level 2) and XPert Pole Level 1 and 2 qualified. Charly is also a 200 hour certified yoga teacher and qualified personal trainer with pre and post natal certifications. She has competed as a finalist at Floorplay, the Kent and Yorkshire Pole Championships and PSO Europe.
Originally hailing from the South of France, Charly is a trained ballet, jazz and contemporary dancer. Charly first discovered pole when she was living in Sydney in 2013.
She accompanied a friend to a taster class at the famous Bobbi’s Pole Studio: “After the first class, I was doomed, all I could think about was pole dancing!” What made her fall in love with pole in those early stages? “The empowerment. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed my body and what it could do. The older I get, the prouder I get!”
Charly has lived all around the world. She completed her 200 hours yoga teacher training in Hawaii and Aerial Yoga teacher training in Houston. Eventually she settled down in London and completed her pole instructor training.
Nowadays, Charly says pole brings creativity, physical and mental strength and a “worldwide community of friends” to her life. As a teacher, Charly is passionate about creating a safe place for students where they can thrive and progress at their own pace safely. Her own proudest pole achievement is getting back to strength following the birth of her first child in 2018, proving that new mums can absolutely practice the sport too if they choose.
What makes Charly’s classes unique? “ROCK n ROLL! A good class is a class where you clack your heels to the sound of an electric guitar!”
Charly is all about Rock, Metal and Industrial music and specializes in floorwork, classic pole and exotic.
Her motto? “Creepy is sexy”.
Claire has training in ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz and pole. She currently teaches Foundation – Intermediate levels of the pole syllabus for the London Dance Academy as well as hosting hen parties and performing in corporate and commercial events.
As Claire has had vast experience in the entertainment industry, she is also the coordinator for the events department of the London Dance Academy so please don’t hesitate to contact her should you require performers for any occasion.
Claudia Contortionist has been proclaimed as ‘Britain’s Bendiest Woman’. (This Morning ITV, Daily Mail Online, The Sun Online).
She is one of the most highly-skilled contortionists performing in the UK today. Claudia trained at The National Centre for Circus Arts where she earned a first class honours degree. Her performances include amazing handstands combined with unbelievable moves such as the triple fold, as well as The Marinelli Bend (considered to be one of the most difficult and dangerous contortion positions).
Claudia was the contortion body double for The Mummy (Sofia Boutella), and for Nagini (Claudia Kim) in The Crimes of Grindelwald. Her TV work includes Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, This Morning, TFI Friday, Officially Amazing, Extraordinary Bodies, Extraordinary Humans, and Culture Shock.
She has appeared in many commercials and advertising campaigns. Her contortion work has also led her to work with many fashion designers, including Vivienne Westwood. She has performed at many top venues and at numerous nightclubs, hotels and private parties both in the UK and abroad.
Her extensive training and experience include Commercial dance, Hip Hop, House, Burlesque. She is an all round dancer that teaches hen parties and dance workshops in Burlesque, Belly Dance, Lap dance, and themed dance parties as well as pole dance.
Emma is a multi-faceted teacher with extensive training in dance and fitness. She also has two world renowned WBFF fitness competitions under her belt.
Having dance background, she provides guidance and assistance in dance choreography, posture and stage presence coaching.
Getting someone up to speed at beginner pole dance level is Emma’s another expertise. Private beginner pole session are welcome.
Possessing extensive knowledge in body conditioning, Emma can assist in private body weight and gym equipment body conditioning sessions.
Her method focuses on achieving results within a short space of time, efficiently and effectively, in an environment that fosters the notion that exercise should be fun, motivational and impactful.
Hanna is originally from Cardiff and currently based in London. She began her dance training as an associate of The Royal Ballet School, National Dance Company Wales and National Youth Dance Wales. During this time she danced works by Ohad Naharin, Itzik Galili, Stephen Petronio, Odette Hughes and Theo Clinkard.
During her professional training at London Contemporary Dance School, Hanna performed and toured with the Bundesjugendballet & JustUs Dance Theatre on their Spring tour of ‘Infinite Identities’. She then went on to join Danish Dance Theatre as an apprentice upon graduating, taking part in the company’s debut European tour of ‘Firebird’.
Her most notable performances include ‘Polaris’ choreographed by Crystal Pite at Sadler’s Wells and performing as a soloist in Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Cinema World Tour’ at the O2 Arena, choreographed by Catarina Carvalho of Company Wayne McGregor.
Hannah Rose teaches our core pole level classes and spin pole at levels 3 to 5, alongside Conditioning, Splits and Pole Performance.
Hannah Rose is a professional Pole Dancer and Circus Artist based in London. She is the twice winner of the UK Professional Pole Championships at Elite level and 3 times winner of the Best Tricks Award. She also competes internationally and last year she won 3rd place in Womens’ International Elite at Pole Art France.
In her performance career her most recent highlights include the opening of the BRIT awards and as a semi-finalist on Ninja Warrior. She has also judged numerous competitions across the UK and internationally including UKPPC, Pole Revolutions and IUPDC. And she teaches masterclasses across the UK and abroad.
She uses her intimate knowledge of the body gained from her circus training to help develop students’ pole dance technique so they can execute moves safely and beautifully. She is also Xpert and First Aid qualified.
She has been pole dancing since 2010 and teaching for the last 6 years. Hannah is also a professional trained circus artist specialising in Aerial Straps. She uses her knowledge gained from her circus training to help develop her students’ pole dance technique. She is known for her badass dynamic style and flowing combos and static spins on the pole. Her passion and dedication to teaching shows. And she shares her love for pole with her students. Hannah loves helping students achieve tricks they’ve been working on for months, and watching them develop their own style or create routines.
Her teaching motto is everything is achievable with the right amount of conditioning, technique and practise. Nothing is out of reach, there is no such thing as ‘I can’t’ just ‘I can’t yet’!
Isis Victoria Rose started dancing as soon as she started to walk. A professional dancer for over 9 years, Isis has studied at central London’s renowned Pineapple Dance Studios and The Place. She is an exceptionally trained dancer in ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop and commercial dance. Isis found the passion for pole 5 years ago and indulged in learning circus acrobatic skills to add to her artistry.
Isis’s talents have demanded her to perform around the world and in music videos, in 2011 she performed and supported the award winning, eccentric world star Lady Gaga in India . Talent going unnoticed, Isis came 2nd place at the 2009 British Hip Hop championships, which led her to become a judge at the annual I Love Tour dance in Spain.
With a love for art and expression, Isis engages in and out of London’s best cabaret and corporate shows in burlesque,showgirls and pole performing. Isis also last year performed on TV for Ant and Dec’s ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ for the big reunion and Big Brother’s bit on the side.
In-between performing, Isis’s extensive knowledge and expertise in her profession has led her to choreograph shows and teach at many venues Pineapple Dance Studios, Reebok centre to name a few also presenting a convention for RIP fitness; plus one to one personal mentoring and training.
She was part of a touring youth circus in Switzerland as a child, performing various skills such as acrobatics, trapeze, unicycle, rope dancing and even a bit of juggling. She has also performed in Swiss musical theatre, tried her hand at Irish step dance and practised kickboxing.
Jackie got first introduced to pole dancing at the start of 2015 through working in the music industry. She realised she had never appreciated the gymnastic / acrobatic elements required for pole dance, which was precisely what got her hooked. She fell in love with pole instantly and has been training intensively at London Dance Academy ever since, qualifying as a teacher in 2016.
Jackie’s proudest achievement in the pole dance world is placing first in ‘Experienced Pole Doubles’ and ‘Best Tricks Overall’ at the Pole Revolution UK Competition 2019 together with her pole bestie Magda.
For Jackie Pole Dance is life! She says that pole dancing has greatly increased her confidence and body awareness. If she can’t train or be in the studio for even one day, she starts to get FOMO. “The people (students and fellow teachers) are all so warm and welcoming, it feels like a second home to me”.
Pixie Le Knot is one of the most flexible contortionists in the UK. She performs the most extreme and amazing backbends which very few other british contortionists are able to achieve. She currently performs contortion and acrobatic acts at venues all over the world and has appeared in many films, commercials, virals, music videos and publicity stunts.
Pixie Le Knot plays Kayla in HBO’s Game Of Thrones, appeared in Paramount’s horror movie ‘The Devil Inside’, recent horror thriller ‘It Never Sleeps‘ and touching feature film ‘My Feral Heart‘ as well as featuring in ITV 1’s Get Your Act Together teaching and performing contortion with Emmerdale’s Roxy Shahidi.
She is currently filming on Warner Bros ‘Jungle Book: Origins’ directed by Andy Serkis.
Accomplished and experienced international aerialist and acrobat. Jo Foley has over 15 years experience performing with gymnastics, theatre and circus for a variety of events ranging from commercials and music videos to corporate events and private parties and everything in between.
Drawing from this wealth of knowledge and experience, Jo is also an acclaimed circus tutor, emphasising strong technique, attention to details and lots of fun!
Katarina teaches our morning and lunchtime pole level classes from Discover Pole, levels 1 through to 3, holistic stretch and splits and aerial yoga.
She is a qualified pole trainer with Spin City, a 200hr Yoga Alliance instructor, and a personal trainer. She has further qualifications in Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise (QCF) and ETM (Exercise To Music Level 2). And through BoxingYoga™ she found out more about the importance of yoga for every day life.
Katarina first fell in love with Pole fitness in 2009, as a result of attending just one class for fun with her friend. “At the time pole was not that well known as a form of exercise with only a few small studios. It was hard to find studios or videos to practice with.”Katarina persevered and began training with pole innovator Elena Gibson. She had always wanted to work in the fitness industry, and found pole fitness so inspiring that she decided to become a qualified instructor. “I followed my dream, and therefore I am here today, teaching at the best pole studio in London!”
Alongside her pole training, Katarina also found yoga invaluable for complementing her training and everyday life. She took the big decision to travel to India to deepen her knowledge and complete her 200 hours yoga teacher training. A true multitasker and all rounder in the studio, Katarina is always signing up for new courses. She invests in training and books to keep herself updated with the latest trends in the fitness industry. She is passionate about helping people of all fitness levels achieve their goals. And was voted Pole Fitness Ambassador in 2014.
You can expect a strong emphasis on strength building, safety and above all fun in Katarina’s pole classes. Whilst her yoga and stretch classes are taught in a slow, relaxing style with deep stretches and mindfulness to give body and mind a break. “What a perfect match: Yoga and Pole!”
Lauren considers herself to be an old-school poler, favouring the simple, classic moves done well over the crazy, super-strong-and-flexy moves everyone seems to be doing now!
She has been pole dancing for 4 years having started when I was at uni, and quickly turned a hobby into a passion/obsession, and now (hopefully!) a career. Her proudest achievement to date is winning my first ever competition – The Authentic Pole Dance 2015.
Magda teaches Splits and our Pole level classes here at London Dance Academy. She runs weekly Discover Pole and Level 2 classes as well as frequently covering for all levels from 1 through to 4.
Magda qualified as a pole dance instructor in Poland, training under the talented eye of Edyta Borchowiec in 2016. She has since competed in the pole doubles category with fellow London Dance Academy instructor Jackie. In IPAAT, Pole Theatre UK, Heir To The Chrome. And winning second place at Pole Sport Zurich, and first place at Pole Revolution UK.
Pole dance fills her life with positive energy and brings a big smile to her face each time she enters the studio.
Maya (aka Iracy Veloso ) comes from a dance background (ballet, contemporary and folk dance). She has a BA in Physical Education from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil.
Maya arrived in London in 1998. She has been pole dancing for more than fifteen years and teaching pole for the last ten years. Initially self-taught, she began training in 2006 with former UK and world pole champion Elena Gibson. She was later invited to become part of her select team of teachers.
Maya was a finalist in pole dance competitions in both the UK and abroad between 2006 and 2012. (Pole Divas 2006 and 2009 finalist, Miss Pole Dance UK 2009 finalist, Pole Art 2010 finalist, as well as UK Professional Pole Championship 2011 finalist). In recent years, she has focused on teaching and improving her skills as a pole instructor.
POLE SPECIFIC TEACHING CERTIFICATIONS:
– 2013: certified by the X-Pert Pole Fitness Certification Program Level 1/2 .
– 2014: certified by elevatED Level 1 Professional Pole Instructor Training.
– 2015: certified by elevatED Flexibility Level 1 Professional Instructor Training.
– 2016: completed FloorFlow Teacher Training Level 1 with Marlo Fisken.
completed Josh Taylor’s Pole Instructor Intensive.
certified by XPERT Pole Fitness Spinning Pole teachers training.
– 2017 certified by Spin City intermediate Pole Fitness Instructor Training.
Mia is a pole, dance and yoga teacher based in London, originally from Norway. She is a professional dancer and choreographer, and has been learning different styles of dance all her life.
She came to London to study for a BA in Contemporary Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Whilst studying at Laban, Mia got addicted to Pole Dance. After a few years, Mia completed her teacher training with Spin City and started teaching Contemporary Pole Dance and established her own Pole and Contemporary Dance Company named «AURORA movement».
When teaching and creating dance, Mia often fuses many different movement vocabularies that she has been training in, such as African traditional dance, house, dancehall, jazz, ballet, gymnastics and different styles of contemporary dance.
She also practices Mixed Martial Arts and Yoga, and is a teacher and student of Budokon. Mia is a certified pole dance teacher, 200 hours Yoga Teacher and 500 hours Budokon Mixed Movement Arts Teacher. Mia is also practicing to become a Seiki Shiatsu and Thai Yoga Massage Therapist.
Nofisa started her pole fitness journey in New Jersey, USA. It was an instant addiction to the sport and her love for pole fitness continues today. Even after having her son, Nofisa is determined to continue her pole journey and is continuously reaching new levels in the sport.
A proud moment in her pole journey is coming 1st place in the talent show section of Miss Galaxy Universe, a Fitness Model Competition for Women.
When it comes to her style of pole dance, Nofisa would describe herself as strong with a lot of sass.
Nofisa is also a Personal Trainer and qualified Exercise to Music Instructor. She loves teaching group fitness classes as it gives her an opportunity to bring a lot of energy and fun to a room full of people.
Sophie teaches our key pole level classes at London Dance Academy, from beginner through to elementary, intermediate and advanced. She also teaches the beg-int level spinning pole classes, and floorwork, flow and stretch.
She qualified with the International Dance Teacher’s Association with an Associate in Freestyle. Sophie placed second in the Instructor category at UKPPC 2017, first in the Pro category at Dance Filthy Southern 2018, and was also a finalist in the Pro Category at UKPPC 2018 and Pole Art UK 2018.
An experienced professional dance teacher, Sophie first tried out pole whilst recovering from an injury and fell in love: “it allowed me to continue dancing and expressing myself through movement whilst in the air.” She stuck with it, enjoying the unique combination of strength and femininity that pole offers.
One of the main benefits pole dance has brought to her life is “meeting a fantastic group of people who have become my family and closest friends”.
Some of her proudest pole achievements to date include placing second in her first ever pole competition, and performing/modelling for Stella McCartney and Adidas for the Spring/Summer 2014 campaign with the London Dance Academy agency.
With over twelve year’s experience in teaching, there’s very few pole woes that Sophie can’t remedy. She is known at the studio for her approachable, friendly teaching personality and patient troubleshooting. Making sure every student in her classes gets enough one on one time.
Her enthusiasm shines through lesson after lesson; “student’s successes and achievements are my successes and achievements. I also love seeing that excitement and joy of ‘I did it!’. It sounds cheesy but it’s very fulfilling.