Please join us this Saturday, September 11 for a special charity workshop, The Art of Spin Pole to support a very special member of our own community, and the pole community at large. In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness this month, we are hosting former B&P instructor and 2014 PSO US National Pole Champion winner Shaina Cruea for a fundraising workshop to support her son Drew in his fight against a rare childhood cancer. Keep reading below for more about Shaina and how we can support her family during this difficult time:

How did you get into pole dancing? 

I moved to NYC in 2010 hoping to land a gig in a dance company. After a million rejections, I decided I needed to change plans. I Googled “alternative dance classes NYC” and pole dancing came up. I took my first class at B&P in 2012. My instructor was someone I went to high school with in Virginia, Marlo (I knew her as Molly) Fiskin! I loved it so much, I became a Work-Study in 2013, which led to being an instructor and performer myself!

How did the work-study program help elevate your career as a performer/instructor?

The work-study program at B&P allowed me to train with THE BEST instructors in the industry. I was new to pole when I started the program, so it gave me the best base line I could have asked for.

Are you still teaching pole today?

At this time my focus is more on the therapeutic side of pole rather than a specific technique. Since my son’s diagnosis, pole has been the only thing that has offered me any sort of mental release.

What are you up to now?

My full time job is taking care of my two children. Trying to keep my sanity as Drew goes through chemotherapy has been a serious struggle. He is doing AWESOME with treatment so far, but we have a very long way to go. His treatment plan is around 1 year; we are 2 months in.

How can our community support Drew?

Recognize that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Educate yourselves on statistics of childhood cancers. Donate if you can to help researchers find a cure.

Drews statistics:

  • Rhabdomyoscarmoca is a rare childhood cancer that is found in 400-500 people in the US each year.  Most are diagnosed in children and teens, more than half are in children 0-10 years old.
  • The 5-year survival rate for children who have low-risk Rhabdomyosarcoma ranges from 70% to more than 90%. The 5-year survival rate for children in the intermediate-risk group ranges from about 50% to 70%. When the cancer becomes high risk, spreading widely in the body, the 5-year survival rate ranges from 20% to 30%.

These are just a few to give a bit of insight as to what our family is being faced with. Please keep sending the healing vibes and prayers if that is something you can offer, and I hope you can join my workshop, The Art of Spin Pole, this Saturday, September 11 at 6pm.

For more about Drew’s journey, follow along here.