Originally I was going to post the May Pole Dancing BlogHop as a vlog, but most of it turned out like this so…
My solo at The Secret’s Semi-Annual Showcase to Etta James’ “At Last”. This footage is so incredibly gorgeous in full res, I honestly don’t even think I look like that in real life.
Shots from my performance at The Secret’s Grand Showcase a few weeks ago, performing to Etta James’ “At Last”. Can’t wait to get footage to show you guys!
The first of many summer street pole pics! Get outside and enjoy the sunshine :)
P.S. My right hammy is finally getting back to pre-pulled flexibility. Hoorah!
IT’S HERE!! *jumps up and down* My third place performance at Pacific Pole Championships 2013.
April is going to be such an awesome month. Still riding high off the PPC train, I’ll be performing in a few showcases in the coming weeks. I’ll be a featured soloist in The Secret’s Semi Annual Grand Showcase on April 20th and performing in The Vertitude’s Student/Instructor Spring Fling Showcase on May 5th!
I’m elated to be dancing again so soon after competition, and to two completely different pieces. I’m going to be resuming my Saturday early-morning training sessions as well as twice weekly stretch classes. Have I also mentioned that this is also a month of firsts for me? I attended my first ever gymnastics class (since.. childhood?) last week and will be starting ballet in the coming weeks. I LOVE cross training in new sports!
My seasonal Pole Dance Goals list has also seen some progress. The Marion Amber and Reverse Fonji have been officially crossed off. Now for that Batwing, Cheba Split + Release, and Janeiro!
For the past few days you may have noticed any of these little morsels lying around. Every other day I’ll be posting new GIFs to the blog to highlight the best moments in pole performances. It’s a wonderful tool for research and they’re pretty to look at. You can access them easily again by clicking on “Pole GIFs” on the sidebar. I hope you guys enjoy them!
My group’s rehearsals went extremely well last night! This is the first time I’ve ever done group choreography. It really just gives me the warm and fuzzies that they’re putting their all into it—the doubles tricks I incorporated are not easy and they’re even harder to time with poles so close together.
They’ve been working so hard. I can’t wait to see them up on stage fully costumed in front of ~500 people for our studio’s spring showcase.
The full results of Pacific Pole Championships are now online! Stoked to see my name on the internet somewhere, haha. I’m still waiting for scans of my scoresheets to come in as well as Alloy Images’ recording of my performance.
Fonji to Reverse Fonji combo madness last night at The Vertitude. I can’t believe I finally nailed this combo. I’ve wanted it for so long!!
A small trick combo I made up for PPC but ended up not using! It’s an aerial phoenix to Iron-X that I just started calling the “Iron Phoenix”.
A year and a half ago, I started pole dancing. No extensive dance or gymnastics background. At my first competition I won a bronze medal, baby!
Thank you, doll! I was so tired after my performance, all I wanted to do was go eat some place into bankruptcy. I’m sure we’ll probably run into each other again at another pole event :) I’d love to say hi and meet you <3
Aw thank you SO much. I had a lot of fun on stage :) I see you got a bronze, too! Congrats, girl! Bronze buddies fo’evah! Make sure you post a video of your performance — I’d love to see it. <3
I knew I was going to need help when I first started training for Pacific Pole Championships but I wasn’t sure how to go about asking for it. I’m shy and very nervous when someone asks what my strengths in pole dancing are. Thankfully the pole community in Los Angeles is large and very tight knit, making it the best place when training for competitions — even for timid folks like me.
Professional pole dancers train in a variety of styles - Alone, online, with a partner, or in a group. Luckily I’ve had a chance to try out most of these methods this season! Let me give you a brief run through of each:
Alethea Austin confessed on Facebook after USPDF 2012 that she had only taken two weeks to prepare. She lived intensely with her piece, working, breathing through, and rehearsing intensely throughout that time.
Working solo is great for dancers who know how to choreograph and have a good knowledge of their strengths. I found that while training by myself I often got the most done since there was no one to distract me. It was also very comfortable to find new poses or movements that would’ve looked silly to someone else. Training solo is not without an immense amount of outside research; I watched at least an hour of different dance and pole videos everyday to keep my ideas fresh.
Training Partner or Coaching Privates
I trained with my lovely doubles/triples partner, Janet. We woke up everyday Saturday leading up to the competition at 8am to have the studio to ourselves. Working with a partner is fantastic because you build a great relationship of trust — they’re the first person you show new choreography to, will spot you in a move you’re thinking about adding in, and will tell you straight away when something isn’t working.
Also, when training with a partner, you can exchange “trade secrets”. I split my time between parkour and pole, chinese pole moves come easily to me, and I’m a big fan of any sort of power or strength move. Janet was especially great to train with because she’s a trained ballet/jazz/lyrical dancer. She takes her time in her movements and extends feeling from her fingers to her toes to her face. Our dichotomy worked well — opposites do attract, I suppose?
I had the honor of participating in Sergia Louise Anderson’s first Choreo Feedback class series in addition to my training with Janet. First and foremost, I want to say that she did not choreograph my piece for me. As a seasoned champion, Sergia was able to translate my aspirations for the piece into small dance exercises aimed at exploration. I found that by using her method, my choreography always felt genuine. I wasn’t forcing myself to move in ways that didn’t feel natural to my body.
She also taught me about breathing through my movements and making eye contact — oh so important details that make or break a performance. Breathing through a movement means that you’re actually holding it and breathing, taking a moment to look at the audience and make a gesture rather than breezing by and going to the next thing.
Say a bunch of girls you know are training for the same competition for the first time. Instead of keeping your choreography and tricks a secret (which I see a lot of) — share them! A candle loses no light by igniting another flame. You may find ideas in something that a friend did by accident. Groups are also great because you get a lot of feedback very quickly.
Something special about group meets that you won’t get by training solo or with a partner is the discovery of when the big “moments” happen in your routine. These are the moments in performance where the audience goes nuts and cheers. Sure, you can choreograph these moments in yourself but you won’t be able to gage a reaction without an audience there. If those big moments aren’t happening yet, someone will tell you, and you’ll have time to fix it!
The picture above is me with my Choreography group. They’re rad :)
I have yet to try out We Fly but I have only heard tremendous things. The gist is that for $24.95 you get the best feedback possible from a professional pole dancer. Their roster of gurus include USPDF champs Natasha Wang and Michelle Stanek, and Rebecca Starr and Tracee Kafer of Body & Pole fame. They’re there if you need technical, artistic, or musical advice and give you expert tips on how to take your dancing to the next level.