Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande

I feel like this is a quintessential pole dancing song, and I expect to hear it multiple times in pole performances over the next year or so. Nothing wrong with that – obviously I used it too!

I’m still staying away from shoulder rolls while my students work on getting theirs, so that limits my floor choreography a bit, making it a challenge. I’m trying not to do the same moves every week, but I feel like I’m falling in a rut… I definitely need to challenge myself to be more creative with my moves while staying simple so my students of all levels can participate!

Florida Pole Fitness Championship 2016

I competed in the 5th annual Florida Pole Fitness Championship a couple of weeks ago for my 5th time! Yep, it was my first competition ever, and I’ve competed in it every year since then!

FPFC 2012
FPFC 2013
FPFC 2014
FPFC 2015

I’ve never placed before, and I definitely wasn’t expecting to this year, either. All I want out of competitions is a performance that I’m happy with, but I had already decided in my head who my top 3 were this year (with a possible 4th). That meant that leading up to the competition and even after my run, I didn’t even consider that I might place. And you know what? I got third! I was so surprised when Allison called my name that it took me a second to react! I’m so so so happy to have placed after 5 years of competing! I think the key to doing well is to truly NOT care if you place, but that is an incredibly hard mindset to get into.

I don’t have a great story about the creation of this routine: I found the song after hearing Castle on Pandora, so I went searching on YouTube to find more Halsey songs. I really liked this one, and thought it might be fun to do a creepy routine. I’d never done anything like that for a pole performance before, and I’d never done intentionally flexed feet either, so I wanted to try something new! I played around a ton on the floor, contorting myself in weird shapes to try to figure out my floorwork, and after my friend Robbie suggested doing a forearm cartwheel, I worked on it relentlessly until I finally got it!

The week before the competition, Sergia Louise Anderson was in town and I ran through my routine to get some feedback. She suggested just minor changes because she was very short on time, but I think they really made a big difference in how I thought about my performance and presenting myself on stage. If you get a chance to work with her, definitely do so!

Anyway, here’s the video! I see the few places where it’s not entirely smooth, but overall I’m quite happy with my performance!

Flood on the Floor – Purity Ring

I found this song like so many others: a Pandora station of a similar artist! I think this one was from either Ruelle or Lorde radio, and I’ve found a couple other Purity Ring songs I like as well.

I was so happy to have so many people in this class! I think people really do like putting together routines and having something to work on and “perform” at the end: it can provide a bigger feeling of accomplishment than a regular pole class can, especially if there’s that one move that’s eluding you. Even if your routine isn’t perfect, it’s still a great feeling to have done an entire choreographed sequence with a group of other people. I’m hoping to get a totally full class soon!

The beginning of this was pretty fast and tricky, but everyone did so well!

6 Inch – Beyonce ft. The Weeknd

YouTube put me in copyright school for uploading this video, so I had to put it on Vimeo. Hopefully I don’t get in trouble there too!

I knew as soon as I heard that a new Beyonce album had dropped that polers everywhere would be on it immediately! I don’t feel moved by many of the songs, but as soon as I heard this one I knew I’d have to put together a routine to it. I mean, our heels are 7 and 8 inches, but pretty much the same thing, right? 😉

I’m sometimes surprised by what my students find the most difficult in routines: I always have something in mind, but maybe it’s because I spend more time on that move or sequence, it’s usually something else that trips the class up. In this routine, it was the leg hook from the floor at the beginning: I had no idea it would cause the problems it did! It’s so good to find out how other people’s brains and bodies work so hopefully I can anticipate more difficulty in the future. I’ve already completely taken out forward and backward shoulder rolls because my students here HATE them, which is sad because I LOVE them! One day…

Desperado – Rihanna

It’s been a while, but I’m back with another class routine! After opening the Palm Coast location of Bittersweet Studios in January, it took a bit for my classes to grow enough, both in number and ability, to have class routines. We’ve been having them for several weeks now, but since most of the students are new to pole, they aren’t comfortable yet with filming themselves, much less posting the video in a public space! They’ve all grown tons recently and are excited to see video of themselves. I have a couple videos of just me demoing the routines I put together since I didn’t want to forget the choreography, but the class didn’t want to get any video. I’ll probably write a separate post for those soon, but hopefully this will be the beginning of more consistent weekly posts of class routines!

Since my students here are all beginners, instead of it being a poleography class, I’ve been teaching a routine for a class called Sexy Flexy Floorwork, which is really all I want to teach anyway. It’s much faster for me to put together a floor dance routine than a pole routine! I pretty much just record a freestyle, watch it back, repeat what worked and change what didn’t. Plus I don’t have to worry about making it challenging because my students are still learning to put together moves in a routine!