Tag Archives: dramatic

The Red – Chevelle

I’ve been trying to decide on music for my next competition routines and when this song came on in my husband’s car, I considered it until I realized that the incomparable Sarah Jade had performed to it at Dance Filthy 2016 and there’s no way I could do it justice after her! It’s still a great song, though, so I used it for class where I could really dance it out and bring other people along with me on the ride. I showed my class her video afterwards and it was the first time seeing Sarah Jade for most them: everyone was in awe.

My goal for this routine was to make it more flowy than usual and focus on some floating arm movement. I definitely focus more on legs than I do on arms in my choreography, and it’s a big weak spot. The specifically incorporated arm movements are at :10, :23, :40, 1:01, 1:44, and 1:58. Going back through the routine now and counting them all out actually makes me feel better about realizing my intention! I definitely think I accomplished my goal of making this routine more circular and flowy than others, especially if you compare it to You Don’t Own Me from a couple weeks ago. There is tons of room for improvement, but it’s a start. I have some goals for 2018 in terms of my dance, and I’m eager to accomplish them!

One Way or Another – Until the Ribbon Breaks

I LOVE this song. I originally planned to use it for my PSO Southeast floorwork and lowflow routine, but when I stumbled across that song, I changed my mind. I still couldn’t quite give up this song though, so I used it for a class routine. I love all the swirly leg things at the beginning and I really wanted to focus on circular movements around the pole. I may not be over this song still – I haven’t totally ruled it out for something in the future.

That Other Girl – Sevdaliza

Like so many of the songs I use for class, I heard this in a pole competition piece – Joscelyn Perez, the winner of PSO’s Southern Pole Championships. I’d actually randomly found it on YouTube a month or so prior, and I was excited to hear it again when I watched her compete in Atlanta. Sevdaliza has some very cool music videos and I’ve definitely been hearing her songs in pole competitions recently – I think Pole Theatre US had 2 in the Classique division!

The routine I put together starts at about 30 seconds into the song when she begins singing. I wanted to put in some different shapes and movements, as well as incorporate more arm motion – I think I did do a little better than I normally do, but I still have a lot more to work on! I’d like to have a lot more arm movement in my routines because I definitely focus on legs and I think that could elevate and differentiate some of my choreography.

From the Inside – Linkin Park

I’m so behind on posting the last month’s worth of routines! I started back to school at the beginning of August, had a competition across the country the first weekend, and another competition the third weekend, so I was super busy. Be prepared for an onslaught of posts over the next few days as I’m off work for Hurricane Irma – here’s hoping I don’t lose power for too long!

Like many others, I was shaken by the death of Chester Bennington: my high school soundtrack was essentially all Linkin Park and I have so many memories tied to their songs. They’re one of my husband’s favorite bands so it’s not unusual for me to come home to their music playing or hear it in his car. I really wanted to do a routine to one of their songs and this one jumped out to me. I like that I was able to put a little bit of polework into this one: I absolutely love floorwork but my heart is happiest spinning on the pole. My favorite part of this routine is the leg movements from 1:22 to 1:30 (I’m going to start including my favorite moments from each routine so that 1) I can come back and watch them, and 2) I force myself to find something I like in each one!).

Bang Bang – Nico Vega

I know this is an old song, but I liked this version when I heard it… somewhere. I can’t remember where I heard this, but when I did, I Shazamed it (how I find lots of music)! It provided the perfect ending point partway through the song: after this, it gets a little crazy and intense and much harder to dance to. I kept this one pretty simple, with the only challenge getting our butts up on the pole after the backbend down to the floor. It took a little oomph to get them up there, but we did it!

The next couple of weeks are going to be preparing for Bittersweet Studios’ showcase coming up May 13, so it might be a bit bare here on the blog. I should be getting my USPSF video soon, so I’ll post about that here when I do, as well as my USPDF performance. (Spoiler: one went MUCH better than the other.) I’d also like to write a few other pole-related things rather than just about the weekly routines I do, but I’m feeling a bit stuck on topics, so I’m taking suggestions!

PSO Triangle Pole Championships 2017 Thoughts

Warning: long post ahead! Now that it’s been exactly one month since this competition, I figured it was time to post about it.

One of the very few angles in which I look semi back-flexy!

This was an interesting competition experience for me. I originally signed up many months ago because I looked up flights from Daytona Beach – the airport only about 30 minutes from me – to Raleigh, and they were under $200, so I figured it would be perfect. I was super excited about the new exotic division too, so I signed up for both the pro qualifier and exotic level 5, because hey, go big or go home, right? Then we decided to drive to save some money on flights and car rental, so my original reasoning for doing the competition was right out the window. But that’s ok, because I was still excited to compete.

This was first time I’d done two wholly different routines in the same day. Or the same weekend, or same month, actually. I was more interested in working on my exotic routine, so I kind of put off working on my pro routine, stupidly. I also wasn’t too worried about my exotic routine, so I didn’t really work too much on that one either. This all led to the week before the competition and I was running my pro routine for the first time and my exotic routine still wasn’t finished. I actually changed some of the choreography on stage while testing the poles the morning of the competition. In hindsight, I wish I’d practiced more of a polished routine than I did for the exotic category, but overall I’m happy how I did with it, except for a few minor wobbles – I’ll post more about it when I receive the video from Alloy Images.

So my pro routine… it was physically exhausting for me. I had tons of elbow holds in it and ended up really straining my elbow two weeks beforehand, so I could barely even practice. I originally had my two spin passes switched, but could never even make it to my second (harder) pass, so I put it first. Even then, I was hitting it maybe 50% of the time. On its own, I could hit the pass no problem, but after having already done a fair amount on static, I was always too tired to make it look good. The first time I ran through the whole routine straight through was one week before the competition, and it was ok. Not great, but I made it through. Two nights before the competition, I had a dress rehearsal and had an almost perfect run-through. I was super happy with it and crossed my fingers that I would have a repeat performance on Saturday.

You can’t see all the rhinestones in the video, but there were tons on both my top and bottoms!

The Triangle Pole Championships were held at the Cary Arts Center and it was gorgeous! I loved having 2 good-sized rooms to get ready in with full mirrors and make-up lighting, and then a hang-out area with a monitor so we could watch the stage. It was amazing being able to watch everyone and tell them how awesome they were as they came downstairs after walking off stage. I normally don’t watch my competitors, but we all hung out in the backstage area stretching and watching each other, so it was a really nice time with fellow competitors. Everyone was so encouraging and positive: definitely one of the best competitions I’ve been in when it came to camaraderie and positive feelings backstage!

I went sixth out of ten, and a girl who had gone third or fourth mentioned that the static pole was slippery right where you reach up to grab it, but I didn’t focus too much on that, because poles feel different for everyone. However, right when I went to go into a one-handed spin into shoulder mount, my hand slipped and I had to skip the shoulder mount, doing an awkward backwards invert instead. That threw me off right from the beginning, and I was so angry with myself for not making it work (and having bent legs in my invert!) that I was in my head for the rest of the routine. I fumbled with my first spin pass and the whole performance just wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped for. I ended and walked off stage pretty upset with my run-through.

I sat down and went through everything I now had to do: I was going to sign up for Southern Pole Championships in Atlanta so I had a chance to redeem myself, I was going to buy my video from Alloy (I had purposely not bought it because I knew the top 3 were posted, and I was hoping to place)… I was prepping myself to be ok with whatever the result was. I went into the competition hoping for top 3, and I walked off stage hoping to be in the top 5: I just didn’t want to be in the bottom half of the competitors. I sat backstage and sulked for the rest of the competition, super mad at myself for all the places where I messed up.

Such a great photo from Alloy!

Once everyone had gone, including the two guys (who were both AMAZINGly entertaining!), we all headed to the stage for awards for all categories for the day. I already knew I’d placed 3rd (out of 4) for Exotic Level 5, so I received a medal for that. Finally, it was time for the women’s pro category. Since I knew my performance hadn’t gone the way I wanted it to, I wasn’t holding my breath, but I thought if I placed, it would be third. When third was announced as the gorgeous Tynesha B, I was certain that I hadn’t placed at all. Janine Cooper was announced as second, and I had in my mind who I had thought won: remember, we could watch everyone’s performances on the monitor backstage, so I felt like I had a good idea of how the placements would go.

When Shay announced the winner, it took me a second to realize she’d said my name because I was so sure it was going to be another name. I looked at her and said, “Me?!” and she nodded and told me to get up there. I was still so shocked that when Amy Guion came to give me my medal, I told her, “I think the judges fucked up”. She just laughed and said that no, I was really the winner. I still can’t believe that a) I won, and b) I said that on stage in front of everyone as I was receiving my medal and trophy. It still blows my mind, and I am still unhappy with my performance, but it’s lit a fire under me to nail the combos I didn’t quite get in this performance.

Thank you to Amy and PSO for this wonderful opportunity and I can’t wait to compete August 5th in Los Angeles!

Contemporary Pole Routine

I couldn’t put a song title for this one since it’s a mix of two songs that I combined for my PSO Triangle competition routine. The voicemail at the beginning is from Zella Day’s music video for Mustang Kids, and the song is Flood on the Floor by Purity Ring. I spent a very long time choreographing the voicemail part and I didn’t want to just use it once, so I decided to use it for a class routine. I used all the floorwork parts of my routine (except one fish flop!) and added a little pole in there to get a little contemporary dance routine to teach. I really love how this ended up, but it was more difficult – and faster! – than I anticipated. I always think songs are slow, so therefore the routines I create are slow, and that is definitely not always the case. It was a fun little departure from the usual sexy slinky heels work we usually do in class, but we’ll be back to our normal sexy routines next week!

Relax My Beloved – Alex Clare

This song has been on my playlist for years now, and I was surprised to discover that I hadn’t choreographed a routine to it yet! I double-checked both here on the blog and my YouTube channel, and I couldn’t find anything, so I went ahead and used it for this week’s sexy flexy floorwork class. (EDIT: I did kind of use this song before, HERE. However, it was a contemporary dance piece that I stole from someone teaching a beginner routine on YouTube, so not quite the same thing!)

I’m not quite sure what happened, but I suddenly felt extremely sick while teaching the class before this, so I was just trying to make it through this class without dying, so I don’t look like I’m having very much fun in the video! I also felt really disconnected from this routine: every time I went through it on my own before teaching it, I kept forgetting what came next, or what I was doing. Something about it just wasn’t sticking with me, so I wasn’t feeling it in several ways during class. It’s so frustrating to have nights like that, but I know not every single routine can be amazing (even though I really want them to be).

I’m also working on FOUR of my own routines for competitions right now, so I feel super tapped out creatively and it’s having an effect on my weekly choreography. I wish I had unlimited creative potential, but that’s kind of unrealistic. I am constantly trying to find ways to kickstart my creativity – ordering books on it, reading blog posts, – but I haven’t found anything to really get me going, so I’m still struggling. I guess that’s life!

Body Electric – Lana Del Rey

I ran across this song on Pandora and fell in love. I’m actually thinking I might use it for one of my own routines coming up…

As for this class, I wanted to do something a little more dance-y and flowy, with some actual on-the-pole work instead of just floorwork. Thankfully my students were up for the challenge! I kept getting mixed up on which leg was bending in the sit, so I’m backwards from everyone else: man, what a good teacher I am. At least my students learned it correctly, which is good. Sometimes the limitations I have when choreographing – students who aren’t as advanced as others, no shoulder rolls, no right knees completely bent – force me to do unusual-to-me movements, so sometimes I automatically go into my natural movement. Definitely something I need to work on!

Rise – Katy Perry

Sometimes I don’t want to be sexy – at least not overt, in-your-face sexy – and I had a request from a student to do a little more “dance-y” routine, so this is what I came up with. I somehow equate “dance-y” with more arm movements, so I tried to get some of that in there, as well as smoother, flowier movements instead of hard hits. I like feeling like I’m dancing through a song, not just trying to hit the beats with a movement. I really love how this routine turned out and I only wish there had been more students in class to dance with us!