Meet Our Team: kaya Zakrzewska

Meet Kaya Zakrzewska – Kaya teaches regularly at Pole Flow Berlin and is one of our core team members. Just a few years ago Kaya started taking classes at Pole Flow, and now she is sharing her on growing knowledge with dozen of pole students all around Berlin.

Kaya (29, she/her) is a pole dancer, teacher and performer. She has been teaching Pole Dance for about 2.5 years, out of which approximately 2 years teaching at Pole Flow Berlin.

Kaya’s classes are known to be exciting, fun and creative. With her bubbly personality Kaya makes everyone feel welcome, and mostly not to take themselves too seriously.

Kaya began her career as an actress, then fell in love with Pole, and since then it’s become a major part of life and is now both a full time career and passion.

But where did it all begin? We sat with Kaya to ask her a few questions about her Pole Dance teaching and performing story.

Before you started pole you were mostly working as an actress for tv and commercials. When did you first become interested in Pole and who were some of your first teachers?

It was a complete zufall (*coincidence) that I came to my first class (at Pole Flow!); a friend (Larsie) convinced me to come with him. I had vaguely wanted to take aerial classes while I lived in Los Angeles, having harbored a childhood desire to join the circus, so I found the idea thrilling but also totally foreign. My very first teacher was Lee Tom and the second was Annie Whamond. I remember my first class: I crawled across the floor (to get water because I was so exhausted by the warmup I thought I was going to throw up? Or perhaps because when given the opportunity I instinctively travel with my butt up and head down?). Lee Tom said I was a natural. Look, I even crawled in an exotic way! I was so flattered that this hot, terrifying(ly), talented woman thought I was a natural(!). Pole dance is exactly how my body wanted to move. Realizing I could be a dancer the way I wanted to do and not be a ballet dancer/more traditional kind of dancer, was such an enlightening moment. Before discovering pole dance, I had a very narrow view of what constituted a professional dancer, I thought it had to involve international touring, modern dance companies and Lincoln Center or prima ballerinas or Broadway.

Writer’s note: Kaya’s mother is a professional Ballet and Modern dancer and teacher. Much of Kaya’s earlier knowledge about dance was influenced by growing up in this environment of the professional modern dance world.

At what point did you decide you wanted to become a teacher and what was your motivation? What other careers did you experience before?

Lee Tom was the one who suggested I could become a teacher and I liked the idea. One day a friend had me cover her classes while she was on vacation. Even Though I had a slight panic attack before my first class, I did really enjoy it! I was an actress before (and during and now and forever, because once an actor always an actor) but less professionally these days. I still do occasional projects directed by friends, some commercials and voiceover work. I was a little lost and unsure whether I wanted to continue in that direction so pole dance gave me a new focus, a new form of creative expression and a new way to perform and explore a skillset (dance and movement) that I had ignored for many many years.

What is the best part about teaching pole for you? Which classes do you enjoy teaching the most?

The pole dance community is one of the most inclusive, supportive, creative, exploratory, kindest, craziest communities I’ve ever encountered and it’s such a pleasure to be a part of it.

I love all of my classes and the students who attend them. Each class serves a different function and gives me a different joy! My beginners classes are wonderful because it’s so powerful to be able to light the spark of pole love for someone for the first time and guide people in the beginning of their pole journey. My more intermediate classes are so, so fun to teach, and to prepare for, because I learn things too, and my exotic classes are deeply personal and help foster my own creativity, which is exciting.

Kaya Zakrzewska teaches regularly at Pole Flow Berlin and is one of our core team members.

What is a challenge for in teaching?

Writing my rechnungen (*invoices). Time management. The importance of instagram and social media. Toeing the line between presenting something new and challenging and the importance of repetition in learning. Remembering to keep learning myself and integrate that new knowledge into my warmup, my classes, my own practice.

How has your experience as a teacher affected your pole dance career?

Being a pole dance teacher has connected me to a community of creatives and collaborators, dancers but also people in all kinds of fields who bring their unique abilities to the table; it’s all very inspiring and has been very fruitful for me artistically, personally, professionally…

Quite apart from who I am as a pole dancer, being a teacher has given me a lot of confidence and made me confront my discomfort with responsibility. I never felt like I could be an authority on something, I was always more of a team player so to be responsible for other people’s safety and learning is a tremendous gift and privilege that I take very seriously.

I teach quite a bit and it can be challenging to evolve as a pole dancer and develop my own skills simply because I don’t always have the time or motivation after teaching to train on my own.

How do you feel your knowledge and experience in acting has affected your teaching style and performance?

I am very theatrical and enjoy musicals and storylines which has been a great help whilst choreographing and creating. It has informed the kind of choreos I enjoy making. In the future I would like to meld the two principles together and do more pole theater pieces.

Teaching as well is for sure a mini performance, so experience in acting and being on stage was very helpful in terms of that.

What is your #1 tip to students who are just starting with pole?

Try not to judge yourself, or compare yourself; have fun and don’t be afraid to be silly or to fail or fall. You are in a safe space and even if you don’t feel wonderful in the beginning, try again and again. It will all pass and change and soon you might actually feel wonderful. There is no prescribed way to dance sexy or be strong so this is all yours and your expression.

You have been teaching at Pole Flow for about 2 years. How has been your experience teaching at pole flow so far?

Pole Flow is my home and my community and it is such a pleasure and an honor to teach here. Pole Flow is where I was born as a pole dancer so it holds a special significance in my life. It was my gateway to another Lebensbeginn (*Life beginning) and where I met many of my dearest friends and met one of my soulmates: the pole.

What other activities do you enjoy doing when off the pole?

Talking, listening, socializing, reading reading reading, writing (rarely), drawing, kissing, shopping, cuddling, dancing, escaping and experiencing and dreaming.

Thank you Kaya for the wonderful talk and beautiful insight into the pole teaching world. We were intrigued by your answers.

We feel so lucky and grateful to have you in our team!

If you enjoyed reading this interview you might also be curious to check her wonderful classes at Pole Flow Berlin: every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

If you have any more question or comments to Kaya feel free to comment below or send us an email to poleflowberlin@gmail.com

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Mateva

Born in 2000, Mateva is a rising Pole Dancer and Pole Dance instructor originating from Italy/Germany. Pole Dance has become her big love since 2017 and she has been sharing her passion through teaching in Vienna, Bavaria and now finally in Berlin, where she is rocking her best pole dance life.

“Teaching gives me so much joy and inspiration. Since I started with no background in dance or sport, I know that pole dancing is for everyone and anyone. I am here to show you how much fun the learning process can be!”

Maria

Maria has recently joined the PFB team as a pole dance instructor and is happy to share her passion with her students.

“I fell in love with movement when I experienced firsthand the mental and physical benefits of working out. In 2017 my passion drove me to start a Fitness and Health Youtube channel, which allowed me to broaden my knowledge through content creation and research. Curiosity kept me learning about new forms of movement until I finally tried Pole Dance in 2018, and I was hooked immediately. Imagine coming from a very repressive, conservative, chauvinistic country and suddenly stepping into a place where nobody is shamed, where sensuality is celebrated, diversity is honored, and also… people are STRONG AF!!! I was in awe!

Since that day, pole dancing has been helping me connect with my body, reject old belief systems and reframe my own ideas of sensuality, sexuality, and freedom.

I got the opportunity to become a teacher in 2021, and I feel blessed to provide that same safe and encouraging space for others to get stronger, shine bright, and enjoy movement.”

Trisha

Trisha is a professional pole dancer and teacher, originating from Bavaria and since 2022 based in Berlin.

‘’I started my dance journey as a kid taking ballet lessons. My ballet journey lasted roughly 10 years and built the base of my movement as of today. After all those years I got sick of the rigid rules of ballet and wished to explore more. After finding Daria Che on Instagram in 2018 I started taking pole lessons in Munich, where I was based. It started as a hobby but quickly with the love for pole turned into a profession.

Since then I have developed my skills in heels, spinning pole and static flow/ static rotation. I have taken classes with highly skilled trainers such as Estefania Jimenez, Marion Crampe, Lorenza Perrone and of course Daria Che as well. Now I am excited to share my knowledge with my students. I love to focus on details, instead of wild tricks and complicated shapes. I love to keep it playful yet clean and accurate, even with the most basic climbs. Let’s explore and play with the details. I can’t wait to dance with you!’’

Sabrina

Sabrina is a professional dancer, dance teacher and stretching and flexibility instructor. During her dance career she found a personal interest in working on flexibility and body posture. She began teaching stretching classes for dancers and non dancers in 2017 in Argentina and currently continues teaching and dancing in the city of Berlin.

‘’I believe that flexibility is something important for those who do sports, dance or for those who don’t do physical activity as well. Flexibility improves the quality of movement, prevents injuries and contractures. I believe that it is important to work on flexibility in an organic and unforced way. For pole dancers, the elasticity of the body can be a great tool to be able to perform figures and tricks in a fluid and tension-free way.’’

Movement education:

  • Professional dancer and classical dance teacher (School of Classical Dance from La Plata Argentina)
  • Stretching course by biomechanics method in Gurquel Alfred Institute (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Stretching Instructor (AMAIP/ Asociación Mutual Argentina de Instructores y Profesores)

Rosa

Rosa Lisa Groll is a dancer and circus artist from Stuttgart based in Berlin. Already at a young age she started to take dance lessons and joined a youth circus to train various disciplines.

After one year abroad in America where she worked as a circus artist on the trapeze and the handstand art she came to Berlin to make an education as a dancer. Ever since she also has been going to the circus school „International Varieté of Arts“ in Kreuzberg. Besides she has been booked and working in the circus feld as a contortionist and trapeze artist in various shows and events.

I came to poleflow a year ago and am happy to be part of the team to work on flexibility and other cool tricks with you!

Amissa

Amissa is a mover, performer and monkey at heart. They lived their early human-years always dancing and playing in youth theater groups.

Amissa’s love for pole dancing started when they just arrived in Berlin. After just the first class they were immediately in love. Now, they realize it has meant a lot more than just finding an amazing hobby. It also made them find their way back to dancing, performing, creating. It opened doors to a new world, such as the world of aerial arts and circus arts in general. Amissa is very driven to live their life exploring movement in its broadest sense. They are always eager to learn more and more!

As a teacher, Amissa is passionate to pass on what has brought them so much joy. Every class, the students should feel good about themselves. Creating a safe(r) and wholesome space is much more important than pushing students to do difficult tricks!

Movement education:

  • Certified Advanced Pole
  • Dance Instructor by Le Chat Noir
  • Basis Program at Motion*s Berlin (ongoing)

Sarah

Sarah has been teaching Pole Dance since 2014. She just recently moved from Würzburg to Berlin and is super excited to share her love for Freestyles, Sensual Flows and Trick Technique with you. She joined Pole Flow in October 2021 and loves the studios focus on the sensual, sex-positive and community-building aspect of Pole.

Sarah is fascinated by freestyles, movement research and flows. She has been teaching Pole Dance since 2014 and loves how the sensual aspect of Pole empowers the students, brings them back into their bodies and also allows them to process emotions.

“Pole Dance changed me. It helped me to feel more at home in my body and to reconnect to my femininity and sensuality, made me become more confident and connected me to a beautiful community. Seeing these changes happen to my students fills my heart with so much joy and gratitude.”

Movement education:

  • XPert Level 1 & 2
  • Xpert Children
  • Elevated Flexibility
  • Spin City Flexibility
  • Freestyle Intensive with
  • Tracee Kafer
  • Fluent Body (on going)