I went to pole and it made me cry

This post has been moved to my new website! Find it at http://polecompete.com/2014/07/i-went-to-pole-and-it-made-me-cry/

Top 10 things I Love in My Pole Coaches

When it comes to pole coaches, one of the things that I love is that everyone has something different to offer. Here’s my list of what I look for in coaches.

In case I don't write it enough on this blog... my coach is amazing!

In case I don’t write it enough on this blog… my coach is amazing!

  1. Safety. I appreciate it when class or coaching pushes me just beyond my comfort level- not completely out of my league to the point where it is unsafe.
  2. Spotting. On a similar note, I like it when I feel like I’m not going to be dropped on my head when I’m being spotted in a new move. On the flip side, I don’t like being over-spotted because then I can’t feel where I need to be connected to the pole.
  3. Encouragement. I love it when my coaches pep me up and make me think I can do something, and when they cheer wildly when I sort of half ways almost do a new move. Doubly true when I completely nail a new move.
  4. Specialization. Everyone has particular things that they are really great at, and I love learning from people doing their favorites. This is why I really recommend seeing lots of coaches.
  5. Breaking it down. Some coaches are absolutely fantastic at breaking down new moves into little, easy to understand pieces.
  6. Putting it together. Other coaches love helping you add that new pole move into a pass that looks well put together.
  7. Cross training. I love it when a coach tells me what non-pole stuff will help me.
  8. Homework. Some coaches give you homework that you can do on your own time. I love this, especially when it’s stuff that will help you make the most out of your next session.
  9. Injury advice. I’ve been recently injured, and I loved that my coach took several minutes after my first class back to tell me exactly what sorts of ointments are helpful, where I could go for acupuncture and massage, and how important it is to do extra warm-up on that muscle as I start to get going again.

10. Clean up. I love it when pretty much anyone says “point your toes! What are you doing?” I love it even more when someone cleans up less obvious aspects of performance.

Bonus: If you ever get the opportunity to train with the fabulous Estee Zakar, take it! She’s amazing. I also highly recommend pretty much any Tease Studio instructor if you’re in Denver.

More Santa Baby Showcase

Tease Studio polettes, doubles pole routine, Santa Baby Ball

Tease Studio Polettes rock the final performance of the evening

male pole dancer, pole spins
Bob shows off his skills

crucifix pole move, Tease Showcase

Check out her nice archy back in this crucifix!

Tease Studio showcase, Nightmare Before Chrismas

Oogie and Boogie get their creepy on before the show starts


Showcase Oogie Boogies Song

I finally got to perform a doubles routine with Harper! Here is the video- enjoy. Andrea was my make-up artist and Brandin at Lulu’s Looking Glass and Salon did my hair. I will post more photos and videos soon.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

The Pole Dance Blogger’s Association blog hop topic this month is gratitude, so here is my list of things I’m thankful for.

Pole bloggers. Check out all these other awesome pole blogs! I’ve learned so much about pole, training, and life from my peers.

Estee Zakar. I am so thrilled I get to train with you. Your encouragement and ability to break things down and make training fun is amazing and I am ever so grateful.

Estee performing at a Tease Showcase.

Estee performing at a Tease Showcase.

Jen and Tease Studio. This place makes my pole dreams possible. It’s a fantastic studio, really well organized, with so many classes that can even fit into my crazy schedule. The studio also organizes showcases regularly, which gives me the opportunity to perform.

Tease Staff. Becca, Jenna, Roxy Star, Marquette, Jillian, Jacquie, other instructors, and everyone who works the front desk. You are all amazing and talented and capable of kicking my ass, and I love you for it.

Harper. You make me so much stronger and more flexible. I look forward to our training sessions together.

Partner stretching is my favorite!

Partner stretching is my favorite!

Pole friends. Allysa, Dawn, Jordan… there are too many of you to single you all out, but the community is what makes pole so welcoming and fun.

My friends are adorable and fun, so there!

My friends are adorable and fun, so there!

My non-pole friends. You all support me, watch my performances, and deal with me spending most of my time obsessing with pole, which I feel must be really boring for you. Thanks.

My body. I love how much I can push myself, and I am so incredibly thankful to have a fully functioning body that allows me to do such cool stuff.

My wallet. I don’t have enough money to take nearly as much pole as I want, but I have enough to eat well, save a little, and buy a little pole time.

Any pole kitten ever. You ladies (maybe gentlemen? I’ve never seen a male doing this) make sure that showcases run smoothly and that I don’t fall off the pole.

Usually I'm not one of them, but the stage hands  make everything run smoothly.

Usually I’m not one of them, but the stage hands make everything run smoothly.

Pole stars. You ladies and gentlemen built pole into a sport that was popular enough to support so many studios, showcases, and competitions. You also provide endless entertainment via YouTube.

Taylor Cassidy for making my hair look great for performances, and Andrea Thurber for make-up. You ladies take the most stressful part of performing (in my opinion) and do it for me.

Taylor Cassidy and Andrea Thurber, making me look like an abused woman with a black eye, among other things.

Taylor Cassidy and Andrea Thurber, making me look like an abused woman with a black eye, among other things.


I went to watch my friends perform in another Tease Studio Showcase last night. In case you were wondering, my friends are amazing dancers! It was really nice to sit in the audience and enjoy the show, and I’m now feeling re-inspired to train hard, which is perfect because my busy life has eased up enough to give me time to start training hard again. I am so excited! I loved the full emotional spectrum grasped by the various performances, and the creativity with the choreography. Thank you to Jen at Tease Studio for putting together another awesome showcase and thank you to everyone who performed for being so fantastically wonderful.

This was part of a group performance.

This was part of a group performance.

You know how I hate heels? Dancing in sneakers might be fun...
You know how I hate heels? Dancing in sneakers might be fun…

In case I don't write it enough on this blog... my coach is amazing!
In case I don’t write it enough on this blog… my coach is amazing!

Flexible and strong... something I aspire to.
Flexible and strong… something I aspire to.

10 Ways to Afford Pole

This blog has been moved to my new blog site at http://polecompete.com/2013/03/10-ways-to-afford-pole/

Hope to see you there!

Second Performance- Gunpowder and Lead

Here is the video from my second pole performance. Thank you to Becca and Estee for coaching, Taylor at Spa in the City for the awesome hair, Andrea for the amazing make-up, Harper for the stretching and re-assurance that everything would be OK, Jen and all the Tease Studio staff for putting everything together, and all my awesome friends for their support.

Resolution Gripe

I’m disappointed in a new addition to my dance studio: a board that reads “Resolution Board” and features various magazine pictures of women. I oppose this board because I think that resolution boards featuring anorexic airbrushed eighteen year olds misses the entire point of fitness. I also in general oppose things that lower self esteem- self esteem is already a huge problem across the world. Pictures exactly like the ones on this board have been proven to lower self esteem (see here and here for instance).

In general, I try to stay away from media images of airbrushed women because of the proven links between the images and self esteem and also because I have more interesting things to do with my time. I resent that the images I have so carefully avoided are now plastered in such an obvious spot in my dance studio, where I spend most of my free time.

The even bigger issue, however, is that these images (and all of the images in the new “fitspiration” movement) completely miss the point of fitness. Fitness is about what you can do and how you can feel. Focusing on fitness for how it makes you look sucks all of the joy out of training. You will always continue to see things that are “wrong” with yourself, if you continuously focus on what’s “wrong” with you. The solution is to focus on what you can do.

Fitness is about what you can do. Fitness allows you to do things- like hiking or skiing or surfing or bowling or cartwheeling down the isles of a shoe store with a delighted four year old. Want to keep the example pole specific? Here’s a simple question. Do you feel better when you nail the jade split (or any other pole move) for the first time, or when you think about how your thighs look? The answer is obvious. Fitness is about what you can do, not what you look like.

Need more proof? Exercise makes you happier, leads to better sex, makes you smarter and boosts your self esteem. Obsessing about whether or not you look like an airbrushed model does not accomplish anything. If my dance studio wanted to inspire people to reach their fitness goals, they should scrap the “Resolution Board” and stick with what it does already: let people see what themselves and their friends are accomplishing through their hard work.


Where to Meet Girls

Having girlfriends is important.  There seems to be a stereotype that women are “catty” or that women spend all their time gossiping- this is ridiculous. Sometimes women do those things. Men do too, sometimes more. Don’t kid yourself that you don’t need or shouldn’t have girlfriends because you’ve bought into the myth that women are somehow a negative influence in your life compared to men.

That being said, it can be tricky to meet fun, interesting women. I was recently talking to my little sister (who is definitely in the fun, interesting category), and she mentioned that this is particularly difficult for her since she works mostly with men. My immediate response was to tell her to take up pole.

Pole is one of the best places I know to meet women. It’s a difficult sport, and you end up bonding with the other girls for a few reasons- one reason is that we all become obsessed, which means that we all end up spending a lot of time together.

The culture at my studio, and I think most studios, is one where everyone tries to help each other learn. I’ve finally “gotten” several pole moves because fellow students have said “move your leg up a little” or “you need to arch your back more” or any number of other tiny pieces of advice that can mean the difference between slipping (or falling) awkwardly back to the floor and holding a pose that looks incredible.

It doesn’t end there. I missed a week of classes, and someone asked if I had been sick-my presence had been missed. For my last performance, I was struggling to get enough practice time in… I mentioned this in class and found myself at the home of one of my friends who had a pole. I mentioned that now that it’s cold and dark it’s harder for me to bike to the later classes, and one of my classmates immediately gave me her phone number and told me to call her when I needed a ride to class.

We cheer when we get new jobs, when we have good dates, and especially when we nail a new pole move. We are, in a very real sense, there for each other. Pole is my favorite place to meet girls.