Q&A With Tiff Finney

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen me fangirl over Tiff Finney more than once. A kickass pole dancer, competition compere, judge, Pole Junkie brand ambassador, a studio owner and activist, Tiff is one of those people that you need to follow both if you’re part of the pole community and if you enjoy your activism and fun with a side of healthy, smart filth. So here’s my pre-Christmas treat for you: a bit of #FestiveFinney with this Q&A the legend that is Tiff Finney was so kind to take part in.

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Tiff Finney at the latest Dance Filthy. Picture by: Fotocad

[Blogger On Pole]: I can’t imagine a world where people don’t know about you and your performances, but how would you describe the “Tiff Finney style” to someone who doesn’t know you yet?

[Tiff Finney]: Oh god, one word I hear a lot is “crazy” when it comes to my stage shows. Also “fun” and “doesn’t give two shits” which I love. But every show, whilst seemingly plucked from a crazed mind, actually comes from a political and people positive viewpoint. For instance, my “Pussy Grabs Back” show where I gave birth to myself through a giant home-made vagina, is my response to the horrors of Trump and to promote sex positivity and feminism.

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After reading about how ‘feminists’, the Women’s Equality Party, degraded, violated and shamed other women that have CHOSEN to use their body in their own way- as all women entitled to equality should be able to do, (please read my IG story for the full lowdown), take a look at my pussy. It’s loud, it’s proud, and it’s mine. If you have a pussy or identify as having one- you can do with it what you will and still deserve equality. You can sell it, you can hide it, you can name it, you can share it with as many parters as you like- your right to equality will be NO LESS valid. If you are a woman and believe that sex workers or confident & sexually empowered women don’t deserve the same respect and equality as you – just because your choices are different – then you are not a feminist, you are adding to the problem. In fact worse- you’re just making it worse. And as for the article (again, link on my IG story), if there is a sex worker that does wants to be saved that’s working against their will, do you think they can trust you now?? Nope. You’ve served only to show that you are out for your own power and warped uneducated sense of equality. Suck my dick. . . . #youareenough #eatit #feminism #feminist #poledance Thank you @fotocad for the 📸 ❤️ #fotocad #loudandproud #idarentevenusetherelevanthashtagsforfearofthemtakingmyaccountdown #wearyourworth #equality #equalityforall Feat @dollskill pasties

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My ‘Cow Love’ show where I come out as identifying as a cow and make love to a panto cow is another people positive show. I find it so backwards that people have to declare what/who they are, like they have to seek approval before being accepted as being able to love another being. Every show I do, I make it try to make it fun and dynamic.

I think ultimately, I want to make people smile whilst promoting loving your own body and what it’s capable of. You don’t have to be the best at anything or fit in. You just need to know who you are and go balls to the wall with it.

[BoP] When and why did you start pole dancing?

[Tiff Finney]: I started pole because I was riddled with insecurity about my body. I was trying different dance classes in an effort to feel better. When I got to pole, that was it. It became an epiphany where I realised that you liking yourself was actually far more important and rewarding than creating a visual 2D shell that would please other men. Me being able to sit on a pole felt better than trying to make my nose look smaller and my eyes look bigger!

[BoP] You are an absolute role model for the pole community. You have openly campaigned against Instagram censorship, you are very vocal about everything from trauma to smear tests and you are an advocate for sex workers’ rights. When did you move on from “just dancing” to become an activist?

[Tiff Finney]: Firstly, thank you! The answer is really just from becoming a woman. When I was younger and ridiculously insecure, I had this notion that being hot according to a guy decided your rank in society. The more physically desired you are, the happier you deserve to be. It won’t come as a surprise to hear that living like this just serves to make you miserable. As the years have gone on, I have realised how messed up this is but also that this is how we are supposed to feel. Society has manipulated us to feel like this. They want us to serve the male gaze. 

As the Berger quote goes, “You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting ‘Vanity,’ thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for you own pleasure.” 

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When social media platforms remove our posts, they inform us that we’ve violated community standards and community guidelines. No. WE are the ones violated by the community standards. WE are the ones that are told that who we are doesn’t conform with what they want in the world. That there is no place for us and they will blame, shame and remove us. Owning and promoting sexuality is NOT sex. We are people and we deserve equality. Remove our posts, remove our hashtags, remove our rights but you can’t remove who we are. We are confident, we are strong, we are good people and we will continue to be so. You cant erase that. . . This is the best way I could think to show how I think we feel in a single image. I couldn’t have done it without: •Photography @louisecantwellphotography •Tape Design @a_visual_agency • @kirsten_polejunkie for nearly losing her arms pulling the tape off screen for so long. •Wearing @ladylucielatex . . #youareenough #bodypositivity #mybodymyrules #community #tifffinney #wedecideourstandards #wedecideourguidelines

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I’m tired of women having to live like this. My belief is that it is your body and therefore your rules. If you want to use your body to gain an income, why the hell not!! It will be one hell of a body and worth every last penny. Why should men expect us to live for their gaze? If you want to gaze, then you should bloody well pay for the privilege. 

[BoP] You have recently launched your XPERT Essential Science of Heels training. What can we expect from that? Who should be taking it? What would you like to tell us about it?

[Tiff Finney]: I am so proud of this course! It’s about time that dancing in heels, specifically heels that originate from strip clubs, are validated and credited as a recognised and respected form of dance.

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So I’ve got something to tell you!! I’ve only written my own training certification exclusively for @xpertfitnessofficial 😭😮😁 “Essential Science of Heels”. This is a DREAM for me. To be asked to write down on paper what I’ve worked so hard on for years and for such a respected global company is just wow. AND I’ll be the one that gets to teach it too!! I’m going to be teaching every single last element to elevate not just your own heels techniques, but on teaching others the essential elements of safe and beautiful heel practice. If you want to be trained by me, @xpertfitnessofficial are taking bookings now for 2020! Aaarrrgggghhhhhhhhhhh 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉 Guys, I’m proper on a high. Who’s in with me? 🤘🏼 . . . #essentialscienceofheels #xpertproud #tifffinney #iamanxpert #youareenough #heels #poledancenation #poledancersofig #buzzing #pdexoticflow #pdexotic #pdheels #polejunkielove #gymshark #gymsharkwomen #pleasershoes

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The course standardises and celebrates pole dance heels. It has everything from delving into the anatomy of the heel and how we specifically use them, how to achieve safety and beautiful aesthetic in heels, heel flair from clacks, floppy ankles and drags as well as a floor work and standing flow library. The floor and standing flow library are also compiled in a way that allow heel instructors to come up with endless flow for their classes rather than just stand alone tricks. It’s REALLY a comprehensive course full of “ohhhhhh” moments! 

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Tiff Finney workshops

[BoP] Over the summer, you have launched a series of super helpful “rut eraser” pole videos for polers struggling to dance / create their choreography. What are your best tips to get out of a rut?

[Tiff Finney]: I WILL do more of these very soon, I promise! I have just been so busy travelling teaching and writing the XPERT Heels Course. I think my main tip is to stop being so scared of yourself. We spend so much time trying to fit in that we only try things that other people are doing that we forget what is actually good about ourselves.

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Rut Eraser #3 video. Yayyy. Swipe for 2nd video. Showing some of the things you can do from a basic kneel position. None include difficult inverts, instead more poses and immediate transitions. Great for when you land in a kneel and think “what the hell do I do from here” 🤷‍♀️😂 Bear in mind these are all from one position, at the left side of the pole facing forward. You could do the same things from other sides of the pole too to give them a different look! Get this saved and try them alllll out so you can feel how limitless pole flow can be and always have something you can do from this position. (See my other videos (leaning back to pole and pole squat) for even more. Comment with any suggestions for what I should do next 👇 #theruteraser #basickneel #possibilitynotlimits #transitions #mojo #legs #flow #poleflow #unitedbypole wearing #radpolewear from @pole_junkie #floorwork #pdfloorwork #pleasershoes #drag #glide #drop #twist #whatnext #lunge #split

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If you don’t have splits, stop judging yourself in line with Daria Che! Just enjoy her beautiful flex and have her as an inspiration and then look at what YOU have. What you have may be a cute ass: so shake it. What you have may be flexible shoulders: so use them. What you have may be natural rhythm: so dance to your jam.

The pole is an instrument for you to play. It’s not your nemesis, it’s your best supporter just begging you to do your own thing. My back flexibility is so bad because of my flat back syndrome so I just ogle and enjoy bendy polers and then get some choons on and use what I do have. 

[BoP] What does exotic pole mean to you?

[Tiff Finney]: Exotic to me is appreciating the beauty of the body and watching it moving and twisting in beautiful ways. It involves ultimate muscle engagement. In order to engage every muscle in your body, you have to stand tall with gorgeous posture. This exudes a look of confidence and control over your own body. Control and ownership of your own body is the most beautiful thing. It’s not about pushing your body to uncomfortable extremes, it’s about using it to show proudly who you already are. 

[BoP]: You have been a judge at Exotic Generation UK 2.0 and one of the best comperes ever for Pole Theatre UK and Dance Filthy UK. From what you’ve been able to see at competitions, what makes a winner?

[Tiff Finney]: Yes, I have been to countless competitions over the years working as both a judge or compere. I’ve also created many competition pieces for other people that have placed or won major national competitions (in various styles, not just heels). I totally have the knack for knowing what makes a winner!

  • Costume and props. These are neglected so much. When we see someone who has made a real effort to work head to toe on a costume and brilliant prop/stage set up, they’ve already secured many points before the music even starts.
  • Commitment. When people show in their face and body that they are committed to each movement – whether a huge trick or just a look to the beat, we cannot resist being moved and wowed.
  • Content. When people actually attempt to create their own movement rather than regurgitate mini sequences from Instagram, it shows. Seeing you move in a way that’s genuine to your body will always prevail over a clinical version of a stolen sequence- we can always tell! Even though I love that people use sequences from other people (sharing is caring), you still need to put YOU into it.
  • Musicality. Someone that feels music and makes their dance choices to fit the music rather than trying to make the music fit around the tricks will always be visible to the judges.

Tiff Finney’s Message to My Readers:

If I could say anything to people reading this, it would be to press that you are a whole person. You are 3D. You are not here to be diminished into being a visual shell. Don’t give in to being what you think you should be. Who you are is important. Show it. We want to see it. Every pole style, every wobbly bit, every bad day, every good, every confidence, every sexuality. You are enough. 

Tiff Finney

I leave you with one of the things I really hope will happen to all Tiff Finney fans – a very special greeting that really show what Tiff is all about: not taking herself seriously while also being a fucking legend.

Find out more about Tiff Finney

  • Find out more about Tiff’s studio, Pole Physique, here
  • Book Tiff Finney’s XPert Science of Heels Course here
  • Follow Tiff on Instagram and Twitter
  • Read Tiff Finney’s blog here

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