Mental Toughness Training

This post has moved to my new website. Check it out at http://polecompete.com/2014/07/mental-toughness-training/

Official Elevated Art Performance Video!

Elevated Update

Hello!

Sorry I dropped off for a week. If you didn’t make it last Saturday to Elevated Art, it went really well. I completely neglected to ask anyone to take any photos or videos, but you can check out official photos of the whole evening (including my performance) here.

 

Once the official videos are released, I will link to that as well.

 

Dancing at that venue was really fun, to say the least. I felt like I grew as a dancer and performer. It was amazing to have real stage lights and a fancy pole set up. Everything was clear and well organized and everyone was so much fun to work with and/or be backstage with. I was “on” about halfways thru, so I got to watch most of the last half, which was also delightful.

 

Thanks to Ali for choosing my awesome performance song (Guts, by Alex Winston). Thanks to Jess at Adorn for making my hair look fabulous. Thanks to Alyssa for lots and lots of constructive choreography feedback. Thanks to Harper for making me get off my butt and add some bling to my costume well ahead of time. Thank you to Estee Zakar for helping me so much with the choreography. Thank you to all of the people who came and watched me. Thanks to all of the amazing performers, and to Natasha Wang for being so gracious about being accosted after the show to get a photo. (If you are marveling at the absence of photos, it’s because I lost my camera cord. Again.). While I’m thanking people, thank you to all who read this blog! I have a lot of fun writing it, so I appreciate having an audience.

Go Me!

I just want to publicly pat myself on the back today. Elevated Art is coming up soon. I already have a plan for my costume, for once. It will be simple, but I’m not scrambling at the last minute like usual. I finally have finished all the choreography, with plenty of time to get it all locked into my brain and my muscle memory. I am basically in a good spot to be ready, and I’m very proud of myself, although I still feel like I have so much more to do and to work on. I also can’t wait to see the other performances! Buy tickets here.

fine art pole

The officially chosen bio photo, with Harper. Photo designed and taken by Jordan.

Pole Does Not Replace Other Sports

You’ve probably already heard that the Arnold Sports Festival, for the first time ever, included pole dance as one of the events.

This is awesome, because it’s a really strong indicator of pole being considered a sport (if that’s what you want. Personally, I do.)

As amazing as it is, and as awesome as winner Oksana Grishina was, there is another voice about the event that is not so positive.

According to Iron Affinity, the Festival is degrading women by adding pole as an event. They also seem to be arguing that the demise of women’s bodybuilding, which was not included as an event this year.

This is so frustrating. I don’t really believe that pole dance is empowering per say, but I also don’t think it’s degrading. Probably if I thought it was degrading I would find another way to spend all my time and money.

This logic is infuriating. I don’t know what happened to the Women’s Body building event, but it wasn’t pushed out because of pole. There is something perverse and horrible in the logic that doing one sport comes at the expense of the other. There is room for everyone, and it’s really awesome that pole was included.

 

Morality in Dance

I recently read this fascinating article by Alain de Botton about how Art Museums fail in terms of practical moral use to people’s lives and decision making. Please check it out here.

The article made me think about pole (because, let’s be honest, pretty much everything makes me think about pole.)

de Botton’s critique basically said that art museums “fail to tell people directly why art matters.” He then made a point that art is seldom presented in a way that illuminates it’s central purpose, and showed how in a religious context art can often make more sense, because the stories are helpful in giving people strength and context for how to handle real issues. For example, he gave an example “look at that Last Supper to train yourself not to be a coward and a liar.”

I feel like the idea of adding practical moral value to pole dance performance would make the dances immensely more useful, psychologically, to the audience. This idea, in my opinion, is one that you should strive for.

Here are some examples where I feel like this is already happening. Link in the comments to your examples of pole dance that inspires on a moral level- kindness, strength, courage, overcoming, love… etc. I’m excited to see your favorites.

For more about spirituality, emotionality, and dance, please check out the blog hop here.

 

 

Non-Pole Pole Stuff I Want to Master Soon

I love conditioning, and learning new dance things. I am disciplined, and I don’t really have a problem putting in the hours for pole training (most of the time).

 

What I am finding I really suck at is all of the other stuff you need to do to perform. Here’s a list of things I want to get significantly better at.

  1. Hair. I do not know anything about styling my own hair, which is ridiculous, particularly since I am just as inept at styling it for weddings or special events as I am for pole performances.

    hairstyle, pole dance

    Awesome hair. Not done by me.

  2. Costuming. Enough with the waiting until two weeks before a performance and buying something because the color seems right. I need to learn how to shop, and also how to dress up the stuff I already have.
  3. Writing a bio. I distinctly remember being really good at writing personal statements when I applied for college, so I’m not sure why this is so hard. But I’m going to learn what I want to say about myself, and make it entertaining, and be able to use it for all performances and competitions through the end of time!
  4. Taking photos of myself! I’ve been so much better about making video, but I haven’t quite caught up on photos. I want to get some of myself after I’ve perfected a move too, instead of only the ones that are when I firs nail it and I’m kind of wobbly still.
  5. My first jade. Flatter, better jades have yet to be captured on film. Shame on me.

    My first jade. Flatter, better jades have yet to be captured on film. Shame on me.

Things just got real

As I wrote yesterday, I got into Elevated Art! I (painfully) wrote the requested bio and dredged up some photos from my archives.

The thing is, since I submitted my video (back in January) I’ve been acting like I do after I perform- taking it a little easier in class, being a little less strict about any gray areas in my diet, and not practicing so hard, which is counterintuitive since the performance is still upcoming.

I think that will change as of today. I got a second email with the performance details. Sometime while I was scratching my head and drawing a stage diagram on a sticky note, it became real that I am performing. On a real stage. With real lights and a real audience. Also, my elaborate sticky note diagram confirmed that I’ve been choreographing with the static and spin poles on the opposite sides of the stage as what they will be in real life.

Suddenly, performing seems very real. I feel the normal pre-performing intensity coming on. It’s exciting!

In Which the Non-Training Side of Pole Kicks My Ass

I recently submitted a video to Elevated Art: A Rocky Mountain Pole Show (you can read about my first experience putting together a submission video here.)

I am mostly thrilled but slightly terrified to announce that I got in! So come watch me March 22nd.

In the meantime, I’m learning all sorts of things that I had never really considered before. For instance, how to write a bio. For someone who writes about pole and my experiences with pole ALL THE TIME, I seriously was stumped by this assignment. I kept procrastinating until I felt too guilty for holding up the people putting the show together, sucked it up, and wrote some things about myself. Hopefully they make sense.

As I was sending it, I realized that while I take a lot of photos of pole, most of them are not of me. And I needed a photo.

I sent the first one I found, which is a picture of me eating an ice cream cone. Because nothing screams athlete like someone eating an ice cream cone.

I got a gentle note from the event organizer suggesting a few other photos that actually involve me pole dancing, so I sent all of them, wisely realizing that I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing. Thank goodness for this blog and facebook, so that someone knew these existed. Apparently I need to also learn how to organize my photos.

Anyways, in spite of my inability to do what is probably the least stressful part of pole and performing, I’m very excited. I will write more as the event gets closer.

Submission Video

I’ve chosen to submit a video for Elevated Art: A Rocky Mountain Pole Show.

 

I won’t hear back until the first week in February, but in the meantime, I’m so, so happy I decided to submit.

 

This is the first time I’ve put together a submission video, and it was super exciting. It also forced me to solicit feedback from my friends, instructors, and coaches- so I think submitting a video forced me to improve.

 

A whole group of people filmed together too, which was awesome. It was so much fun to see what my friends had put together and to cheer for everyone (and try to help keep people from getting nervous). I can’t post the video until I either perform or am rejected from the showcase, so no fun visuals. Wish me luck!

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