When Things Don’t Go As Planned – April 2017

I had signed up for Verticalove’s Something Wicked right after the Girlie Show.  I wanted to challenge myself with something new.  So, I decided I would teach myself how to dance in ballet pointe shoes to the hip-hop song Ballerina by Belly.  My concept was fusing the pointe shoes and elements of a ballerina costume with pole. I bought the shoes at the end of November and started breaking them in.

I had a great training plan set up for the New Year, 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 then 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.

I managed to put a routine together in between all of that, but it was no where near perfected.  I wish I had the opportunity to tweak the routine and clean it up.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to before the surgery so I would have to go with what I had.  I put in tricks in that I knew well as I knew I would still be recovering.  A week after my surgery, I practiced the routine twice and to see if I as going to have to make any changes.  It went ok, so decided to stick with what I had.  The next day though, my stitches really hurt and I was nervous that I pushed myself too hard.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to perform in 3 days.

I felt better after a few days of rest. The day of the show, I went to practice on the stage during rehearsals to map it out. After that, I went home to work on a few transitions and then rested until I had to get ready.

I wasn’t as nervous as I was at the Girlie Show before going on stage.  The first half of the routine went as well, until my mask moved out of place.  I decided to take it off, but didn’t realize it was double knotted so it not slip off easily.  The top the the mask pulled my hair out of place right before my ending combo.  I was disappointed that had happened.

The following few days, I was pretty bummed about the whole thing.  I wasn’t thrilled with the pictures as I have taken time off training and not eating very well.  I felt fat.  I was being quite hard  on myself.  But then a friend reminded me that most people wouldn’t have even been able to do that at all.  Let alone, recovering from injury and surgery.  Despite feeling unprepared, I had pulled it off.

Things don’t always work out the way you want but the important thing is how you handle it, learn from it, and move on.

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.

Verticalove’s Girlie Show – November 2016

The week leading up to the show, I practiced at home with my costume on to make sure it all worked. I tried to eat healthy and get lots of rest.

The day of the show, I went to the venue to rehearse my routine. I realized I was too slippery because I had put on coconut oil on my legs, so I had to shower. I had a healthy lunch and got some rest. When I got to the show in the evening with my costume, hair and makeup done, I hit me how far I have come. I was in awe that I was performing on the same with the girls I have been inspired by.

My performance went well, I was quite happy with it. I did a role reversal of 50 shades of grey, where I was the dominant to the submissive male, played by the MC of the show. It was awesome seeing my vision come alive on stage. What I was most nervous about was not toppling over in my 9 inch Pleaser heels.

What I had learned from watching the more advanced girls was I need to relax and smile on stage. That will come in time as I get more comfortable on stage.

Training for My First Professional Pole Showcase – November 2016

I spent most of October and November training preparing for my first professional pole performance. I did a flexibility workshop at Paradisaea with Deflying Fitness. It was 4 hours of stretching and contortion, or better named contorture. I trained hard at both Paradisaea and SASS, working on my stamina, endurance and of course strength.

I pole kittened and VerticaLove’s Great White North Pole Competition. While I was there, me and one of my instructors got to take the stage during intermission and dance with our Aura heels on. A 360 video captured our impromptu freestyle on stage. I got a chance to feel what it was like dancing on stage with an audience and it was so much fun!

My First Recital, The Highs and Lows – June 2016

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I spent several months working on choreographing my own routine for the first time. It was supposed to be for a spring showcase at SASS, which the date was pushed back several times. Then it was cancelled and postponed until the fall due to a lack of performers ready with a routine. When my silks instructor heard it was cancelled, she invited me to perform my routine at our silks recital.

I altered my costume a bit as the show was for all ages. I had to change my song to a Beatles song as that was the theme. I picked Free As A Bird and it fit my routine well. I spent hours preparing for the show.

On rehearsal day, I set up the 2 stage poles to practice. The show was in a gym and it was very hot. I was very worried that I would be too sweaty to execute my shoulder mount in the routine.

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The day of the show, I was beyond nervous. When I got out there, I concentrated on my music and my movements and didn’t look at the audience. I did bail on my shoulder mount as I was just too slippery. Overall, I was happy how it went but was going to take the shoulder mount out of the second show

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The silks group routine I wasn’t nearly as nervous for as I wasn’t out there alone. It went well. My husband and kids came to support me and my husband recorded my performances.

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Between the first and second show, I was told that there was some negative comments about my pole routine posted on the events Facebook page. I was asked to tone down the routine or perhaps take it out of the second show. I thought about it for a bit and decided that I did not want to change my art because of a bully, so I didn’t perform. I went home for a bit to clear my head, and went back just to perform the group silks routine at the end of the show.

After the show, I bought a big bottle of wine, relaxed in my hot tub and vented to some pole friends. I took solace in hearing other friends stories of facing negative comments through their pole career. The stigma around pole is sometimes difficult for a dancer to deal with. But it’s our passion and art and we are tough girls that will face the negativity head on and will not let it defeat us.

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Coming Out of My Shell – April 2016

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I heard about a pole showcase called Something Wicked by Verticalove in Hamilton. They were looking for pole cleaners, or pole kittens, so I volunteered. I got to watch the performances, then went on stage and climbed the poles to clean them between performances. Dancers from across Ontario, including a few from my own studio SASS, and the States come to perform and they were all incredible!

I had a chance to feel what it was like to be onstage in heels and booty shorts. By the end of the second night, I met so many amazing new people and decided that I wanted to be a performer next time.

A few weeks later, I joined a few girls from SASS at the bar Southsides in Fort Erie promoting the studio. A girl set up her stage pole in the bar and we took turns doing tricks. I got really sick after Verticalove, so performing was very challenging but I toughed it out.

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It was actually a bit of a dream come true. When I was in the beginners class, my instructor Shanyn told my class one night that she and her SASS girls were performing at a bar that night. That night, as I was learning basic spins, I dreamt of the day I would be good enough to do something like that. There I was, 2 years later living out something I thought only was a dream. That night I felt like my hard work was starting to pay off.

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Successes of 2015

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I ended 2015 with accomplishing a few goals I had set at the beginning of the year. I finally got cupid and was getting close to shoulder mounting. I learned how to do the extended butterfly pretty quickly. I started working on ballerina and jade.  Ballerina killed my ribcage for quite a while.  My splits for jade needed a lot of work.

 

 

 

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I started working on doing more complex combo’s like the one in this picture from class. In order to come up with routines, I need to work on transitions between tricks to make it flow.

I had my first performance at an open house for SASS. It was for a small number of people but it was a
n opportunity to perform the routine I learned from the sexy flow class. A girl that attended loved my performance and it got her to sign up for the sexy flow class. It was amazing that I had inspired someone like that.image4