Friday, March 7, 2014

PDBA March Blog Hop: Living up to expectations

No one is perfect.  We're human.  We make mistakes- or rather, we encounter learning experiences.  It's the human condition.  Some of us feel the pressure to perform a certain way, to strive for perfection.  In actuality, striving for perfection is an endless battle.  There is no finish line to perfection.  One doesn't attain it and suddenly there is a huge ribbon we run through labeled "perfection."  It just isn't possible.  So why then, do many strive for the unachievable? 

It's so easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of things we don't want to be involved in.  Negative thoughts, drama, political arguments, and self obsessed feelings of inadequacy.  It's important we not dwell on these occurrences as they only accomplish one thing- nothing.  How is all this related to pole dancing?  The pole community is full of competition.  Competition against businesses. Competition against each other in events. Competition against other classmates. Competition against ourselves.  An undying cycle of competing to be better.  To be THE BEST.  In the grand spectrum, many fail to realize it isn't the competition we should be focusing on, it's what WE have to put forth that should be recognized.  It's because of our own special qualities that we are unique and this uniqueness should be enough. 

I struggle with this myself.  It's something I am constantly working on as I continue to grow as an instructor and business owner.  I fight internal battles with myself as I feel a lacking in certain areas I feel others are flourishing in.  It's a constant, "I wish I had at my studio......" versus "I'm glad I actually don't have that at my studio...."- when does it end?  When can we truly be content?

Long gone are the days of what others are doing not being shoved in your face 24/7.  Check your Facebook and right in your face is the awesomeness of everyone around you.  Are some overly gloating?  Naturally.  But knowing this, do we still let it get to us?  Yes.  There has been a trend I've observed where popular culture has leaned towards clique like environments.  Of course this has never been a theme I wish to support, nor do I want that manifesting in my own space.  Yes, my own space.  The place I have created as a sanctuary for self expression through movement.  It is here where we excel to our capabilities and find goals to meet along the way.  Where the feeling of striving to just belong isn't a pressing theme.  An atmosphere supported by letting ourselves just dance. 

Have I failed my students by not
drilling them with the overwhelming world of "The Pole Community"?  I don't believe so.  I feel like maybe it's not the most popular route to take, however there is much more to a studio's existence than living up to the expectations of the community and striving to be on top.  Teaching others how to pole dance or dance in the air among fabric is my passion.  It's more than just about dancing.  Everything I teach is fueled by my passion.  A passion that is deeper than just the steps and spins, it's about connecting the body to the soul.  Moving in the movement in the moment.  That's just me being
revealed. No. It's me just being real.

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 March Blog Hop entries: Click Here.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Joint Hyperextension and Pole Fitness

I recently had a student in one of my classes that I noticed had hyperextended joints.  What does it mean to have hyperextended joints?  Hyperextenion of the joints are when the joint- most commonly the elbow or knee, extend beyond normal limits (2014,  What causes hyperextension of joints? Ligaments, which are a connective tissue that connect bone to bone and provide joint stability, are loose and weak in hypermobile joints (Laskowski, 2011).  In the fitness industry, hyperextension and hypermobility of joints are of great concern.  Clients who have hypermobility in their joints are at great risk of injury resulting from the instability of the joint created by the loose or weak ligaments.  I found it was important that I did some research on this topic and learned more about how to encourage students to safely participate in classes when they experience hyperextension of the joints.

In the case of hyperextended knees, Gudmestad (2014) states that people who experience hyperextended knees often have weak quadriceps or have the tendency to not fully engage their quadriceps muscles when in straight leg poses or stretches.  Gudmestad recommends strengthening exercises that target the quadriceps muscles.  An example of an easy exercise that can be performed to strengthen the quadriceps muscles begins with lying in a supine position and placing a foam roller under the knee pit.  While flexing the foot, perform single leg lifts to straighten the leg while making sure to avoid hyperextending the knee when the leg is fully extended.  This video demonstrates the exercise visually.  There are many other exercises out there that one could do, this is just an example that I really liked because in the supine position, the foam roller placement allows the participant to lie flat and disengage the hyperextension of the knee. 

How can students safely participate in pole or aerial fitness classes? Pole and aerial fitness classes have a strong emphasis on moves that incorporate flexibility thus making it difficult for students with hyperextension to avoid the natural engagement of their joints that lie in hyperextension.  As an instructor it's important to be aware of students who display hyperextension in their joints.  When performing movements that risk engaging hyperextension of affected joints, instructors should encourage students to work on implementing a slight bend in the areas of hyperextension such as the arms or knees.  This practice decreases the impact directly on the joint and helps prevent damage to joints and ligaments (Jacoby, 2014).  As students work towards strengthening surrounding muscles, the act of engaging a slight bend will become easier. 

Gudmestad, J. (2014). The Hyperextended knee. Yoga Journal. Retrieved from

Jacoby, C. (2014). What Is Hyperextension Injury? HealthGuidance for better health. Retrieved from:

Laskowski, E.R. (2011). Joint hypermobility: What causes 'loose joints'? Mayo Clinic Online. Retrieved from

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Freestyle Friday: Tactile March. Eyes Closed.

This month we're tapping into the inspiration from pole dancer Eva Bembo's eyes closed video by dancing with eyes closed or a blind fold.  The message of this video is to "Feel the music inside. Just dance."  I love this message and what better way to get into that feeling than to strip ourselves of sight.  When taking away our sense of sight, our sense of touch becomes stronger.  I'm excited to implement this challenge in my dancing to discover what kind of movement is unveiled.  Bring your recording devices for this month's challenge! In addition to our regular monthly Freestyle Friday challenge, this month will also include a celebratory birthday jam session for Pole Harmony's owner/lead instructor and a special 20% off discount using promo code: DIRTY30

Our Freestyle Friday will begin with an instructor lead warmup followed by fun exercises that create skill building technique for developing your movement.  Pole Harmony Freestyle Friday sessions are designed to assist in developing expressive movement through dance.  Expressive movement is visually captivating and emotionally cleansing for the dancer as a means of therapeutic dance.  Learning how to let your dancing be the healthy outlet your body needs is an essential element to Freestyle Friday sessions.

Join us for our upcoming Freestyle Friday on Friday March 28th 7:30 PM
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