About Michelle

Michelle Stanek is an internationally-recognized pole dance performer and instructor known for her signature "sexy contemporary" style that blends sensual movement with the grace, extension and control of her classical dance background. An early competitive athlete, Michelle won 5 out of the 6 competitions she entered including the 2012 United States Pole Dance Champion title. Her industry-changing performances are notable for their movement innovation, artistry and fluidity. 

A passionate and dedicated instructor, Michelle co-created elevatED: pole dance fitness and flexibility teacher trainings, to help instructors provide informed, thoughtful experiences to their students. Michelle travels the world through Poles On Tour, training instructors, offering her signature workshops, judging competitions, and performing. She is a proud Bad Kitty brand ambassador and instructor at Body & Pole in New York City, where she is also a partner. 

She is also the curator of The Wall at Body & Pole — a unique, contemporary art gallery bringing the visual and aerial arts together. She curates the art on The Wall and produces opening night events, that are unlike any other art gallery opening.

Prior to her full-time pole dance career, Michelle earned a B.A. and M.A. in Art History, working at AIGA, the professional association for design, Pratt Institute and the Assisi Institute. In 2016, she was invited to present as a Main Stage speaker for "Adaptation: AIGA Design Conference" in Las Vegas. Her presentation + performance, "Pole Dancing, Preconceptions, and You," was incredibly well-received as a stand-out presentation. When not immersed in dance and art, she loves exploring the NYC art scene, dancing, bike-riding and adventuring with her adoring and adored husband and a good rooftop pool.


Pole Dance Titles

Miss Pole Dance America 2015
1st Place, AERA group performance

USPDF 2012
1st Place, Professional

Pole Dance Universe 2011
1st Place

Pole Art 2011
4th Place

USPDF 2011
1st Place, Amateur

PFA 2010
1st Place, Pole Drama

Polesque 2010
1st Place



Featured Roles

Law & Order SVU
“Undercover Blue”
Season 14 episode 17, 2012

Diplo “Set it Off” 
Music video, 2012

Blue Bloods
“Devil’s Breath”
Season 3 Episode 21, 2012

Royal Republic "Underwear"
Music video, 2010



Michelle is a founding member of the aerial dance company, AERA, and has performed pole, silks and contemporary dance with AERA at PS1 MoMA, Pole Convention, Pole Art and various venues throughout New York City. She has also recently had the honor of dancing with The Pulse Project, an innovative, contemporary pole dance project. She has performed on stages from South Africa, Dubai, Sao Paolo, Paris, Nashville and more.