INTERVIEW WITH HELLE CARLSTEDT
Meet the lovely studio owner Helle Carlstedt (@hellecarlstedt) and read about her pole journey, training while pregnant and how pole is positively affecting her life. The pictures are taken by the one and only Johannes Hjort (@johanneshjorth). Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Helle Carlstedt! I am 30 years old, originally from Uppsala but now live in a house outside of Stockholm with my little family! I own and operate Vida Pole at Kungsholmen in Stockholm together with the world’s best Lenita Valencia Lopez. So I work with everything from marketing, finance, recruitment and training, team building, course planning and other admin – all in one! It really is the world’s most fun job. Now I also have my little daughter Juni with me at work in the days when she is not home with her dad and the same with Lenita who has her little Noeli! It is really cosy.
How did you get started with dancing pole dance? What made you want to continue with it?
I have danced my entire life but came to a point where I felt I wanted something new. I had long been looking at pole dance and felt that it could really be my thing, but had never gotten myself to try it. So in the end I booked a private lesson and basically explained that I wanted to learn all at once, because I was so eager! And I fell handless from the first moment. Funny enough, we booked the lesson on my birthday by chance – and in hindsight it feels a bit symbolic and fun considering that my new self was somehow born that day!
How long have you been training pole dancing?
I have a five-year anniversary soon, on my birthday in February! But I really don’t think it says as much how long you have been training, most of it is about how often you have trained and what you have had as training background before. It can be good to remember and not compare yourself with others! Everyone’s journeys are different and you should be proud of every little progress, no matter how long it takes!
How has pole dancing affected your life, both before and during/after pregnancy?
Oh, lots! Pole is a huge part of my life and it is always with me. Even when I’m not dancing, I plan and choreograph in my head most of the time. For me it has been a security and strength to be able to continue with it even during pregnancy, it has made me continue to feel strong and have an outlet for my energy and creativity during all nine months. 🌟
We believe that there may be many who are uncertain and curious about whether you can continue dancing pole when you become pregnant. How do you see it and did you consult with a doctor or midwife if it was okay to continue exercising as usual after you became pregnant?
This is a sensitive issue as it is so incredibly individual! Many people ask me this question and I can only answer from myself. No body is like the other body, and the same goes for different pregnancies! When I first got pregnant with my son Oliver, I had probably never heard of anyone dancing pole during pregnancy, so it was brand new to me. But I thought I would train as long as it felt fun and right – which it did right up until he was born! However, I was very responsive to the body and ended up with things that instinctively felt wrong. First I stopped with, for example, hand springs and shoulder mounts, then inverts and eventually climbs and some spins. You should be a little careful with everything that burdens the front ab muscles as the ab muscles divide to make room for the baby bump! One tip is to consult someone who specializes in exercise during pregnancy, there are so many good exercises to strengthen the abdomen and pelvic floor before, during and after pregnancy! 💕
Now during my second pregnancy with Juni it natural for me to continue dancing (and I was lucky to feel good enough, which I am so grateful for) and this time I actually felt that many more had started dancing preggopole with the stomachs up in the air! It’s really so fun to see! As long as you do it out of desire and will and not by pressure or prestige, it is really fantastic, I think many people feel great about continuing to exercise their passion during pregnancy!
After how long did you start pole dancing again after pregnancy?
I started carefully again soon after the birth, both with Ollie and Juni. I have not had any goals or programs when I have trained, but just gone with pure feeling. I know my body best and don’t want to do anything to hurt or stress it. It should last a lifetime! So I started by just flowing around a bit to get an outlet for all the movement energy! Then I have worked a lot with exercises for the inner abdominal muscles (even before and during pregnancy) to recover the body safely and sustainably. Now it has been four months since Juni was born and I am beginning to recognize my body and my movement pattern again, it is awesome! It is truly an incredible journey the body makes – both during the nine months it changes to create a new life, but also the time after birth when it slowly goes to something new. I’m sure to be kind to myself and let things take the time they need. Therefore, I do not think that you should be eager to “find back” to what was before – it may well be something else, even better waiting on the other side! ❤️