Women in leadership: being president of the Pole Fitness Society

Pole fitness pose

Jasmine Donaldson

President of Pole Fitness Society

Talk us through what you do for your society/sport/activity?

As the President, I oversee all our classes. I’ve also taken on the role of head instructor, coaching our student volunteer instructors and ensuring everyone is enjoying classes. I teach 4 classes myself, beginners and intermediate level in my own time. A big part of our society is the social element, it can be hard to integrate different levels. I always attend social events and encourage all our members to attend and get to know each other.

My role involves a lot of behind the scene activities. I connect with other university Pole Fitness Societies and professional instructors, as well as organise workshops to ensure everyone gets the most out of their membership. This year we have tried hard to increase awareness of the Pole Society around campus by taking part in campaigns and events held with RUSU.

What is your approach to leadership and teamwork?

My approach to leadership is to be authoritative but fair. I like to involve the whole committee with decision making through polls in our committee chat. We also hold general meetings for the whole society to vote on changes. It’s nice for our members to feel their thoughts are being heard.

I like to make things as fun as possible, which makes working in teams easier.


What encourages or motivates you when you face a challenge as a leader?

What most encourages me when I face challenges is the rest of the committee. Being able to discuss situations and ways to overcome them as a group always helps. The student activities office always gives brilliant advice to overcome challenges.

Is there anyone who inspires you and why?

A lot of professional Pole dancers inspire me. Pole is a very small community, with only a few breaking through to make the big time. I’ve had the pleasure to get all of my favourite pole dancers to guest instruct with our society. Kitty Velour, Tiff Finney and Dan Rosen have built their businesses and empires from scratch and have broken out of the stereotypes surrounding pole.


What advice would you give to those who are considering taking on a leadership role?

The advice I would give to anyone considering a leadership role is to ensure everyone has a say. It’s important to run a democracy, despite it being hard if your idea isn’t the winner.

I would also say that getting to know your team on a personal level is key. Something as simple as knowing someone’s name can positively influence how they view you as a leader. I know it can be hard to learn everyone’s names, especially if a Society is large, but from experience, they really appreciate it.

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