Category Archives: Pole

Handstands and poledance?

How handstands can help with pole….
I meet so many students who absolutely hate even attempting a handstand. And I get it, we’re so used to having our feet on the ground so being told to go upside down and hold your weight in your hands feels completely alien! πŸ‘½
Unfortunately, in my opinion I think it’s a pretty important move to be able to do when being an aerialist. 

Handstands are great for conditioning your body, they engage every muscle and help to you to gain awareness of yourself. Handstands work the abs, the hip flexors and the spinal muscles for balance, which all lead to having a strong and stable core. 

Obviously holding a handstand position means having good upper body strength, which of course all us polers need. I recommend trying to do one handstand a day (holding the position for as long as you can, you could even challenge yourself and try to beat your previous time) and you’ll soon notice your shoulders, chest and back becoming stronger! 

Don’t worry if you aren’t a confident hand-stander (yet!!) I will give you some more options below 😊 

Great news though ladies and gents… according to Amy Cooper, an lyengar-trained yoga teacher, if you can hold a downward facing dog or plank position for more than 30 seconds without discomfort in the elbows or shoulders then you should be able to hold a handstand position! Plank pose is also great for familiarising your body with which muscles you need to engage to hold yourself in a handstand πŸ™‚ so get practicing those planks!! 
So what are the other benefits to handstands? 
Well, not only are handstands super for your body, they can also be great for your mind!! 

In yoga inversions play an important role; they can help to elevate moods, relieve headaches and even reduce minor depressions! This is because of gravity allowing blood and therefore more oxygen to flow to the head, this can in turn create an energising and calming effect, as well as reducing the production of the stress hormone cortisol! 

If you’re not quite sold on handstands yet then here’s one more reason you should start practicing them, many yoga teachers say that inversions are like having a mini face lift!!! πŸ’
This is because being upside down helps stimulate blood flow to the face and increased circulation to the skin in the cheeks and forehead means oxygenation and therefore potential sustained youth of facial cells!! Do you even need any more reasons!? Just be careful not to hold your inversion for too long, I’d recommend no more than a minute if you are just beginning your handstand journey! 

So how will this help you as a poler, well for me the obvious reasons are your improved balance and strength, especially as you progress onto hands only moves such as handsprings and straight edges. 
I also feel that if you are not comfortable being upside down with your hands on the floor then how can you truly feel comfortable going upside down in the air!! Practicing your handstands can really help with inverting on the pole as you need to allow you head to come lower than the rest of your body, and this is true for not just basic inverts but also for handsprings, brass monkeys and cross ankle releases! 

Finally for us polers, not only can handstands be beautiful as pole moves and help us to link moves together ( πŸ“Ή Handstand pickup 1 πŸ“Ή Handstand footlock pick up 2)  but they are also really helpful for when you need to get off the pole promptly! We’ve all done it, you go into a move pretty confidently and then you just don’t have the grip or you’ve totally forgotten what you were doing, you want to dismount quickly, if you have your handstand, getting yourself low enough to touch the floor means you should be able to handstand out, this can be from a variety of moves including inverts and cross ankle/knee releases! 

πŸ“ΉπŸ“Ή Handstand dismount
If you’re new to handstands as well as practicing your down dog and plank, the first way you should try getting into a handstand is by facing away from the wall, placing your hands on the floor and then walking your feet up the wall. For some people this may be enough so just keep practising walking your feet up and then back down the wall. 
If your happy here you are now going to walk your hands in towards the wall, as you do you will need to take your feet higher, keep doing this until you can hold yourself in an upright position. 

πŸ“ΉπŸ“Ή Handstand walk up wall

Remembering to keep your core tight and your arms locked, you want to spread your fingers as wide as you can to spread the weight across your hands, use your fingers to gain balance. 

Next have ago at hand-standing against the wall so that your back is now resting on the wall.

πŸ“ΉπŸ“ΉHandstand against wall
Challenge yourself to hold this for about a minute, once you can do that have a go at pushing your feet slightly away from the wall so that you are in a free standing handstand! Be careful not to arch your back, keep in mind that plank positions and use your finger tips to control your balance! 

From here you can start practicing your free standing handstand, make sure you have enough space around you, and I’d recommend trying this on a soft ground your first few times! 

My personal goal is to now enter my handstands with more control and eventually be able to lift instead of stepping into a handstand! 

Let me know how you get on with your handstands! And if you found any of this information useful! 

Happy poling and handstands! 
Peace & Pole everyone πŸ¦„βœŒπŸΌ

Progress pictures!Β 

Progress pictures! 
Hi all! Thanks for checking back in! 

Today I’m going to talk about one of my biggest pole journey regrets, there’s a few but this one is definitely the one I would go back and change if I could! 
What is it?! I hear you saying to your screens…

Well it’s taking pictures, πŸ“Έ which doesn’t sound that bad, who needs to show off pictures of everything they achieve? (Which you 100% should by the way) 

But it’s not about that, it’s pictures that you keep yourself, to monitor your progress and journey. I’ve always taken pictures of moves which have taken me a long time to accomplish, obviously I’ve been excited and proud when I’ve achieved them so naturally I’ve asked a fellow pole friend to grab there phone and take a few snaps. Looking back it was all the hard work I should’ve been getting pictures of, all the times I was nearly there (but not quite) that way when I’m having a moment questioning my poling abilities I’d be able to remind myself how far I’ve come! 
As someone who’s been poling for 5 years, I have hit ‘the wall’ a couple of times along my pole journey. 

Now if you’re new to pole this isn’t likely to be something you’ve encountered yet, you’re still in the honeymoon period of poling, all the tricks look amazing, you aspire to be like everyone else at your studio (or online if you’re a home poler) whether they’ve been poling for years or months longer than yourself, and everything seems achievable, difficult, yes but doable. 
And then something changes, it could be you’ve moved up a level, it could just a change in your lifestyle, it could just be how you’re feeling at that time. 
Although this can happen to anyone at any time I’ve personally found it’s when you’re at an intermediate level, the moves take longer to learn and even longer to perfect, you see other people soaring past you learning new moves every session whilst your still figuring which hand goes where and begging your instructor to spot you just one more time! 

You start to repeat the same moves, the ones you like or feel most comfortable in, of course you still love pole, but that buzz just isn’t there! 
Don’t panic if your reading this thinking ‘this is me!’ 

It can and will change, I’ve been there! 
It’s in these moments those pictures would be great, you can look back and remind yourself just how far you’ve come, how much you’ve achieved, and how long it took you to accomplish those moves you now love! 
Not only this but change up your training, try a few strength classes or a different aerial sport, it will all benefit your pole journey and your personal journey in becoming a strong kick ass pole dancer!! 
If you really want to challenge yourself check out the different competitions! This is an awesome way of giving yourself a goal, something to work towards! 
For me the annual shows I have taken part in have always motivated me to get back on the pole and push through my mental pole blocks! 
Here’s the info for our Studio’s show for this year if you’re interested….

Last year I also tried out aerial silks and aerial hoop! This gave me that feeling I’d been missing and I can say that they 100% helped to build up strength I needed for other pole moves! 

So here’s my earliest pics I could find, I only wish I had more, and videos too! 

But this only means I insist on taking lots of photos and videos of the students in my classes, not only because I am super proud of them and hope they will want to show them off themselves, but because I know in 1 year or 2 years or however long they’ll look back and remember where they started! 

Comment below and share the pics from your pole journey? Can you remember the first move you photgraphed? Do you wish you’d taken more? 

Peace & Pole everyone! πŸ¦„βœŒπŸΌ

Romanian Circus school πŸŽͺ

Prior to setting off on our 3 week adventure across Europe ( well some of it, Romania to Germany) I had posted in a pole instructor group to ask if anyone could recommend pole places or people in our intended destinations. A very helpful instructor (Ana Looser-she is awesome by the way you should check out her page )  sent me a few links and names of instructors to get in touch with. Excited I contacted a studio called Pixie pole studio in Brasov Romania. Unfortunately the owner informed me that they were going through some changes and didn’t currently have an official studio. Instead they were practising in a local circus school. Although not strictly Pole this sounded just up my street so I quickly asked for dates and times of them. Due to a difference in our schedules I couldn’t attend when Jezebel would be there, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me! I got the address punched it into Google maps and found which bus I needed to take, and at 5 PM saying goodbye to my boyfriend hopped onto the Romanian bus feeling both empowered and petrified. As my little blue dot moved closer to my destination point, I looked out the windows and I have to say I wasn’t overly confident with my decision to do this alone, Jezebel had said the school was part of an industrial estate but this area looked worrying even to me… And I’m from Blackpool!

As I got up to get off at the stop I saw the faces of the local Romanians, there expressions questioning “you look like a tourist are you sure this is your stop?!”

I got up anyway and crossed the road to what looked like an industrial estate, avoiding the many stray dogs 😒

On the building directly in front of me I saw a sign on the door for “dance school” this must be it I thought, I followed the signs up the four flights of stairs only to be met at the top floor with a locked door. Great. (You’d think they’d just lock the first door) so back down I went, checking my messages and maps thankfully it only took me a few minutes to find where I was actually supposed to be. There was a huge open shutter with a very colourful aerial setup in side the “warehouse”.

I walked in and said hi to the first person I saw, I was then greeted by George (circus instructor/trainer) you can check out the circus school here:

His English was broken but understandable, though I was happy when we were joined by Diana another poler who translated everything for me, she showed me where to get changed and leave my ridiculous sized bag.
Then the warmup commenced… George is brutal!

He had us walking in a square around the room like ballerinas (I have about as much ballet/dance experience as I do shark training. 🦈 None! Just in case you were wondering if I have some hidden talent!)

Now I’ve already mentioned George’s English was a little less than perfect, so when he kept telling me to tighten my “boobs” I was a bit confused, I was standing as tall as I could, engaging my shoulders, my head was lifted, what was I doing wrong??
Cue George coming over and pointing to butt and saying “fund” (pronounced fooom) you can see my confusion right?!

So he wanted me to squeeze my booty as I lifted my legs; without lowering my arms, looking down, turning my leg out, dropping my shoulders, you see where I’m going with this!!

I was shouted at a lot in Romanian as I did my laps around the room, much to the entertainment of the other girls partaking, but I think George liked me really so I wasn’t too phased by him tutting and re-adjusting me!

Finally that part of the warm up was over and we proceeded to do exercises I was familiar with, shoulder rotations, hip circles etc.

Then we moved over to the matts where Diana continued the warm up having us do shoulder stands and straddle legs followed by forwards rolls! Yayy something I could do!!

Then they brought out the Marshmallow! I’ve never used one of these before and it was brilliant!!

Check out the video below πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

​Marshmallow Fun

Now we were free to practice what we’d like, as I mentioned this wasn’t pixie poles studio but a place to practice, and for me it was like aerial heaven!

There were three poles, aerial silks, a hoop, an aerial hammock, and some strange aerial birdcage shaped thing ( feel free to comment if you know the correct name)

One of the younger girls showed me a few moves on this new piece of equipment and I couldn’t wait to jump on, it was pretty easy to do some of the moves I knew from hoop on this, but then I wanted to try the aerial hammock!

Follow the link below for my video πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

Aerial Hammock Rolls
Of course my heart lies with pole so after a little play my leggings came off and I showed Diana a couple of combinations ☺️
Finally I moved over to the silk which was about 7 meters high 😍

I showed the girls (barely) a cross back straddle and managed to teach Diana how to do one!! The silks being high felt amazing but damm was it tiring, by now I had been here just over 2 hours and as I saw Diana head to the changing room I quickly followed her, we did a quick cool down/ stretch together and then after thanking and paying George headed for our bus.
Overall it was an amazing experience and I’m so thankful to have met both George and Diana who I’m hoping will be able to come to one of my classes in the future!
Check back soon for my next update!
Peace and pole everyone!! πŸ¦„βœŒπŸΌ