Following your creativity with Isabella Condello

 In the image, a dancer is captured mid-motion, poised to execute a complex maneuver. They wear a vibrant green costume that accentuates their graceful form, complemented by dazzling gold high heels.

In celebration of World Creativity & Innovation Day, we spoke to one of our Nimki-fav customers, Naarm based Performing Artist and all round wonderful human Isabella Condello.

Issy (She/ They), has been an Elite Semi Pro Pole Dance Instructor since 2022 and currently holds first place in the Victorian Amateur Pole Championships and 2nd Place at the Australian Pole Championships along with being a musician, dog lover and mental health advocate. Ready to find out what Issy's secret sauce is for living your best, creative life? Sit down with your favourite cuppa & get ready to get inspired. 

Could you introduce yourself a bit? And, just for fun, share three random facts about yourself.

I’m Issy, born and raised in Melbourne and I think of myself as a human living the creative lifestyle. I have a dog who consumes my world named Fozzy, I can recite the whole of Hamilton the Musical and I am a mental health advocate. 

What's currently sparking excitement and joy in your life?

The current joys in my life are the bit of sunshine we are getting with the change of weather, listening to music and chilling with Fozzy. The daily creative challenges I’m doing at the moment are pole flips which have been both exciting and adrenaline inducing!

Lets talk about your journey into Pole Dancing. Can you tell us how your Pole journey started?

The Pole Journey has been a weird mesh of lots of factors, timing and creativity. I was that kid that would climb trees, playground equipment and got into trouble for jumping off things I shouldn’t have... oops! 

I started contemporary dance and yoga from the ages of 8-11 & then decided I wanted to learn more mainstream dance from 14 and continued that until I was 21. I always loved performing, and I wanted to be a musical theatre performer touring the world. At the time, I was in an agency and would frequently do auditions but nothing would really stick. I also started to explore music and fell in love with that form of self-expression and went on to study music at University. As much as i loved learning music I definitely missed moving and expressing my body, so I picked up commercial jazz & street heels classes which reignited my love for movement. But I wanted more drama, more performance, I wanted more heels!

"having a safe, supportive & explorative studio that works with you as a person and your goals is what’s most important. F*** THE STIGMA!"

"Pole was something that I always wanted to try however I was so uncomfortable in myself and to be inside my body to start with. However as soon as I walked into the studio I saw a display of 8inch Pleaser heels and saw people splitting, flipping and spinning. I knew I was in the right place." 

In this lively selfie, the dancer flashes a bright smile, brimming with excitement at their competition. Sporting a bold blue jumper labeled "Cindy Bee Competitor," they proudly show off their competitive spirit. Their eyes pop with vibrant blue eyeshadow, complemented by a soft pink blush that highlights their cheerful expression. Adding a fun touch, purple, glittery earrings shaped like heels dangle from their ears, nodding to their love for dance.

It was a safe space to explore my body, connect with movement, music & expression. Five years later, I made it a mission to share the amazing space that pole has provided to others. Teaching was a big step of self confidence and backing myself.

In this thrilling moment, the dancer leaps high into the air with pure exhilaration. Head tilted back, legs extended, they exude grace and power in mid-jump. Bathed in a spotlight amidst darkness, their form captivates with a magnetic energy.

Do you have any rituals or practices that help you prepare mentally and physically before a performance?

Practices leading up to a performance is resting 1-2 days before, and seeing my physio the week of my comp.I will usually curate a playlist for the day to get into the character or mood of the piece.Making sure i have done run throughs with my costume and hair is important incase it obstructs any tricks and morning cuddles from my dog before I leave. 

What do you love about teaching Pole?

I love that I am able to provide a space where others feel safe to explore being in their skin and body. Watching my students delve into their creativity and of course, seeing the progress and watching them doing absolutely wild things they thought were out of their reach to begin with, is so cool to be part of. 

Can you describe your creative process when choreographing a pole dance routine?

When I choreo for a comp or performance, I like to focus on showing myself as a performer in whatever style the competition is and I love focusing on accentuating musicality & emotion.

I showcase the tricks and moves that I am proud of and can do with ease, with my bodies capability at the time. I would prefer to put on a clean performance with less difficult tricks, as teaching consumes most of my energy. I factor that into what I’m able to put together with the given time frames too.

In this striking shot, the dancer rocks the splits with flair, one hand in their hair, head tilted back, eyes locked on the camera. Dressed in a bold green leotard and Pleaser high heels, they own the floor. A blue spotlight casts a halo around them, while neon blue smoke swirls above. It

What are some common misconceptions or myths you would like to bust about the industry?

There is so much stigma that comes with being in the industry, which is more of a reflection on our society than anything else.

Pole has become accessible to so many people of all backgrounds over the last 10 years which is really profound to be part of that shift. Not everyone who does pole is a sexworker, but there is such a large portion who are part of the community, not everyone who does pole is in it just for fitness vice versa. Whatever your reason for doing pole, having a safe, supportive & explorative studio that works with you as a person and your goals is what’s most important. F*** THE STIGMA!

Pole wouldn’t be as accessible as it is now if it weren’t for the incredible Sex Workers who have pioneered having studios and a space to explore, so it’s only manners to respect all sex workers if you engage with pole. 

What are your top tips for leading a creative lifestyle and trusting your creativity?

Keep creating and learning from different sources, teachers, styles, techniques, try other crafts and see what is translatable. It’s scary sometimes to be a beginner or not know how to do something, but it’s where you have the tipping point of trust in your own ability to explore, make mistakes and be guided by others. And just because you don’t share your art, it doesn’t make you any less of a creative.

Nimki Favourites: We'd love to know – what's your all-time favourite Nimki product and what makes it stand out for you?

At the moment I love Bliss Pulse point. It has my favourite essential oil - Ylang Ylang. I also love using any of the Nimki Aromatherapy Bath Bombs as a post comp self-care treat followed by Butter Me Up Body Serum to help rejuvenate my skin. 

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