In the first of a series of interviews with both Aussie and International Pole Celebrities, I recently had the opportunity to chat with one of Australia's newest "stars"...Maria Cossia from Queensland (Australia).
About Maria Maria grew up in Argentina and moved to Australia with her young family in 2005. Growing up she started gymnastics and dancing from a very young age and worked with a contemporary dance company in Buenos Aires before starting to coach gymnastics. When Maria moved to Australia she continued coaching gymnastics and trained as a PT and group fitness trainer. She came across The Pole Gym in Lawnton (Qld) not long after and her passion for pole dance has been growing ever since.
The Pole Gym studio owner, Dannah Dowling, has since become Maria's best friend and has travelled with her to every competition. Maria says, "I feel like I have found my family here." After a bit of time off the pole, Maria came back to training in the middle of last year and entered her first amateur comp at the Gold Coast in October. "I was very nervous about competing and it was an awesome surprise when I won the final. This gave me the boost of confidence to train for a bigger competition and so I entered Pole Candy Semi-Po Comp, where I placed runner-up," Maria told us.
Following this experience, Maria went on to compete in the Australian Pole Fitness Championships. Then it was the Queensland Pole Championships where she was awarded the title of Queensland Pole Champion 2013, and this opened the door to represent Queensland in the Australian Pole Championships in Canberra earlier this month, where she took out the Best Trickster title in the professional division. To top off a very exciting and eventful 2013, Maria was also invited by X-Pole Australia to take part in their Protégé Program.
Maria was kind enough to answer some questions- here's what she had to say...
Cherene: How did you get into pole dancing - what was your motivation and how long have you been doing it?
Maria: I started pole dancing four years ago, but took a break for two years in the middle. When I started out I saw it as another way for me to express myself through
dance, which is one my great passions in life.
Cherene: What's your favourite pole style?
Maria: I love dance in every form, so I don't really have a favourite to be honest. I was part of a contemporary dance company in Argentina so it is a strong influence for me, but I enjoy every genre of dance.
Cherene: Do you have a favourite pole move?
Maria: I don't really have a favourite trick, but some of my go-to tricks when I'm free styling would definitely be aerial back flip and on the spinner pole, Jamilla Split into Allegra combination.
Cherene: What can’t you live without when pole dancing?
Maria: I use mostly just Dew Point for good grip.
Cherene: Tell us a little about the first time you competed/performed publicly.
Maria: My first major competition was in April this year at Pole Candy Semi-Pro where I placed runner-up. I really enjoyed the experience as this competition embraces all different styles and makes every competitor feel very welcome and valued.
Cherene: Do you have any hobbies or passions outside of pole dancing, or how do you like to spend your down time?
Maria: Between pole training and teaching I don't have a lot of spare time, but on my days off I like to go the beach and spend time with my kids.
Cherene: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Maria: I always wanted to be a gymnast or a dancer, as I started to train in these areas when I was tiny so it has always been my passion.
Cherene: What's your favourite song or music at the moment?
Maria: At the moment I am enjoying listening to a lot of dubstep but I love all kinds of music.
Cherene: Would you tell us about your favourite Pre-Training meal or snack?
Maria: I generally have good breakfast every morning and then just a protein shake before training.
Cherene: How do you like to wind down after a hard training session?
Maria: Stretch, stretch and stretch some more and then if I can I have a mini nap :):-)
Cherene: Who motivates and inspires you in pole?
Maria: Marlo Fisken is my ultimate pole performer, but closer to home Chelle Hafner is definitely someone I look up to, as she motivates me and helps me to believe in myself.
Thanks for your time Maria. It's been a great pleasure chatting with you :-)
You can follow Maria on Facebook here>> https://www.facebook.com/maria.cossia
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Stay tuned for our next Pol-ebrity Interview...coming soon!