From being uncomfortable moving on the floor, I started to use my wings and feel more like myself.
Marion is known as a pole dancing and hair hanging artist. Aside from performing worldwide, she is a dedicated teacher. Her masterclasses empower people by making them feel comfortable and confident in their own skin. Marion believes everyone will tell a different story with their body, a concept she embraces and develops herself as a 'mover'. Her dedication to movement and human possibilities—physically and spiritually—resonates throughout her practice.
How did your journey with pole dance and hair hanging begin?
As far as I can remember, I dance. The truth is that I was far from being good at it. But, despite my teachers' opinion, I remained focused and trustful in my passion and intuition. I trained and tried with my whole soul. This, until today.
In the meantime, I pursued my studies in sports science. I graduated with a Master in Sport Education, specialising as a fitness and personal trainer. From the South of France, where I grew up, I moved to Paris. Then, towards the end of 2006, a friend suggested I take part in a pole class in town. It was the very beginning of this discipline, and since that day, I pole dance.
My love for this art form is high, evolving with the person I grow to be. I like to think that from being uncomfortable moving on the floor, I started to use my wings and feel more like myself. So hair hanging seemed to be the logical journey in this storyline; it happened as it was supposed to. I feel this way. To me, both art forms are beyond a demonstration of physical abilities. It is a profound way 'to Be'.
What is the most challenging aspect of your physical practice?
I choose to make this life a journey that goes along with the things that positively fulfil me. I am a doer, a generator; the physical practice is part of who I am. Through experiences, my practice is based on what I need and feel at a specific moment in my life. I challenge myself, but I don't force myself. I push the limits I choose to push. What does not belong to this is simply ousted from my practice.
What does your typical day of training look like?
It varies if I am travelling, performing or teaching. On a steady basis, I wake up early and start my day with a gentle stretch. Then, I start my morning rituals, such as facial massage and drinking warm water. I prepare a small breakfast depending on the activity ahead and prepare to go to a studio if it's a pole training day. These sessions last about three hours, exploring, rehearsing future performances, and freestyling.
I alternate specialities training with other physical practices. For example, I adore swimming and running. I run soft; it frees my mind and gets me to discover the places I travel to in a special way. I also do a lot of flexibility training to explore and discover where I can take my body and mind; it is a fascinating journey. If I perform on the same day, I keep the afternoon quiet to recharge. I love to arrive early to the theatre to get ready without rushing.
I usually don't train when I teach since those days are often full and physically and emotionally demanding. I plan at least one day off every week. I get a massage to relax and reset my body. I do nothing physical or related to work.
I just turned 40; I feel wonderful. I wish to keep this feeling for a long time. I will welcome whatever comes for me. Adapting: that is what humans do, right?
How do you overcome the lack of motivation when it hits?
I feel grateful not to experience those lack of motivation. It might come from my personality type and the relationship I've built around my practice. On the other hand, I might suffer from the opposite: Sometimes, I need to calm the frequency inside. If not, I can become overwhelmed. Creativity can grow too much for one mind and body. When those times come, I know I can find balance with my spiritual practice; so I pause and meditate. I see my friends, or I stay alone and breathe away from it all.
Are there any foods or supplements you include in your diet for specific results in your endurance and performance?
I alternate taking different sorts of collagen and some hair and skin supplements. I prioritise the food I eat first, so I commit to quality and the time I dedicate to it. Good fats, greens, carbohydrates; the balanced combination that fits me. When people ask me if I am vegetarian, pescatarian or anything else, I answer: 'Hi, I am Marion and I eat my way.'
Do you have any rituals in particular for achieving better results in your physical practice?
Discipline is a muse to me. It gives me a structure where I can be free. I like to say that it is 'supple discipline'. For example, I go to bed as soon as possible to guarantee enough sleep to be efficient, productive and to have fun during my training the following morning. I'm the one that gets home very quickly after shows. I am committed to my meditation practice; it helps to balance and create space for my mind and body. It brings space to get into the flow of the rest of things.
What is your relationship with pain? Do you think it's necessary to achieve anything?
As long as you choose the situation you put yourself in, I agree with the words 'pain is inevitable' but that 'suffering is a choice'. You will feel pain, of course, as it is part of such human experience. But as you choose that situation, you could decide to stay in the 'suffering state' or accept it. As a result, you experience (at least I do) that you don't suffer any longer. It gets to something else. I like to see it as a state of trance.
As an artistic performer, what would you consider your main trait? What defines 'Marion the Artist'?
I am profoundly myself, on stage as in everyday life. Through experiences, I understood that was the way I was the most honest to myself and, therefore, to others. Last week, an audience member told me: 'I felt your soul when you performed.' If that is what resonates, then I am on my right path, if that makes sense. I am.
What is the biggest reward you've gotten from pole dancing and hair hanging?
It is making me profoundly joyous on a personal level—opportunities I feel so blessed to be able to get. The best reward yet is the people I get to meet, interact and be surrounded with—from such diverse constellations. To me, this is everything. We are humans because of connections.
Is there something you think people would be surprised to know about being a hair hanging artist?
Personally, as soon as I step on stage, I am so present that the fact of hanging from my hair is not at the front of the experience in the sense that I don't feel pain. I also feel that when I dance on the pole, but differently. It's like I am transported to another place.
Where do you find inspiration for your art?
I find inspiration in everything and everywhere. I learn a lot from my husband who is an artist painter. I learned to pay extra attention to details and see what there is beyond the big picture. I take time to look at what humans do, from any kind of thing and subject. It is mind-blowing. Music and sounds are a large part of my inspiration: they shape my motion. I also find inspiration in the long list of podcasts I listen to, and the books I read. Yes, it is quite wild in my mind. I try to soften this to keep it sane too.
What are you most grateful for in starting this journey?
• To myself for believing.
• To every single person that has believed in me and supported me.
• To this journey that is not done, not even close.
What advice would you give yourself at the very beginning of your career?
Your intuition is your highest strength. Trust. You will see.