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.

Paradisaea Summer Recital – June 2019

The Paradisaea end of semester showcase was June 15th and the theme was Through the Eyes of Tim Burton.  The Sunday night class I’m in did a routine to a song from Beetlejuice.  This routine was exciting for me, as I got placed in the middle because I was the one consistently getting the tricks.  It was big for me since when I first started silks, I was given easier tricks to perform at the recitals, now I’m being challenged with more advanced tricks and being placed in the center.  I felt like I practised enough and was ready, wasn’t even really nervous. The showcase went really well and so did our routine.  The only disappointing part was I didn’t have any friends or family there to watch me.  I work so hard and I don’t think people realize how much it means to me to have them there to support me.

New Equipment – Summer 2018

I’ve been looking at purchasing a stage pole for a long time. I wanted a portable pole that I could
bring to photo shoots and events. But at a price tag over $1000, it was not in my budget. My husband offered to help me out as he saw the benefits of such an investment. We also decided that an aerial rig would be advantageous, as then I could use my hoop and silks on a portable rig. He managed to save money in shipping by driving to the Toronto X-Pole location to pick up the equipment directly.

When he brought it home, it was like I was a delighted child on Christmas morning, impatient to dive into the boxes, assemble and play with my exciting new toys.

I was able to put my equipment to the first test at the vendor fundraiser. I only set the apparatus’ up once before the event, so I was unsure how it would go. It went smoother than I thought, even with it being so hot. I panicked for minute as I thought I forgot the wrenches for the pole, but my son found it and all was good. Other vendors commented his impressed they were with how I managed to set up such large equipment by myself.

I then was able to use my aerial rig at a photo shoot. A photographer a shot with before contacting about doing another shoot, I said I just got done equipment that I would love to try out. He said he has a friend that owes a winery that we could use, given the location, I thought the aerial rig with silks would be best. So, there I was, setting up my rig in the middle of the Reif Winery vineyard, which was an incredible experience. The winery owner is also a hobby photographer, so he shoot photos as well. I would have never thought that by starting pole and aerial, what kind of experiences that would allow me to have.

I also used the equipment just for my own personal training at home. I set it up in the back yard to train. I used it to teach my niece some silks tricks when she was visiting from B.C. I also set the rig up in the front yard so me and my daughter could show off our talents at our annual street end of summer party.

Pole Events in Summer 2018

The summer came and went in a blink of the eye. I spent the summer going to several pole events though out the summer.

The first event was a vendor fundraiser event for a women’s shelter. I went with the girls from SASS, we set up 2 poles in the center of the hall and we did demonstrations. There was not a lot of people there other than the ones working their own vendor booths, but we had fun just playing together for a few hours.

The second event was the Five Alarm Ladies Night, a firefighter charity fundraiser. I went to this event in 2013, which is where I seen the girls from SASS doing pole demonstrations.  I was in complete awe of what the girls could do and it made me determined to try. I was inspired and wanted to be strong and confident like them. Five years later, I was at the event WITH the girls at the studio performing demonstrations.

Being part of a vendor was a very different experience from when I was part of the audience watching the show. Firstly, when the woman came in, they showed zero interest in the pole and it was evident that they saw us as competition. The woman were all dressed up, hoping to snag a firefighter. When they walked in and saw a bunch of girls in booty shorts on a pole, it was threatening to them. Fast forward an hour after the woman have had a few drinks and saw the firefighters dance on stage, their options of us changed. They approached us to try out the pole and asked about classes. We were no longer the enemy; we could help their game.

The following day, I went to the Canadian Pole Fitness Association’s competition at the Toronto Pro SuperShow. I went with a bunch of the girls from SASS to support one of the girls from the studio competing. She did fantastic and placed 3rd in the semi-pro division!! It was nice to hang out with the girls outside the studio for the day.

Lastly, I performed demonstrations at a vendor fundraiser for mental health, similar to the I did with SASS, but this one I did solo. Well, actually I brought my kids along, my son helped me with the equipment and my daughter performed with me. We has performed a combination of pole, pole silks, silks and lyra. It was hot an exhausting putting the equipment up, performing for 4 hours and then taking all the equipment down. Overall though, a great experience and my first paid event!

Pole Silks – Spring 2018

When I competed last August, I seen a pole silks performance that mesmerized me. I never seen anything like it before. It’s rigging silks onto the pole to combine the 2 styles together. It is beautiful. I had to try it!

Since it is new, none of the studios in my area teach or even have pole silks. So, I researched where to do my own. I ended up the silk rig attachment, called Silkii from X Pole. I also had to buy the permanent mount for my pole as the pressure fitted pole is not safe to use with the Silkii.

I watched a lot of videos and starting teaching myself as I played around. I fell in love. I loved fusing the 2 apparatus’ together.

My instructor at Paradisaea asked me if I was going to perform in the April showcase. I said no at first. But then she suggested a pole silks routine, I thought that was a great motivation to train! I was nervous though, as I only played on them once and here I was, committed to a full routine in a few months.

I don’t know how I even managed to put a routine together, but I did and I was very happy with it. One of my pole instructors said she loved how I made the routine flow so well. The fact that I taught myself was a huge accomplishment.

Where Oh Where Can My Motivation Be? 

Dear Motivation,

Where are you? Why are you hiding? My energy levels and drive have been low.  I try to eat better but then slip backwards into old habits.  My progress in aerial has been slower. I’m at a plateau.

I see other people grow above me. I get frustrated at how my lack of advancement.

Why can I not handspring yet? Am I just not strong enough? I am doubting my abilities.  The other things in my life have taken over. My dreams seem like they are no longer obtainable.

I wasn’t sure how to proceed from here. So I thought looking back may help. I recently reread this blog.  It reminded me where I started from and how far I’ve come. Just within the last year, I created this blog, a brand for myself and started performing. Later this year, I will be competing and getting my instructor certification.

I also looked but at my pole board on Pinterest. I used to spend hours looking through pole pictures and videos for inspiration and motivation.  I took some time revisiting my pins, which reminded me how I fell I love with pole. And how obsessed I was with it.  Whenever I listened to music, I thought of poling. Whenever I shopped for clothes, I looked for new pole clothes. Whenever I was out anywhere, I looked for a pole to play on.

My handspring will come. It took me a year and a half to do a shoulder mount.   More than half my battle is mental. I need to keep believing in myself. I need to stop looking at others with envy, instead let them inspire and teach me. I too can do it.  No more excuses. I had so many goals at the beginning of the year.  I know once I start training regularly again my passion will return.

Showcases in June 2017

On June 3rd, SASS had its Tribute student showcase. I somehow ended up agreeing to be in 4 routines!  Part of me thought that I was biting off more than I can chew.

The first performance, I did a Prince Purple Rain solo routine. I didn’t have much time to practice so I took the Beatles routine I did last year for the Paradisaea spring recital and modified it a little. Since that routine didn’t go over very well at that recital, this was my redemption. I also decided to let my daughter, Brooklyn, join me in the routine and let her freestyle.  It was a special moment sharing the stage with her. She sees how hard mommy works training for a show and asked if she could be part of it. She loved being a superstar and hanging out backstage with all the girls!

The second and third performances were both group routines that I had learned in class. The first one was a level 1 routine and the second was a routine from the floor work and transitions class I took.


For my last routine, I did I solo hoop performance. Since I have only taken 2 classes, I was nervous putting a full routine together. I hung my hoop outside on the kids swing set and managed to come up with a fairly decent routine. I was the happiest with the hoop routine as it was the most out of my element.  Although, my Purple Rain costume was my favourite and I liked how I performed in Pleasers, pointe shoes and bare feet.

Two weeks after that showcase was the summer recital. I was so sick that I was throwing up all day. I got sick right before each performance. But I didn’t want to back out of the show and let anyone down, luckily I made it through both shows without an problem!

Paradisaea Winter Recital 2016

At the end of December, I participated in the Paradisaea winter recital. I worked hard on a drop called mission impossible that I was having difficultly with. The week before the show, I finally nailed it and was confident I could execute the trick in the show.

The first show went great, all my tricks went perfectly. The only thing was that I was in the back for the whole show. I climbed really high so that my family could see me in the back.

         So in the second show, I was offered to switch spots to the front during the mission impossible trick. I was excited to be up front, but I could feel my body was really tired from a very long weekend. After I did the drop, I realized that the fabric was too high and tight on my waist and I was stuck 7 feet off the ground. My instructor had to get the ladder to get me down! I was so embarrassed and disappointed in myself.  But I had 2 other tricks to do so I kept on going.  I chalked it up to a learning experience and didn’t feel so bad as a few others made mistakes as well.

The Adventures of Summer 2016

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At the end of May, I had a professional photo shoot. For the first time, I felt like a real model. I had so much time fun and look forward to doing more shoots in the future. I received so many positive comments about my photos that it was really overwhelming.

In July, my husband and I went on a car rally with 60 exotic cars. We decaled the roof of the car with a pole dancer. We packed my pole into the Viper and brought it with us. I set it up in our hotel rooms in Montreal and Atlantic City to pole. Our room in New York City was too small to set it up. I got the vibe from a few girls that that didn’t like me very much, but I didn’t care as I met lots of other wonderful people.

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I managed to get some outdoor poling in as well. Unfortunately, a neighbor likes it too much and made an inappropriate advance on me. I was disturbed by that, but I refused to stop me from doing what I love in my own backyard. There is nothing like being high in the air, looking up at the clouds and the sun’s warm rays beaming down on you.

I participated in an open house for Paradisaea in August with my kids. My son didn’t want to take part on the silks, but my daughter did. She had a lot of fun but she’s only 5, so I had to help her a lot. I think I will put her in classes in a few years when she is able to do more on her own.

I also took a lyra or aerial hoop workshop at Paradisaea. I had so much fun learning aerial tricks on a different apparatus. After the class, I decided a hoop will be my next addition to my dance room.

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Silks at Paradisaea Aerial Dance – Winter 2016

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At the end of January, I seen an ad for adult silks classes at Paradisaea. I have seen the singer Pink perform on silks and a few girls using silks at SASS and it looks so pretty. I thought that would be my next step and compliment my pole training well. I signed up for a one hour class per week to try it out.

When I entered my first class, I thought because I do pole, silks would be easy. However, I was very mistaken. It takes incredible amount of strength to pull yourself up on moving pieces of fabric. My arms felt like rubber after one hour but I loved it.

 

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As I went each week, I was stronger than the week before. I was seeing the difference in pole too. A few months into silks and I could finally shoulder mount! I always started stretching more and got my splits which helped get a flatter jade split. I not only was getting stronger and more flexible, but more confident too.