Recently, an acquaintance told me: “I thought pole dancing was a hobby for you, but I’ve found your Instagram and you train A LOT. It seems more than a hobby to me.” I guess she was right: pole for me is becoming more like a need and a calling… and I’m not 100% sure I’ve been enjoying it all this time. Since early this year, I’ve been focusing so much on competition training or on other related things that I almost forgot about why I love dancing. This post is about teaching myself to remember why I love it in the first place, the weekend before my next competition… EEK!
Ready for Exotic Generation 2.0? Nah Mate
So in case you missed it, this is Exotic Generation UK 2.0 week. Yes, Exotic Generation, the competition whose shambolic first UK edition turned out to be such a disaster that Stacey Snedded kindly took over allowing the first edition’s competitors to take part again, for free.
I’ve been quite nervous about EG 2.0, because I want to do my poor routine justice on a proper stage, but at the same time I want to make it surprising enough and worthy of the new moves I learnt. So, because I’m a living and breathing ball of anxiety, naturally I have been spending my days and nights second-guessing myself.
I was in this mindset when I went to Kitty Velour’s Nasty Girl Exotic workshop at Ecole de Pole on Wednesday. I had booked ages ago because I have been fangirling over Kitty for ages, but never managed to learn from her. To tell you the truth though, considering how I felt, I would have probably just stayed home and sulked had I not booked in advance.
Kitty Velour’s Nasty Girl Exotic Workshop + Night Out
Luckily I didn’t stay home. Kitty had us dance to Todrick Hall’s Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels, a song I have been obsessed with but that I don’t feel confident enough to choreograph to yet. The choreography was pure bounce, twerky, nasty, filthy fun and it was just what I needed: dancing therapy and a reminder of why I started pole dancing in the first place. It’s that feeling of dancing with a group of women loving themselves and doing something fun, without worrying you haven’t delivered your best performance.
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After YEARS of ridiculously fangirling over her, I finally went to one of @kitty_velourâ€™s â€œ#nasty girl exoticâ€ workshops and had the time of my life: got to dance to @todrickâ€™s #nailshairhipsheels (itâ€™s been stuck in my head since May but I havenâ€™t had the time or skill to do anything with it myself) and had a blast blending #twerk with exotic pole ðŸ˜ dream night! Thanks to my beautiful pole wife @unicornpower for filming ðŸ¥°
My night got the perfect final boost afterwards: a ‘vampire’ charcoal pizza at Camden’s rock n’roll pizza joint Lost Boys Pizza and a cabaret night in Hoxton with my pole wife Rosanne.
A massive throwback to my favourite Sydney venue, Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice, Lost Boys Pizza is a rock n’roll pizza restaurant and dive bar with a killer playlist and added vampires from cheesy 80s movie The Lost Boys. If you know how obsessed I am with Buffy, rock n’roll and pizza you’ll understand I am gonna move into that restaurant at some point.
Aside from a great vibe, Lost Boys’ pizza was a welcome novelty: the vegan charcoal base made it a lot lighter than normal pizzas, so I didn’t feel guilty for indulging on carbs on competition week!
To finish the night on a high, Rosanne and I went to see Kitty Velour, Amber Eve, Rebecca Crow, Victoria Rose, Penny Lick and other fantastic burlesque performers at the Hoxton Cabaret’s sex worker special.
Aside from killer routines – from the Silent Hill nurse to Harley Quinn, from sexy striptease shedding a plastic bag instead of clothes to very bad kitties, the event was lit and it supported sex workers, raising awareness of charities you can support to help them. What more could you ask?
Look up Decrim Now here and follow @amber_eve and @pennylick too!
Training VS Dancing This Year
After Kitty’s workshop I realised that this year, I’ve mainly been training for performances, competitions, not to lose my strength while at home in Italy over the summer, or to clean my technique up for a variety of reasons. For someone who considers pole her lifeline, a hobby that keeps her sane… well, that’s not very fun, is it?
Part of the reason why I’ve been dancing less for the joy of dancing is, of course, money. Pole is an expensive hobby and while I’d love to learn from all my favourite instructors and pole dancers everyday, I simply can’t afford it. Dancing in a variety of studios means spending the money and time to travel there and paying for the workshop itself, when sometimes I can barely afford a weekly class. Hence why I have a pole in my house – free training! You can buy yours through my affiliate link here, btw.
Yet, this year I’ve somehow forgotten to book myself a class because I needed or wanted a dance. Everything I have booked has been targeted towards a quick energy boost on a busy day, needing to learn something for a competition, cleaning up my floorwork or heelwork, or maybe just keeping my strength while on holiday in a warm place. I had completely forgotten about that sense of relief, release and just pure bloody fun that takes over you when you’ve been dancing for the sake of dancing.
5 Ways To Remind Yourself Why You Love Pole Dancing
To wrap up this post, here are five ways in which you can remind yourself why you love pole dancing, if you are a busy bee like me and need a pick me up.
- Book a class with an instructor or pole dancer you’ve never danced with before to try a different style;
- Watch a live performance. Seeing other performers’ raw energy on stage always galvanises me and reminds me why I love dancing for myself and in front of a crowd;
- Swap a couple of your weekly classes with a workshop you’ve been looking forward to doing;
- Try new dancing styles – not just pole! Twerk, vogueing, commercial heels are fun too!
- As one of my favourite instructors, Ayesha Agogo, often says: “We are pole dancing. We’re not trying to cure cancer,” so remember that what you are doing is meant to be fun and a gift to yourself. So when that stops being fun, maybe take a couple of days’ break from competition / pole training and focus on something else instead. You’ll come back refreshed.