Pole dancing for over 10 years, Shannon’s love for the beauty, danger, and grace of the dance has only grown more over time. She is excited to see pole dance continually evolve, from being known only in strip clubs, to where it is today, for everyone. The acrobatic contortion and gravity defying components of pole dance are, she feels, what separate this dance from any other, making it the most unique and exciting discipline of its kind. She believes pole dance allows an outlet for one to express themselves, without taboos, giving the individual the real freedom to create.
Born in Korea, but raised in the Pacific Northwest, Shannon calls Portland home. When not at the studio, she spends much of her time with her daughter and loved ones. Passionate about music and dance; cooking, baking, and home decor are also hobbies of hers. How fortunate she feels to do what she loves, and to work side by side with such an amazing and inspiring team of staff and students!
Rain has been an instructor at Ecdysiast since February of 2010. She trained aggressively to begin teaching, falling in love with pole dance immediately. Her adoration for jazz-ballet as a young lady lends to her dance style, as well as her interest in other disciplines, such as belly dance. She also studied at South Puget Sound Community College and in 2006 received her Bachelors in Business. Rain’s daily experiences inside and outside the studio continue to transform her performance. Though she never imagined herself a pole dancer, she now finds herself in the world’s greatest job! Excited to go to work every day, she encounters so many amazing and empowered students. In her own words, “I feel lucky to be here at Ecdysiast. It’s my home away from home!”
Jennifer began studying pole dance in 2009 at Ecdysiast, when she became obsessed with her new-found avocation. She works tirelessly to improve upon her skills in an effort to bring something fresh to her performances. Jen’s talents have been showcased in the Pole2Pole Cup 2012, Pacific Pole Championships 2012, International Pole Convention 2012 and most recently, the 2012 Pole World Cup in Brazil! She absolutely cherishes the opportunity to share her love of pole dance.
Having been involved in the performing arts since she was five years old, Jen’s dance background includes ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary. She studied at Shenandoah University and achieved her Bachelors in Biology, 2007. She continued to mature and refine her dance and choreography skills in high school and college cheer squads. Jennifer’s adoration for music inspired her to study and perform various instruments–clarinet, guitar, and piano–in elementary, high school and college, and lead her to Europe, where she toured with the “Sound of America” choir in the Spring of 2002, which included the best of high school and college honor choir students. You can see Jen frequently, on the pole at the studio, defying gravity. Currently, she also works 2 days/week at Oregon Health and Sciences University in the Pathology Department.
Victoria is a native to Portland, Oregon and grew up playing soccer, basketball, skateboarding, snowboarding, and whitewater rafting. Her athletic ability and love of extreme sports brought her to Ecdysiast as a student in the winter of 2009. There she explored the art of dance for the first time and quickly developed a passion for the physical challenge, grace, and sensuality of pole. She has been teaching since May of 2011 and loves connecting with her students and encouraging them to challenge themselves physically and creatively. Victoria also enjoys working with fellow instructor Jennifer Schofer in perfecting their “doubles” pole skills. Together, both Jen and Victoria performed a Doubles Showcase at the International Pole Convention 2012. Victoria’s professional pole dancing influences include Nicki Shaw, Alethea Austin, Zoraya Judd, and Cleo.
When Victoria isn’t tearing it up at the studio, she works as an accounting manager for a local marketing company and is currently studying Business Administration. She also enjoys guiding rafts down the Deschutes River in the summer, riding motorcycles, cooking, and hanging out with her dog Pico.
Ashley has been pole dancing for over seven years and is drawn in by the grace and power of the form. A lifelong mover and performer, her style is influenced by aerial, ballet, jazz, tap, African, and modern dance. She’s also a black belt in Shorin-Ryu karate. Ashley draws from her theater background, and has performed with Triangle Productions, toured local schools with Arts and Communication Magnet Academy’s Theater Ensemble, and interned with Northwest Children’s Theater. She earned her B.A. at the University of Idaho, where she majored in English: Creative Writing, and moved back to Portland in spring of 2011 to pursue her passion for dance more seriously. After six months of lessons, she began teaching at Ecdysiast and feels blessed to work in such an inspiring environment. She also teaches and performs with A-WOL Dance Collective. When she’s not flying through the air, Ashley enjoys knitting intricate socks, lounging with her cats, and exploring the outdoors.
A native of Hawaii, Devon practically came out of the womb swaying her hips to the rhythms of the islands. She took ballet as a young girl, but found the dance too restrictive to her free spirit so she learned the hula instead. Although she continued to dance in some capacity (mostly in her room in front of a mirror), over time she switched her focus to music, which was — and still is — one of the most powerful driving forces in her life. As part of the music composition degree she earned from Lewis & Clark College, she spent 4 months in Ghana learning West African drumming and traditional dance, and 3 months in Cuba studying salsa, piano, and booty popping. Devon’s passion for music and dance can only be rivaled by her love for travel–she has journeyed to over 30 countries on all seven continents, oftentimes collecting instruments and/or dance moves along the way. In an effort to both fund her travels and cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness, Devon became a licensed massage therapist in 2004 and has continued to expand her knowledge of the body through studies of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, yoga and structural integration. Devon “accidentally” discovered pole dancing while on vacation in Mexico during the winter of 2010 and found it to be the most empowering, challenging, and ultimately liberating thing she had ever done. The pole has been a catalyst for so many powerful and positive transformations in Devon’s life and she feels honored to share the journey with so many other amazing women in the warm, supportive environment at Ecdysiast.
Jasper started lessons at Ecdysiast in early 2010, when her youngest daughter was just 9 months old and she was looking for a new and exciting way to get back into shape. Although she never had any formal dance training growing up, dance has always been a part of Jasper’s life, whether performing in musicals, or taking recreational Jazz, Ballet, or ballroom dance classes. When she started pole dancing, she found her home. Pole dancing satisfies her desire to move to music and gain strength and flexibility while doing so.
Jasper completed her BA in Writing and Literature in 2003, and became a Licensed Massage Therapist in 2007. In addition to massage and pole, Jasper loves to read and occasionally write poetry, cook, garden, help with home improvement projects, spend time with her husband and three girls, and is an all-around domestic super-woman.
Allison (aka Sunny) Faris
Born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado, Allison grew up playing soccer, track, and sport acrobatics. She also has a background in hip hop and breakdance. She joined Ecdysiast as a student in January 2012, and instantly fell in love with the grace, beauty, and stamina of pole. She was excited to innovate her background as a dancer with pole dance. Amazed and humbled to have learned from such talented, powerful women at Ecdysiast, pole has become one of her biggest passions.
Allison graduated from the Oregon Culinary Institute in 2011. She enjoys cooking and also sings, plays bass and guitar in a local PDX band, Grandparents. She feels incredibly lucky to be part of the Portland music scene, constantly inspired by the many musicians surrounding her. When she is not cooking, playing music or dancing, you can find her hangin’ with friends soaking up all the wonderful things Portland has to offer.