Our newest tutorial on the Layback is now available. Check it out next time you are practicing at home. If you find this tutorial useful, please like and subscribe to our channel.
Please comment on what other moves or info you would like to see in future tutorials. Thank You.
After 9 years of teaching pole dancing I've seen how critical women can be of their own bodies, myself included. If you've gone through huge weight fluctuations I think it can be even harder. I'll use myself as an example. For a very long time I weighed 135lbs, when I started working full time at a desk job and got married that moved up to 155lbs. While I wanted to lose some weight I didn't focus on it because I was trying to get pregnant and dieting can make it harder to get pregnant. I weighed in at 147lbs when I got pregnant and made it all the way up to 194lbs the day I went into labor. Several months after having my daughter I was hovering around 178lbs. A side note here, breast feeding did not magically make the weight drop here like many claim. About a year after having my daughter I was down to 135lbs. I didn't diet, in fact I made brownies so often that I had the recipe memorized. After some health issues that doctors were never able to figure out. My weight crept up over the next 5 years to 159lbs, and today I have slowly whittled it back to 155lbs. Over the last 10 years my weight has fluctuated up and down almost 60 pounds (25 if ignoring pregnancy). That's a lot and it is hard because clothes fit and then they don't, you don't want to buy new ones because you don't plan to stay this size. I get it! (Wow! This is getting way more personal than I was expecting when I started writing.)
How do I cope? Honestly, I rarely think about it. It is not worth my mental time and energy to waste it worrying about a few pounds. I am still at a perfectly normal weight for my height and could never be classified as having been overweight or obese. (If you are at a weight that is or likely will cause health problems please consult a qualified practitioner for help.)
So what's the point here? The point is people come in many shapes and sizes, which may change over time. AND you can still be a pole dancer. Don't let a negative body perception stop you from doing pole. We're all at class to improve our pole dancing, and perhaps you have other motivations as well, but no one is there to judge your body.
I know this blog post just came out of nowhere and it rambled a bit, but I was online looking at clothes and shoes and came across this site www.mybodygallery.com/ where real people can post pics of themselves, and where people can search and see what people of various heights, weights, and ages look like. I think is is important to see that 2 people can both be 5'8" tall, weigh 150lbs and have very different body shapes.
Don't be ashamed of your size, age, or any other number, AND definitely do not let any of those numbers stop you from pole dancing or any other activity you want to pursue. As I write this I am 5'9", 155 lbs, 36 years old and wearing size 10 jeans. BAM!!!
I've been working hard to build Aerial Bliss' following on multiple platforms. We have our website (now with blog), Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. Admittedly I am horrible about posting on Instagram and Twitter, and the Pinterest account is brand new. I have been working on our YouTube channel for a while though. You can check it out at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiDXcX1PjViOi8RgO_SlRrQ? I mainly post pole dancing tutorials on our YouTube page because I want students to be able to review when they are working on their pole at home, and to help people who do not have access to a pole studio for whatever reason.
Back on August 8th my channel had 8 subscribers and a Social Blade grade of D+. I got those subscribers by putting out decent tutorials and sharing them on Facebook, and occasionally other outlets. My channel's low numbers were a bit disappointing based on how much work I put into it. I made myself a goal to get to 100 subscribers within the next 6 months. Why 100? It is a nice round number and more importantly when I reach 100 subscribers I can request a nice neat custom URL instead of the long gibberish I have now. I turned to Facebook and pitifully begged my students and friends to subscribe. Using this tactic I made it to 33 subscribers and a Social Blade rank of C-. Woohoo!!! I was moving up. For fun last week I made a short 30 second twerking video. I shared it on Instagram and got some positive feedback. A few days later I thought, what the heck, and uploaded it to the YouTube channel.
What happened? Well, in the two days since I uploaded the video I have gotten 18 additional subscribers. I am currently at 58 subscribers and have move up to a C grade on Social Blade. In just 2 days that tiny twerking video has gotten over 500 views and I wasn't even promoting it. All this just proves the old saying "sex sells".
Wouldn't it be fantastic if we all had unlimited money to spend on pole dancing? Pole dancing can be extremely expensive; classes, workshops, clothes, shoes, competitions. I've never had a lot of excess money, and part of why I started teaching was to keep pole dancing when I lost my full-time job due to a recession. I want everyone who wants to, to be able to enjoy pole dancing regardless of their income. Here are my tips to enjoy pole dancing on a budget.
1) Buy your own pole, and get a quality one. (See Poles, Clothes & Lessons if you are in the market for a pole.) Buying a quality pole from a reputable company will allow you to enjoy your pole for many years, and you won't have to pay for studio time to perfect moves or work on a routine. You can also get quality poles second hand, just be sure you are getting the real thing. Yes, there are counterfeiters out there selling fake X-Poles.
2) Work, or volunteer at a studio. You may be able to take free or discounted classes by helping out the studio.
3) Dance in what you already own. You don't need fancy pole clothes from Bad Kitty to pole dance. Swimsuits can make great pole wear. As can a sports bra and boy short underwear. Fitness clothing is a big industry and I support a variety of companies, but you don't need to spend money you don't have to look like a poler.
4) You don't need to wear heels to be a pole dancer. If you want to wear heels GREAT, wear them. Buy them on clearance if you can. Poles shoes take a lot of abuse and generally don't last long.
5) Workshops. Very famous pros, especially if they have to travel overseas charge a lot for their workshops because they can and they have a lot of expenses to cover. Save money by taking in house workshops, or workshops from less well known pros.
6) Competitions. Some competitions offer a reduced price if you sign up early. Look for competitions that are close to you and only one day. Then you can drive (hopefully carpool) and avoid costly hotel stays.
7) Online lessons/tutorials. Did you know that Aerial Bliss has free tutorials on YouTube www.youtube.com/channel/UCiDXcX1PjViOi8RgO_SlRrQ? I'd feel honored if you would subscribe. Why do I do this? So students can review what I've already taught them, so people who do not live near a studio or can't afford classes can get good instructions on how to do a move rather than trying to do it after looking at an Instagram post. I still believe you'll learn faster and get more support in studio, but I know in studio classes are not an option for everyone. If you need more structure in your online lessons check out Studio Veena. Her lessons are great and much more structured than my YouTube channel.
As always, listen to your body, work at your skill level and stay safe. Thanks for reading.
If you have any money saving tips for your fellow polers please leave them in the comments section.
This week I'd like share with you a quick tip I learned years ago from a student on how to prevent scratches and other damage to you poles and other aerial equipment during transportation. (If you're reading this tip, thanks Aaron.) Use rifles socks to cover pole or rig pieces during transportation. Rifle socks are long and stretchy. I use two different types to protect my equipment. The standard ones are great for straight pieces and the oversized ones are great for the base piece of my stage poles and the top of my aerial rig. Here's a pic of my portable aerial rig snug and safe in rifle socks and a duffel bag.
Here is a link to purchase your own rifle socks.
The other day a student asked me if I was going to sign up for a certain upcoming competition. Truthfully, I'm not sure. I'm sort of over competitions. Why? I love performing on stage. But competitions require a large commitment of time and money. Also, I do not do well with the way most comps are set up, which has a lot more to do with me than the comp to be honest. I've competed in a variety of pole competitions over the years, and that got me to thinking, what makes a competition good (for me at least)?
I'm going to try to keep things positive and not call out any competitions specifically. So without any further ado, here are things that I think make a competition good.
What do you think? What makes a competition a good one to you? Do you have a favorite competition? Please share in the comments.
Spend any time on pole dancing forums and you will come across this common question, which pole finish should I choose? That's a great question and the answer depends on a variety of factors. On our Poles, Clothes & Lessons page we have links to the major players in the US pole market; X-Pole, Platinum Stages, Lil' Mynx and Lupit. Among these manufacturers you will find finish options including brass, chrome, powder coat, stainless steel, titanium gold, silicone, and acrylic. Not all finishes are available from all manufacturers, although every company does offer stainless steel as an option. Let's examine each option, and then I'll give you my opinion about which is the best and why.
Pros - more grippy, solid material
Cons - harder to care for, more expensive, metallic smell can linger on skin
Offered by - X-Pole & Platinum Stages
Pros - standard in most studios and competitions, easy to clean
Cons - coating than can be damaged, less grippy than other options
Offered by - X-Pole & Lupit
Pros - very grippy, good for those with nickel allergies, comes in fun colors
Cons - can be too grippy, coating that can be damaged
Offered by - X-Pole & Lil' Mynx
Pros - solid material, better than chrome for those with nickel allergies, easy to clean, 100% recyclable
Cons - less grippy than other options, costs more than chrome
Offered by - X-Pole, Platinum Stages, Lil' Mynx & Lupit
Pros - more grip than chrome or stainless
Cons - coating that can be damaged
Offered by - X-Pole
Pros - can pole in clothing
Cons - coating that can be damaged, can not do spins with pole set to static, increases pole diameter
Offered by - X-Pole
Pros - coloring changing with internal LEDs
Cons - different feel than metal poles
Offered by - Platinum Stages
X-Pole's has their own pole finish comparison here - xpoleus.com/faq/
Now here's my two cents. I am a fan of stainless steel. As a studio owner I like having poles that are unlikely to cause allergic reactions in my students and I also appreciate that there is no coating that will wear off with heavy studio usage. Two of my poles have been in place for 7 years and as fabulous and usable as ever. (Our third pole is newer as I replaced a 50mm with a 45mm about 4 years ago.) Also the process of chroming metal creates leaves behind vats of toxic waste that need to be dealt with. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14644668 for more info) As someone who cares about the environment this concerns me deeply, especially since chrome poles have no significant advantage over stainless steel. I hope that the tide shifts and more people purchase stainless steel poles over chrome poles (or other options, but chrome is the most popular in my experience).
A quick note about competitions. Most US competitions are on chrome poles. Does that you should get chrome if you want to compete? Not at all. I still suggest stainless steel. Many people that I've taught over the years find chrome to be slightly grippier than stainless. I've always trained on stainless. At many competitions I have heard other competitors that train on chrome complain that the chrome competition pole is too slippery, but I've always found them to be quite tacky compared to what I'm used to. That is just my experience, yours may differ.
I'm going to leave you with a quote from Cliff Kusch that I found the forum at www.finishing.com,
"Comparing chrome to stainless is like comparing hardwood to laminate."
Many years ago a wise person suggested to me that I should add a blog to my studio's website to increase traffic and therefore business. I thought about it, but quickly blew off the suggestion. Where would I find time to write a blog? Who would read it? What would I even write about?
Well those of you who have taken classes with me know that I like to learn and to share that knowledge. Also that I can be opinionated and blunt. Although, I think bluntness can be useful. Who wants to read a 3 page post when the point could have been made in just one paragraph. I know, blogging experts say that longer posts are better and will get better results. If you want super long posts please look elsewhere, mine will likely be short and to the point.
So here I am 8+ years into my pole teaching journey ready to share my thoughts, opinions, research and expertise with you.
Wish me luck!