Veteran entertainment industry publicist, Makeda Smith, made international headlines last year – not for her acumen as a press agent with her agency, Jazzmyne Public Relations, but for her remarkable pole dancing skills via her dance brand FlyingOver50, a blog-turned-movement that has inspired legions of older women to reclaim what she describes as their ‘divine femininity.’
The pole dancing grandmother recently joined forces with Christina Villegas and Jeff Mercer, the owners of MercVille Productions, to celebrate National Women’s History Month by creating a pole dance video that she hopes continues to motivate her ‘over 50’ followers across social media and her blog.
Filmed as part of the “Goddesses In Motion: A Pop Up Video Shoot” series and produced by Flying Curves Dance Studio, the dancing diva performs pole acrobatics in nine inch heels, defying mainstream notions about grannies and aging!
MercVille Productions first featured Makeda last year in “The Pole Dancing Chronicles” which showcases people and events from within the pole and aerial community. Makeda was invited to participate in their “Goddesses In Motion” pop-up video series, with the notion to continue to showcase pole performers as the recognition of pole dance and aerial art swells as respected fitness regimens.
“Providing a global platform to reveal the compelling stories of women who have evolved through pole dancing is one of my many passions,” says Christina Villegas, a former reality show producer, who also owns and operates Flying Curves Dance Studio. “Makeda’s ‘Goddesses In Motion’ performance was a joy to direct and film. She proves that aging is what you make it and not what society tells you to do with it!”
A dance movement teacher, with seven years of study under her belt, Makeda offers private lessons, workshops and classes to all women, but targets those 50 and older. Participants in her sessions have ranged in ages from 20 to 85 years old.
She also blogs weekly at FlyingOver50.com with positive affirmations that she combines with her pole and aerial photography. Just recently the dance maven presented at the K.I.S.S Women’s Retreat (Keep Inspiring Strong Sistahs), an event produced by celebrity hair stylist Stephanie Danine, that was hosted by Fox News’ Leah Uko, with keynote speakers, gospel singer and reality star, Tina Campbell and business woman and mother of singers Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, Tina Knowles-Lawson.
Makeda, who’s been featured in publications that include Prevention Magazine, XONecole.com, People Magazine South Africa, and Love Sunday Magazine in London, comments, “My journey has morphed into a movement among older demographics because it is actually about movement! We as women naturally stop moving as we age. Stress and depression makes us want to sit still. When you get up and move your body, your spirit rises up and follows. I tell women in my FlyingOver50 flow movement classes, start with your hips and just shake them. A woman who shakes her hips can shake up the world! Society tries to make us feel less than, but we are actually more – more knowledgeable, more wiser and more sexier even!”
Makeda is currently celebrating the 30th year anniversary of her agency, Jazzmyne Public Relations. Her ability to successfully maintain her professional persona as one the industry’s most respected public relations experts while defying the norm with her pole and dance movement practice is just one of the many ways she continues to inspire women to “Fly Over 50.”