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Individual looks concerned with text: Stepping away from the Pole

What happens when you have to step away from pole?

Stepping away from the pole was always something that made me feel naked. Like leaving the house without my sunglasses or earrings. What do I do with myself? Other than “figure-eighting” and “cat-pouncing” my heart out? Thoughts would start rushing through my head. “Be sexy and whip your hair…” “But what if I lose my balance and fall on my face?..” “Take your time, be confident…” “But I look stupid, I’m sure of it!..” Ugh, am I the only one? The pole, while daunting in its own right, provides a certain level of security. Stability. Consistency. We know it’s there and we can depend on it (as long as we can depend on who installed it haha). Step away from it and it’s all you baby. What now?

Practicing pole has helped me tap into my confidence and sexiness. When it was time to step away from the pole, I realized that I needed a solid foundation of athleticism and musicality to stand on in order to move the way that I wanted to move. I can get down in my head, but it didn’t quite come out that way when I tried to do it. So I started heels training with dancers. Started learning how to think through the act of creating lines. I knew the term, but still hadn’t wrapped my mind around what that really meant. More specifically, what that meant for MY body. Your lines may not work for me and vice versa. That’s what makes movement so interesting!

There are some moves that are staples for any pole performance. Leg play via twirls, swirls, and spread eagles is probably at the top of that list. It can be mesmerizing when done correctly, and awkwardly irrelevant when not. Like a throw away piece in a fashion show; there to support the look (the performance), but merely serving as a filler of space and time in the choreo. Some of my favorite examples of it done to the fullest are in the voguing community. It’s cool to see the difference between how it’s done there and in the pole community; slithering through it in a sensual manner with pole, as opposed to attacking it full throttle in vogue. The most interesting difference to me is the ankle accent. You know, exaggerating that spread eagle and those leg waves with bending your ankles this way and that. I LOVE that! Meanwhile, I have the most inflexible ankles and feet known to man, so I’m stretching with pointed toes and bent ankles in mind; #strugglebus.  

Off the pole is a great opportunity to connect with the audience; giving them personality and eye contact from different angles. Being your unique self. Evoking different emotions throughout the performance. It takes confidence, strength, and technique to shine on your own. No second guessing. Straight up commitment. I’ve found that it’s important to take up space and make yourself large with movement. Change levels, work the stage. When performances include two poles, usually one is static and one is on spin. However, I believe that it also makes the performance more interesting to the eye by changing the focal point.

Ultimately, the best performances tell a story. I don’t mean in the literal sense of acting out exactly what the song says (even though that can be dope too), I mean acting out what is being felt when those words are being said. Make me feel like I’m in that authentic moment with you. We can all relate to feelings. And believe me, I’m the person you want in your front row. I’ll laugh with you, cry with you, get angry with you, scream for you, whatever you need! Serve honey. 

Blair D.
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