"As I always tell my friends, it is not “instant noodles”… it takes time. That feeling of fulfillment when you finally nail a trick you have been working on is so much sweeter if you have gone through the process of trying and failing and getting back at it again."

If we can give ageless a name, it would be Margaret. She is a ballerina, a pole champion and a Century Tuna Superbods Top 5 finalist. Apart from this, we cannot get over the fact that she is 46 and a mom of a 26-year old.

Read Margaret's story below about determination and patience in achieving one's goals:

1. How was it like growing up a ballerina and how did you do discover pole dancing/aerial sport? 

I was 14 years old already when I started ballet training in the Halili-Cruz School of Dance. It was quite a late start for me, but I fell in love with the art since the beginning. Throughout the years, I was so devoted in learning and becoming a better dancer that ballet was always a part of my regular school year and summer breaks. When I eventually retired from ballet, I tried looking for an exercise that was challenging like ballet, but also fun. It was in July 2009 when I took my first pole dance class with Christina Dy as my teacher. I got hooked after that first class and never stopped since then. It's my 12th year pole-versary this month. 

2. In what ways do they (pole & ballet) complement each other? 

They are both beautiful art forms that I am blessed to have learned the foundations. Having the basics of ballet instilled in me has helped me a lot with better execution of most pole tricks like stretching the legs, locking the knees, elongating the body and pointing the toes, to name a few. For most pole numbers I have performed, I usually integrate ballet movements in my choreography to show my style, which is more of a second nature to me. 

Photo Credit: Hideo Muraoka

3. You’ve joined and won competitions, what was that like? what kind of training did you have to do and what mindset was needed?

I have joined 2 local and 2 international competitions. During my first two local competitions, pole dance was still a very new sport. I was fortunate enough to be exposed early that I was able to join my first international competition in 2011 as a solo contestant. 2014 was my last one where Kayleen and I joined the first pole doubles category in SG Pole Challenge held in Singapore.

Joining a competition is not easy. There are auditions to pass and you must make sure that you have more than enough time to train and rehearse until the competition day plus, taking into consideration the part where you will have to think of your theme, the story, the song and the costumes, and more importantly the tricks and choreography. It also must suit your style. Like for me and Kayleen’s piece, there were so many trial and errors on what doubles tricks will match our skill level and how we can weave them all together. Working on our endurance was one of the important factors in winning, too. We had to make sure we run the whole choreography at least three times during a rehearsal session. On other days, we cut down the parts and focus on polishing what needs more work. I am so thankful Kayleen is also very disciplined and determined. We have developed this close bond and special camaraderie because of the hours we have spent dancing and performing together. 

For Century Superbods Competition, I joined back in 2018. It was that year that they had an "ageless category where I competed with males and females of the same age group. We bonded during the different activities leading to the finals night. Aside from gaining awesome friends who have the same passion when it comes to fitness and nutrition, I was able to share with them how the pole fitness and the aerial arts have helped me so much in achieving my goals. 

 4. What is your current workout or training routine? 

In the Polecats Studio, I do training for pole, aerial silks, aerial hoop, chair and on Saturday mornings, dance with the SBC (Sexy Breakfast Club) with CD, Fiona and Kris. 

At home or in the gym, I do mostly body weight workouts like calisthenics, yoga and flexibility training. There are days I run or swim to add to my cardio exercise. 

5. Who do you look up to for inspiration/motivation? 

The Polecats and all the students and teachers of the Polecats Manila studio! This tightly knit family has provided me with so much inspiration to never give up and to push for more despite any odds that come our way. We all share the same love and passion to the aerial arts and to our home, the Polecats Manila. 

6. What’s your philosophy on fitness and nutrition? 

Look for a workout that does not feel like work. I make sure it is something I enjoy doing. I try to move in various ways every day, training different muscle groups and avoiding burnout. Some days, I push and do more hardcore exercises and in some, I accept that it’s okay to slow down. It is important to listen to your body if it is telling you to rest. We need rest days to reset. 

Our bodies are built differently so there is not one type of diet that will be perfect for everyone. Make an effort to discover what suits your lifestyle. Eat healthy but also don’t restrict yourself when you have cravings. 

7. What does your typical day look like? 

I am a morning person and start my day when I wake up at 5am. With much energy at this time, working out is first in my agenda. If there’s no schedule for client meetings, I continue doing household chores then maybe squeeze in a workout during lunch. Later in the afternoon, I start preparing for dinner. We eat around 6pm then go for a short after-dinner walk. By 8pm, it’s usually time to relax and prepare for bedtime. That’s a typical day for me. 

8. What’s your message to women/moms/or anyone who want to pole dancing, aerial arts or any workout but are afraid to try?

Pole dancing and the aerial arts are definitely for everyone. Like any other sport, be patient in learning the basics. No matter how slow your progress is, it is still a progress.

I remember during my first two weeks of attending pole classes back in 2009, I can’t even do any spin and all my other classmates were doing all those “wow” tricks. I did not give up. This made me push to work harder, to attend more classes and get stronger. While it's good to set goals, you shouldn't rush in doing all your dream tricks all at once. As I always tell my friends, it is not “instant noodles”… it takes time. That feeling of fulfillment when you finally nail a trick you have been working on is so much sweeter if you have gone through the process of trying and failing and getting back at it again. So you don't need to get thinner first nor work on getting stronger before attending your first pole class. It is in your pole journey that all your fitness goals will be achieved.  

Superbods Margaret and her son, Lawrence, in Boracay