By now you guys know that I’m basically Alethea Austin fangirl. I squeal every time she posts anything on the internet. But for you folks in Nashville, you’re a SUPER lucky bunch!
Alethea’s just opened The Chrome Bar. It’s a studio that’s every pole dancer’s dream. Enough floorspace around each pole to dance and not bump into one another, mirrors and height galore, and check this, PROFESSIONAL LIGHTING. So every dancer can have a spotlight on her while dancing. Additionally she’s got FlyGyms installed and classes dedicated to teaching them.
You guys. I’m dying. Can we make a pilgrimage together?
Pole Show LA is back January 26, 2013! It’s the premier pole dancing showcase on the west coast that happens every year. This year it will be in a larger venue at 333 Live with all-around seating (no more annoying pillars or poor views!). There will also be professional lighting and staging, featuring four 18 foot poles.
This year’s lineup looks amazing:
Jan 26, 2013
333 N Boylston St.
Los Angeles Ca 90026
Hi there! I haven’t been asked this before, no worries :)
It’s actually called a martial arts stretch machine or a leg stretcher. Mine is made by this company called Century VersaFlex, but there are also ones like Stretchmaster by Proforce. They’re kind of pricey if you buy them new ($200+) but you can get one for around $50 used on Craigslist.
The machine takes up a lot of room, so if you’re looking for something more space conscious try and hold off until you need your over splits. You can get pretty far in your middles without the machine. Just ask a yoga teacher, contortionist, or a stretch coach for stretches you can use to get further. They’ll probably suggest buying yoga blocks, bands, straps or other stretch equipment. It’ll be relatively cheap in comparison to a machine and can be put away easily.
Another great tool is a stretch band called I-flex, which is made for ballet dancers. It’s basically a set of ropes that you hang up and put your legs in. It uses gravity to get your splits flatter and more square.
Other variations of this machine are made by FlyGym (Alethea Austin swears by it), OmniGym (used by Shimmy, Maddie, and Crystal Gibson in an example here), and TRX (Dirdy Birdy uses this and a stretch machine).
Most of the items I listed can be found on Amazon. Let me know if you have any trouble finding them :)
Aw thank you! I appreciate the love :) Congrats on starting, especially that early. You’re going to be SO BADASS in a few years!
In the beginning most girls want to get really strong really fast, I argue against that. Pole dancing makes you incredibly strong in your abs, shoulders, and arms so there’s no need to start now. I recommend getting flexible first, as the more muscle you put on, the harder it will be to become flexible. This is the same reason body builders and people who are generally muscular have trouble touching their toes, clasping their hands behind their back, etc. A lot of pole dancers will plateau when they start getting really advanced (like myself) simply because they need to get more flexible to progress. Get flexy now, strong later!
I would practice back and hamstring flexibility. Starting your splits is also good, as it will take awhile to get them if you’ve never done them. Here are some videos that you can use at home to prep in the meantime:
Maybe also look into a yoga class, as that will teach you breathing (which is important to learn for stretching—breathe from the diaphragm, not the chest!) and it’ll give you something to do while you wait for your birthday to come :)
Photos captured from USPDF 2012. I can’t wait until the footage comes out!
Big night for me. I NAILED THE BATWING! I’m so pumped, I’ve wanted this trick forever. I’m also surprised to find it doesn’t hurt my back as much as I thought it would. The most difficulty I have with it stems from holding that “Goldilocks Moment” before I fish my arm through to complete the trick.
This is a picture of Amy Guion doing it at the Midwest Pole Comp, much credit to Don Q Photography.
I know I’m lagging on my final day of The 30 Day Pole Challenge. Since I’m coming up on my 1 year pole anniversary on September 23rd, I thought it would be kind of special to just hold out and take some really nice ones. I will gift you all with pretty pictures soon!
“In the Defense of Pole Dancing in Heels” aka ”Day 28: Shoes or no shoes? Why?” of The 30 Day Pole Challenge.
I’ve been putting off this post for awhile because I have a lot of opinions on the question, but I want to say both are great. I believe that it’s good training try and use both in practice.
And in the defense of heels:
It really is a bummer to hear that so many girls in the “pole fit” community hate heels because they “cheapen” the look of the dance. I do believe in fitting the look of a performance to the music. This goes right down to footwear. If the song calls for it, don’t be afraid to whip out the shoes to add an extra oomph to your peformance. I myself would never have the confidence to dance to a rock/alt/metal song without the aid of my heels.
Heels work your body harder since they will add weight to your inverts and will force you to point your toes. Your calves will look AWESOME after dancing in heels since you’re actively lifting and lengthening your legs. Floorwork will be a piece of cake in heels, as you will have both the heel and the toe of the shoes to slide around on. If you have time, I would definitely advise you to watch an Alethea Austin video. Watch her floorwork — it’s as smooth as butter. Shoes add a wonderful element of slinky and sexy that is difficult to achieve without shoes.
However, bare feet is also beautiful. There is a versatility that is unmatched in working with bare feet; the power of a pointed toe and a flexed foot are really just awe-inspiring to see on stage. A pointed toe is literally what it sounds like, pointing your to accentuate the arch of your foot. A flexed foot is the look of a foot when the balls of a foot are stretched back with toes and arch and pointing towards your face. Have you ever watched an aerial silks or hoop video? Dancers will fluctuate between the two because of their function, whether it be climbing or holding.
A pointed toe at all times is what every dancer wants to be actively practicing towards. It shows that the dance is encompassing all of your body parts — from the movement of your fingers to the tips of your toes.
But remember, a flexed foot is also powerful. It can act as grip aid or add a strong visual line to a pose. Can you imagine a V-spin or Spinning Straddle with a flexed foot? You’re probably like: “Gross, I would never do that! That’s RAUNCHY!”, but if you were playing a character in your dance — say you were pretending to be the Big Bad Wolf dancing to Another Brick in the Wall by Korn, it would be approriate!
Train in both and your dance will get stronger. Being a versatile dancer and performer means mastering all mediums, and this includes shoes. Try to be open minded about the types of movement shoes or no shoes will bring to your dance and what opportunities will present themselves. Finally, be proud and revel in your accomplishment! You’re dancing in 6 - 8” heels that most people would sprain their ankles just trying to walk in!
Photo credit to Poleagraphy
Day 18: Who is your pole idol?
I was a little hesitant to give such a “final” answer, but my pole idol without a doubt is the graceful Jenyne Butterfly. She’s an international pole idol; her musicality, strength, and grace is unmatched. She’s also the first US national pole dance champ and pinnacle of perfection.
Other dancers I admire but didn’t choose as my pole idol are:
This is Day 18 of The 30 Day Pole Challenge
I met Alethea Austin tonight in class!
Alethea’s floorwork DVDs has left me SO sore! She rocks so hard!