Panic Over, Enjoyment Begins

19 07 2010

After last night’s panic after seeing the UKAPP videos – especially the gymnast who has only being dancing 6 months – I have had a re-evaluation with the help of my wife. She pointed out very rightly that I didn’t start dancing to win, I started because I love it and I should focus more on that than on winning. It’s difficult because my whole life has been groomed towards winning and being the best, but then if I get stressed about it the big moves won’t come anyway as I won’t be mentally secure in myself and therefore won’t get anywhere! It’s a vicious cycle, and I am just glad that I have someone so grounded in my life that can bring me back down from the panicky heights and remind me that personal enjoyment is worth so much more.

I will miss her when she’s in Uganda, but she has to do what she has to do and I respect her more for that.

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Very Rough Sketch Out of A Routine

16 07 2010

**DELETED**

So, true to my word for once here is a video of my very rough sketch out of a routine to Florence and the Machine’s ‘Heavy In Your Arms’. I didn’t put in a many big moves as I wanted to, and there is a lot wrong with it flow wise but the fundamental ideas are there. I will work on it, refine it and make it better. Not sure what I will use it for yet (I have already registered this year’s competition music) but it’s always good to have a routine to a song that I feel very passionately about.

This is my song, hopefully by uploading this video I am effectively shotgunning the use of it in Leicester at least! Hehe.

Edited: After going away for the weekend, clearing my brain then watching this routine again I HATE it. It’s actual rubbish and I’m not going to put another one up again until I am happy with it. Which, knowing me, will probably be never. I saw the UKAPP videos and realised I have so much work to do it is unreal if I want to be taken seriously.





I Feel A Routine Coming On…

14 07 2010

Such a shame this only available on the Eclipse soundtrack (so you have to buy the entire album! Yuck). But this track gives me goosebumps. I’m going to record a dance to it tomorrow night as I haven’t been as inspired by a song for a long time. Watch this space…





Meeting the Pole Stars: Pantera Blacksmith

9 07 2010

Pantera is an absolutely brilliant performer, and after watching her go tonight and hearing about her training routine I am more inspired than ever to get going on the pole again. I have been relaxing a little more than I should have been lately but it was needed to sort myself out generally.

Anyway! On to the good stuff. She is so strong she can hold her moves for a very long time. Everything she does is so sure and confident, she really knows what she is doing. She has been doing it for 11 years though, she is one of the original old school girls who kick started this whole movement and I absolutely thank her for that.

Photos of her in action:

She also met her twin, Nicole. Apparently they have the same chin!

To end the evening I snagged a splits photo with her, I absolutely love this photo:

Brilliant performer, inspiring training regime and generally fantastic to watch. Can’t wait for Alethea Austin next week!





Celebrating Women’s Strength

2 07 2010

Whenever I least expect it, a little jab comes out of the air and hits my self esteem. This time it came in the form of a throwaway comment “Women with 6 packs will never be sexy.”

Prepare for a soapbox moment.

All my life I have been muscular because I do more sports than most people – ballet ruled my life up to my teens then synchronised swimming became my life up to my 21st, now pole dancing is something I cannot live without. Because of all this I have always been much more built than other people. And I have always had other people around me tell me it is a bad thing.

I can understand this mentality towards female bodybuilders – they do push their bodies to the absolute limit and end up looking a bit ridiculous. Their training regimes also leave a lot to be desired and I do not agree with the diets touted about, yet something inside me admires their dedication, self control and iron will that enables them to look like this. I, however, never ever want to do the same.

Another knock that came at an unexpected time was when I was over at my mate’s house and discovered she has a random chin up bar that was installed by the previous tenant. I immediately jumped on it and started doing chin ups just for fun. My friend just stood there and eventually said “That’s disgusting. Women shouldn’t be able to do pull ups and muscles do not appeal to men at all”. After the initial insult sting had subsided her comment really made me think, as it ties in with the pole dancing debate. Do women pole dance for the aesthetic pleasure of men or do they do it to celebrate their strength?

Personally, I do not do pole dancing to please men. If anything it is to please and impress women as I break out tricks they have (hopefully) never seen before and eventually earn their respect. It’s a parallel to the classic fashion statement – “Women do not dress for men. Women dress for other women. If women dressed for men we would walk around naked all the time.” I can’t remember who said it, but she got the point bang on. It’s the same with dance and fitness – I dance firstly in the hope that eventually I will impress myself and secondly to earn the respect of other women. Being told that “women shouldn’t be able to do pullups” is a massive knock on both myself and feminism – why shouldn’t we be able to? Women can be as physically fit and strong as men, and in some women’s cases much stronger. The thought that I will never be attractive to men because I have muscles does sting me a little, not because I believe it’s true but because a fellow woman, one of my friends, thinks that it is. That hurts more because it is all too reminiscent of the classic ‘damsel in distress’ scenario where men are expected to save us. I like to think that mentally and physically I am strong enough to save myself.

I feel extremely lucky to spend the majority of my time (outside of work anyway) in the company of strong women. Pole dancing is the one place I have felt at home, and this is because women’s strength is celebrated and encouraged. The stronger you are physically and mentally the more tricks you can do and the better you are as a performer. Never in pole dance classes have I been told that I am unattractive or made to feel like I am a waste of space. This is an extremely valuable rare feeling and I hope that pole dancing, despite all the controversy surrounding it’s origins, carries on giving that feeling to more women and encouraging them to be stronger individuals.