Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lost Passion?

It's the holiday season and many of us are racking our brains for the perfect gift ideas.  For the past several years, my husband and I have enjoyed the fun Black Friday shopping adventures.  This year, we both felt the tradition of Christmas shopping was ruined.  Many retailers moved their big post Thanksgiving store openings to Thanksgiving night.  This sparked a controversy still being debated to this day- have retailers gone too far?  Have we, as a society, lost the meaning of what Christmas is really about? Has Christmas really been degraded to the latest technology gadgets and materialistic items?

This ambivalence about the holiday spirit has also been felt in other areas of my life, particularly affecting my feelings towards pole dancing.  Somewhere along my journey, I have lost my passion.  I began to feel myself pull away from social networking within the pole community.  The community was becoming too chaotic to keep up with.  A lot of dramatics and cliques forming.  I felt a tension within the community and decided it was best to let things settle over time.  I also began to witness more emphasis on dancers pushing themselves to be better than what they were.  A constant feeling of inadequacy and low moral. I no longer wanted to support those feelings of not being good enough.  I felt the compassion for being good regardless of what extreme tricks that could be done was lacking.  I took a break for awhile from paying attention to what was going on.  Over time, I began to lose passion within my own dancing.  Through my loss of passion, I feel a disconnection that I don't know if I will ever rekindle.  I no longer dance with my pole, nor do I feel at this moment in time I want to.  The thought has crossed my mind to give up pole dancing completely, sell my poles, and move on.  I have always thought of myself as being in a relationship with my pole.  Is this the end of my five year commitment?  I'm not certain about anything.  I feel myself disinterested in pole in regards to specific areas but immediately drawn back to people I have grown to know and love through our similar passion.  Maybe it's not an ending for me and my pole?  Maybe it's time to sit down and reflect on the meaning of pole- the same reflection many of us are experiencing as we try to bring back meaning to our beloved holiday season.  I guess only time will tell. And in time, I do have a bit of hope that there will be a story for time to tell. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Time to Cultivate.

The past two months I've been rehearsing and preparing for this weekend's upcoming show, Motus Dance Theatre's annual Cultivate.  The piece I am performing in is called "Caught & Held."  During the piece, our group of three dancers utilize an aerial sling to symbolize the meaning of the piece- being caught and held between monumental life choices of a modern young adult.  For the past two weeks, we have been working hard at rehearsing and perfecting details.  Performance week began with Sunday's tech day.  Tech day was a day for choreographers to see their performances with the stage setup and lighting options.  I really liked the lighting for our piece.  It helped tie the production together and highlight portions of our routine.  During tech day, all the dancers were able to watch each other perform.  Last night was our full dress rehearsal.  This was another four hour day.  In complete costume and makeup, we performed the entire show as it will be performed on opening night.  This was also a run through that allowed us to re-evaluate portions of the piece, costumes, hair selections, and how we handled mishaps within the piece while on stage.  Over all, I feel like the dress rehearsal went well.  There were some areas within our piece that didn't go as smootthly as they had in prior rehearsals, however the entire night was an essential learning experience for the whole process.  I'm able to identify areas I struggle with in my dancing.  I find it difficult to express emotion as I have never had any training or experience with dance that requires me to use my facial expressions.  This has been a challenge for me and is something I've been working towards being more comfortable with.  I'm excited to perform for audiences this weekend- opening night is Thursday.  We will again perform on Friday and close the show on Saturday. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Modern Dance Technique

Modern Technique baffles me.  There's no real structure to this type of dancing.  My first class left me feeling confused.  It probably didn't help that I thought I was going to a class where I was going to have a very structured learning experience.  I thought moves were going to be broken down and I was going to be given a lectured approach to dance.  My preconceived notions of my expectations were far from reality.  Class began with an assortment of strange moves to music that I'd never heard before.  The moves were far from what I'd previously considered as dancing.  I left my first class hating Modern Technique.  My second class experience went a little better.  All the moves from my first class were done again which allowed me to actually feel as though I was accomplishing something.  I have skipped what should have been my third class today as I ground my spine into the floor during my "X" pose in my second class.  My spine was rubbed raw and I have three areas that are healing with scabs that I don't want to reopen.  I'm hoping by my midweek class they will have healed.  In an attempt to grasp some kind of understanding on this dance form and why anyone would seek out a class to dance like this, I've decided to conduct some research on the topic.  I came across a video online that sort of explains Modern Dance Technique a little better.  Modern Dance Techniques introduces a brief history of the dance form as well as the type of movement one can expect in a class.  The instructor in the video mentions how Modern Dance Techniques are very much a melting pot of other dance forms when creating movement.  This explanation has given me a better sense of how I am able to identify with this type of dancing.  If anything, after experiencing Modern Dance Technique, I have been left feeling hungry for more structure which is why I am taking my first Ballet class this week. 

Post Third Class.  Modern Technique is beginning to grow on me.  For my third class, my instructor changed the routine.  I like this new routine.  It's full of whimsical spins that utilize the center floor.  Although I'd like to pretend and say I was wisked away by the art and performed the beautiful spins effortlessly, unfortunately I have to admit I flopped around like a fish out of water with no grace or elegance whatsoever.  I'm envious of the students who performed each move like it was as natural to them as breathing.  I'm puzzled at how I can be graceful at one form of dance and look utterly disasterous at another.  I guess I will be sticking to my Modern Tecnique.  It appears I have a lot of work to do.  I wonder if my instructor will let me film the segment of the routine with the pretty spin so I can practice this on my own and master the movement at my own pace?  I'm going to inquire about this in my next lesson on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Poise, Posture, & Grace. Ballet.

Yesterday was my first time ever taking a ballet class.  Ballet has always been a mysterious dance form for me.  I never had the opportunity to experience Ballet as a child and have spent the last four years studying diligently various forms of dance only to find myself always pondering what skills I would acquire from Ballet.  After having to take Modern Technique for the upcoming show I've been cast in, I discovered the theatre offered adult beginner level classes.  I was thrilled to discover that while I'd decided to participate in learning what I could about Ballet, that the theatre's latest series of classes was about to begin. 

In preparation for my first lesson, I decided it would be wise for me to do a little research to find out what exactly should I expect for my initial lesson.  I was glad I did this as many of the things I'd learned online served as a solid basis that allowed me to easily flow along with the other students in class.  The information provided by offers readers with a detailed online introductory lesson.  I learned essential basics such as the five basic positions, posture, and movement terminology.  All of which I experienced in my first lesson.  Having a basic understanding of these terms helped me fit right in and practice my form rather than stumble over my own confusion. 

My class began with basic barre exercises utilizing the positions.  I found fifth position to be a little difficult as a beginner, therefore I maintained comfort within my first, second, and third positions.  The stretching movements performed during the class felt good.  I was able to determine what areas I need improvement on with my own body as Ballet focuses on bilateral form for an equalization of strengthening and stretching.  My left hip was quite stiff and slightly hindered my ability to perform moves that came quite easily for my right.  I also found that during moves if I maintained first position with my arms or kept them hinged at my hips with correct form of my upper body, I was able to comfortably focus on the foot work.  I will work on adding in the arm movements as I progress.  My teacher was wonderful. She was an older woman that reminded me of my late grandmother.  I could tell she really enjoys Ballet and has an eye for her student's in teaching them the correct form.  She gently corrected us in our form when necessary.  The overall environment of the class was comfortable and the curriculum flowed well throughout the 90 minutes of class time.   The cool down portion of class was my favorite as it focused on form and posture that enabled me to feel a good stretch throughout.  Overall, I really enjoyed my Ballet class experience.  I look forward to future classes and the purchasing of my first pair of Ballet shoes. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dancing is a Journey...

It's been awhile since I've written about anything "dance" related.  I have been very distant in the past couple of months in regards to the pole community.  For multiple reasons that none of which I'm not quite sure of as being the one specific reason, but I have found myself to have grown bored with the pole community.  I also felt like keeping up with all that has been going on just left me feeling drained.  I was becoming restless when it came to the trend I was seeing within the pole community and the lack of dancing that has become the "art" form.  Sometimes taking a break is what one truly needs.  I have continued to teach my students and have been quite content with being involved locally to help the pole/aerial community grow.  I have also found other areas within the local dance community where I've been able to experience performing opportunities that will allow me to grow as a dancer.  I decided to concentrate on aerial work and was presented with an opportunity to audition for an upcoming show featuring an aerial piece.  I'm excited to announce that I have been cast in the show which will premier in November.  In addition to rehearsals, I have been taking mandatory Modern Technique classes twice a week and will be beginning a Ballet class this Tuesday.  I'm really excited to be involved in something unique that will help me grow artistically in my dancing.  I'm learning that dancing can be full of exciting experiences, each a journey of it's own worth the hard work and determination it took to get there. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

SHANY Cosmetics Dupe List

I've been requested to compile a list of my known dupes for the SHANY Cosmetics Neutral 88 Palette.  So far, I only know of the Urban Decay Naked Palette dupes.  If you know of anymore, please feel free to share below!  Some of these colors are a little give or take, but they're as close in matches as possible. 

The List

Original Naked Palette (Left to Right)
1. Virgin : G2
2. Sin : G4
3. Naked : J2
4. Sidecar : I2
5. Buck : D5
6. Half Baked : A3
7. Smog : D7
8. Darkhorse : D8
9. Toasted : G8
10. Hustle : J7
11. Creep : F8
12. Gunmetal : F5

Naked 2 Palette
1. Foxy : A2
2. HalfBaked: A3
3. Bootycall : D1
4. Chopper : A5
5. Tease : I3
6. SnakeBite : E5
7. Suspect : D6
8. Pistol : F6
9. Verve : G4
10. YDK : I4
11. Busted : J4
12. Blackout : F7

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey & Darker Reviewed

I have completed reading two of the three trilogy books in the Fifty Shades series.  I must say, these books took me by surprise.  I was expecting an older targeted audience when reading the story.  It was surprising to discover the main characters were in their twenties.  Not that there is anything wrong with being in your twenties, I just found it hard to believe a successful billionaire would be twenty-seven and as sexually mature as he was in the story.  I envision a man in his thirties to fit better in the character of Mr. Grey, but I guess twenty-seven is what sold the story as a unique tale of maturity in certain aspects and lacking in others.  There were times I struggled with the main character.  I found her to be whiny and difficult to tolerate.  I think the author depicted a young naive woman perfectly.  Ana was the epitome of self doubt.  It was quite an experience of seeing her grow up in a sense throughout the story.  I think many can relate to being young and infatuated which causes us to make stupid decisions or conjure up redundant questions of uncertainty.  The story took a surprising twist for me as it went to from erotic sexually charged to cheesey-ville on steroids.  I'm hoping the next book mulls over the gushy feelings of sunshine and unicorns as it returns to the edge that first appealed to so many who were intrigued to begin reading the series to begin with.  The sexually explicit scenes did not offer any shock value to me personally.  If you find yourself to be quite reserved and blush at the mere mention of sex then you'll want to read these books in the comfort of your own home in order to process the intensity the author is able to portray.  The sex is intense however I found areas to be comical an unrealistic.  You may walk away feeling quite inadequate after reading these books.  Forewarning, this IS a novel written for entertainment.  Entertaining it is.  A part of me wonders if this story is far from the realities of the S&M world as it appears to take on a sugar coated approach to make this story sell better for the average suburban housewife drooling over our beloved Dominant, Mr. Grey.  Overall, I really liked these books.  I found myself reminiscing areas of my all time favorite and controversial novel of it's time, Valley of the Dolls.  If you enjoyed reading Fifty Shades, I highly recommend you indulge in an older version of taboo in print and get comfortable for another intriguing summer read years ahead of it's time.  Would I recommend these books to a friend? Yes.  To my Mother? Probably not.  And if she's read them, I don't want to know. Just kidding, Mom.  LOL.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Studio Spotlight: Flow Fitness - Wilmington, North Carolina

Last night I had the pleasure of taking a Sultry pole class at Flow Fitness studio in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Sultry pole is a drop in class full of mixed level students.  The class allows students of every level to experience pole fitness with a personalized perspective.  There was a mix of ladies in the class- some who had never touched a pole before and me (who has been poling for the past four years).  It was quite an experience.  The class began with a warm up that started out with the basics then moved into sensual moves that could easily be incorporated into floor work for the routine.  The warm up transitioned well from the basic warm up moves to conditioning exercises.  Students were enjoying the movement that many didn't even realize the work out they were achieving.  After our warmup/conditioning we began learning a dance sequence then practiced the new moves repeatedly while adding our own dance flow to individualize the routine to our particular feelings with the music.  It was fun because I got to freestyle and let loose on the pole- something I've been itching to do ever since arriving at my vacation destination and realizing my home pole was not going to work with the beach house ceiling. 

The studio was beautiful.  The walls were a deep lavender and decorated with a large picture of Marilyn Monroe surrounded by tasteful images of women of every shape and size posing beautifully in yoga poses.  The lighting of the studio were easily dimmed to allow a relaxed feeling.  The front of the pole fitness room consisted of a large mirror while the back of the pole room had a ballet barre for different types of barre classes.  The floors were a light hardwood theme that were easy of the feet.  (I still wore my dance paws out of habit).  The poles were static 50mm brass at a comfortable height that allowed me to aerial invert with ease.  The main studio consisted of two fitness areas which allowed for the luxury of dual classes- pole and non-pole.  Class pricing, which is always subject to change, was very reasonable for the area.  Pole classes start at $140 for an eight week series.  (Our eight week series at my studio I work at in the Midwest start at $240).  My drop in class was only $15.  A very reasonable price for those wanting to experience pole fitness without making an eight week commitment.  I found the Sultry pole class to be versatile as it appears the curriculum would allow any student of any level to continuously learn from just attending that single class repeatedly as the class allows for so much variety.  The location of the studio is on the outskirts of downtown Wilmington- which I found to be easily accessible on the main highway connecting vacation island destinations to the city.  It was very easy to navigate to and from Topsail Island in Surf City.  Approximately a 30 minute commute.  Overall, I was very pleased with my experience and look forward to revisiting Flow Fitness in the future.  I highly recommend if you are vacationing in the area, that you check out this great studio.  From the owner to the staff and students in the class, I found my entire experience very welcoming and can't wait to return!

Check out Flow Fitness on Facebook!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Currently Reading

I've decided to start featuring the books I'm currently reading as blog posts!  Previous books and my reviews were posted to social media via, however I'm finding WeRead to be glitchy at times and instead of hoping the application works when I want to add a book to my list, I will now be adding them to my blog where I then can link the blog post via social media.  To kick off the summer of 2012, I have decided to succumb to the latest trashy novel addiction sweeping the nation by reading E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey.  Below is the book cover image and a description of the storyline.  Once I'm completed reading the book, I will post a follow up review.


March 5, 2012 Fifty Shades
Book Description: When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Image/Description courtesy of

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Power of Words

I'm currently studying many interpersonal communication concepts in my communications course and an issue involving the power we give to words got me thinking about how certain words in society can also impact the pole community.  Many people are quick to correct misconceptions regarding pole dancing.  Common stereotypes about pole dancers often include strip clubs or the dirty dark little secret world of the sex industry.  The truth about modern pole dancers is far from the stereotypes.  Many women who pole dance have never set foot in a strip club and rarely, if ever, strip any articles of clothing off their bodies when poling.  The power of words has greatly impacted the pole community.  These words that label all pole dancers as one has been the driving force behind the campaign for pole dancing education.  It's imperative that we, as a community, educate those in society when misconceptions about our identity arise.  Being a stripper isn't a bad thing either.  I know some women who are in the profession of stripping and really enjoy doing what they do.  To each their own.  It's certainly not a job for everyone but for the women that do pursue that avenue, do it because it's their choice.  The shame we associate with stripper is a perfect example of the power we give to that word.  It's time we take a closer look beyond the words and find out who is the individual.  You'd be surprised to learn many pole dancers are doctors, nurses, and lawyers.  None of which are strippers.  Just something to think about. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Urban Decay Naked Inspired Natural Eye Look

I decided to create a video tutorial with my SHANY Cosmetics Natural Fusion 88 Eyeshadow Nude Palette.  The lighting is a little dark in this video, I apologize.  This is my first video makeup tutorial.   I've been sick and lost my voice, so I had to use music and text to verbalize what I was doing.  Enjoy!

Video Info
Using my SHANY Cosmetics Natural Fusion 88 Eyeshadow Colors Palette, I created a look inspired by Urban Decay's Naked palette. (
This look brightens green/hazel eyes.
I labeled my palette's top row alphabetically, side row numerically.
All makeup brushes used are E.L.F. (
Nails: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color Flashy Fuschia
I lost my voice from being sick so I was unable to speak during this video.
Music is royalty free # Psy Brazil # "Erotic Dream"
All products were purchased with my own money and all content is based on my own opinion. I'm not affiliated with any of the mentioned companies/products in this video.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shany Cosmetics Natural Fusion Nude Palette vs. Urban Decay Naked & Naked 2

After a lot of research, I finally decided on an eyeshadow palette that suited my personal preferences! I'd been contemplating the Urban Decay Naked palette but couldn't fathom purchasing the product for myself given the price ($50.00 USD).  As desirable the Urban Decay palette is, every time I went to the store to make the purchase, I ended up leaving empty handed as when the moment for check out came I doubted my true desires and shrugged it off as being an over hyped product that I really didn't need.  It's eyeshadow, after all.  Yes, the swatches looked pretty on my arm, but more than a few of them I questioned whether I would actually use, let alone like when it's all said and done.   So I spent many late nights researching and came across the Coastal Scents Warm Palette consisting of 88 eyeshadow colors all falling within the neutral warm category.  I almost purchased this palette when I came across an online review of a similar product, the SHANY Cosmetics Natural Fusion Nude Palette.  I'm not a huge fan of the smokey eye with grays, blues, and blacks, therefore my decision was quickly made when I counted how many of the smokey eye colors there were in each and decided on SHANY because it had fewer of the shadows I wouldn't use and more plum colors- which I love to use.   I must say, ever since I got the product, I have been very pleased with the quality and pigmentation of the shadows.  Further more, I also came across an online review where the dupes for both Naked and Naked 2 were revealed in the SHANY Cosmetics palette!  It was this review alone, that helped me solidify my decision.   I figured for only $19.99 USD, if I could get 88 eyeshadows and colors that were dupes for the Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2, then I could play around with the colors and decide if eventually I want to upgrade to the actual Urban Decay Naked palette in the future.  If I ended up not liking them, then I'd have saved myself the money by buying this cheaper alternative that also offered other shadows I most likely would use if not any of the Urban Decay dupes.  It was a win win situation.  Below I've attached images of the SHANY Cosmetics palette along with a code I put together which I now use in my own palette to determine where my Urban Decay dupes are located. 
I've also found some products that have made the wear of these eyeshadows better.  As a primer, I've been using E.L.F. eyelid primer (retails $1.00 USD).  I also just started using NYX jumbo eye pencil in milk as a eyelid base.  I did this today with my Half Baked Dupe (A3) and loved the results.  I highly recommend these affordable additions to use along with this palette for maximum results in your shadows.  Overall, I really love this palette and very happy with my decision.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Target Haul Video Blog

I decided to pick up a few beauty related products from Target today and wanted to share! I'll be posting a blog review of these products within the next week after I get a feeling of how I like each of the products I talk about here in this video haul.  Thanks for watching!

Monday, April 16, 2012

What's in my Makeup Bag/Beauty Haul series: Lotions and Primers

 This is the second addition to my What's in my Makeup Bag Series/Beauty Haul, and in this post I'm going to talk about facial moisturizers and makeup primers.   My previous morning routine for face care consisted of putting on a facial moisturizer then proceeding with my day.  Since I've been dabbling in the world of cosmetics, I've come across some products that I've decided to implement into my daily routine.  I'd also like to point out I consider my face to consist of combination type skin.  My forehead has a tendency to get oily, I notice this mainly when I work long hospital shifts.  By the end of twelve hours, my forehead often has a glistening shine that will leave oily residue on my hand if touched.  My cheeks are typically very dry and consist of areas that resembled small abrasions and sun spots.  This is the reason I began my quest for makeup products.  The early years of daily beach naps of sun worshiping circa 2005 have left their permanent marks on my face.  A memento I'd like not to display for all those to see, especially since age spots have never been in style and I no longer reside within close proximity to the sunny beaches I'd grown up on.  So through many nights of research combined with trial and error, I have found some products that I am quite pleased with.

Getting Started....
I start my day with a face wash- I hate to admit this but my previous face wash was a daily exfoliate.  Every day for several years (let's estimate and say five), I would wash my face every morning with St. Ive's Apricot Scrub.  I don't know why I never questioned my actions on this.  I don't think the fact I was using a harsh cleanser on my face every day was even a thought in my mind.  I do believe this may be the reason for the tiny abrasion like areas on my cheeks.  Depending on the cleanser- daily exfoliation can be done.  As long as your cleanser does not feel like you're rubbing sand paper all over your face.  Why I did this to my skin for long, I don't know.  The truth of the matter was, I didn't know any better.  Lesson learned.  It is recommended to exfoliate once or twice weekly.  I've since decided I've done more than my fair share over the course of five years, therefore I've omitted this practice all together.  I now use Cetaphil daily facial cleanser.  I can't remember exactly where I learned about this product but a part of me thinks I actually got the idea from watching Kendra on E! as the camera got a glimpse of her bathroom counter in one of the episodes.  For some reason I remember thinking since she uses it, it must be good.

Skin Rev-er Upper
Now with my freshly cleansed face, I apply my Bare Minerals bareVitamins Skin Rev-er Upper.  This amazing little product has been a miracle worker for my skin.  Recently because of medication issues, I have experienced unsightly blemishes.  After a week of using this product my skin has cleared up and looks amazing.  I was actually considering trying ProActive until I used this product.  According to the product website, the 2.3 ounce bottle of Skin Rev-er Upper is designed to refresh your complexion with the added benefits of botanicals and glycolic and salicylic acids to prepare skin for flawless foundation application.  Skin Rev-er Upper is formulated for all skin types and without fragrances.  The product comes in a bottle with a pump top and retails for $21.00 USD.  I purchased mine with a Bare Minerals Foundation kit- which I will go into more detail in an upcoming blog post. 

I generally choose one of two facial moisturizers.  Selection one is my indoor days pick.  It's the Cetaphil Moisturizering Cream.  This moisturizer can be thick.  I usually take a small pea sized amount on the back of my hand and work it into all the areas of my face except my forehead.  Since my forehead has a tendency to make KFC look like a dry desert, I opt for no additional moisture in that area. The second option for facial moisturizer is my Eucerin Daily Protection SPF 30 Moisturizing Face Lotion. I love this product.  This is the only product with SPF that I have been able to apply to my face without it burning.  This product is gentle, non-greasy, non-fragrant, and formulated for sensitive skin.  This product is light and has smooth application.  Because of the light consistency of this product, I actually will apply this to my forehead area as well.   After some research due to writing this blog post, I discovered Cetaphil has a line of facial moisturizers with SPF.  A new product now available is their Dermacontrol Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30.  This product claims to hydrate, control acne prone skin, and create a matte finish.  In the makeup world, I have learned one key word that goes along with my oil prone forehead and that is "matte" or "mattifying".  Anything that is designed to reduce oil is essential to controlling my unsightly end of the work day skin.  I have decided to add this product to my shopping list and will update with a review in a later post. 

Face Primers
After I've applied my moisturizer, I prep for my foundation with a facial primer.  I have two primers Rimmel London Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Currently, as I'm writing this blog post, I have only used the Rimmel London's primer.  I figured it works well for my skin, therefore why ruin a good thing? One of the added bonuses to the primer is it reduces pores in conjunction with creating a smooth finish for long lasting foundation wear.  I have heard good things about Smashbox, however I have also heard some people have broken out from the primer.  I've decided to hold off on trying the primer until absolutely necessary or I get bored and decide to give it a go.  I'm sure I'll keep everyone updated on my results and thoughts about the product. 

The Night Time Miracle Product
I've decided to add this product as my night time facial moisturizer.  For the past month, I've been using all natural Coconut Oil as a nightly face cream.  Coconut oil has an enormous amount of known skin and hair benefits.  I have been using Coconut oil on my face as a makeup remover and night time moisturizer, deep conditioning for my hair, and as a nail conditioner.  I initially purchased this product about six months ago to use as a shaving lotion.  After regular post shaving application, I decided to start using the product for it's natural properties to benefit all areas of my skin.  I'm uncertain what product has led to my clearer skin or maybe it's a combination of both the Skin Rev-er Upper and the Coconut Oil but I have noticed an overall improved complexion in the past month since implementing a new skin care regimen. 

 This concludes my lotions and primers blog post.  I hope it was informative and useful for those interested or on a quest for learning about different types of products. I look forward to adding more posts in this series about my makeup collection as well as learning from my readers what products are preferred.  Please feel free to leave me a comment with your favorite products or any questions you may have.  Thanks for reading!

In this series I will introduce what products are in my makeup bag and my personal reviews.  All the products listed have been purchased on my own.  I am not affiliated with any of the companies, all reviews are my personal opinion of my experiences with the products.  Stay tuned for my next article of What's in my Makeup Bag/Beauty Haul series: Concealers and Foundation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Five Ideas for Getting Out of a Pole Rut

Over the course of your pole journey, it is inevitable that you will experience a period where you go through a pole rut.  This is when your creativity feels as though it has hit a brick wall.  For whatever reason, this is the time where you may feel it becomes necessary you take a break from your pole.  Upon returning to the pole after your pole-cation (pole vacation), you may wonder how to get back into things full swing.  I decided to compile a list of five ideas for those in search of rekindling their romance with their poles.

1.) Whatever it was you did that first got you hooked- revisit that activity.  Whether it was a beginner level pole class or a favorite YouTube video- revisit this activity for old times sake.  By summoning old memories and feelings, this can relight that initial spark you once felt, thus fueling that desire to dance.

2.)  Play your all time favorite tunes.  Something as simple as hearing your favorite jam can get you pumped and ready to dance.  Skip the work out attire and heels- grab that pole and do a simple dance where you shimmy and shake to the beat.  Have fun and let loose.  Feel inspired and free.

3.) Laugh at yourself.  So your last few months on the pole weren't as awesome as your favorite pole dancer's latest online video.  Who cares?  Don't be so critical of yourself and thinking you have to be perfect.  The professionals aren't perfect and they have bad pole days too.  Be silly and laugh to lighten the mood.  You will feel better when you smile.

4.) Turn off the camera. We're pretty stuck on filming ourselves every practice because we might end up doing something awesome like inventing a new move no one has ever done before.  Heavens forbid we forget to hit record on our cameras and miss the once in a lifetime chance to show the world we invented the impossible.  Relax.  You're not pioneering uncharted territory.  Turn off the camera and dance every once awhile for yourself.  Your YouTube audience can wait.  You deserve to treat yourself to a private dance session and enjoy times where it is just you and your pole.

5.) Treat yourself to a new outfit, new heels, new hair style, or a makeover.  Pampering yourself with a beauty treat or materialistic item can be a fun and exciting way to transform your aura by releasing revitalized energy into your dance and the environment around you. 

 Thanks for reading! I hope this helps those that have found themselves in a slump with their dancing.  One of the things I love about pole dancing is how versatile the activity is.  There is always something new and exciting to explore and every dancer has an array of endless possibilities to transform their work outs.  Pole dancing takes time and dedication, which can become overwhelming.  It's okay to take a break when life gets busy or your heart isn't one hundred percent.  The amazing thing about the pole community is that it will always be there when you are ready to come back.  People will always welcome you when you return ready to support you through all the exciting challenges.   Happy poling!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What's in My Makeup Bag/Beauty Haul Series

Recently I've become obsessed with finding my very own makeup regimen.  I just turned 28, and have never really known much about or worn a considerable amount of makeup.  Over the past year, I've noticed subtle changes in my skin's complexion.  These changes were enough for me to finally decide to take the plunge into the world of cosmetics. 

Where to begin?  I began my journey online- first starting with Google which then led me to YouTube reviews and makeup tutorials.  Eventually I took my quest to the makeup counter at Ulta.  I have been using a specific brand of foundation makeup for several weeks now and have received multiple compliments on my complexion from friends and family.  Overall, I feel the results have been amazing- not only did the makeup enhance my skin with a glowing complexion, but my skin's blemishes have also cleared up.   I've gotten a lot of questions about what types of makeup I've been using, so I wanted to create a beauty haul blog series to share with my readers the types of products I'm experimenting with to create a gorgeous makeup regimen.

The Bag.  I decided it was time to ditch the tiny excuse for a cosmetic bag that has been reserving space on my bathroom counter.  I figured if my entire makeup routine was to get a makeover then my supplies needed to have a new home as well.  After much research, I decided on a Vera Bradley Happy Snails large cosmetic bag.  The bag is an ideal size for those looking to begin their makeup collection and wanting to keep everything organized in one place.  The inside of the bag is a single compartment lined with a washable insulated plastic.  The bag itself opens and closes easily with a zipper.  I found this bag to be colorful an aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  This bag was the perfect addition to my personal taste and style.  Other bags that made the running for possible choices included the Forever 21 collection.  The Forever 21 bags are very stylish and a great alternative for those not looking to spend a lot.

Sneak Peek of What's in my Makeup Bag :)

In this series I will introduce what products are in my makeup bag and my personal reviews.  All the products listed have been purchased on my own.  I am not affiliated with any of the companies, all reviews are my personal opinion of my experiences with the products.  Stay tuned for my next article of What's in my Makeup Bag/Beauty Haul series: Lotions and Primers.

Monday, April 9, 2012

April Favorites Video Blog Review

My first ever video blog! I decided to do something a little different with this blog post and I'm hoping  to periodically incorporate some more video product reviews specifically for pole dancers.  This first month of favorites includes shoes, makeup, and music. Below the video, I've included all the products/websites mentioned.  All the mentioned products I purchased on my own and nor do I have any affiliation with the companies outside of being a regular consumer. Please feel free to comment or like this video.  Thanks for watching an enjoy!

Favorites List
1. Red/Black patent leather 6 3/4" stilettos SKY309
2. Black/White Criss Cross patent leather 6 3/4" stilettos SKY330
3. Ulta Buff Shimmer Lipstick
4. Rimmel London Stay Glossy Lip gloss Nonstop Glamour
5. Vitamin String Quartet April 2012 Challenge

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Self Defense, An Essential Guide to Survival

This past weekend I participated in a women's self defense training at the studio.  The training lasted three hours and the instructor taught a series of protection techniques with different scenarios that enabled us to think in terms of application.  My husband attended the training with me.  I'm glad he was able to participate with me in this training.  The instructor stressed the importance that we both were educated on the information taught so we could practice.  Practicing the techniques taught in a self defense training is important as it enables you to develop muscle memory.  The information that was taught was simple and easy to remember however in a situation where you are being attacked, I can understand that one would not think of such techniques to do unless previously trained.  The instructor also provided all the class participants with a study manual to go over further at home.  I really enjoyed this training and feel it's an important skill one should take seriously and participate in for their own personal safety.  I hope I never have to utilize my self defense skills, however if I ever do, I feel confident that I have the knowledge base to protect myself when necessary.  For more information on Women's Self Defense Awareness, visit: The Association for Women's Self Defense Advancement ( or T.A.K.E. Defense Foundation Training (  There are multiple resources out there, please take the first step and do your research. It could save your life.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Voila! The Aerial Files...

I wish I had something insightful to write about.  Instead I will update my readers on just some of the latest happenings in my ever so busy life.  School is going well.  I never thought I'd be going back to college, I had long assumed my first post college graduation was going to forever be my last.  Never assume you are done learning once you get one degree, the demands often require you to keep going back for more.  My anticipated date of degree #2 completion is looking to be sometime in June 2013.  It can't get here soon enough.

Things are going really well at the studio.  I'm working on my performance for the upcoming Pole Up Soiree', An Evening of Entertainment which will be on Saturday March 31st.  I will be performing a routine on the aerial silks for my first ever silks performance.  I'm still piecing things together but I have a lot of great ideas.  Can't wait to get into the studio and start working on things this Friday.  This will be a challenge for me as I will be stepping out of my comfort zone from pole and taking a jab at the artistic expression within the ever popular circus entertainment.  I think this will be a lovely precursor to an entertainment gig that is being lined up.  I'm looking at performing aerial silks weekly at a local formal establishment in the near future.  Can't quite elaborate on details right now as things are still in the primitive stages.  I'm hoping to have a meeting sometime in the next week or so.  I'm really excited about this prospect as it will enable me to showcase the aerial arts to a wide range of audiences, including my close friends and family who have been eager to see me perform.  

Right now I'm teaching both pole series level 2, aerial silks series level 1, and my trademark Sensuous Flow & Flexibility class.  My level 2 ladies are quite impressive.  They are like sponges when it comes to pole dancing material.  It's been a pleasure watching them progress and come into their own.  My aerial silks classes have been going very well.  I am learning so much along with my students as this is the first run of the program- and the first of it's kind for a silks program in Indianapolis.  I'm seeing all the hard work and long hours of research coming together and beginning to pay off.  I can't wait to see the progression in this week's class compared to last week.  I introduced climbing technique last week and I anticipate a few climbers in the group come this Friday.  As far as my flexibility class, I've seen an increase in students as of lately which has been good for me so I am always researching new ideas to keep the routines fresh. Speaking of routines, that is my cue to bring this blog update to an end as I need to map out my performance routine and work on musicality.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tips for Beginners

Where to begin? You just took your first pole class for whatever reason and now you've been bitten by the pole bug and want more. So what do you do to get started off in the right direction? First and foremost, one of the most beneficial key elements to your pole journey can be finding the right studio. The right studio can mean something different for each individual. Regardless of your personal preferences for the right studio, it's important you're aware of basic safety measures to ensure you are getting an experience you will be able to trust will benefit your health in the long run. One of the first questions you should ask is, What types of qualifications, training, or certifications do my instructors have? This is something we often don't ask because we assume we're going to a public business therefore they must have all their bases covered. In the pole industry, this is not always true. Anyone can open a studio regardless of experience or level of training. The fitness industry is not regulated, therefore it is the responsibility of the consumer to do your homework and ensure you are protecting yourself by seeking out qualified instructors. Even if an instructor does not have certifications or training, it doesn't mean they are not a good instructor. This is where you will need to be your own advocate and realize that if you choose to take classes with an instructor that lacks specific training, you must know your own limitations and exercise your right to restraint when it comes to practicing within your limitations. Finding a studio that you are comfortable with is not always feasible for many factors such as location or just not suited to your personal needs. Lack of studio access should not deter you from embarking on a pole journey if you so wish to pursue it.

There is an enormous amount of literature out there on the internet regarding purchasing a home pole. My personal favorite due to portability and ease of use is the popular Xpole brand poles. I have used many other brands and I really enjoy them all due to their own unique design, however I have found for a beginner who may be trying out poling as a new fitness regimen and unsure of whether they will actually commit to poling in the long run, purchasing an Xpole is the best option as it will leave no traces of it's existence once removed and it has a positive prospective for resale. When choosing a home pole, it is important to do your research to choose the best pole that will meet your needs. This is basically due to the various different types of pole diameters and finishes. The majority of studios will have 50 mm size diameter poles. I recommend my students to start out on a 50 mm, which they have that exposure from attending the studio so if they have smaller hands and are in the market for a home pole, I will recommend a 45 mm. Poles also come in a variety of finishes which affect the grip of the pole. Poles come in stainless steel, chrome, brass, powder coated, titanium gold, and aluminum. If you are able to get the necessary exposure to test out the different types of poles, I highly recommend doing so before making your purchase. Sometimes this can entail planning a trip to a studio during an already planned family vacation or making a special road trip to the nearest studio that offers pole versatility. If this is an option, the wait to make the decision is well worth it in the long run. Buying a pole is an investment that will pay for itself over time. It's important you choose a pole that is designed for pole fitness and beware of novelty poles that can be dangerous if used to support your body weight. Beginning your pole journey can be an exciting time and in all that excitement you can end up wasting money on the wrong type of pole that is not designed for what you intend to use it for. I can not stress enough the importance of doing your research.

After you have purchased your pole, you will be ready to take charge of your independent workouts in the comforts of your own home. This time alone will allow you to explore your limitations and progress with your pole at your own pace. A useful tool to aid in your progression is a video camera. Recording your progress will allow you to visualize your movement and make the necessary adjustments in order to reach your goals in both dance or tricks. It's important to begin all your workouts with a warm up. A warm up is basic repetitive movement that gets your muscles warm in anticipation for the base of your work out. I generally start my warm up by incorporating head to toe movement followed by a sensual dance of basic pole dance transitions around the pole for one to two songs. I refrain from doing any types of spins during the warm up as my muscles are still not quite ready to take on the sudden impact from a spin until after I've implemented my cardio element in the sensual dance aspect. The sensual dance can be fast or slow- I've found either option to be sufficient in providing an adequate warm up. After my warm up I move on to the base of my work out. It depends on what I'd like to accomplish. I find making a list of moves I've seen in videos, DVDs, or from friends to help structure my work out. Sometimes my entire workout will consist of freestyle dancing where I will polish up my go to moves and unleash the movement to the music in no particular planned sequence. This is often an advanced concept for many pole dancers to grasp and it is often difficult for those who have years of experience to fully develop. It's understanding the art of pole and tying the essential elements together for a graceful flow that incorporates an emotional bond and connection to creativity within the dance. The best way this can be practiced is by free styling and letting yourself explore your own movement and develop your individual style on your own. After your work out you want to make sure you include a cool down that consists of stretches and deep breathing that help increase blood flow to tired muscles. The cool down session is very important as it will help ease post work out muscle aches and assist in increasing flexibility. Another key element to the entire work out as a whole is hydration. You want to make sure you are maintaining proper hydration during and especially after a pole work out. Hydration is essential to maintaining balance within your body and it's been known to have tremendous effects on easing post work out muscle soreness.

Often times, a beginner can become easily overwhelmed by all the glorified tricks and choreographed movement that is out there on the internet. These videos can be awe inspiring and discouraging at the same time. I often refrain from watching any of these videos unless there is a specific reason for me to need to watch them- generally this is because a student saw the video and saw a specific move they need assistance with to master the mechanics of. I typically fuel my creativity from my DVD collection, watching the select few of my online friends videos, or from a group get together and pole jams. Keeping a realistic mind set when it comes to your limitations is important as it will enable to you achieve your goals without feeling the pressure to be more than you are ready to be thus preventing injuries that could potentially hinder your performance in the long run. Safety should always be first and foremost in every aspect of pole dancing. Remember you are doing this because it is a fun way to work out with various levels of challenges that are unique to each and every individual based on personal limitations, body size, age, or personal preferences. You create your own challenge and by doing so you will pave the way for a healthier lifestyle and new you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Aerial Silks Workshop

Today I got to work and attend our first aerial silks workshop at the studio!  The turn out was amazing!  Professional aerialists/circus performers Rachel Findley and Rob Sokolick from Forms in Motion in Chicago came down to Pole Up, LLC in Indianapolis and introduced the world of aerial silks to twelve lucky and determined ladies.  The group was mixed in their level of abilities.  Everyone did an amazing job at tackling the challenges the silks presented them.  It was so much fun watching everyone progress and pick up the material as they were taught.  The majority of the material they taught, I have included in my own teaching curriculum so it was really cool to see how things were presented to the students.  I took a lot of pictures for everyone- which can all be viewed on the studio's facebook.  Overall the experience was a very good one, I think we all learned a lot and I look forward to sharing all my hard work and research with everyone very soon as I begin to teach the aerial silks program at the studio.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Longer Lasting Manicure for Pole Dancers

I was recently introduced to gel nails. Gel nails are a special manicure system that can be easily applied to nails at the salon or at home. The manicure typically lasts as long as two weeks before the polish begins to chip as opposed to regular nail polish which generally lasts me only three days tops. I find with pole dancing, certain floor work moves are notorious for ruining a beautiful manicure. With gel nails, I've not had any issues with my pole work chipping off color, which is why I felt it was necessary to share this longer lasting manicure technique. After spending a substantial amount of money to get my nails gelled at the salon, I decided it was time to invest in an at home system. The supplies can be purchased easily online- all my equipment was provided by The most expensive piece of equipment required is the UV light. The UV light is used to cure or harden the gel nail solutions once applied. In addition to a UV light, I also purchased base coat, polish color, and top coat. Online gel nail sites also recommend an alcohol solution which is used to wipe away residue post top coat application. I have found alcohol preps that are used at the hospital and can be purchased from any local drugstore pharmacy to work effectively for this process.  I personally use my setup to add long lasting color, however I have seen gel nails applied over tips when a longer length nail is desired. 

Gel Nails Essentials

How to Gel Your Own Nails
  1. Clean, trim, & file nails.
  2. Apply base coat
  3. Cure under UV light 2-3 minutes
  4. Apply gel nail color
  5. Cure under UV light 2-3 minutes
  6. Apply top coat
  7. Cure under UV light 2-3 minutes
  8. Wipe away sticky residue with alcohol wipes

Removing Gel Nails
  1. Place cotton balls with acetone solution over nail surface
  2. Wrap tip of finger and cotton ball with foil
  3. Allow to sit for 10 minutes
  4. Buff color off with orange stick

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Pole Dancer Exposed: What's in My Bag?

I got this idea from another online blog.  I'm frequently asked about product recommendations for pole and over the years after trial and error I have become accustomed to many personal favorites I thought would be fun to share with everyone.  I'd like to start with introducing my bag.  It's a wonderful little bag that surprisingly fits an enormous amount of pole gear- along with multiple pairs of stilettos.  I received this bag this past Christmas as a gift. (My studio also sells these bags too!)  On one side, the studio I work for has their logo printed.  On the other side there is a zippered pocket where I usually keep my lyrical foot covers, ipod, wallet, and car keys.  Behind the zippered pocket there is a pocket where I usually slip my cell phone.   This bag is light weight and easy to maneuver. It has a detachable shoulder strap and two handles for carrying.  One of the biggest perks I've noticed with this bag compared to my old bag is that when I get into my car, the bag effortlessly transitions from me to passenger seat.  I no longer get caught up on my steering wheel or driver door as I'm struggling to quickly get myself into the car safely after a night of classes and post work out exhaustion.  So, like a nosy house guest who likes to go through the medicine cabinet, I've decided to spare you all the agony of guessing what is inside that cute little bag....
What's in My Bag? 
1.) Lesson plans- I've printed out my class agenda for each week to stay on track with the curriculum. I keep these in a folder along with notes for warm ups, updated phone numbers/emails of fellow instructors, and dance routines.  

2.) Capezio Foot Undeez in black- These are easy to slip on when I need to get moving! Check out my recent review, The Perfect Pirouette to learn about why I prefer these to the many other forms of lyrical foot covers.

3.) Blistex Chapstick- What can I say? I hate dry lips. 

4.) Ipod Nano- I've got play lists specifically for pole, feeling sexy, aerial silks, and my sensuous flow and flexibility class.  Music sets the mood. 

5.) Corn Huskers Lotion- I used this as a grip aid.  Rarely do I rely on grip aids but when I do, I find corn huskers is an affordable and natural product that works great! I carry this with me for my students who often in the beginner levels perspire more frequently in their hands. This has been a life savor in classes!

6.) Mighty Grip Knee Pads- Floor work is harsh on the knees and nothing is sexier than healthy pain free knees as you get older.  These knee pads are designed specifically for pole dancers and can be used for inverted leg hangs.  Pads also have tack on posterior for secure holding in knee pit moves.

7.) Mighty Grip Trixie Toes- These are my latest addition to my pole accessories! Similar to foot undeez, Trixie Toes are specifically designed for pole dancers and have tack on the top of the foot to aid in climbing. 

8.) Mighty Grip Tacky Gloves- I used these a lot when I was working on my cartwheel mount and twisted grip hand spring.  These are great for moves that require hand strength- especially during slippery pole days.  A great alternative to grip aids. 

9.) Leg Warmers- I love leg warmers!  I will use these during my warm ups at the beginning of class or double them up to protect my knees.  Leg warmers are not only functional for pole dancers, they are a sexy addition to any outfit and accentuate the beauty of stilettos. 

10.) Video Camera and Tripod- I record all my practices so I can review and self critique my dance flow and trick execution.  

11.) Travel Manicure Set- I hate hang nails especially when working with silks.  Finger nails can snag on the silks so it's important to keep a nail file handy to fix problems.  

12.) Stilettos- I prefer Pleasers.  I have multiple colors and designs and my favorite size is 6 3/4" heels.  These are a must have for pole dancers.  Shoes to a pole dancer are like ice skates to an ice skater.  They make the sport and are fun and sexy accessories!

Pole Essentials
In addition to the items in my bag, there are a few items that are necessary for my classes/practices.  One would be my attire.  I always wear pole shorts and a sports bra or another pole specific top during my classes.  While teaching, I wear my studio logo top.  If I'm teaching silks, I wear leggings that offer maximum coverage. I can usually get away with a tank top for silks but I like my students to wear shirts that are short or long sleeved to prevent fabric burn on sensitive skin areas.  Before class I have on my studio logo super comfy sweat pants and zippered hoody.  I generally always show up to the studio in a pair of Uggs- spring, summer, fall, & winter- that's right- I'm an all year Uggie girl.  ;) 

Second, I always make sure I have bottled water or a sports drink (typically Gatorade).  Proper hydration is important for over all well being.  Hydration also targets muscles and helps prevent post work out soreness.  I always preach hydration at the end of every one of my classes.  I can't stress enough the importance of properly hydrating. 

Third, I always have a half alcohol half water solution handy in a spray bottle with some pole towels. (My studio provides these for us.)  I like my pole to feel clean and fresh.  Not only does alcohol clean the pole, it also doubles as a grip aid.  Sometimes this is more than enough in my classes but on occasion I need an extra little something- so I will bust out my Corn Huskers. 

I hope this entry will inspire others to share with me what they keep in their pole bags.  Feel free to leave me a comment, I'd love to hear what you all have found to be must haves for a great class! Happy poling!

Additional pictures of my pole bag can be viewed here:

Monday, January 23, 2012

I LOVE Valentine's Freebees!

I am so excited for this limited time offer that I just had to write a blog about it! has decided to offer their online lap dance lessons for free as a gift to members for Valentine's Day!  For those of you unfamiliar with Studio Veena, I recently wrote about the online pole dancing community in my Resolution Challenge entry.  When we think of Valentine's Day, we're often stumped on great gift ideas that show our gratitude and appreciation for that special someone in our lives.  Valentine's Day is a holiday to celebrate love.  Love should be something fun and what better way than to show your appreciation for that special man in your life than by having him watch his favorite person in the entire world perform a saucy little number for his eyes only? It's the element of a personal and private connection that make performing a chair dance a fun and memorable gift for both.  To add a little extra spice, I've decided to list some ideas for affordable and sexy attire to complete your personalized Valentine's gift performance. 

 1. Bad Kitty Exotic Wear Day or Night Corsets
Great for that inner Burlesque vixen! I love all the variety of colors and styles offered.  These ensembles are a must have for any one wanting to add that element of modestly sexy meets mysterious enchantress. 

2. Victoria's Secret Closet of Lingerie
The epitome of femininity. Victoria's Secret IS sexy and the always dependable go to for any occasion.

I've yet to order from this site, however I have a few friends who have and they have been very pleased with their purchases.  I love the video clips of outfits which always tell more detail than just a picture is able to.  This site offers a variety of affordable pieces that allow the ability to mix it up and create custom ensembles that will inspire a creative and unique experience.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Breathtakingly Beautiful...

I wanted to share this video and article via my own blog because I feel like there is a deep inspirational message here worth sharing.  I'm blown away by the beauty, sensuality, and confidence this woman portrays through her movement and the story within the article clearly depicts the realities of struggle and life. This video has stirred up quite a controversy. Read article here.

.....Now I feel like slipping on a pair of lace boy shorts and a sports bra of my own and turning on the fireplace while my husband sleeps and rolling out my mat for my own sensual yoga practice- quite possibly why I identified so much with this video- it's completely raw and REAL.  The image portrayed is everything yoga embodies for women- strength, control, confidence, sexiness, and health.  I want to be this woman.  I want that euphoric feeling as my body detoxifies. To feel that balance in that moment of serenity.  It's a powerful force worth identifying with.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Resolution Challenge

I realize we're already a couple weeks into the new year, however I do believe it's never too late to claim a resolution. I hadn't given much thought to what I'd like to improve upon or change in this new year, but after some thought I finally came up with a reasonable resolution I'd be willing to work towards. I've decided to make an effort to participate in the monthly challenges on Studio Veena. For those of you unfamiliar with Studio Veena, it is an online community for pole dancers. Members can join for free which enables all access to posting online pole videos, community message boards, blogs, and the weekly Friday live video chat with other members- including the creator and owner of the site, Veena herself. Studio Veena also offers a paid membership option where the user has unlimited access to pole lessons twenty four hours a day from beginner to advanced with conditioning, stretching, and foam roller exercises as well as lap/chair and hoop dance lessons. The site is a wonderful resource for those wanting to learn on their own at their own pace or a supplement to their current studio classes. I've been a member since a few months after Studio Veena first launched back in 2008 and have watched the site grow. I've developed close relationships with many other pole dancers all over the world and have even met many of the members in person this past year at events- Veena included.  I'm very grateful for all this site has accomplished and the opportunities it has given so many of us in the pole community. I think it's such an amazing gift what Veena and her husband (who both created and run the site together) have given to the pole community and without it, I don't know where many of us would be in our great love affairs with pole.

Veena & Me @ Metro Detroit Spring Showcase March 2011

In addition to feeding your pole addiction, Studio Veena enables members to participate in monthly video challenges. Every month a theme is chosen and members can create a video based on the theme to post on the site. It's a creative and fun activity that allows members to showcase their latest progress in their dancing. In the past I've done a challenge here and there, but this year I'd really like to make an effort to participate on a regular basis. I'm taking on a lot this year with school and teaching more classes which have left me with little time to regularly make videos from all my practices. I'm also getting bored. I'm finding all my videos as of lately have the same moves so I'm hoping by cutting down my videos to one a month, I will be able to find that creativity I feel I've been lacking and the progress of my dancing will be much more evident. So here's to a new year an a new promise to myself for another great year of pole!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Perfect Pirouette

Dancing can be harsh on your feet. In pole dancing, we often begin our classes in bare feet in order to work on proper foot exercises and form while dancing. As an instructor, I teach my students to point their feet creating clean lines beginning from the foot up the leg while maintaining weight on the balls of the feet. The balls of the feet often get sore with repetitious movement during a dance practice. In order to prevent soreness, the dance industry has introduced products that protect the dancer's sensitive areas of the foot. I have been fortunate enough to try out three of the products currently on the market: Dance Paws, Capezio Foot Undeez, and Toe-Kini.

Dance Paws, Capezio Foot Undeez, and Toe-kini are elastic half socks that dancers place on their feet. Dance Paws require the user to place each toe in it's own cut out in the half sock. The bottom of the half sock is made with a thick suede pad that allows smooth movement for the dancer on hard floor or carpeted surfaces all while protecting the ball of the foot. Dance Paws are available in light nude, dark nude, and black. Dance Paws also have an adjustable elastic strap secured with velcro or the option of a fixed strap. I have the adjustable elastic strap in light nude. I really enjoy using my Dance Paws. The thickness of the suede pad keeps my feet comfortable during dancing. I'm also able to climb the pole effortlessly with my Dance Paws on.

Capezio Foot Undeez look like a pair of tiny underwear with two holes- one for the big toe and another for the remaining four toes. The suede pad on the ball of the foot is divided into two separate pads and placed where weight is distributed in the foot as opposed to the Dance Paws which have a single one piece suede pad. The division of the pad when wearing the Capezio Foot Undeez appears to be slightly thinner than the Dance Paws, however the difference is not significant enough to cause post dancing soreness in the areas of intended protection. The Capezio Foot Undeez are easy to put on and remove quickly compared to the Dance Paws which require careful placement to assure all toes are correctly inserted into the toe holes and the additional time to adjust the elastic strap. Capezio Foot Undeez are available in trendy designs and colors which appeal to dancers of all ages.

Toe-kini are a less expensive version of the Capezio Foot Undeez. Toe-kinis are comparable to the structure of the Foot Undeez, however the difference is a significantly thinner suede pad. The Toe-kinis allowed me to perform as desired, however post work out I experienced soreness in the balls of my feet. The durability of the Toe-kini is inferior to the Dance Paws and Capezio Foot Undeez, however I highly recommend the use of Toe-kini if you are considering whether or not you'd be able to tolerate dancing with the half socks on your feet. Toe-kinis are inexpensive and was easily found in the foot care department at my local Meijers or Walgreens stores. Please note that the intended purpose of Toe-kini are for wearing with high heels to add extra cushion in shoes that are otherwise uncomfortable, however they also advertise the product is suitable for dance performance in addition to it's common use.

All products are easy to clean. I use a nickle size amount of laundry detergent with warm water in the sink, rinse thoroughly, and air dry. The nude colored products have a tendency to look dirtier from walking around dance studios, so I recommend purchasing a darker color. Overall, I found these products to be wonderful additions to the dance industry. There are some days I don't want to wear my shoes and I find these to give me the perfect alternative to bare feet that allows me to incorporate smooth, beautiful, and painless transitions in my dance practice.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Beginnings

The new year is here in full swing and in the pole community things have gotten off to a bitter start. Many situations have occurred that I will refrain from even mentioning. The overall effect of these multiple situations have left me feeling uneasy and noticing a shift towards a great divide in what has always been such a welcoming community. In light of recent events, I have been left to wonder what has happened to our community moral? Is the future of our existence to rest in a division amongst friends and enemies? How did our passion lead us down this path to our own self destruction?

Drama. There will always be drama no matter what. You can not have a group of strongly opinionated individuals get together without some one's opinion conflicting with another. Pole dancing is a performance activity that strives to create drama within the dance. Sometimes that energy we muster up to embrace in our performances becomes greater than our boundaries and takes on a life of it's own. The drama grows as our creativity creates conflict and before we realize it, we've created a monster that claims victim after victim in it's massive path of destruction. Leaving no one in it's path unharmed. People get hurt. Some forgive and move on and others never get past the injuries they sustained. It's an evil process with no winners in the end. Like a tornado that hits without warning, leaving the community survivors to piece together what little that was left. As a community of pole dancers, we are left to piece together what little we have left after a dramatic situation and start over, wounds and all.

It can be difficult to be a member of a community where everyone has grown so close only to be outcast within the society because in retrospect, you created or were part of a situation that erupted the devastation that ensued. Those around you affected, the nameless victims, are left having to make choices or remain silent until the storm has passed. No one wants to see someone beaten down because of the drama. In the heat of the moment, it's often difficult to see past the horizon and through the fog to the light in the whole matter. Through it all, the one thing that will always remain the most important aspect and root of every moment is and will always be pole dancing. Our passion. Our reason for those reasons. Pole dancing is the one commonality that brought us all together and it will always be the one thing that holds us together.

I hope that as we press on into this new year, that we as a community can come together and continue to dance. I truly hope that all that has happened within our community within the past can serve as a learning experience that makes us stronger. Just remember when drama creeps up trying to find it's place, that there is a reason for what we're fighting for and that reason is to just dance. Sometimes instead of the fight, maybe we truly just need to take it to the pole. Let your dance become your therapy.