FSF Interviews – Oona Kivelä
Posted on 17th March 2012, by Mikael.

FSF Interviews – Oona Kivelä

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What started as a holiday trip to New York has brought this elastic Finn to the notion of the world in less than four years. Oona Kivelä, or OonaK as her artistic name, won the World Cup in pole dancing in 2011 and is currently preparing to defend her title in Hong Kong on March 15.

Oona’s pole dancing videos have millions of YouTube views and pretty much every guy wants to get to the same pole with her. However, Oona has her feet steady on the ground. Most of her time takes her own baby, the franchise based gym for children called Gymi. An interesting concept provides classes from parcour to pole dancing taking individual development and skills of the children into consideration.

Oona’s winning video from World Cup in Rio de Janeiro 2011:

Oona has done gymnastics for almost 20 years but how an earth did she begin pole dancing in the first place?:

“Around four years ago I saw an article about pole dancing in an airplane while heading for New York. I looked at the pictures and it looked great. I went to take a class during the same trip and immediately knew it’s my sport”, Oona remembers.


Pole dancing is maybe closest to ballet and figure skating where Oona also has her idols:

“Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko has such a face charisma and attitude. In general I idolize strong male characters”

Oona doesn’t want to do a normal performance; she wants to go beyond the limits. Finnish world champion was the only one to get full 10 artistic points on her choreography in the last World Cup. One could claim that no one is not even close to her level of combining art, acrobatics and technique.

“Story lines, tricks and costumes are really well-planned. The most difficult thing is to make all of it look lightweight”, she pinpoints.

Oona wants to be on the peak form in the competitions, but she doesn’t train too much as her job takes a lot of time.

“I don’t train regularly that hard. I have holidays when I train 3-4 weeks really intensively like 3-6 hours a day. I’m not fit all the time so I’m not over-trained”, Oona explains.

For interested readers Oona recommends to go to a pole dancing class to get more flexibility and imagination:

“Find out what is the nearest pole studio in your neighborhood and go. I know there are many studios that only allow girls but nowadays you can also find unisex studios everywhere. “

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Oona has got a lot offers and was lately asked to join Cirque du Soleil but she politely refused even circus would be a challenging arena.

“I tell how my pole is done and I’m not into circus type performing. Do they really think I could share the stage with somebody? “

Some people think that pole dancing is striptease but that is far from the truth and those people have probably never tried it. There were even talks to add pole dancing as a test event for the upcoming summer Olympics in London. Ms. Pole Dancer is not too interested on that:

“Pole dancing might become one if people are really pushing it through. I wouldn’t want that though, since then pole dancing would come as a compulsory routine like gymnastics. Now you can do whatever you want and use imagination”


Extremely fit lady loves food more than anything and listens to her body:

“Training, sleep and food are the best. I love food. If I crave something I eat it as my body needs it. Like fish, I didn’t use to like fish but nowadays I eat a lot of it. “

Oona has basic principles regarding her diet and she eats multiple times a day and variety of different things:

“Eat good quality, healthy and enough”, she guides.

The hardest nutritional problem for her has been to cut down on white bread that leaves her tired afterwards. Fat-free products are a no-go to Oona:

“I eat a lot of fat and I hate fat-free products that are not for sports. People think that they loose weight but they eat three times as much.”

Oona has performed in front of different crowds changing from private gigs to doctor’s gala. However, one audience has made a special impression to Oona:

“The people were just crazy in the World Cup in Rio. Pretty much everyone were Brazilians screaming like crazy. Screaming never ended and people were banging the floor to make more noise. That was a hit moment”, Oona excitedly remembers.

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In future Oona wants to grow her gym concept internationally, even though the childlike lady has other goals too:

“I want to open Victoria’s Secret show in Swarovski outfit with the wings. My mind is really childish. If I dream of the move, it comes to reality someday. You can do really cool shows with the pole, only sky is the limit”, Oona ends.

LUONTOlife wishes Oona good luck on defending her title and our founder Mikko will be screaming his lungs off at the competition.


Photo credits: Tuula Ylikorpi


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