It was 1988 when Gwendolyn “Makeda” Smith resigned her position as Associate Director of West Coast Publicity at Hervey & Company, a public relations firm headed by industry veteran, Ramon Hervey. Armed with a bachelor’s in public relations from Boston University, and a master’s degree from the Annenberg School of Communication at USC, it was a single press release that launched her firm, Jazzmyne Public Relations, named for her oldest daughter. With no savings or financial backing, Makeda defeated the odds and her agency thrived.
Los Angeles – Over the past three decades, the careers of hundreds of clients have been enhanced by the magic touch of Makeda Smith and her boutique styled publicity agency, Jazzmyne Public Relations. Pop stars, A-list actors, comedians, musicians and even notorious gangster rappers have benefitted from her savvy media management and consulting. The single mother of two is now making her own headlines for a fitness trend she embarked upon at the age of 50 – pole dancing.
The 56-year-old grandmother is currently featured in several national media outlets including the February 2017 print issue of Prevention Magazine, the world’s most established healthy lifestyle brand; and online at Xonecole.com, a digital empowerment platform for women. In the Prevention “Personal Journey” feature, written by Kera Bolanik, the magazine explores pole dancing as a health and wellness regimen, while revealing the life altering events that propelled Makeda to the dance studio. Xonecole.com beauty/fashion contributor, Tweety Elitou, also takes readers on an in-depth spin with the veteran press agent who many now refer to as #grannyonapole.
Pole dancing is an artistic exercise practice that promotes athleticism, while combining stamina and strength with sensual movement. Makeda credits pole dancing for instilling her with a renewed sense of self-empowerment during a tumultuous period in her life. Now in addition to publicity, she says she enjoys pole dancing as an added passion. She has since launched www.FlyingOver50.com and blogs pole-inspired art and affirmations almost daily. Also, a self-certified exotic movement instructor, with almost 6 years of instruction under her belt, Makeda offers private lessons, workshops and classes to women 40 and older.
“I’m ecstatic that both Xonecole.com and Prevention Magazine have given me a platform to introduce pole dance to a broader audience, as not only a fitness option, but one that older women can explore. Pole dancing as an art form and exercise program has exploded in popularity over the last several years, but many women over 40, and especially over 50, don’t believe it is something we can do. I had no formal dance or gymnastic training, but when you start this sport at a beginner level, you gradually tone and build muscle. I am hoping women, young and old will be inspired by my story and my journey. It’s not just about pole dancing, it’s about moving beyond your perceived limits.”
While maintaining her public relations practice, Makeda Smith promises to keep ‘Flying Over 50’ to inspire women and encourages others to join her! She launches her “FlyingOver50 Dance Flow – exotic movement w/ Makeda” class, Saturday, February 11 at 1:00 at Yoga in the Desert, located at 42116 50th St W, Ste A, in Quartz Hill, CA.
To understand the power of the pole, pick up a copy of the February 2017 issue of Prevention Magazine (http://www.prevention.com/
fitness/i-had-to-file-for- bankruptcy-my-house-went-into- foreclosure-and-my-car-was- repossessed-heres ); fly with her at xonecole.com at http://xonecole.com/56-year- old-grandmother-shows-pole- dancing-knows-no-age/ and keep soaring with her at www.FlyingOver50.com .