She’s beautiful. She’s a queen. And she dances. And sorry, men, she’s married–for nearly 21 years to her husband/bodyguard, Steven.
Michaela Poole is the current titleholder of Mrs. United Continents US, and has also held the titles of Mrs. Florida United Continents 2015-2016, Mrs. Florida American Beauty 2013-2014 and was the national titleholder for Mrs. American Beauty in 2014-2015. She also happens to be a proficient dancer and the owner of Rhythm in Motion, a ballroom dance studio specializing in American Smooth & Rhythm International Standard & Latin Dance classes. She teaches foxtrot, waltz, Lindy-swing, west coast swing, tango, rumba, cha-cha, samba, mambo, disco-hustle, and merengue. In addition to these, she loves ballet. She competes and performs with her Rhythm in Motion business partner, Greg Kurth, especially at fundraiser events. Her love for dancing has kept her in shape and probably helped her win competitions, although Michaela attributes her wins partially to her pageant director and agent, Suzi Hosfeld. “She got me there, and it was sometimes a rough road,” Michaela says.
The crown she currently holds, Mrs. United Continents US, is a “green” pageant, part of the Glamorously Green Pageant System. Michaela actually up-cycled a thrift-store gown for the competition, keeping the spirit of staying “green” and helping the planet even while competing. As part of being a titleholder, Michaela is responsible for making appearances throughout the year in various public places, wearing her banner and crown. She has used this opportunity to contribute to the community.
Michaela has a positive attitude and always tries to look for the “silver lining” in every situation. She has a good heart and is an active volunteer. Over the years has worked for organizations such as The Make A Wish Foundation, The American Red Cross, Rotary Club, Cape Coral Veterans Museum, Collier County Childcare Resources, Dancing Classrooms, Special Populations, Aids Healthcare Foundation, The Gulf Coast Humane Society and SW Florida Horse Rescue, to name a few. In addition to all this, she volunteers at Unit A, the art studio of Marcus Jansen, who we featured in Naples Noteworthy a few years ago (see: Marcus Jansen: One of the Most Important American Painters of our Time). Michaela even donated one of her crowns to charity so some little girl could play at being a princess. When we asked Michaela about her volunteer work, she said, “Helping those in need or less fortunate is important to me. We all have times when we need help, I am just doing my part to keep the balance. I don’t like to dwell on my volunteer experiences. It defeats the purpose of helping others, because it puts the spotlight on me, not the cause.”
Naples Noteworthy believes Michaela embodies everything our magazine is trying to promote: Good people doing good things in our communities and throughout the world. Michaela Poole is someone you should know.
Note: The video gives an incorrect title. Michaela’s title is listed as Miss Teen Sunshine State Legacy US. This should be Mrs. Florida United Continents for 2015-2016. Our apologies for any confusion.
Naples Noteworthy: You’re the current title holder of Mrs. United Continents US, as well as a model for Envy Models & Talent, and the Owner of Rhythm in Motion, a Volunteer for Unit A (the art studio of Marcus Jansen) and other people and organizations, in addition to the work you do as an Insurance Agent for Carlock & Associates. How do you find time to do all these things and still make room for family?
Michaela Poole: It really isn’t about finding time, it’s about organizing your time to accomplish what you set your mind to. If you are passionate about doing something, or you really want to be part of something you believe in, you will find a way to make it happen. As far as finding time for family, it is not so much about finding time as it is about finding ways to spend time together. No part of my life is separated from any other part of my life. For example, when I compete in pageants or make appearances as Mrs. United Continents US, my husband will often be with me and work in the background, taking pictures or being my security guard. After we are done with a commitment, we usually turn the rest of the evening into a date night, combining obligations with fun. We work as a team, at the dance studio as well as the insurance agency. I don’t have any other family close by. My immediate family lives in Cincinnati. Since I am first generation immigrant, my extended family is in Germany.
Naples Noteworthy: What is most important to you in life?
Michaela Poole: There are a lot of people and things that are important to me. I try not to rate people or things by how important they are to me, but instead try to assign importance as it is needed. My family and friends are important to me, my pets are important to me, integrity and compassion are important to me.
Naples Noteworthy: What is your philosophy of life?
Michaela Poole: One of my favorite sayings, especially in bad situations, is “On the bright side”. So, I guess my philosophy is to always find the positive in any situation, no matter what life throws at you. Attitude is very important when tackling any situation, so you might as well find the positive and move forward with a good attitude. You get more accomplished that way.
Naples Noteworthy: When did you first start dancing, and why? When did first start teaching dance?
Michaela Poole: I started dancing ballet at the age of 5, mostly because my little sister wanted to learn to dance. My mom made me take lessons with my sister so that I could watch over her. Ironically, my sister ended up not liking it, but I fell in love with ballet. My teacher back then saw potential in me and pushed my mother to allow me to train with him. Later he presented me with opportunities when he felt that I needed more training than what he could offer. I got to attend a high school that was affiliated with a contemporary dance company, and later I got to dance with the ballet at Staatstheater Kassel. I started teaching dance after college. As a foreign student, it was important to me to focus on learning English, and my college education. After I received my BFA in Dance, I started coaching young dancers and teaching at dance studios.
Naples Noteworthy: How do you feel when you dance or perform?
Michaela Poole: Dance makes me feel free. It is where I can express myself in ways that words can’t capture. Dance helps me lose myself, explore myself, find the different sides of me. I love getting into character for different dance roles, that’s where I can be a completely different person and myself at the same time. If you really want to get to know me, you simply need to watch me dance.
Naples Noteworthy: What is your favorite type of dance?
Michaela Poole: Of course, ballet will always be my favorite, but I also love modern dance and ballroom. Each dance style has its own challenges and rewards to help you grow as a dancer, and as a person.
Naples Noteworthy: You have won several titles in addition to your current title. What advice would you give women and girls who want to compete for titles? What do you think has made you so successful?
Michaela Poole: Honestly, I never entered a pageant to compete for a title, or against any other contestant. I don’t consider myself successful just because I won local, state and national titles. It is not the title that makes you successful, but what you do to contribute to your community while you hold the title. The reason why I started competing in pageants was to grow confidence. I am very confident when I dance, but not so much at events that don’t include dance, especially when I must speak in front of crowds. Competing in pageants has helped me grow, find and address my weaknesses and be a stronger person. My advice for anyone who has considered entering a beauty pageant is to find out their personal reason why. If you can focus on the why, the how will come naturally. Be true to yourself; don’t let others distract, disturb or discourage you. If it is important to you, then go for it. Don’t worry about what others may think. Believe in yourself, trust that you can achieve your goals. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that pageants are silly, petty, or serve no purpose. I’ve had other contestants try to sabotage me. I’ve had people make fun of me because I walk around in a crown and banner at my age. But because of my title, I have been able to experience some amazing things and meet awesome people. I found my way how to give back to the community. I’ve been successful because my why was personal growth.
Naples Noteworthy: You have a beautiful face. Can we ask what your personal beauty routine is?
Michaela Poole: Unfortunately I can’t share my beauty routine with you, mostly because I don’t really have one. I wash my face with a gentle cleanser, then use a good moisturizer twice a day. That’s it. Most days I don’t wear any or very little makeup. Every once in a while I get a facial, but that’s usually more to help me relax and recharge.
Naples Noteworthy: How do you keep in such good shape? Is it all the dancing?
Michaela Poole: Yes, dance is great exercise. I do go to the gym for light toning, but most of it is because of dance. I don’t deprive myself of food; if I crave something, I will eat it in moderation to satisfy the craving. But I do try to stick to a healthy and balanced diet.
Naples Noteworthy: Of all the things you do, what is your favorite?
Michaela Poole: I like everything I do, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. But of all the things that I am involved in, dance keeps me going, it is my foundation. It is the one thing I can always go back to, in good times and in bad, regardless of my mood or condition.
Naples Noteworthy: Do you have any hobbies or activities you particularly enjoy?
Michaela Poole: Can I count dance as a hobby? Otherwise I love going to the movies with my husband and friends, exploring new locations, going to Disney, and, when time allows it, making candles. For a while I even had a little candle business going. According to my friends, I always see a business opportunity in everything I do.
Naples Noteworthy: What is your favorite type of music?
Michaela Poole: Lately I’ve been listening to the standards a lot, but I mostly like music that makes you want to move. I’m not really stuck on any genre. There are songs in just about every genre that I love. Because I grew up in the 80’s, I tend to listen to more 80’s music than anything else. Ironically, even though their music is not exactly upbeat, my favorite band is Depeche Mode.
Naples Noteworthy: If you had to pick out one or two people who have been the most influential in your life, who would they be and why?
Michaela Poole: There are many people who have influenced my life over the past 45 years, both in the US and in Germany, but my parents have had the most influence on me. They have taught me that I need to follow my dreams, no matter what. To them, giving up is not an option, even when the road is difficult. They have also taught me the importance of perseverance, integrity, dependability, loyalty, open-mindedness, positivity, and being your own boss, among many other things. And they have taught me that when all else fails, you just have to be too stubborn to give up!
Naples Noteworthy: How did you come to live in the Naples area (Cape Coral), and what do you think of Naples?
Michaela Poole: My parents bought some rental property in Cape Coral in the late 90’s. They needed someone they can trust to manage the properties. Having just gotten married, my husband and I saw it as an opportunity to start our life together. So, we packed everything up into a moving truck and started out on our new adventure. I guess it is easier to make a big move like that when you’re already used to major changes. Moving from Germany to the US was the scariest move I have ever made, everything else after that was a piece of cake. I like Naples, and southwest Florida in general. Naples is a beautiful place to enjoy life, go shopping, dining or beaching.
About Contacting Michaela
You can contact Michaela regarding dance lessons, or for modeling or appearance inquiries, by visiting her website, capedance.com, or on Facebook at facebook.com/Rhythm-In-Motion-227198520303, or by calling her studio directly at 239-542-3500.