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.

New SASS and Chair Burlesque Classes – Summer 2019

The new studio has such a great vibe. I love that it is so much closer, so I’ve been able to attend more classes and more regularly. Most of the girls from old location have come to the new studio and there have been a lot of new faces too!

I have been able to attend chair burlesque classes and have been loving it. It is using a completely different apparatus to dance with but it incorporates a lot of the movements similar to ones that I have learnt in pole choreography classes. Using a chair to dance on and around is harder than I thought it would be. It takes a lot of coordination and balance. But it also makes me feel very sexy and confident. It has also given me a lot of bruises!

When My Two Worlds Collide

When I was working at a car dealership, all the sales people were asked to make a promotional video for social media. I said I wasn’t comfortable speaking on camera, but I could do something aerial. So I came up with the idea of rigging my silks in the dealership and making a video based around tricks on silks. I think it’s safe to say that when I was performing tricks for the video, my coworkers were quite impressed. I was quite happy with the how the video turned out.

When the dealership was a vendor at a local event, Floatfest in Welland, I brought my aerial rig and hoop. I set up the rig beside the cars we drove to the event and I performed hoop to help draw attention and promote the dealership. It was a lot of fun hanging out with my co workers at the canal while being able to do what I love to do. I even got a picture in the local paper!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I began working at a local radio station selling advertising. Like in any sales job, it is easier to sell to people you know first. The first radio advertisement package I sold was to my silks studio Paradisaea. It was fun working on the advertisement with the radio producer and then to hear the ad play on th radio.

However, both car and radio sales didn’t end up working out for me since they were 100% commission based. I had to find something with a more stable income in order to support my family and my hobbies. Although, I hope that in future envendeurs, I will be able to incorporate my aerial and fitness abilities into my work life again.

Finally Progress – Killing It In 2019

I am achieving the goals I set for myself at the beginning of  year. It seems changing my diet has also contributed to building muscle and strength.  I can check off titanic, aerial shoulder mount and ayesha! Those are 3 big ones that I’m so proud of.  And I got my nemesis…handspring!  After 3 years of frustration and thinking that it will never happen, it finally did happen.  I did exactly what I planned, I left handspring for a bit, got some other tricks, and then returned to handspring with renewed determination. The first time I did a successful handspring at SASS, all the girls cheered, as they know how hard I’ve been working on it.  It felt so good.  In silks, my aerial inverts are getting much stronger.

All the hard work is finally paying off.  I have finally got past the fear of trying new pole tricks and have had fun learning new things again.  I now can do headstands and getting close to handstands.  My love for pole has returned.  I’m spending 10-15 hours a week training between pole, silks and other workouts.

Last on my list is brass monkey! I will conquer.

Falling In Love

I seen a few pole dancer videos and I thought it was so beautiful.

I just had to try it.

And then I finally did.

And I fell in love.

Pole is where other girls support and compliment each other . We bond doing the most incredible crazy things with our bodies. We can be sexy. We can twerk. We can do the splits. And we also celebrate each other. We laugh and cry together. We share bruises, we share goals. We get each other.

Pole is a beautiful community.

The days that I don’t want to go to class are actually the days I NEED to go to class. It’s the days that I’m feeling down that I need pole the most. In class, I strip down to my itty bitty pole clothes and have to look myself honestly in the mirror. It’s when I can be myself and let go of my daily stresses. I am surrounded by strong, beautiful and kind woman. They help me remind myself that I am all of those things too. By the time I leave class, I am always smiling and proud of myself. I overcame the negativity that fueled my mind earlier.

I’m looking forward to the adventurous to come in the new SASS Studio in St.Catharines. A group of us had volunteered our time to help paint the studio, which is an example how polers come together to help each other and the sense of community it is.

Road Trip and Strip Club – Summer 2019

I live for the summer. It’s what keeps me going throughout the winter. I feel like I really come alive in the summer. This summer flew by way too fast.

I booked time off to go to a 4 day music festival near Barrie that was called Roxodus. Less than a week before the festival, it was cancelled. I was devastated. I bought tickets with 2 pole friends and we have been planning for this for months. So since there was no festival, me and my husband decided to go on a little road trip. We drove to Vermont and then to Montreal and had such a good time!

Vermont is such a beautiful little state. It was just so serene and relaxing. We did some exploring, shopping and even went to the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory.

In Montreal, I suggested to go to a strip club, as I have never been to one. I always would joke that I’m a pole dancer, but have never been in a strip club. Since that’s where my craft originated, I figured it’s about time I go to one, and there was no place better than Montreal.

The dancers were not very good, there was only one girl that was really able to pole. I left feeling really sad for the strippers, most looked strung out and quite obviously didn’t want to be there. There is such a huge difference between pole dancers and strippers, but at the same time, we have a lot in common. It’s a very weird paradox. Here are the similarities:

☑️ Dance using a pole, performing similar tricks

☑️ Need to wear little clothing for grip

☑️ Wear heels to look good, feel sexy, accentuate legs

☑️ Often stigmatized

The differences:

❌ Strippers get paid for dances; pole dancers pay for classes

❌ Strippers may not practice much on the pole; pole dancers train extensively

❌ Strippers use the pole as prop in their jobs as part of their sales pitch for private dances; pole dancers use the pole as a fitness apparatus

A lot of the tricks and movements pole dancers do, come from strippers. It’s important for pole dancers to appreciate strippers as we have a lot of commonalities. Nobody is better than anyone else. Stripping is nothing to be ashamed of. I just know it’s a very hard life, that often involves drugs and mental and/or physical abuse. Strippers have no employee rights and they are often used and abused. It’s an extremely difficult job.

Through pole, I have met strippers and girls that have done porn. They are some of the nicest and sweetest girls I have ever met. I have learnt not to judge or look down upon anyone based on what they do to make money. We are all grinding to make a buck, some people just happen to have a more difficult time than others and have to take sex work jobs just to be able to survive in this world.

This city, this whole country, is a strip club. You’ve got people tossing the money, and people doing the danceRamona Vega from Hustlers