Monday, December 30, 2013

Freestyle Friday: Motivational January. Handstand Challenge.

January is the month of new year's resolutions.  Often times, these resolutions are centered around fitness as people decide to get a fresh new start for the new year when it comes to their health.  Or if you've already established a regular fitness routine, you may find yourself reviewing your fitness goals for the year.  Whatever your situation or reason, January generally brings about a renewed interest in accomplishing long sought after fitness goals. 

This month we decided to focus on handstands.  Handstands are fun moves that can be practiced with or without a pole.  They can be done in a variety of ways and initiate muscles that attribute to the essential muscles utilized in numerous pole and aerial moves.  To go along with the new year theme, this month's challenge will also include a month long theme using the photo sharing social media site, instagram.  If you'd like to participate, we'll be sharing a handstand photo a day via our instagram account @poleharmony.  Can't commit to a photo a day?  You can also participate with a weekly handstand photo.  Just be sure to include the #poleharmony with your picture uploads.  Have fun with this challenge.  We hope your participation leads to the motivation you need to strengthen your handstands for strong and smooth execution.

Join us in our Freestyle Friday January 10th at 7:30pm for our handstand themed class where you will learn a variety of handstand techniques, proper form, and how to integrate a handstand into your pole dancing routine. Click the button below to sign up via our online scheduling system.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Trickster or Flow Artist?

Does it really matter how we categorize our dancing?  Do we have to put a label on it?  Doesn't all that matters is we have a perfect balance within ourselves and our dancing that we are content with what we present- then, now, and in the future? 

I guess one can argue dancing is about continuously growing and evolving as a dancer.  One must seek out opportunities to grow.  This is a good point.  I get it.  But not everyone will grow in the same way at the same time.  Some people think of growing in different terms.  Evolving in your dancing may include the ever popular tricks only.  You're banging out trick after trick.  Can you seamlessly dance in between those tricks? No. Do you care? Probably not.  That's not your intention.  Not everyone has an intention to create beautiful dance flow that intertwines movement harmoniously.  I'll be the first to admit, dance flow is not easy.  It's a hard concept for many to grasp.  Maybe that's why tricks have taken the cake in the community so to speak.  It's easy and they're about the thrill of accomplishment. 

The pole community is constantly evolving.  What's popular today will inevitably be boring tomorrow.  It goes through phases of what is happening "now".  That's not to say tricks will dominate the mainstream in the pole community forever.  Tomorrow everyone could decide that dance flow takes precedence over the latest cool trick.  I think that is what is so inspiring about pole dancing.  As it continuously changes, dancers are constantly getting a dose of skills they need to evolve.  Whatever your intention, just make sure you feel content with the balance and progress of your own evolution.  At the end of the day, all that really matters is how you feel about your dancing.  You dance for no one else but yourself. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What to Expect in a Pole Dancing Fitness Class!

I've seen a couple recent blog posts where students or instructors have been writing about what to expect during a pole dancing fitness class in order to offer a perspective towards potential students that may be apprehensive about signing up for their first class.  I thought this was a great idea to shed some light on what could be a critical decision towards walking through those studio doors.  Obviously every studio will differ on the process and how they teach their classes.  This is just a summary of your experience if you are coming to take an introductory class at Pole Harmony. 

Getting Started....
The first class you will take prior to any of our other classes at Pole Harmony is a Pole Discovery intro class (for pole) or an Introductory to Aerial Dance class (for aerial silks).  Since this article's focus is on pole dancing fitness classes, we will proceed with the Pole Discovery intro class.  Many fitness studios and gyms have all moved into the technology age when it comes to signing up for a class.  This means to register for your class, you will do so via the studio's website.  There are many different scheduling systems out there.  Most studios use MindBodyOnline.  At Pole Harmony, we utilize a different online scheduling system known as Bookeo.  Bookeo has the same great features as MindBodyOnline, however it allows users to individualize the user process for simplified use.  We have found our customers enjoy having total control over booking their classes and being able to make executive decisions based on purchasing or cancelling their memberships.  Customers have total control over their experience at Pole Harmony by using our online scheduling system through Bookeo.  (For studio owners inquiring about Bookeo, please contact us via email and we will provide additional information.) 

Moving on, after you have clicked the "Book" button for the Pole Discovery intro class on our schedule page and completed payment (if you'd like to pay cash, email us your first and last name with the date and time of the class you want to take and we will enter you into the system reserving your spot in class), you now will need to plan your attire for your first class. 

What to wear. For your first class, we recommend wearing a comfortable t-shirt/tank, yoga pants/capris, or shorts. Footwear is optional and limited to dance approved foot protectors, socks, or gym shoes. It is recommended students attend classes bare feet. Certain moves may require extra mobility and students may want to bring a pair of socks to protect feet. Please refrain from wearing lotions or oils on your skin as well as strong fragrances and perfumes.  Most of our students wear socks in classes as hardwood floors and bare feet don't always feel so great the next day.  I like to wear ballet flats.  I actually purchased a great pair of flats from Kinney Dancewear in Broadripple for $18.50- they're black leather Blochs that are really comfortable.  I used to have a pair of canvas ballet flats that were light pink but they always looked dirty and the canvas wore holes in them, hence the reason why my most recent purchase was leather flats. 

Now that we've established what to wear- let's get to the actual class!  You'll want to arrive a few minutes early to complete a waiver and any pending payments.  Class will begin with a head to toe warmup followed by the class curriculum.  Classes will always end with an five to eight minute cool down session.  The bulk of the class consists of the curriculum which includes proper postural form and pole technique, discretionary movement, fundamental skills of flow, fun moves facing the pole that can be easily brought home for practice, and an easy beginner level spin.  Moves are modified for every body shape and size in addition to physical limitations.      

The studio.  Our studio space consists of a spacious open area with hardwood flooring, a wall length mirror and ambient lighting.  Our music is played comfortably low to allow students to hear proper instructions. Our poles are dual mounted for extra stability utilizing a permanent ceiling mount in addition to pressure mounting which expands the poles for a solid placement.  Our poles are chrome finish, 45mm, spaced 10ft apart, and Xpole brand.  They are essentially two poles in one- static and spin. Basically our poles unlock to a spin feature.  Spin pole is reserved for our intermediate to advanced students only.  All beginner level students will learn on static mode only. Although we boast our poles are industry standard, the industry is continuously changing their standards in pole recommendations for studios and competitions.  As of July 2013, our poles were considered industry standard.  As of 2014, the industry standard will be making a shift towards 40mm poles.  Because of the way our poles are mounted, we are able to offer versatility in regards to the diameter of the poles our studio houses.  Students may look for future changes in our poles in 2014 as we shift towards providing the current industry options for poles on the consumer market.     At the end of your first class and studio experience, you will be guided through a relaxing cool down session targeting areas strongly used during class.  One of the most common questions I am asked by students following the intro class is: 

 What Class do I Take Next?  The next class you can take is our Pole & Flow class which focuses on the intro class moves and forming them into routines.  Students will also learn additional moves and spins in this class.  This class is great for all levels as the routines will be catered to your specific skill level.  The other class new students enjoy is Sensuous Flow & Flexibility.  This class loosens up tightened areas on the body by introducing flow movement and a mix of dynamic and static stretches to increase flexibility.  This class has been described as a relaxing and a detoxifying experience for students. If you're looking for series classes, you may be interested in signing up for one of our Pole Foundations Series classes.  These classes meet once a week for a given period of time and build upon a routine on a week by week basis.  Our series classes are great for working on flow and perfecting skills or movement to assure proper execution. Each level builds upon skills acquired in the previous level, therefore we recommend students take all the series classes
to benefit the most from the curriculum.  

We hope this article was full of information that answered many of your questions.  If you have any additional questions regarding our classes or studio, please visit our website Frequently Asked Questions or contact us via email or phone.    

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Best Holiday Gifts for Pole & Aerial Dancers

This holiday season we decided to compile a list of our all time favorite pole and aerial related items for those looking to buy a little something special for their favorite pole dancer or aerialist.  Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and is purely for entertainment as it contains our own personal opinion.  Let's get started!

1. A Gift Certificate to her favorite pole or aerial class! Of course I'd include this as number 1- I admit, I may be a little biased here being this is my business' blog. But what pole dancer or aerialist would pass up on a free class? Great little stocking stuffer.  So if it isn't a gift certificate to my studio per say, it is still a great idea to get them a gift card to whatever studio it is they do attend.

2.  Leg warmers.  Perfect for both pole dancers and aerialists.  Studios are cold and these are the best remedy to warming up when there is a chill in the air. Once our chilly bones and muscles are warm, leg warmers are easy to slide off which is why they are a must have favorite item. Dance Wear Solutions and All About Dance have a great selection of leg warmers that a specifically designed for dancers.

3. Leggings.  No longer do you need to worry about boring solid color leggings.  There's a variety of fun prints out there for these form fitting bottom attire.  Nothing is more fun than being fashionable- unless of course you're old school and like to wear your hard work with pride through your dance attire holes and all. But for those of us that love accessorizing, leggings are a must.  Leggings are the preferred attire for so many aerialists because they cling comfortably to your body.  Clothing that allows effortless movement is more about safety than anything else.  And if you can love what you're wearing while doing it, why not? A friend of mine posted a link of her wearing some awesome leggings with #blackmilkclothing. Upon looking up what exactly "black milk clothing" was, I discovered an amazing collection of leggings appropriate for circus style fitness fashion.  Check out these amazing leggings here: Black Milk Clothing.

4.  Sports bars and boy shorts.  You can never have too many of either of these items.  Guaranteed to never go out of style in a pole or aerial class. Bad Kitty Exotic Wear sells an assortment of pole specific attire including their PoleFit line designed specifically with pole fitness in mind. 

5. Foot wear.  Aerial classes are generally conducted in bare feet, however pole classes may or may not incorporate foot wear.  For those attending the studio environment know all too well that hardwood floors and bare feet don't always make the best combination.  For this reason, I love wearing ballet flats in my classes.  Recently I purchased a pair of black Bloch leather ballet flats. I absolutely love the feel of these dance shoes and highly recommend them.  I purchased mine from Kinney Dance Wear in Indianapolis. 

This concludes our list of favorite holiday gift items for pole dancers and aerialists.  We hope you found some useful ideas for your holiday shopping!  Have a wonderful holiday season from Pole Harmony! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Indianapolis RAW Performer of the Year 2013: Aerial Evolution

It's official! We are proud to announce we won the title of Indianapolis RAW Performer of the Year 2013!  What is RAW?  RAW is an international community of artists ranging in a multitude of genres including fashion, independent film, music, visual art, performing art, hairstylists, makeup artists, and more.  Local artistic talent is chosen by a local RAW Director and showcased in one of the many once a month circus like events that run every year from February through October all across the nation and globally.  The season ends with a large RAWards (RAW Awards) show in Hollywood featuring the top artists from the global community.   
This past summer, I had the honor of performing with my friend Patricia Boylan-Riggs, owner of Pulse Fitness and Dance in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in her professional pole dancing performance group, Aerial Evolution.  Little did I know, that performance would set the stage towards a powerful duo in the pole dancing community that would capture the essence and powerful meaning of pole dancing as an artistic form of expression.  Coming into this experience, we had no expectations of where this opportunity would lead us. We both danced as though we always do and at the end of the night, we were happy to have been a part of such a unique show.  In October 2013, we were informed we'd been selected as semi-finalists to attend the season finale RAWards local Indianapolis event.  Again, with little expectations of what the night would truely mean for us, we went and showcased our interpretive routines and called it a night.  Neither of us believed we'd be waking up the next morning with a new title of recognition next to our names.  At the moment of reveal for the winners, neither of use were around when we were officially recognized.  I, who also works full time as a Registered Nurse in a public health and community management role as well as being a small business owner and solo operator of Pole Harmony part time teaching 7 classes a week, left the event around 9 o'clock because I had to report to early riser duty the following morning.  Patricia broke down the portable stage and went to replenish her energy by having a delicious meal with her husband.  The thing about pole dancing is, it strips you of all your energy and reserves and if you don't eat shortly thereafter, things could get unpleasant fairly quickly.  For the dancer and everyone around them.  (Ha-ha).  Our sincere apologies for being absent during the big reveal.  I can honestly vouch sleep and hunger won the debate with these two performers.   

Aside from our own personal win, there were many other artists in attendance that won in their respective categories.  The show was certainly a "circus-like" event as described in RAW's own words.  It was thrilling to performers who attended and I can only imagine it was even more so for those experiencing the event for the first time or as a repeat spectator.  The organizers did an amazing job at presenting such an ecclectic assortment of artists under one roof for one night.  I am extremely happy to have been a part of this magnificant event in Indianapolis.  Much gratitude to all those who attended, organized, volunteered, and especially to Patricia for choosing me to be a part of Aerial Evolution.  I look forward to next year in hopes that we will again experience RAW as we continue to show Indianapolis what pole dancing is really all about.    Reference What is RAW? (2013) Retrieved from:

Monday, December 9, 2013

PDBA December 2013 Blog Hop: The Best of 2013 in Pole!

2013 is coming to a bittersweet end.  This month's Pole Dancing Bloggers Association blog hop theme is to highlight the BEST of 2013 in pole.  First things first, I'm going to start off by informing you all that I am not very privy to what all the cool kids are doing or have done within the community, therefore this entry will lack any mention to the global community of pole.  I don't know who people are in the community unless I have personally met them.  I also don't watch videos of competitions so I have no idea what the Best of 2013 performances would be.  What I do know is, that Indianapolis had a pretty rocking 2013 when it comes to pole and aerial!  Put us on the map- we've got a lot of talent here in the Midwest. 

As many of you know, 2013 is the year I decided to embark on my own journey of business ownership.  I was struggling to find meaning in my life when it came to pole dancing and through my frustration and overwhelming stress regarding the issue, I came to the realization that I needed to independently create the vision I knew would bring clarification to the passion I feel for pole dancing.  It was the birth of Pole Harmony as a business.

The next milestone for what I perceive to be the Best of 2013 would definitely have to be finding my voice within the community.  The mere act of knowing what I wanted and being able to portray these ideas.  Yes, I'm talking about the Pole Dancing Bloggers Association.  This organization has given me a renewed perspective on my writing and my dancing.  I have always thought of pole dancing as being another way to tell a story- the partnership that exists between writing and dancing is astounding.  It's the nature of realizing one's own thoughts and being able to convey them for a therapeutic exploration of self discovery.  My writing has helped me within my own dancing in numerous ways.

Another moment I also identify as being crucial to my ongoing process of learning as an instructor was back in May when I was part of the judge's panel for the Pole Sports Organization Central Pole Championships in Chicago, Illinois.  It was an honor to have been selected to judge the advanced level competitions.  The entire experience was an amazing learning opportunity for me.

This year I didn't get to travel as much as I have in previous years.  I worked on and completed a second degree in nursing which involved a lot of my time during the summer months.  I did however, get the opportunity to join friends during our annual beach trip where I attended my favorite go to destination pole studio, Flow Fitness in Wilmington, North Carolina.  It was during one of the many classes I attended that I formed the concept of my future Pole Harmony class offering, Body by Pole.  I have always encouraged students to take as many classes as they can.  No class is ever beneath you.  It's this idea that is so important in building character as a disciplined dancer.  Every experience is an opportunity to learn.  Even ones we perceive as being little, they can turn out to be bigger than we'd imagined.

The final Best of 2013 would definitely have to be winning Performer of the Year in Indianapolis' local RAW with my dance partner, Patricia Boylan-Riggs and her professional pole dancing performance group, Aerial Evolution.  Receiving the RAW award this month was the perfect summary to my year in pole dancing for 2013.  It's been a wild ride this past year full of ups and downs amongst a lot of hard work.  I sincerely hope that everyone else in the community- those new and old to the scene have had as much of a year as I have.  Looking forward to 2014 and all that is to come!

 Blog Hop is a monthly blog topic involving pole dancing blog contributors from around the world actively involved in the online Pole Dancing Bloggers Association. Each month we write our perspective about a given topic pertaining to the pole dancing community. To read fellow Pole Dancing Bloggers Association December Blog Hop entries: click here.