NASM certified Roz “The Diva” Mays has dedicated many late nights at the gym to becoming a stronger and healthier athlete. Pole dancing is her sport of choice, followed by TRX, strength & conditioning and flexibility. Among her finest contributions to the pole world has been creating Dangerous Curves: A Celebration of Plus Size Pole Dancers. Her talents have lead to a SAG membership for professional stunt work in Law and Order: SVU, The Big C and That’s My Boy. She loves to teach obnoxiously loud classes at Body & Pole and IncrediPOLE, and trains clients at Form Fitness & Complete Body, all in New York City. She’s also the subject of Dangerous Curves, a documentary featured by the New York Times. When she isn’t half naked and sweaty, Diva’s making pancakes with Beyonce.
This week, I sat down with Roz ‘the Diva’ Mays to chat about her upcoming Fish and Chips UK Tour in April, surviving the London Underground, panic Googling, and whether she’ll be able to catch Game of Thrones while she’s over here.
Roz has been a huge inspiration to me throughout my pole journey, so I was delighted to hear she wanted to do an interview for this little blog. I had an awesome time on Wednesday night, and it was an absolute pleasure to have her!
Hey, Roz! How’s the preparations for the UK coming?
So, I actually have all the big stuff taken care of – big stuff as in links to workshop registrations, and I’ve bought plane tickets – like, it doesn’t matter how far I am planning a trip, until I buy plane tickets, that’s when it’s official-official.
I’m gonna try not wait until the last minute to get housing together, cause I usually do that.
Yeah, especially in London…it’s going to be the Easter bank holiday weekend too, so it’ll be pretty busy.
Thank goodness I have a couple of friends in London that I can crash with! So it’ll be a mix of hotels and friends. I didn’t actually realise that it was Easter weekend when I was booking stuff; it’s just kinda how it happened. I don’t know if there’s a way I could have avoided it, because Edinburgh had requested me.
Yeah, basically how it started is that Edinburgh was like “Hey, can you come like this weekend in April” and I was like “Cool, let’s do it!” and I just built my travel around that, so I just happen to be in London over the Easter weekend.
One thing that is tough about planning is deciphering other people’s public transportation systems. I’m so spoiled in New York, that there’s trains like 24 hours a day, and I’m like “Okay it’s London, they’ll have a lot of shit too”. But, I’m doing some work in the suburbs, which isn’t such a big deal, but like I have one day where I’m ending late and then I start early the next morning. I’m basically going from Devizes to Chatham, and we’re doing workshops early on that Friday [in Chatham] starting at 10, so that means I have to leave Devizes ass early to get across what feels like half the country.
Like, I’m comfortable on trains and stuff, but I won’t have much time to spare if the train is running late, or if I fuck something up, so usually I try and give myself extra time, but we’ll see what happens.
Other than that, there’s actually a couple of workshops already sold out which is great, I’ve still got a ton of open space for Pole Fit London though.
I’ll be travelling to the Wirral for your Inverts and Climbs 101workshop. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since you teased you were coming to the UK!
Yeah, every couple weeks I was trying to remind people it’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming, to build anticipation, so people knew it was coming but also I need people to hire me. Most studios have their free time at weekends which makes sense but if I’m travelling and trying to get a lot of stuff done in the shortest amount of days, you know I can’t just do weekends because otherwise it’s like what am I gonna do the rest of the time I’m here?
I feel like I could probably have gotten in a little bit more work if there was more weeknight availability, but I understand that’s prime time, so I can’t be mad at anybody for saying “no we have classes”, of course. It’s just a tough thing to work around sometimes.
So seeing as you’ll have a few free days in London, do you have anything planned for that?
Yeah, I have two free days in London after my workshops at the Wirral, so I’ll head down to London the day after and I think I’ll actually – dare I say – be a tourist for like two days?
I mean I’ve worked to death so I’m gonna plot out things I wanna see. Basically I just want to eat and go to art museums. I’ve never been to the Tate, so that needs to happen. All of these places are absolutely new for me…the last time I went to London was for a few hours, so I saw the Globe Theatre and went to one or two bars, but I left the next day so I didn’t really see London.
Don’t forget, you’ll have the joys of the great British weather to content with.
I mean, I’d love to visit when everything’s at its warmest so I can be that fun carefree summer tourist, but one it’s more expensive and two it’s just not feasible. I take all of my trips in the damn summer, so I have to suck it up and y’know, April’s not like death. It’ll be chillier than what I’d like, but first world problems, though.
I think that sums up the UK to be honest, chillier than what we’d like!
I’m ready, I’m prepared!
I think the big question is what British food are you most looking forward to scoffing while you’re here?
I’m an American tourist douchebag, so I’d like to have a crumpet, a real life huge crumpet and tea. Also I’d like to have fish and chips, you know I’m naming this tour Fish and Chips because I really, really like fish and chips, so I want to eat as much fish and as many chips as humanly possible.
I also don’t care if it’s winter, I really, really, really like ice cream, so I want fish and chips and ice cream. Then I have one or two things saved on Instagram that’s like ridiculous food pictures, but I’m sure I’ll be asking people for their recommendations and whatnot.
So as we know you’re coming to the UK in April, have you got any more tours planned, or are you just sticking on home turf for the rest of 2019?
The UK is 2019’s big international tour of the year. I say big, it’s not even that long, like the last two years I was taking month-long trips, but that was just too long. The UK is about a week and a half which is like the perfect amount of travel time.
Then May I’m going to Minneapolis, which I know for your readers probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I’m going to the middle of the country again for four days.
Then June, I’m going to the mountains in the middle of the country, in Denver, Colorado as well as Michigan.
July, going back – I’m going to the middle of the country a lot, now I think about it – going around Chicago.
August, I’m going down south.
September I think is free right now, but I’m sure that’ll change.
Then October, going all the way up to the West Coast, so Seattle and maybe Alaska (but I need to ask them first!)
November and December I might travel locally, like a day trip somewhere, but 2019, it’s going to be to be the most travel I think I’ve done.
Before you go, is there anything you’d like people to know about your workshops?
So a lot of people have asked, “I’ve never done pole, can I take your workshops”?
And I would say yes!
It’s gonna be fast and there’s gonna be a lot of pole jargon, but I don’t know the next time I’ll have the availability to meet these awesome people so if there’s anybody out there who’s not sure if it’ll work, just sign up I’ll make it work, I’ve done it before. I’ve had people who have never taken pole do a workshop with me before. So, come on over, we’re gonna be good!
I’ve designed my workshops for like, the messiest people. I try and make them as beginner friendly as possible. So the Inverts and Climbs 101 workshop, I’ve designed for people who can’t or have never inverted before, that’s the purpose. So, I want to try and make it as accessible as possible, as I know workshops can be very intimidating.
But definitely they’re beginner friendly, so just come in and roll on through!
Thanks Roz for taking the time to chat with us, and we can’t wait to have you over in April!
Roz Mays’ Fish and Chips UK Tour is taking place between the 13th and 19th April 2019, and you can find all of the studios hosting her, her planned workshops and sign up links here.
Hey, do you love what I do? If you do, please consider buying me a coffee. I can’t promise I won’t buy your pole idols a coffee if I get to meet them at a competition or convention or something.
[Before anyone says anything to me, yes the Insta posts are from months after I first posted the interview, but this was one of the posts that broke after I moved host, so I’ve replaced the originals with some of her newer Insta content]