I first heard this song at PSO Southeast back in August and I knew I had to use it for a class routine – right before Halloween was the perfect time for it! I tried to incorporate some new movements, specifically at :35. I first did that slidey wave in my UPSDF optional routine (post about that coming soon!), and I really liked it, but it’s harder than it looks! It’s definitely the hardest part of the routine with all of the muscle it involves. I also think I’m getting a little better at looking at the audience (or camera, in this case): now to make sure I keep doing it during actual performances and competitions!
Unlike every other routine I’ve posted here, this one was made up completely on the fly! Students are supposed to sign up for class ahead of time, but no one had, so I hadn’t prepared anything for my Halloween class. When students showed up, I figured I had to come up with something! I went through a couple of songs on my phone, and this one got the most positive response, so I came up with a little combo that we made work with the music. It’s not perfect or especially made for this song – I hate when I think a routine is so generic it could go with any music – but it was fun! And it was a great workout: we were exhausted after running through it a few times. I’ve loved this song for a while but thought I could never choreograph anything worthy of its coolness, so I never tried. I guess it’s fitting that I ended up not even choreographing to it so that I was forced to accept whatever happened.
An event put on by the absolutely incredible Sarah Jade? Yes, please!
I got the chance to be a part of a group routine for her showcase, Bad to the Chrome, with some lovely ladies (and gentleman) from Bittersweet Studios in Jacksonville, and we had a blast! The whole show is rock-themed, and Voodoo is a pretty classic rock song. We were inspired by the definitive sexy-rock group routine, Miss Pole Dance Australia 2012’s opening number. We are no former showgirls, but we tried our best! Even with some last minute changes (we had been practicing with the lyra behind the poles, not in line with them) I definitely think we rocked the creepysexy look.
We’ll be doing a slightly modified version of this routine for Pole for a Purpose in just a month, so stay tuned for that post!
I had the great opportunity to judge several divisions at Pole Sport Organization‘s Southern Pole Championships this past weekend, and I watched as many of the divisions as I could. PSO competition weekends are long: they start at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning, last until about 10:00 that evening, then start again at 8:00 on Sunday morning, ending around 5:30. I arrived in Atlanta around 12:30 on Saturday and watched a division before judging two. I judged three on Sunday and watched several more in between, especially to cheer on some of my fellow Bittersweets! I love seeing all of the different styles, themes, and creative ideas that everyone came up with. There was definitely something unique and cool about every single routine I watched, from level 1 all the way up through professional. I expected to hear some songs several times, but there were only three songs that were just played twice throughout the weekend (that I heard anyway): Castle by Halsey, Til It Happens to You by Lady Gaga, and this song, Under My Skin by Aesthetic Perfection.
I had a song in mind for this week’s class, but I checked MindBody to see who had signed up and saw that I had a complete newbie taking the class, and the song I had in mind requires some pretty quick movements. I changed to another song, but then that one made me do more pole work, so… I ended with this one! I thought it was pretty slow and accessible, but my students still thought it was pretty fast and complicated. I never quite know what’s going to jive with my students and what’s not, but I keep trying!
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!
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!
Inspired by both Aerial Amy and Tracee Kafer, I put on some songs I’d never heard before and just went for it. Nothing wonderful or transportive came out of it, but it felt SO GOOD to just keep going and dance for an entire song, especially songs that I didn’t know beforehand. Usually I find a new song I like and listen to it on repeat obsessively in the car, then pole to it after I know every tiny little nuance and when the beats hit. I’m late on some beats and early on others in these videos, but it’s so good for me to not be “on” all the time. I definitely want to do more of this free dancing stuff!
This song was the first one I put on after getting to the studio and strapping on my heels. I hadn’t stretched or warmed up in any way before this, but by the end, I was quite warm! I see a lot of hesitation and repetition here.
Immediately after watching back the Miley Cyrus video, I felt the need to keep going and try another song. I found these songs on Amy’s March playlist and had only listened to the first 10 seconds or so when I chose to use them for this activity. I love this song and the weird undercurrent that reminds me of the creepy boat scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Since I hadn’t listened to the song before, I didn’t know when it was going to end and didn’t realize until a few seconds until it started playing again that it was on repeat! I had more fun with this song since I was willing to let go more and get into some strange and uncomfortable situations (like that trapped leg roll thing at 2:55). Overall, I want to keep pushing myself to try new things and not try to “perform” as much when I’m just dancing for myself.
I found this version of the song on a random website and immediately knew I had to do a routine to it! It’s so incredibly creepy and awesome, and it’s perfect for practicing facial expressions and all those little things that make a pole performance exciting, not just the actual moves. We tried to work on eye contact, little hand movements, and facial expressions to convey our creepy stalkerishness. Super fun!
I already have some of next week’s routine down, and I’m super excited for it! Heels, here we come!