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Overall, pole dancing has helped Smith overcome great financial loss, emotional upheaval, and online backlash.

She now encourages all women to join the pole-dancing movement.

"My advice would be to research pole dance studios. Yelp reviews are extremely helpful," she said. "You also want to start with beginner classes that incorporate stretching exercises and learning to swing around the pole first."

Coupling pole dancing with exotic movement dance classes has also been important to Smith.

"What also proved helpful to me was taking exotic movement dance classes alongside my pole classes," she said. "These classes helped to make my overall movement more fluid and taught me dance flow."

Best of all, Magda approves of Smith using pole dancing to inspire older women to embrace their bodies.

"Magda is 80 now and still doing splits and yoga," she said. "She told me the other day, 'Makeda, they lied to you about aging. We have the choice to never get old!' I so believe her.  Stereotypes are false illusions based on false truths."