Pole Fitness Archives - Divine Movement Pole Dance & Fitness

Say hello to Sabrina!

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sabrina2“This is a place where you can completely be yourself and where you will accomplish things you never thought possible.”

Miss June 2016: Sabrina

Occupation: Localization Program Manager

Your motto or favorite quote: If you are constantly learning, your absolute best work now will be half as good as your average work later.

How long have you been pole dancing at Divine? Since 2008! I took Pole 101 alongside some of our current instructors!

Did you have any previous dance or fitness training before starting pole? Only a few ballet classes, but I’ve done a lot of weight training.

What made you decide to take pole dancing classes? A friend dragged me to an open house. I had the completely wrong idea about what it would be like, but as soon as I saw Angi perform I wanted to sign up. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong in my life.

Favorite class? (spins, inversions, or boudoir), and why? Probably inversions, because I love to climb, but it’s really hard to pick one!

What is it that you LOVE about pole dancing at Divine? I love the physical and artistic challenges, and the completely amazing community of women here. This is a place where you can completely be yourself and where you will accomplish things you never thought possible.

Platforms or legwarmers? Legwarmers…but really I prefer minimalist attire.

What are you currently working on technically? I have one last transition to improve (Butterfly to Flatline) before I can graduate to Intermediate Inversions. I. Can’t. Wait.

What are you working on artistically? I’m planning to perform at NW Pole Art in November and I’m thinking of attempting to choreograph my own piece this year. I’ve never done this before, so I’m slightly terrified.

What is your favorite move? For spins, I’d say Flying Angel; for inversions, probably Jasmine — which is funny because it used to be my nemesis move!

What is in your pole bag (ex: grip aid, journal, etc)? Grip aid. Unicorn booty shorts. What else do you need?

Do you have a favorite song to pole dance to? I have a few: Givin Em What They Love (Janelle Monae & Prince), Ransom Notes (Sohn), Hal (Yasmine Hamdan)

We LOVE music at Divine. What 3 songs would be featured on the soundtrack to YOUR life, and why?

1. 912 Greens by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. I’ve done a lot of travelling when I was younger and this song reminds me of the spontaneity and sweetness of those years.

2. Anything from Led Zeppelin or Sabbath…70s music is my spirit animal.

3. Gymnopédie No. 1 by Erik Satie. When I was a kid and couldn’t sleep, my dad would play this on the piano for me. Guilty pleasure: Really, really bad horror movies. I love things that are ridiculous. Also, singing at the top of my lungs to whatever’s playing when I’m driving around.

Any inspirational advice you would like to share with new polers?  Even if a new move seems impossible, just keep at it. Sometimes it takes me months or even a year to be able to do a new move…but there’s no feeling like when you finally nail it.

Pole Nutrition

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How are you feeling?

I hope you are eating well and taking excellent care of your body. I know you never indulge in anything that may have an ill effect on your health – like dark chocolate peanut butter cups or Molly Moon’s ice cream, or those delicious, moist, frosting-topped Trophy Cupcakes. Right!!

If you are anything like me, you may have tried many times to quit the crack-rock sugar habit  – to no avail. Well, I have decided that instead of the madness of trying to take things out of my diet all the time, I am going to add things to my diet. It’s easier, and you can pat yourself on the back way more often.

I was encouraged this week after watching the documentary film, “Food Matters” on my Netflix. What an inspirational eye-opener! I have been wanting to eat more raw foods for many years, but felt under inspired because I didn’t fully understand the rewards of eating raw foods. I was also frequently discouraged by my seeming inability to change 36 years of eating habits.

The most shocking and motivating thing I learned from “Food Matters” is that when we eat cooked food, our immune systems react to it as if we were consuming a toxin. Shocking. Unbelievable. The cooked food then starts generating white blood cell activity against the cooked food we have just ingested. Apparently, cooking the food changes the food’s structure so that our bodies don’t recognize it. What a bummer! So what is a savory hot-food-lovin’ girl to do? Never eat another hot meal again? Curl up in a ball and cry? Resent my parents for not starting me young on raw food? Naw!

The happy news is that if we eat 51% raw, our immune systems will not activate the false alarm. As I’ve learned more and more about the beauty and benefits of eating raw, my resolve has strengthened and my commitment to eat raw foods has been reinvigorated. I’ve also learned a few new tricks that keep me going in my quest for great health. I will share these golden kernals of wisdom:

1. Inspire yourself by learning about the AWESOME benefits of eating raw food.
It is simply the best fuel for your bod. I like to feel high, but I don’t like to break the law. Eating raw is the new “mommy’s little helper.”  Who needs Percocet when you can eat raw and get a clean, healthy, guilt-free high? How many people are out there medicate themselves with drugs when all they really need is food?

2. Add. Do NOT try to take out all the foods that you eat and love.
This is a discouraging mess. Just add some raw at every meal. Slow and steady wins the race. Someday you will make it to 50%, and then 51%, and who knows where you will go from there?

3. Be patient.
Sometimes our bodies have been malnourished for so long that they simply get overwhelmed with the introduction of raw food to our systems. Start out slow. My body used to get really irritated by raw food. My stomach just didn’t know how to handle anything alive. It was accustomed to food that was dead and processed. Squeeze yourself some fresh veggie juice (store-bought stuff is pasteurized and therefore ‘dead’). Drink it often. Eat some raw veggies. Once you start to feel the love, it will be easier to continue. You’ll be amazed.

4. Add Supplements.
It’s pretty easy to swallow a pill, but be careful. All vitamins are not created equal. Most vitamins contain isolated nutrients and are not whole foods. Our bodies don’t like isolated nutrients. I learned a lot from my friend, Amy, who is an expert on eating raw foods and effective supplementation. She introduced me to a a line of supplements by Dr. Chen –  a physician, pharmacist, and biochemist. I have been eating Dr. Chen’s Nuplus (it’s a whole food shake) for over eight months now and it has helped my tummy get used to raw foods and has eased the transition by lessening my sugar cravings!  LOVE it. * See below for more info on the shake.

3. Don’t give up.
Eat a little raw every day! Even if you miss a meal, get back on the horse. Your body will thank you once you start to feel the biochemical goodies.

Remember! Raw foods have amazing super powers which we need to stay strong and to conquer all those crazy pole moves. We all know that pole dancing gives us special ninja powers, but who knew that eating raw could take things to the next level and make us feel like a superheroes?

*To learn more about Dr. Chen’s concentrated whole food products contact Amy and let her know Divine sent you.
To contact Amy please call    Call:  310-867-3766

The Beat of a Different Drum

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You know the feeling. Your dancing along and it’s just not happening.  What is a girl to do?  Dance is an elusive thing and the high you get while dancing can be even more elusive.  I have found over the years that sometimes I am just stressed or tired but that most of the time my music choice has a bigger affect than either of those things.

In your journey to find your groove there may be hurdles to leap and brush to blaze through, which is all a part of the process. Without it your dancing would not have that beautiful, rare and complex depth.  Dancing can be so reflective of life and what is going on inside of us and so I cannot tell you what your Boudoir Dance journey will hold for you , but I can share with you how it was for me.  My dancing revealed some pretty personal things about me over the years and I hope it will do the same for you even though it is not always fun!

In my dancing I had the difficult recognition of my need to please others, to look good and to be in control at all times.  Basically I have an ongoing struggle with vanity.  Although being admired on center stage can have a certain satisfaction it is not the purest form of art and I have found it is a lesser satisfaction than what can be had!!  What can be had is creative freedom and emancipation from that sneaky little fear block that all artists must endure and strive overcome at some point.  Although music isn’t everything in the chemistry of a great dance I have learned that  music can affect me in a way that triggers my ‘vanity’ response and certain types of music support my goal of honest expression and sublime surrender.  It is up to each dancer to pay attention and learn how her heart and body respond to music.

It has been so difficult for me to let go of appearances and to be in the moment unfettered and free, gaining courage one dance at a time . But in this process I have found in myself a nurturer, a lover, a heroine and a wild women.  What would I ever do without them?  They bring me joy as they come out to play with reckless abandon, sometimes graceful, sometimes sloppy but always Divine.

 

 

Shopping!

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I have to confess that I had, for years, trouble understanding why women loved shopping.  It seemed frustrating, exhausting, and most often disappointing.  I also felt I was missing out on something.

Since I started dancing, though, I have done a complete 180.  Seriously, I think that the womanly, sensuous style of dance we do releases estrogen or something.  I really feel like a girl.

As I savor these moments of joy and delight at being a girl and all the fun things that come with it I feel a pang of grief for all the years that were void of that joy and a sigh of relief for my new perspective.

I headed over to Bartell Drugs today for wrapping paper.  It’s always clean and quiet in this particular store.  As I walked in the entire world outside just disappeared.  Suddenly I was transported into a world of colors, textures and smells.   I was in the moment.  It hit me like a ton of bricks, “this is why we love shopping”.  Sure, we like a good deal and the glee that comes with purchasing something new, but it is the experience of the moment that really delivers.  I feel calm when I am in the moment.  It’s a tiny island oasis or that bite of chocolate.  It’s what I learned from dance.

I love the feeling I get when I am putting the key into the door of the studio.  I feel a sense of relief as I step through the door, and into the world of music and dance, knowing that soon I will feel the warm glow of dim lights and the slow, sweet wave of music washing through me.  I know that in those moments where I listen, follow and obey I will be pulled into the  moment and in that moment be restored and invigorated.

Breaking the Wave

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Once you’ve learned and mastered the basic principles of Boudoir Dance it’s time to let go.  The beautiful thing about mastering the wave and learning the moves is that you have created a safe and structured space for your body.  Now you are ready to fly!!

When we were kids ( I observe this in my own girls) we played without a bunch of rules.  Playing was ‘freestyle'(unless you had a bossy sister).  We made it up as we went along.  We weren’t afraid of sounding stupid because we knew we were playing and thus creating our own little reality right in that very moment. No boundaries, no rules. Kids just know how to play by instinct.   Trying to follow all the rules makes it cerebral and sucks the joy right out of our playful spirits. Rules are for learning, playing is for letting go and being in the moment.

You’ll know your have let go and are on the way to the zone when your movements start to evolve, organically, beyond recognition, and to live and breath a life of their own.  You will be surprised!

Dancing gives us an amazing opportunity to play again!  Just play.  I really relish the rush of an accomplishment or the mastering of a new move, but the greatest moments of joy I’ve had while pole dancing were had in the moment.

As Prince once said, “Make the rules, then break ’em all ’cause you are the best”…..

Sweet Surrender

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I want to dance.  I want to dance when I’m driving in my car, I want to dance when I’m folding my laundry and I do dance in my kitchen!  (My household chores take twice as long when my ipod is on, but they are twice as fun.)

My favorite part of dance is the surrender.   I love to let go and feel the music.  The suspense of not knowing what comes next is exhilarating.  Although it has taken years for me to learn this aspect of the dance every step was worth it.

Today, I had some moments between loads of laundry that were truly Divine. My body just moved.  I listened and watched and followed in a lucid trance.  In these moments I feel creative potential bust wide open and I feel the endless stream that flows through me and for a few moments I have escaped the burden of my physical body.   I want every woman to know what it feels like to ‘let go’ if only for a moment at a time.  To feel the rush of this creative force pulse through their limbs.  To Surrender.

I believe that every woman is capable of learning this style of dance.  I have seen students grow from their first hesitant steps in 101 to poised and confident and truly captivating.   I love this job!.

The Secret of the Pole’s Allure

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What is it about pole dancing that we women love so much? Why has it spread like wildfire? Is it the adrenaline rush of achieving something you thought impossible? Is it the novelty of something totally new? Sure!  and it’s fun too, but what is the true secret of the pole’s allure? I know that a lot of people assume it ‘s just to impress your man.  Te he he he. Not quite.  

Why do we really love pole dancing ladies? I know, I know! And although it is top secret I am going to tell you. (You are one of the lucky and privileged few). Are you ready? ‘Cause it’s a shocker!!! Here ‘goes: We women like to feel beautiful. That’s why.

Pole dancing is a sensuous and gorgeous movement that feels beautiful and gets us in touch with our womanly side. It also challenges our female bodies in a feminine way, a circular way that conserves our beautiful curves. Why be a robot on a treadmill when you can dance? Why take yet another step aerobics class when you can spin, pivot and flip yourself into shape?

The allure of the pole goes even deeper. Something of our feminine spirit gets lost as we try to keep up with the pace of this world. White knuckled and jaws clenched we power through our days. Stress can make us tense and unyielding, burying the soft inviting warmth that is innate in a woman. Devouring the quiet stillness and the ‘at rest’ peace, that defines inspiring beauty.
Dancing in a hypnotic, sensuous flow helps to unwind all of that tension so we can be soft once more and alive inside our bodies.
Besides being good for a woman’s body and stress levels, the inherent playfulness of spinning twirling and dancing is healthy for a woman’s heart. The support and encouragement from other women fulfills a need for community that we women have built into the fiber of our beings.
So, to those who say pole dancing is a temporary trend, I say, think again!

Who turned on the lights?

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Most of my students come to class with the hopes of a fun, exciting new way to work out and of course pole dancing is all that and more. Since starting pole dancing in 2005 I’ve discovered it is also challenging, rewarding, exciting, exhilarating, creative, beautiful, and more inspiring than any other movement I have tried.
Besides all of that, though, it has been a learning experience about myself as a woman.
I’ve learned that I really do like high heels, lace and the color pink a whole lot! Finally, I have come to admit I do want to feel pretty. It’s like my ‘being a girl’ got lost for awhile, or maybe I just had no idea what to do with it, but I have absolutely decided to deny it no longer! I am hardwired to feel beautiful. Let the pretty begin!
I am talking about a kind of pretty that is a feeling, a sensation that comes from gratitude. It’s the kind of beauty that doesn’t require a mirror or photograph. It comes from inside when the sun shines on your cheek and the wind gently tousles your hair. The kind of beauty that makes you giggle or throw your head back with laughter. The kind that makes you want to get together with the girls and twirl and dance. The kind of beauty that is reflected in the heart of every woman.
It is the kind of beauty that liberates. And finally, it is the kind of beauty I feel when I am dancing.

walking works of art

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Women are works of art! Just ake a look around you any time and you will see women adorning the world. From paintings, sculptures even mudflaps. Images of women are often used as decoration or to sell products. Even products totally unrelated to women. It’s no wonder. Women are beautiful. What is it about woman that is so appealing? There’s something special in each woman. Sometimes mothering and warm, sometimes sassy or playful, and sometimes dark and mysterious like thunder clouds and lightning. Usually it is intricate and complex. Whatever it is it can’t be bottled, captured, owned or sold, try as we may.

I think there is something uniquely beautiful being revealed in each and every one of my students as they dance. Watching her move is stunning. She is a breath of life. it is clear to me now why a woman’s beauty is inspiration to so many. Sometimes when I am watching my students I am transported to another place and time. Susan, so elegant and smoldering sent me a vision of a women slowly rolling up her black seemed stocking, a long high heeled leg propped on a velvet foot stool. Red lipstick and a long cigarette in one hand.
Sonja for a moment seemed to have stepped out of a victorian boudoir, decorated in pretty white lace and pink roses, where she had just slowly and lovingly combed her hair with a silver brush and matching hand mirror.
What can I say? I love this job!!!!!

Holy Pole Burn!

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Finally it’s up. My Titanium X Pole is now standing between my living and dining room. My heart beats a little faster each time I walk by.
Sunday was my first day breaking in my new pole. Actually, It was more like the pole was breaking me in.

The Titanium pole has a lot more grip than the one in the studio that I am used to.
I love it!! Inverts and some of the more advanced inverted moves are a lot easier when you stick. But lookout, pole burn takes some getting used to.

I remember the first time I sat on the pole and experienced the burn. I was thinking “why is this worth it?”. Well, now I know the answer to that question. It is so exhilarating to master a new move and once you’ve learned it the rush far outweighs the pain.

But, it does get better. If you do the move frequently the pole burn will completely disappear. Thank goodness. Also, I got some great advice from Tammi Morris up at Tantra Fitness in Canada. She told me to push into the burn rather than pull away from it. Excellent advice. It really helps.

So, stick with it through the burn girls. You’ll be glad you did.

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