Sail – Awolnation

So, I had a hard time putting something together for this song. I have no idea why, as I love it and know it very well, and usually the better I know a song, the easier it is for me to choreograph for it. I spent way too long on this one and still wasn’t very pleased with the end result. I thought it would be simple and we’d have to add more to the end since I only had about 1:20 choreographed, but I learned that what I might think is simple may not be for other people. The shoulder stand to outside leg hook roll over to plank was FAR more difficult for my students than I anticipated. It wasn’t that they weren’t capable of it due to strength or flexibility: it was more figuring out what body parts went where at what times in order to get into the final position.

I’ve been poling for 2.5 years and have long since left the pain of inside and outside leg hangs, so I’d forgotten how much they can hurt, especially when I was doing a leg hook on the “wrong” side for most people. I play on the pole a LOT, so I didn’t realize that some of the maneuvers I do without thinking – using my legs to lift me up, closing my legs tightly to free up what my hands and arms are doing, moving my body while thinking a step or two ahead – aren’t second nature to everyone else. It challenged me to work on breaking down each movement and explain exactly what I’m doing better. I still need to work on that quite a bit, so I’m glad that teaching this routine took me by surprise.

Massive Attack (Zeds Dead Remix) – Paradise Circus

I love this song and I had a request for some dubstep music for routines in my poleography class I teach each week. I came up with this routine 30 minutes before I taught class, but I’m really pleased with how it came out. It’d be a better video if we faced the camera, but it’s too much to ask students who just learned the routine in an hour to turn around face the other direction: I learned that the hard way when I tried it and everyone went the opposite directions! I’m super proud of everyone in the class for how quickly they learn and for putting up with my random combinations.

So Cold – Breaking Benjamin Freestyle Performance

I know freestyling is a lot of people’s nemesis, but I really enjoy it. I come up with unexpected combinations and transitions, so I always try to film my freestyles so I can go back and figure out how I got into something in a way that I normally wouldn’t. One of my friends at another studio in Jacksonville hosted a fun pole party and around 8 girls performed routines. I love performing and definitely wanted to do a routine, but I didn’t have time to put something together, so I picked a song the morning of and made it up as I went that night. Sometimes I’m very meh about my freestyles, but I really loved this one and am quite proud of what I did. I’d just learned the shoulder mount pop to trapped leg split move the week before and had never seen myself do it: I couldn’t get the right angle to see what I looked like in the mirror and I didn’t get any photos or videos of me doing it. I knew what it was supposed to look like (a.k.a., what Alethea looks like doing it) but I had no idea if I looked like that at all, so it was risky for me to throw it in there, but I’m SO glad I did! I’d also never done the roll down into an elbow hold split before, so I have no idea where that came from. The third move that surprised me was the cradle spin to machine gun: I’d seen it in a video that I can’t find now and tried it twice, but it never worked out for me. I have NO clue why I thought it would be a good idea to do a move I’d never actually completed before, but it worked out. I think a lot of it was performing in front of an audience to a song that I would normally not dance to. Everything else was out of my normal comfort zone, so I guess my moves were too!

I’d love any feedback and constructive criticism.