Our August FitShowgirl Spotlight is Vix Nolan. This babely badass is a former New York burlesque performer and banana enthusiast turned west coast sexpot stripper and pole dancer. From her showgirl claws to her perfect mix of punky 70’s glam, her style matches her charm.
Vix has been an inspiration to watch transform over the past few years, from baby Stripper to competing in Pole Dance Expo’s. While scrolling through her Instagram feed, I occasionally catch myself thinking “I want to grow up to be like Vix.” That is if I could manage to muster up half the commitment and dedication she has to her sport and the countless hours she spends training.
What is your name?
How long have you been performing?
I did burlesque for about 4-5 years, and then have been doing aerial and pole performances for about the same, more or less, with a bit of overlap.
What type of performance do you do?
Exclusively pole dance, these days
What does fit mean to you?
Being active in your own body in a way that makes you feel good
When do you feel your best?
When I’m upside down in the air (on a pole, preferably)
How often do you workout or are you active?
I go through phases, depending on if I’m gearing up for a show or competition. I guess I do a personal work out 2-3 times a week, take 1 or 2 extra classes a week if my budget allows, and take a weekly contortion style stretching class.
My job is pretty active but I don’t consider it part of my wellness since I rarely have the opportunity for a proper warm up, and there are extreme cool down times between sets.
Do you prefer to work out at home, the gym or attend classes?
The only at home “work out” I do is stretching, which includes about a 20 minute warm up, and then 40-60 minutes of stretching exercises. Otherwise, I prefer going to a pole studio to do my own work out or taking classes, which are the most fun and frankly, the only reason I’m into fitness at all. I love learning new skills, and staying fit is just a bonus of learning cool new ways to move my body.
Is there a specific type of workout/exercise you haven’t tried but are interested in?
Cyr wheel is the hip “new” thing all the circus kids are trying these days, and I count myself amongst those that are interested in maybe beginning training it. Basically I’m open to at least trying any circus apparatus I haven’t yet had the opportunity to yet.
Is there a certain area of your body you concentrate on when working out?
Since my work out is movement based, the workout is pretty full-body and kind of already built into whatever I’m learning. However, in my warm up I really try to focus on my shoulders being very warm. I utilize foam rollers, resistance bands, shoulders push ups, shoulder rolls, and various yoga movements all to make sure my shoulders/back feel good before I even start any warm up spins on the pole (typically involving spinning around the pole by one arm, getting my arms used to taking my full weight).
For flexibility training, I mostly focus on my legs, and I’m starting to stretch my steel rod of a back.
Do you have a favorite piece of workout gear or accessory?
Haha, ummm, my pineapple disco ball booty shorts by Gigi Moll.
What is your biggest challenge or weakness in regards to health & fitness and what to you do to overcome it?Probably my Crohn’s disease. When I’m not medicated, I’m usually fine although always a little concerned a flare up might strike at any moment. When I’m medicated, it actually suppresses my immune system, which means I’m sick a lot, then don’t get to train, etc. It’s really demoralizing and frustrating.
I’ve found for me, keeping a vegan diet with a focus on lots of veggies and some grains helps regulate my health a lot. I cook a lot, which helps me experiment with what kinds of foods are best for me. I’m honestly not a great cook, but I’ve found ways of making food easy and tasty enough for me.
What was it that got you into pole dancing?
I got into pole dance through stripping. The first club I worked at had a very short pole that was barely used, so when I got hired at my current club that has an approximately 18ft. pole, I felt really intimidated. I remember seeing a friend bust out some amazing tricks one day and thought to myself, “I want to learn that!” The rest is history.
As a stripper and a pole dancer, how do you feel about pole athletes who feel the need to stress they are not a stripper?
No one should feel like they have to take on an identity of something/someone they’re not, but I do get irked by pole fitness folks who feel the need to erase the fact that modern-day pole dance originated in the club in order for them to feel good about their sport. The cool thing about pole (and really any aerial apparatus) is that you can find your own style, so while exotic style doesn’t have to be your style, it also doesn’t mean you have to say disparaging things about those who are in this profession. We’re just people too. Creating an us-vs-them attitude around pole dance and strippers doesn’t actually advance the pole fitness community at all, so let’s make space for all the different types of people who might be participating in this sport.
What are your words of advice for others on how to stay fit & focused in the nightlife world? Oof. It’s a challenge. My advice is try to cook for yourself as often as possible (or at least try to always have food with you that you like to eat/makes you feel good). It can be tough if working nightlife involves working in a bar where drinking is often expected, but try to drink water as much as possible. Aiming to get the same amount of sleep every night (if possible) helps, and stick to your workout routine, even if you’re tired. I’m not trying to say over train; if you need to skip a day, do it and be kind to yourself about it. Listen to your body above all. But again, keeping a routine will help you stay fit and feel good even if you keep weird hours.