Actress Sheila Kelley Talks “The Pole Truth” In NYC
September 24, 2011
S-Factor New York, under the auspices of Gerri Kyhill and Dawn Gagnon, welcomed Sheila Kelley, the California based pole dance pioneer and actress to the brand new mid town location on Sept. 23. 2011. Sheila Kelley, a proud mother of 2, married woman of 22 years, a proud feminist and author had New York City’s pole community on stand still with powerful and effective speech on women empowerment and movement. Sheila is no doubt a true pioneer of the now global phenomenon we all now call “Pole Sport” although her style is more of the sensual artistry angle, which is still the foundation style of S Factor till today. She has taken pole dancing to Oprah, taught Martha Stewart and Ellen Denegeres the art of pole dancing on mainstream TV shows but it was not until I met her personally at the studio did I truly get the whole women empowerment of enjoying and being in charge of ones femininity.
Sheila Kelley at S Factor NY
She launched into heart wrenching sensitive subjects with powerful vocabularies, confronting the female-only audience of the oppression happening around the world to “our sisters” while still managing to induce calmness in her speech. I learnt for the first time in my life never to refer to my breast as “boobs” as this could also mean being called an idiot. She showed graphic slide images of young girls in Africa being mutilated for the sexual pleasures of men, women whose feet were bounded tightly in China to remain small and painful so they could appear vulnerable and dependent for their suitors, stoning to death of a raped woman in the Middle East. We were reminded of the media frenzy Janet Jackson boob…ahem breast pop-out fiasco and what women before us had gone through over the centuries, oppressed by men for their personal gains. I must admit, it was very educational, entertaining and enlightening –I felt empowered!
Sexual empowerment had a whole new meaning by the time I was done listening to Sheila. The evening also highlighted the early start of S Factor since 2002 when it got its start in her husband’s study at home with a single pole and about 5 students pole dancing. It was very humbling to see the picture and to be able to compare it to what the company is today, now with many studio locations and franchises worldwide.
Like a true “mother hen”, she made time for her fans and students after the speech to answer questions, spent one on one with some of them and signed some of her books that were already on sale at the location before her highly anticipated arrival. She was very approachable and well connected with her students, old and new, as if she had known them for years! I hadn’t expected that at all.
The studio was also host to the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness charity drive by American Cancer Society with a portion of the proceeds generated from sales at the event going to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer by the charity organization.
Sheila Kelley currently has a recurring role on the hit TV show Gossip Girls.
Tinu, Sheila Kelley and Gerri Kyhill
Check out the new location at
S Factor New York
226 East 54th Street/3rd Ave
Pole Spin magazine print editions are available through the Subscription page for worldwide shipping. Also now on sale at Barnes & Nobles bookstores and select newsstands.
This is a Pole Spin Magazine exclusive written by Tinu. ©2011 Pole Spin Magazine. All rights reserved.
Don’t forget to join us on Facebook