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Meet the Pole World Festival Team

Hi! My name’s Gem Heywood. I am the founder and director of Pole World Festival. My friends would describe me as a creative wiz as I am totally driven by the ability to be creative and always striving to come up with something new and innovative. Well, that’s where Pole World Festival comes from!

I manage the day-to-day running of the event including enquiries, sponsorship, website and promotion. But of course, with such a big event, I couldn’t do it by myself!

“Behind every successful woman is a group chat hyping her up” – this could not be more accurate!

I wanted to introduce to you my wonderful team. So I’ve asked them a few questions…

Team member #1 Sarah Bristol

What do you contribute to the Pole World Festival team?

I am the brains behind some of the most ambitious ideas and like to push the team to think big and innovative. I also champion customer service and safety! I was the one responsible for the free pizza in 2016 (you’re welcome).

What do you love most about pole?

Pole is as much about the community as it is about the activity. Not only have I found an exciting, dynamic and addictive hobby, but I am surrounded by people who constantly lift each other up (often literally!) and celebrate each other’s achievements.

Tell me a fun fact about you…

I never attended a single PE lesson at school because I “hated exercise”… how things change!

Team member #2 Hannah Wesson

What do you contribute to the Pole World Festival team?

I am the rational calm to our creative brainstorms – helping to keep the PWF machine well oiled and running smoothly. You may have seen my smiling face on the welcome desk as you entered the Pole World venue the last 2 years and this year is likely to be no exception.

What do you love most about pole?

I enjoy pole for its ability to bring people from all walks of life together and as a great alternative to conventional exercise – combining my love of dance with something that gives me strength not only physically but also in confidence and general awesomeness!

Tell me a fun fact about you…

You may have noticed last year that I was looking a little ‘rounder’ than usual (and no I didn’t just eat all the pies!). In addition to my PWF duties I am now a mother to my beautiful daughter, Faye – who at only a few months old has already visited the studio to watch mummy attempt to get back on the pole.

Team member #3 Jennifer Berwick

What do you contribute to the Pole World Festival team?

As well as working with all the team on creative ideas, I am the yes girl! Anything Gem could ask me to do I say yes as I love helping to bring the creative ideas to life! Hence you’ll see me prancing around hosting stage events over the two days and loving it.

What do you love most about pole?

I love that pole is full of people who, without even knowing it, uplift those around them all the time! We all know how hard it is to pole, so we all cheer each other on and that uplifting spirit is infectious and creates a wonderful and empowering community to be a part of!

Tell me a fun fact about you…

I don’t just prance around on stage at Pole World Festival, I also prance around in front of cameras for magazines – I am a published model!

Team member #4 Rhiannon White

What do you bring to the Pole World Festival Team?

I like to play the devil’s advocate in the team, helping to make sure we have considered all angles and perspectives so that all our guests and pole stars have a great Pole World Experience!

What do you love most about pole?

I love how it changes your perspective of yourself and empowers you. From seeing someone’s confidence grow each week to watching a performance where the dancer thoroughly enjoys themselves and their confidence shines through! Pole is about owning your confidence and sexuality!

Tell me a fun fact about you…

I taught and performed in New York at Carmine Black’s first show last year – highlight of my career!

Team member #5 Jamie Boxshall

What do you bring to the Pole World Festival Team?

As Gem’s boyfriend, I try to support her with the day-to-day running of the event in any way I can (which mostly involves creating fancy spreadsheets and being the numbers man behind the operation). You will probably see me running around fixing any issues that come up at the event.

What do you love most about pole?

I like how it connects people together. I am constantly in awe of the gravity defying tricks and the skill that is required.

Tell me a fun fact about you…

Unfortunately I don’t pole myself, but I am in to my triathlons. I aim to complete an Iron Man this year!

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