In case you missed it, this was Alethea Austin‘s contribution to “Bring Sexy Back” week – nobody slinks quite like her!
I love her flow, her dead-sexiness, and how unabashed she is about what she is doing. We could all do well to take on some of that balls-out confidence and ownership of self!
I also love her business cards:
I missed the live stream of Pole Art 2012, courtesy of Pole Ranking (was at a wedding that day), but THANK GOD they have the videos up on their blog!! For a comprehensive video listing of all of the performances, head over to their site – there is written commentary/breakdown of each performance, too.
I am going to embed the top two female competitors – Oona, because she’s awesome and took first place, and Natasha, because she’s so beautiful and came in as the runner up! I love both of their performances – Oona’s athleticism and musicality always blows me away, and I loved that Natasha had a different vibe to what she did in this performance (compared to some of the other performances I have seen).
Oh, and those toe points to flexes on Natasha? LOVE. She nails those little flourishes like nobody else.
The full list of winners:
Female Winner: Oona Kivelä (for the 3rd time!)
Female Runner up: Natasha Wang
Male Winner: Saulo Sarmiento (the backward jump into the shoulder mount he does at 1:02?! Holy. Crap.)
As you may remember, my amazing friend Kat – owner of Pure Delish – is a cast member of Girl Next Door Show. This month – August 2012 – was 80s themed. Without further ado, I present to you the closing act of the show, starring Kat as He-Man…it’s ridiculously amazing.
I have been seeing photos of this move ever since the PoleCon and have been dying to know how it is done!!! This popped up in my Facebook feed today, and I was so excited to see it! I can’t figure out how to embed it, but here’s the link for Marion Crampe‘s breakdown of The Janeiro on the Tantra Fitness site:
Was back in my usual class tonight, still a bit sore from my second hoop class. Hoop uses a lot of back and upper body to get up on to the apparatus, which has been a great conditioning workout – my back has never been the strongest, which is why straight leg invert tend to tweak it. I think the grip work has helped my injured hand get a little stronger, too. Granted, my hand aches a fair amount after class and the next day, but on the whole, it feels stronger.
Our class had a lot of make ups in it tonight, but I was still without a partner – our usual class is very cliquey, with everyone paired off, so I work alone most nights. The main problem with that is that I am more motivated when I am working through something with someone, so I have to keep myself focused. I did a little better tonight, giving myself general conditioning tasks to do, like inverting on my right side (okay, I only did one), or working on inverting with no step – straight leg is still coming along, but I am doing much better with not stepping. I had pulled this video from YouTube and sent it to a friend (my pole sponsee – not sure that is the right word?), for help with her inverts, and realized it held something for me, too!
I have been better able to condition the no-step invert by standing with my hips clear, slight to the front of the pole – I don’t quite have the fluidity with the straight leg, or the height to catch my leg in the right spot on the way back, but it is load better with just that one small adjustment!
I also worked on my reverse shoulder mount, and ended up teaching it to the girl on the pole next to mine (I found out later that she is one of the new instructors at the studio – she is super sweet!). It is coming along decently – I still use the cheat of being a foot off the floor while doing it, but I am just happy to be doing it at all! I would love to be able to hold my weight out in it – that’ll take some serious conditioning!!!
We worked on some other stuff, like a new climb and descent combo, and chopsticks, which is a little tough for me because it requires shoulder flexibility. I tried it with an elbow grip, which was almost worse on my shoulder, but still felt more solid as a grip than my hand. I also worked on my aerial conditioning: did much better on my pencil, Ayesha was meh.
I am hoping that hoop helps cross condition me for pole. I think my flexibility (or lack thereof) is a big issue – I have to be better about stretching on my off days!!!!
In other news…the business venture is inching forward…I really, really hope to have some good news about our progress come Labor Day!!
I took my first Lyra (aerial hoop) class today, at Evolve Dance Studio! It was fun! My pole training comes in handy in terms of the strength and muscle memory, but it is still tough! A lot of upper body strength (at least, it was for me, being new), and you need strong abs for control. I learned how to get up into the hoop (still working on how to do that gracefully!), plus some basic tricks: stag, mermaid, drapey mermaid, and a move whose name I forgot, but it involves using one foot to “stand” on the hoop – you really end up hanging from the top of the hoop (using your hands/arms) and have one foot pushing the hoop away, with your legs sort of extended into a split, so the back leg is hanging down. At any rate, it was a ton of fun, but definitely taxed my hands – need major calluses! My grip was okay – I had to rub my arms out on a nearby pole during my down time, to be able to continue, but it worked. My left hand still isn’t at full strength, but the right felt good being my strong arm for this apparatus! I need better conditioning for some of it, but by the end of the hour, I was able to get up and tie together all of the moves I had learned, and flow through them reasonably well – that was fun!
It’s been a while since I last posted! My hand is still healing, but I am back in class! During my first night back, Drea forbid me from doing anything on my left hand, which took me out of A LOT. I did some odd variations on conditioning, did a few basic inversions on my right, worked on some right handed spins, and Drea spotted me into a new trick – which I did on my left, but since she insisted I not touch the pole at all with that hand, she basically held me up. I was back at it again twice this week, both times with Valarie instructing, and I got a little more done – I spotted a lot for another student in one class, doing a little work on my own (mostly to break down some stuff for my pole buddy), and in the other, I did a lot more work on my left hand while conditioning my reverse climb and learning the reverse shoulder mount.
I’ve found that certain tricks don’t really bother my hand – even when I thought they would – and others kill it. Shoulder mount is one of those – something about the pressure involved in cupping the pole with my hands hits directly on the puncture wound on my palm. There is a lot that I can do, though – I still don’t have full range of motion or strength, and direct weight on it is no bueno, but I can hang for the most part!
I just invested in a pole club card, so I can go to class more than once per week. I also picked up 5 aerial silks classes, which I am excited about! I’m going to try to go every other week, so I can mix things up. I still need to restart my yoga groupon (which the studio very kindly put on hold after my injury), too.
It is my hope that adding extra classes will help usher in better control with my work, as well as advance me along in what I’ve been doing. It can be rather frustrating to look around and see gals that start after me, doing more advanced work than I can currently do. But, I also understand that everyone learns differently, and everybody’s bodies respond differently. There are things I can do that others can’t do, so it’s all relative. I think the hand injury hasn’t helped my frustration!
I wanted to share a few things:
First, if you’re in NYC or the East Coast, check out Roz The Diva’s Dangerous Curves show! Tickets are ON SALE now! From the ticket info: Dangerous Curves seeks to highlight the unique contributions of plus size pole athletes. The performer with the most dangerous curves, determined by the audience, will get special recognition at the end of the show. And of course, no show would be complete without some guest performances along the way.
I wish I was on the east coast, because I WOULD SO BE THERE. This is amazing, and The Diva deserves an epic standing ovation for spearheading it. Lots of love to her, and to all of the women who will be wowing the crowd that night!
Next, I was excited to see a 12 minute trailer for Suzy Q. Williams’ documentary POLE LIFE (thanks to the friend that posted it on my Facebook wall!) – it debuts at the Pole Expo in Vegas, in September. I hope to see it in LA, shortly thereafter. It’s a great thing to share with anyone interested in pole as fitness! Take the time to watch the trailer:
And, finally…this made me giggle.