I've decided that I am much better (more entertaining) on video than I am in writing. Thus most of these posts will be links to videos from now on rather than me pretending I can write well.
Here is my video on how to have great grippy skin all winter long.
By special request, our Inverted D Tutorial is now available. I was a total dork when recording this one so there are a ton of outtakes at the end.
What tutorial would you like to see next?
Years ago many large pole competitions tried to distance themselves from strippers/strip clubs through costume guidelines and prohibiting overtly sexy moves. Thankfully, at least to me, the sexiness is back. I love watching the sexy/erotic/exotic/classic category at competitions, it is my favorite. I don't know what you look for in an exotic performance, but I want it to be DAMN sexy, I want to want you by the end. The problem is that rarely do I see the people giving those kinds of performances winning. Usually it's the person who does more of a lyrical or sporty routine with the addition of heels, a body roll and hair flip that wins. This is very disappointing to me. I'd rather the person who really embodied the spirit of the category win over the person with slightly harder tricks, or slightly better technique, but less sexiness. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this matter. Please comment below.
Today marks the 7th anniversary of Aerial Bliss opening. Honestly, it is remarkable I've made it this long. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. How have I made it so long while others have failed? Keeping my overhead low, not needing to rely on the business for my main source of income, and just being stubborn. I feel like a lot about the industry has changed in the past 7 years, some for better and some for worse.
How will Aerial Bliss continue on in the future? For sure, I will continue to work on our YouTube channel to provide more great tutorials. I'd like to do more performing at bars and other events. My ideas for the future of the studio are always evolving, so you'll have to stick around and see what we do next.
If you live in the Madison area celebrate with us! We are having $7 classes on October 7th to celebrate our 7th Anniversary!
I shot this Basic Pole Sit Tutorial last year and finally got around to releasing it. Let me know if you find it helpful and what other tutorials you would like to see.
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.
Jackie began her pole journey in 2008 and opened Aerial Bliss in 2010.