Tuesday, April 25, 2017

May 2017 Pole Dancing & Fitness Challenges

Coming soon! Starts May 1st! The return of the all-levels community pole challenge where YOU choose YOUR moves! ✨No prizes! ❌πŸ’°πŸ†Incredibly amateur gold glittery flyers! ✨Cheat sheet posted by @tropicalvertical the night before! πŸ’•πŸ‘―πŸ‘―‍♂️Pole love for days! πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ•ΊπŸ½Inspiration from your polesisters and brothers across the globe! 🌎No rules! 😎One love! ❤️POLE LOVE! πŸ™ŒPole family! ARE YOU IN? πŸ‘Š#maypolechallenge #polechallenge #alphapolefam #polelove #polefit #polefitness #poledance #poledancing #poledancersofinstagram #poledancersofig #unitedbypole #poledancenation #beginnerpole #intermediatepole #advancedpole #poletricks #poletrickoftheday #polefun #polesport #polecombo #poletricks #beginnerpoletricks #intermediatepoletricks #advancedpoletricks #lifeisbetterupsidedown

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My Journey Back to Teaching

Since selling my aerial dance fitness studio in October 2015, I haven't taught any aerial dance or fitness classes. I was ready to move on to the next chapter in my life and put teaching on the back burner.  Unfortunately, life would not happen the way I'd planned and after two years of being on a teaching hiatus, it was time to test the waters and revisit my old passion of teaching once more.  After some encouragement from my former aerial instructor who has been teaching aerial classes at another gym, I decided to join her at that very gym and embark on a new journey of being a beginner level aerial instructor.  It was apparent that I was rusty on the more advanced material so I felt comfortable teaching and re-familiarizing myself with the beginner level curriculum.

Getting back to it was a process. I was given a curriculum that I would be teaching so I had a basic structure to my classes.  I shadowed a couple of the instructors at the gym where I participated as a student and/or assisted in a co-instructor role for a few classes.  I felt comfortable after a couple weeks to move on to leading my own class.  Class prep included some extensive research to familiarize myself with the concepts and key elements important to the movement I was to teach.  Even though I was teaching a beginner level curriculum, there would be students of varying levels within the umbrella term of "beginner" that could easily progress with a little more advanced movement or need to dial things back for a simplified version of particular skills. This can be quite challenging for many instructors especially if you have larger class sizes. 

The day before my first class, I did some prepping in an open gym session where I practiced the skills for the following day. My plan for my class would start with an introduction where I would let everyone know the skills we'd be working on for the day.  We would proceed with introductions of the students where they would go around in a circle and introduce themselves to the group and state how long they've been taking classes and what their goals were for the day regarding the lesson plan.  After our introductions, I would lead a warm-up followed by class instruction.  Once we completed our instructional portion of class, I planned for a little free time for students to work on any of the skills taught, take pictures, or to ask questions one on one.  The last 8 minutes of class would include some additional instructed conditioning followed by a cool down. 

Post First Class Recap

I've officially taught my first aerial silks class since sometime in 2015.  The class went pretty well. I was able to stick to the planned curriculum for the most part.  There were a few advancements that I touched base on due to students having been previously introduced to the skills I was teaching.  It was a good learning experience for me to revisit concepts I hadn't worked on in awhile and work through the steps with my students as I re-acquainted myself with those particular skills.  I found the one hour class time to be a little bit of a challenge in order to keep on track and fit everything I wanted to work on for that class.  I'm looking forward to playing around with some more concepts in regards to my teaching experience in order to assure my students are getting the most from their lessons.  Can't wait for next week. 

Post Second Class Recap

This week was a smaller class size which I mostly attributed due to inclement weather and a couple students that previously informed me of their planned absence. For the students that did show up, we covered quite a bit of material.  After the teaching the required curriculum, I decided to introduce a mini routine at the end of class as part of a bonus conditioning.  The students really enjoyed the mini routine as it enabled them to put together movements and work on performance details.  I realized that in many of the classes most of the material is skills focused which can leave little time to fine tune and work on artistic expression which is a necessary synchronous skill for performances.  Each week, I will try to include a mini routine that will have all the skills taught during the first portion of the class.  Stay tuned for future updates on my journey back to teaching. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

10 Sexy Pole Tips & Tricks

The allure of pole dancing has always been rooted in the sexual origins of the exotic dance industry.  Pole dancing is best known for it's taboo history of gaining notoriety through the gentlemen's club era of the 1980s in the United States.  Since it's inception into the public eye, pole dancing has evolved and come a long way from the nightlife stages of the clubs to a widely accepted form of fitness for many modern men and women.  Whatever your reason for coming to pole dancing as a means of expressive dance or fitness, you can't help but feel drawn towards the sultry and seductive roots this type of dance has been best know for. 

Now just a mere form of pole dancing, the exotic and sexual side of pole dancing is widely practiced as a style that encourages more women than men to break the barriers of their sex appeal by engaging in movement exploration that taps into feelings of desire. Pole dancing encompasses many forms of dance and for those that fell in love for the mystique and erotic flavor of sultry dance, the sexy side of pole dancing is a steadfast favorite.  For whatever reason you have come to pole dancing, you can't deny that sexy pole is a fun challenge that forces you to work muscle groups that you don't typically focus on during other traditional workouts.  In January, I took a Sexy Pole Workshop class at a local studio.  I found the class to be full of useful tips.  It really got me thinking in how I used to teach this form of dancing and what types of tips I'd offer to my students.  I decided to give some of those tips and tricks to my readers that I have learned through various teachings and trial and error along the way.

10 Sexy Pole Tips & Tricks

1.  Eye Contact.  The eyes can tell a story during your dance or performance.  Use your eyes to keep your face alive when you dance.  Find a focal point- whether its an actual person you are dancing for, audience member, or an area above a member of the audience- this focus will engage your audience and connect your dancing to them on a more personal level.  Sexy pole is a style that taps into the personal and breaks down that barrier of personal space through the eyes and the eyes alone.

2. Watch Yourself. Practice dancing while watching yourself in the mirror.  It's the best way to develop your movement.  We are our best and work critics.  So when we move a particular way, only we can judge how that movement best looks on our body and if we like it, then odds are it will continue to be a movement we enjoy both mentally and physically on our body.  It's all about finding how certain moves work best for your body.

3.  Flirty Hand Movements. I used to teach 3 basic "Flirty Hand Movements" in my classes.  One flirty hand movement was to play with your loose clothing- twist the ends of your shirt so it shows a little skin.  The second flirty hand movement was to play with your hair- give your hair a tousle with your hand.  The third and my most favorite flirty hand movement is to trace your silhouette.  Run your hand along the aide of your torso, hips, and thighs.  This draws the attention to these areas of your body while giving your free hand something to do.  This is also a great way to dry sweaty palms as you rub excess hand perspiration onto your clothes to allow you to continue dancing without risking slipping while gripping the pole. 

4. Walking Sexy.  Pointing your toes is a given.  Whether you're wearing stilettos or dancing bare feet, engage that toe point at all times.  The toe point gives a clean line to the legs thus producing a long and lean look. I used to teach my students a sexy toe drag walk where the back foot lightly drags the toes into the next step.  This is an important walk to master especially if you're one to wear the taller heels when dancing. This constant contact with the floor allows for stability when walking in heels and prevents ankle rolling injuries and falls.

5. Exaggerate Form and Movements.  Sexy pole is all about those big hip sways, arched backs, pushed out chests.  Movements are exaggerated with legs and arms to pop out booties and create curves in every twist and turn around the pole. 

6. Slow is Sexy.  Slow and controlled dancing is not only sexy but it's essential to developing your key muscle groups that will allow you to dance effortlessly and become a pole seductress all while maintaining safe execution of all your favorite moves around the pole.

7. Floorwork. The epitome of sexy in pole dancing is the inclusion of floorwork while you dance.  Floorwork is a fun flirtation that allows you to rest during strenuous routines all while maintaining an engagement with your dancing or audience. Really play up your leg work during floorwork.  This is the time to develop core strength and flexibility for an overall enticing performance. 

8. Enjoy the dance. Pick a song you love. Set the mood with lights. Dance for yourself alone.  Sexy dancing isn't just about being seductive towards someone else. It can be a way to get in touch with yourself and be a form of expression for you and only you.  You don't have to share your dancing with anyone if you don't want to.  Pole dancing can be very therapeutic and by dancing for yourself, you can reap the benefits of those feel good endorphins by feeling sexy and confident all on your own. 

9. Dress the part. Most pole attire can be intimidating for new dancers.  It shows a lot of skin- which is necessary for safety in progressive moves that require skin contact with the pole.  If you're starting out, you most likely won't be ready for those types of ensembles but it shouldn't stop you from purchasing pieces that make you look and feel sexy.  Looking sexy can be a great catalyst towards making your dancing sexy.  Did I mention you also look sexy?  Who doesn't love playing dress up?

10. Create an alter ego.  Sometimes creating a character lets you tap into that acting role that you may feel like you need to take on in order to hone in on your sexy.  I've taught bachelorette pole parties where every participant came in and wanted me to give them a sexy name for the party.  Many exotic dancers pick stage names so for your sexy dance style, why not?  It adds flavor or a sense of style that you can tap into when you're feeling the need to express the sexy side of pole. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DeskCycle for Your Sedentary Work Day

I work in my own office operating a pediatric based clinic.  I end up sitting until patients arrive and some days it is so slow that I have spent a huge portion of the day sitting. I wanted to start focusing my 2017 on losing some extra weight that I gained over the past year and half since selling my pole dancing and aerial fitness studio.  In January of this year, I decided I was going to get back on track with my physical fitness goals and return to a toned and in shape physique.  One of my friends on Facebook was also tired of her desk job curtailing her fitness efforts and posted about desk cycle chairs she was looking into buying to use while working.  After a little more extensive research on my part via Amazon.com, I came across the DeskCycle brand's Desk Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser.  Browsing through the reviews, it was easy for me to decide that this machine was the answer to my sedentary work day. 

The DeskCycle is a small recumbent bike style pedaling machine that enables you to pedal like you're riding a bike while sitting at your desk doing the various computer or writing tasks of the typical desk jobs.  It is a low to the ground machine which makes it fit perfectly beneath various heights of desks and allows one to comfortably pedal without hitting knees.  I've also found it to be useful in gaining my 10,000 steps a day goal when I clip my Fitbit to my ankle, it counts steps in my fitness tracker.  You can also increase your cycling workout by adjusting the resistance setting to one of the 8 available settings.  For more details on this product, I've included the following product description via Amazon.com:

"Lowest pedal height available; Only 10 Inches; Can work with desks as low as 27 Inches; See description for details
More than twice the resistance range of the other pedal exercisers; 8 calibrated resistance settings; from very easy to more than you need
Magnetic resistance provides smooth, quiet pedal motion; let's you focus on your work and your co-workers focus on theirs
Same patented magnetic resistance mechanism and high quality components as the MagneTrainer
5 function display shows speed, time, distance calories and scan; Online calorie calculator on website for very accurate calories burned"

The product includes a monitor that can attach to the device or be placed on top of your desk for easy viewing. I really like this feature as I have placed my monitor on my desk and throughout the day I will pedal as I can and the monitor keeps track and adds on when I start pedaling so at the end of the day I have a complete total to enter into my work wellness program tracker and Fitbit app.  Overall, I am in love with my DeskCycle and look forward to using it for many years to come to stay in shape.

UPDATE: Since using the Desk Cycle for the last three months, I have noticed an increased endurance in my extracurricular workouts, particularly the intermediate to advanced yoga classes at my local YMCA. I feel more energized as a result and have also started to experiment with increasing the resistance while cycling. The facility where I operate my clinic has also put in an order for all their employees to have their own Desk Cycles to incorporate health consciousness throughout the work day.