When The World Shut Down – Spring 2020

March 2020 so surreal. Canada got put into lockdown. I was laid off my my job, kids were home schooling, all stores but essentials were closed, so was bars, restaurants and gyms. We were isolated in the house, every day, all day. It was a weird and unstable time. I tried to kept myself busy with cleaning, reorganizing and projects around the house. Shanyn from SASS ran online fitness and pole classes through Zoom. The classes gave me something to look forward to and helped me keep motivated during these difficult times.

How I survived lockdown

Unfortunately, SASS got evicted at the end of May. It was heartbreaking that the studio that was like a second home to me had to close its doors. The landlord was unwilling to help a small business out try to survive the lockdown.

Niagara Falls without any tourists during lockdown

Army of Sass – March 2020

Army of Sass is a separate dance company, but they were using the SASS studio to practice, so they invited the SASS pole girls to perform in their March show again, like we did in December. We all had lots of fun the first time and we were all super excited to be part of the show again. We had a better idea of the stage and space so we were able to plan the routine better. This time, I was going to be featured on the pole, instead of the chair that I did in the first show. I had to miss a few practices due to work, but worked hard to practice when I was at the studio. We were well prepared and the routine was going to be awesome.

The week of the show, the world turned upside down. There Coronavirus was spreading around the word, entire countries were going into lock downs. It was a scary and uncertain time. Here in Ontario, capacity limits were put on indoor venues. We made a group decision not to perform in the show to keep us all safe. It was a hard decision and we were all sad that we never got to perform the routine we all worked so hard on.

Pole Room – March 2020

With the money that I had made from the Dragonfly performances, I treated myself to some new Pleaser heels. I got a few different styles and colours, since I’ve been performing more I wanted more of a variety. My growing shoe collection created a new problem – where do I put them all!? A trip to IKEA was the solution, as I got shelves to display my heels. That also lead to a little makeover in my room. I got white curtains and hung them around the room so I could use them as backdrops, hiding the rest of the room, when taking photos and videos.

Dragonfly – Valentines 2020

I was asked to come back to be a feature at Dragonfly night club for their Valentines night. They thought I did a great job when I performed there in December and wanted to have me back more regularly.

This time around was not as stressful. The setup went smoothly and again all the staff was super friendly and helpful. The performance was the same as the first one, my first performance started at 11:00 and I did sets of 15 minutes until 1:00. Again, I had my own security at the pole and was given all the free drinks I wanted.

I weighed the lowest I have since I had my kids and felt the strongest I have ever been. My dreams were coming true, being booked regularly for performances. All the hard work was starting to pay off. I was feeling on top of the world. I had no idea what was about to come and that would be my last performance for a long time.

New Ink – January 2020

I started 2020 off with getting another large piece, a unicorn, tattooed on my left ribs. The unicorn is my spirit animal as I feel it really represents who I am; beauty, rare, positivity, joy, hope, pride and diversity. The artist was so the same one that did my pole dancer on my other ribs and she did an incredible job capturing my personality in both pieces.

December Performances

December was a very busy month as I had 3 performances! The first one was at Southsides Bar in Fort Erie for a Ladies Night. I did this in 2016 with the SASS girls and that was the first event I did with them. This time though, I am a more confident and stronger performer. There was 5 of us girls that took turns playing on the pole to promote the studio. An old friend of mine was there and I made a few new friends, which made the night even better. The studio owner even got me to dance to a Snoop song. Honesty, when the MC announced me as a dancer of Snoop Dogg’s, I beaming with pride of my accomplishments.

The next performance was at a showcase for the Army of Sass dance showcase. Army of Sass is a separate dance company, but they were using the SASS studio to practice, so they invited the SASS pole girls to perform in their show. We had 9 of us performing, so we did various elements, including pole, acro and chair. My piece of the performance was with the chair. It was neat having so many of us on stage together and all coordinated with different elements.

The third performance, which as a day after the Army of Sass performance was for the Paradisaea After Dark winter showcase. I choose the song I’ll Be Home by Meghan Trainor because it wasn’t as corny traditional Christmas song. The routine was a combination of floor work and chair, which a lot of movements were from the Army of Sass routine, and then ending with some pole silks, again, pulling from previous routines. Because this performance was the day after the other one, it was easier to use choreography I was already familiar with. After the show though, the concept of the show was explained fully to me, it was an 18 + show, so I could have had a sexier routine. I kept the routine pretty tame, knowing the issues I have had in the past with being too sexy at a Paradisaea showcase. We all had a laugh that i was pretty conservatively dressed than my normal for performing.

Dragonfly – November 2019

The owner of SASS asked me if I would be interested in performing at Dragonfly nightclub that is located in the Casino in Niagara Falls. I felt honoured for being asked and jumped at the opportunity. I arranged a time to come set up the pole before the club opened a few weeks before the event to try out the logistics to see if it would even work. It took some brainstorming, but we finally figured out a set up that worked well for the club and my safety.

I was so excited but yet so nervous to be a solo performing being featured at a club. I stressed a lot over my outfit and spent hours trying on practically everything I owned. I ended up buying a new outfit from the Stag Shop a few days before the event as I was not happy with anything I had. I worked out thought, as the Stag Shop was a sponsor of the event.

I got there an hour before the doors opened to set up the pole. My husband came with me to make sure everything was ok and then left to watch the kids at home.

My first performance started at 11:00 and I did sets of 15 minutes until 1:00. Everyone who was worked the club was so great to me. I had my own security at the pole and was given all the free drinks I wanted.

The club has the coolest lights on the ceiling and when I climbed to the top of the pole and overlooked the packed, sold out club under the lights, well, it was such a high. Watching the crowd react to my tricks was just amazing. I had girls in the front just in awe of me. I even made some tips.

By the end of the 2 hours I was completely exhausted. My feet hurt so much and I had a few blisters. I called my husband to pick me up right after I was done, there was nothing more I wanted than my bed!! It was way more physically demeaning than I had expected it to be but at the same time, so much fun

SASS St.Catharines Grand Opening Showcase – October 2019

For the Grand Opening showcase at SASS, I was in 2 performance, a group and a solo. The group performance was the opening act and I messed up a few movements. I knew I didn’t practice enough but really hoped my muscle memory would take me through. I think my nerves got the best of me so I was happy I was in the back corner of the group!

For my solo performance, I choose to revamp the Lightening Crashes pole silks routine from the June showcase at the old studio. I added in a few new tricks, changed my costume and included my daughter in the routine. My daughter is taking ballet classes, so she danced a ballet interlude while I tied up the silks for the next part of the routine. I loved sharing the stage with my daughter.

Getting Flexy – Fall 2019

In 2017, I had a great training plan set up for the New Year, including working on my shoulder and back flexibility. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. I got hand, mouth and foot disease which prevented me from training for a bit. After that, I was sick for a week. And then shortly after that I pulled a tendon in my bicep. I got hit with one thing after another, making it difficult to consistently train. I suffered with my arm injury for a month and I finally went to physio for treatment. I took time off completely while my arm was getting treated. Right when my arm was better, I had to go in for surgery on my breast implant…a week before I was to perform. The surgery resulting in scar tissue that tightened my shoulders further.

I struggled for years with any tricks that required shoulder flexibility. It took a few years and several osteopath and massage sessions and lots of yoga classes to regain flexibility in my shoulders. It was a lot of work to reverse the effects of the injuries and surgery.

Now I have finally made progress in improving my shoulders and back, as well as my middle splits.

I have also started training for a very advanced pole trick called Bird o Paradise. The trick is adapted from the yoga pose that shares the same name. The difference between the yoga pose (which is tricky enough as it as) and the pole version is having the pole weaved behind the shoulder. It hurts a lot to train so I can only practice 2-3 times until the pain on my shoulder is too much. It is incredibly difficult and takes a lot of shoulder flexibility. I have managed to progress to grab my hand, now I have to work on the positioning and balance to take my top leg off the pole. The last other demonstrates what the trick is supposed to look like.

My overall strength has increased with noticeable changes to my body and my abilities on the pole.

Best Birthday Ever! September 2019

I usually hate my birthday. Every year, I tend to be disappointed that my friends usually bail on plans that we had. This year I dreaded the day.

I went to work at the local radio station and much to my surprise, my co-workers threw me a surprise party! They decorated my desk and that station. All my co-workers, including the radio hosts and my boss, were wearing party hats. They bought me gluten free treats and cupcakes for everyone else to share. I almost cried. I was completely surprised and my heart was so happy. Nobody had done anything like that for me before.

I have started running t improve my cardio strength and endurance. I challenged myself and ran 5km for the first time. I did just over the 5km and was so proud of that accomplishment. I had never been a good runner in childhood or my adult life. I have really began to enjoy running.

On the Friday of my birthday week, the owner of SASS, Shanyn, HD asked me to teach a pole bachorette party and then she would take me out for birthday drinks after the party. All day I was nervous as this was going to be the first party I would be teaching and Shanyn was going to be watching me. I read through my notes from a previous class I had with Shanyn about teaching a party. She told me to pack clothes to go out in, so I included clothes in my bag and went to the studio after work.

Shanyn greeted me at her desk when I arrived, but I noticed the birthday decorations. Shanyn started laughing and explained their was no bachelorette party, it was a surprise party for me! some other girls come out from hiding. Again, I was completely shocked and overwhelmed! They too got me gluten free treats along with wine and sangria! I think I cried this time. We hang out at the studio for a bit, then we went out to Grape and Wine that was happening downtown. I had the best night of my life. We did shots at random bars, drank wine at the festival, danced and of course did some acro and took silly pictures. I realized that pole friends are the best friends! I finally found my tribe, the people I belong with.

I later found out that my husband arrange the whole night with Shanyn. He was on stand by to come pick me up so I didn’t have to worry about getting home. He knew how my birthdays haven’t been great and wanted to make this one special. I had so much love in my heart after a week of surprises from the people that meant the most to me.

I have come to realize that my late 30’s have been my best years yet. I am more confident in myself and continually challenge myself to became a better version of myself every day. Even when I have set backs, I am able to dust myself off and overcome come them easier then I did before. I spend more time thinking a dreaming of what’s next instead of dwelling on the past mistakes.