Ayana Setareh (Thanatos) أين is an African-American, Italian dual citizen & entertainer based in London, UK. Performing under the name 'Thanatos' (the Angel of Death), Ayana uses pole dance as a tool to educate others & recreate history on stage. Thanatos is both the Ancient Greek & Biblical personification of death & the Ancient Greek variation of the Hebrew, Malakh Ha-Mashhit, or 'the Destroying Angel.'
Born, Ayana Joy Patton, in Seattle, WA & raised in Monroe, WA, Ayana considers herself to be an entertainer with a social purpose. Being exposed to both private & public school education from a young age (as well as homeschooling), Ayana attended Visitation Catholic STEM Academy & Meany Middle Schools. She later went on to attend Ingraham & Rainier Beach High Schools, where she was Senior Class President, a Varsity Cheerleader, a Dance & African Drum Ensemble Team Member, & participated in Running Start. She graduated from High School in 2004, despite all her serious personal struggles, & went on to attend the illustrious, Black Elite, Howard University (c/o 2008, B.A., Dean's List, Journalism & Political Science).
At Howard, she was extremely popular & very well known for having all the best houses, parties, & getting everyone to smoke cloves. She was Parliamentarian of the oldest, non-fraternal organization on campus, Campus Pals, and was also a contributing writer for The Hilltop & Black College View Online news sources. She covered the first-ever, Washington, DC State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, and conceived, founded & chaired the first-ever, Taste of Howard annual event in 2007.
Ayana moved to London in 2009 to pursue an M.A., Financial Economics. She graduated the following year with Merit overall & Distinction on her final dissertation (a study on race, migration, and the economic consequences of remittances in South Africa). Ayana is a Full Equity Member, an RSA Fellow, & a Full Member of the UK Institute of Fundraising. She left a full-time career in Fundraising in 2016, due to long-term mental health struggles, & has been performing & advocating for pole dance as an art form across the US and Europe ever since.
With an upbringing heavily influenced by Persian, Indigenous, & African culture, Ayana sees herself as a modern-day Amytis of Media or Cleopatra VII. She views Pole Dance as an empowerment tool & loves to experiment with the Russian Elite & European Classique techniques of Pole Dance & Sport. She founded the Persepolis Pole Project in 2016.
Welcome to my Dressing Room :)
Below you'll find a selection of completely Selfie-less, behind-the-scenes flicks from some of my most intimate moments within the pole community, fashion industry, and so on.
I hope you let these capture you the same way you've let me. :)