The challenge I am doing is inside the Pole Freaks membership site. I cannot tell you how much I love this path, plan. I had a question for Holly Munson and she got back with me so fast. She has offered to help if I need it too.
The challenge is a 12 STAGE plan. I thought.. "oh 12 weeks.. done". Well, holy crap... stage one is super hard. I looked ahead to stage two and realized that this is not a fast track. It's a progressive track and I'm not moving on until I master these things. Each stage builds on the last. Smart!
I'm using this bloggie to track my progress as I journey through this 12 Stage Invert plan.
I filmed the first two workouts of the week. I didn't film Saturday. I'm bummed.
Week one was rough, I actually trained 6 days this week.
I had 3 pole days of the challenge and 2 gym workouts. I also had a private lesson for work on a new song I'm doing in the summer.
I was exhausted on Monday. I think this past week was the hardest week I trained in a long time. It is going to take me a beat to figure out my schedule and how to make all of this work. I think though, that as I get stronger, it won't take me so long to get through the conditioning. It's 30 reps of climbs, knee tucks and pull ups. I can't even do one pull up.. holy crap.
I notice though, in my videos that my shoulder is elevating and I need to focus on keeping them really engaged. I suggest that if you are poling at home or really where ever.. film yourself. I can't believe how much I need to get my form correct! Gah!
I also worked on
Cross knee release
I'm legit not moving on to stage 2 anytime soon. I'm going to be A-ok with that and we all will celebrate when I do!!
I'm starting year 5 of my pole journey. I have some things I have decided to fix. I need to get back in there and learn all the basics. I'm working with a few sites as well as classes and private lessons.
I want to remind my readers that I did my first year of poling in my own studio using online training and it was terrible. I missed so many things. Veena was about the only one that was around and the platform wasn't my favorite. I think she is much better now and her IG is killing it.
I also used Youtube and honestly, I started on spin pole with no business doing that! Lord.
I have a pole in my home now so there is so much more opportunity for me to workout.
And... the online programs are much better than in 2015!
PoleFreaks.com is hands down the best out there for a progressive program. Now, not to say I don't love other sites but this one actually tracks your progress and you should be proficient before you move on! It tells you exactly what you need to do each workout.
They just put up the 12 stage invert plan. I'd love to believe I can do it in 12 weeks. ha! The goal is to complete each stage before you move on! So there we are.
This video is day 1 for me. I set my goal to be at my best shape and much stronger June 4. I have submitted to Pole Con in NOLA June 4, 2020. Even if I don't get chosen to perform, that's ok. I will still use that date as my goal! That is 31 weeks from today.
I like to keep track of my progress through my blog. It keeps me motivated.
This video is about an hour workout in 44 seconds. I did 15/15 of each movement. I assure you in my body building workouts I do not do 30 pull ups. I can't do one. I do assisted but its not happening here! The knee tucks are brutal. I was doing much better but now I'm back to kicking up into the chopper. I did pretty ok with #Viva and #star I have some skills but I'm missing a lot of basics. This is a good baseline.
I'm incorporating 3 days a week of body building into my plan but most of my training will be using Pole Freaks and these sites below to round it out.
Other sites I love are
Marlo Fisken Flowmovement.net. I purchased so many of her lessons. She's incredible.
Body and Pole online has classes. Actual classes. I tried a heels class with Jeni Janover. I nearly died. I did several classes with her and a private at Pole Expo. I love her. She is goals. The classes are actually so wonderful and they break them down to time stamps on the videos so you can stop and practice and know where you are. Brilliant.
Cleo's Rockn Pole is a given. I keep that one because I just love it, it's good for the flash and when you want to learn something banging for a routine. She has all the basics too. It has a nice app for the phone but I'm blind so I just use my pc.
I have previously loved deeply the 123poling site. I purchased a year on a special but then the full year was a PAID IN FULL FOR $300 . That membership is amazing but so annoying. I also have some series I have purchased from them that give me access for life. I budget for classes and monthly payments to sites and coaches. A full payment is not really an option I want to deal with.
Happy Pole aVersary to me!
I have completed 4 years of pole and I'm celebrating!
Here is day 1.
I set goals a year ago and hit most of them. I think I made great strides.
2. Competition is not for me.
3.I am more flexible. I worked hard.
4.I did an aerial invert a few weeks ago. Learning!
5. I'm doing well on leg hangs.
6.I performed a lot this year.
7.I'm much better in Flamingos!
8.I'm more fluid for sure, that free style class tho.
9. I can do a shoulder stand.
10.Lap dance, chair.. I don't really enjoy that anyway.
I don't like touching people. lol
perform at least 4x
Master basic moves that I missed
Increase back mobility even more
static rotation and floor work too.
Work on musicality/fluidity
Time to work!
Today is the day "Hustler's movie comes out. Instagram is shadowbanning the pole community but taking money to market this film. #Ipolebecause Hustlers #hypocrite
I realize many of you don't care, or like pole and that's ok!! You can feel ok about scrolling this post. We are sharing to the world today. If you want to read more about our community, you can search on IG #Ipolebecause.
This is why I pole.
I started poling at age 50 because I wanted to learn something new.
As time has passed, I have realized what really brought me to pole dancing.
I grew up feeling ashamed of my body. I was taught sex was wrong except in the holy sanctity of marriage and women who were "sexy" were trash. I was also told as a very young girl that dancing was a sin. Self expression was not encouraged. There was always someone judging or looking down. The message that women are sex objects for the head of the household and are not deserving of their own self love. We are here to serve and submit. I was taught that men are above women and we really have no voice. We must stuff it down, be small and follow the rules.
I grew up with terrible body image issues for decades and never felt OK in my skin. I spent much of my life with eating disorders and dissociation from my childhood traumas.
What I have discovered in pole is a connection to the woman I was meant to be. Strong, powerful and taking up space. The longer I have pole danced, the higher my heels have become and I am 6'4 in my heels. I will not be small and blend in.
I am learning also that pole allows me to work through my pain and I'm learning the healing properties of dance and creative expression. I am a person who does not ever feel sexy. But I want to be and I deserve to feel sexy. My body, whatever shape it's in , is a work of art and it moves and twists and has value. It isn't trash. I dance for me.
I have found a wonderful, safe community of amazing humans who don't judge. They come from all walks of life. They all carry their own unique challenges and show every day why pole and our community has value.
I pole for me. I show my pole artistry for my friends and myself to see growth. I share my dance as a gift to anyone who wants to enjoy it. If they don't. That's ok too. I watch my friends dances and celebrate their uniqueness and abilities and I'm in awe of them.
I shout out my studios and their amazing leaders Michelle Mynx and Dahlia
I dearly love my coaches Jessica Rene Bailey Elizabeth Regina Sykes
I'm shouting out our movie about pole. www.herestousmovie.com
I shout out my partner for supporting me.
My friends who support me Heidi Lebish Donna Dabbs
Pole friends/Chrome dolls.. so many of you. Tara Zou Tamara Meyer Jesslyn Bitters Rochelle Healy Danielle Renee Erin Meskill (rubysoho) Rachel Tucker Donoho Meghan Rose
Karen Downey Horchata Dentana Brittany Carpenter
sorry if I missed anyone.
You can also see our movie next year.. www.herestousmovie.com
Instagram is shadowbanning pole dancers However, they continue to take money for the #hustlermovie @jlo and push my community into the shadows.
My business life is an open book. I'm transparent about my struggles and I will not shy away from that here either. This blog has been on my mind for years. If you are offended easily, sorry not sorry. Feel free to go watch some pole videos. <3 I will say this right now, being raised a certain way will NOT define me.
My entire family is/was Southern Baptist/Evangelical. It's all I grew up knowing. Church was hell, fire, brimstone preachers. I internalized every bit of it living terrorized that hell was inevitable. #EmotionalTerrorism
In the late 1960's I spent quite a bit of my time with my grandparents in rural Missouri.
My grandparents spent time at the kitchen table reflecting on the news from good ol KFVS Channel 12. The world news followed and talked about the Black Panther party. It talked about the Civil Rights Movements as well. This was very upsetting to them and the Baptist Church we attended.
One of the most vivid memories I have was my grandparents wringing their hands and saying ,
"The world has gone to hell in a hand basket."
They told me the Black Panthers were coming for us and we had to be afraid.
My grandmother and great aunt were shaking.
Because I was little, I was terrified to go outside. I feared actual black panther cats would get me. I visualized playing by the creek and being eaten up.
My great aunt kept a shot gun by the door for rabid dogs, wolves and Black Panthers. No one was getting in. That shot gun would keep them all out.
I saw her shoot a wolf.
I believed her.
One particular day, my grandparents were so distraught that my grandma knelt and prayed that God would keep the blacks from getting rights. They went to prayer meeting and prayed for it there too.
"It's just not right." they said.
"They are coming for us". The preacher preached.
As I write this..
I am ready to hear from those who will say,
-It was just the time.
-That's how it was back in the day.
-They didn't know any better. They lived in the country.
-That's how they were raised.
- They were saints. They were of the Lord.
-They were devout. None better. They lived their lives walking with Christ.
Apologies. Apologizing. Apologists.
How dare you?
I believe with all my heart, that in those same exact moments, this was happening elsewhere.
Other people were in their own churches praying for God to deliver them from discrimination so they could find safe housing for their families. They might have also prayed for safety for their loved ones. They prayed to be afforded the most very basic of human rights. They were probably also afraid. Maybe their children and grand children felt fear of people like our family. Maybe.
Who wins? Who's side was God really on? My complete views on religion for this blog are not important. I will share with you, that I spent a large portion of my life living under the thumb of that religion. I'm not new to this. I'm fully aware that you can pray for whatever you want. My point of this blog is that if you are praying to your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ to deny others the opportunity for their very basic needs to be met, you are not following the true Christian example Jesus gave.
My grandparents were what they were. They were racists. I couldn't tell you if they knew that word but I do. I know what that rhetoric sounds like. It's disgusting and disturbing. Each person on this earth has value. I won't listen to those who hide behind Christ to belittle or deny other human beings.
This time of my life feels a lot like what I grew up hearing. It's unsettling that 49 years later, people can still feel resolve in praying for the destruction of other's lives.
Being raised a certain way doesn't excuse any of this. We can all be better and be open to other's needs. We can evolve. None of us are perfect. We can do better. If praying is the effort a person gives, would it be so wrong to send thoughts and prayers for safety and peace? Or even to just pray that others could have what they needed. Where we came from should not determine where we go from here. If those voices resonate within a person, with real introspection, a person could become empathetic towards others. Prayers for safety and peace for all , not just 'certain' folks. We can all grow.
Peace and growth.
I get stuck in a rut on songs to dance to. I like what I like, but it's super nice to find some new things to explore.
This week on Pole Freaks FB group, we had a thread asking for Gooey music.
I created a new playlist for the songs people choose.
I'll get to that Spotify list later, but here's my top pics for the Gooey.
First is Black Metallic by Catherine Wheel. If you like grunge, well.. hell yes.. put this on and get after it. I would bet you, you've never heard this 7 mins of floor fucking bliss.
It makes a girl feel a certain way. This one is my favorite for a zillion reasons .. This one needs to come back!
'Till the cops come knocking by maxwell
Oh holy mama! One of the best grooves of 1996 is Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite. It's remarkable as an album but your floor fuckery will be like butter with the this song.
I'd love to see some people exotic this one for us on YT. We really need to dig into the retro songs because there's some real gold there.
Your ooey gooey playlist
playlist new song winner
This one is new to me!! Holy mama. Radio Lust by the Blancos.
My Pole Journey
Before I start my blog, I want to share that I'm very transparent in my journeys. I won't sugar coat this. I actually write for myself to journal my progress. I've never written much about my pole life but decided to tell this story because it's part of my story.
I began competing in bikini (body building) late 2012. I made a decision that when I turned 50 I wanted to start training in a sport that was more skill based. I knew I wouldn't give up my body building but I just wanted to learn something brand new.
We were in Las Vegas for my 50th birthday and ended up at Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson One. The above video was the exact moment I knew what I wanted to do. I saw this pole dancer slay Dirty Diana and I had a pole ordered the next day.
I had no idea where to start but it was so fun researching. I bought grip aids, shoes, gloves, knee pads and some leg warmers. I thought I had it all together!!
I had no idea about pole lessons or really anything about pole so I joined 2 websites to start my online pole training.
Boy did I get that wrong!
I'll skip a head a full year and tell you that, it was a huge mistake to not find classes and pole coaches. I lost over a year of solid improvements partially due to not understanding body mechanics and techniques. I had no concept of spacing, bracketing, progressions or flow. I also got injured so many times it was ridiculous.
I began working with our local coaches and never looked back. I take classes at two studios and have a few different coaches who work with me. The interesting thing for me is, I need one on one due to my learning style. I have gone to countless workshops and classes and really just end up not know what to do with what I learn. With my privates we can work on ways to enter in and out of moves so they are right for my build and skill level. That was a huge discovery for me and I started to improve right away!
I also love working with different coaches because everyone has a unique style. My style is pretty thrashy and classic stripper. So I chose a coach who also leans to that style. She's also built a bit more like me so it makes sense to have her work with me. She understands placement as it works with my body style.
I have other coaches who are very technical. It's so nice to work with so many great instructors with so many talents!
If you are starting pole, find a studio home. The online sites are so nice but they should not be your main education! If you are in St. Louis, go to my Recommended page and come train with my coaches.
Things to know..
I probably had the equivalent of 3 months of dance class in my entire life. In fact, I grew up in a ultra religious home where dancing was considered a sin. I have had a lot of anxiety from being raised in this dysfunction.
However, I actually really love to go dancing and clearly my upbringing didn't stop me. It's kind of bull shit, in fact. But that's where I am. I'm stiff and uptight by nature, I guess.
When you see a lot of pole dancers online, you may imagine they come from dance backgrounds and even gymnastics! I had none of that so everything I'm learning is coming from inside me. I'm driven, structured, ridgid and that doesn't look great on the pole.
Challenge accepted. My poor upbringing is NOT going to hinder my ability to create fluidity.
Pole started for me as a very ridgid process of progressions and I stand by that. But I'm coming to understand how much more it is to me as a woman and human. Being able to express myself and have a voice took time. Being able to tap into really dark shit that was happened in my life and use that for my art is not simple. It's awkward but it was very helpful to channel that energy into something positive.
In fact, what I have been shocked to understand about the pole community is the acceptance of people like me. People who want to improve, learn but who also are healing.
I started my project believing one thing, but in my 4th year, I've come to understand the universe had this planned for me all along. <3