It had been over two years since I masochistically partook in an entire day of pole workshops. Despite two years being a long period of time to an extent and not forgetting how absolutely buzzing I was for the day ahead, there was legit some residual fear and reservations stiring away in my brain (and my bowels) that began to grow as the 10am start for the day approached. How the fuck was I going to cope?! Would I able to do any of the tricks, moves and combos? Am I good enough or am I going to be crumpled husk of a woman on the floor lying in my own vomit by workshop 3!? Christ I might actually shit myself in fear.
Thankfully, I was in the hands of our fabulous teacher Anna Maya, whose friendly and step by step teaching style would prevent said pants from being shat too much throughout the day. Well, I say this, she is not only an absolute tank strength wise, but also the bendiest of Wendys, a former winner of the Advanced Category and overall Pole Queen at Heir to The Chrome 2015 and Runner up at the UK Pole Professional Championships (also in 2015), so I was under no illusions that today was going to be a day of front hooks and fireman spins. It was time to embrace the pain!
The three workshops that Anna ran were her Polenastics, Pole Transitions and Splits Tricks master classes. Having made the decision to blog about the workshops last month, I have been wracking the old grey matter for the best way to do so, finally settling on a chronological (fucking fancy word there!) /diary entry style for you all, to convey most accurately how the workshops went, and just how my pain levels intensified throughout the day! So, here begins the workshop diary!
10am-11.30am – Polenastics. Kicking off the day was this lush little workshop. The clue is in the name with this one, as we focused on various, gymnastic moves such as rolls, cartwheels and handstands and applied them to movement around the old pole. In all honesty this workshop got off to a cracking start! We had plenty of fun having forward roll and cartwheel races as a warm up followed by busting out some cool, gymnastic flow around the pole. I almost got the hang of the initial twizzly, rolly transitions would you believe!
However in true pole style, shit got hard again pretty fucking quickly. One minute I was perfecting my forward rolls and floor flow around the base of the pole and feeling like quite the pro, the next minute we were doing crazy, double forward rolly straddle, hand switching madness manouvres. (I told you I’m shite when it comes the the technical terms) Once the dizzying madness finished, it was time for me to do battle with my nemesis, fucking handstands. As I was sharing a pole with one of my buddies and handstand queen Dana, she gave me a required boot up the arse to at least attempt some of the handstands, of which I managed steps one and two of the five step handstand sequence, quite the win for a handstand hater like myself.
As the workshop drew to a close my weak, decrepit arms were like a poorly set jelly. I was genuinely incapable of picking myself up from the floor and had to call the poor, long suffering Anna for help. Fuck me I was shattered. Roll on the hench brunch we were all about to devour!
1pm-2.30pm – Pole Transitions. Now the hard work really kicked off. This workshop was all about the unique ways to transition from trick to trick and boost the old pole repertoire. If were to re-name this workshop, I would call it “SHIT ME BLIND MY THIGHS ARE ON FIRE!”
There’s no doubt about it the classic pole fear came out in full force for me in this class, as well as the exhaustion of partaking in two workshops back to back (how the hell was I going to manage three?!) Anna taught us all manner of mental move concoctions (on both bloody sides too I would like to add!) such as Cupid to Cupid (an absolute mindfuck), Star Gazer to Cross Knee Release and I managed to almost get my first Remi sit. After all the fun and games by 2.30pm I was fully done and in complete pain. Here is a candid shot my girl Jess took of me towards the end of the workshop, exhausted and contemplating selling my legs on the black market.
3pm-4.30pm – Splits tricks. Oh Jesus take the wheel and drive fast this workshop was a killer! As if my poor old legs hadn’t been through enough already they were about to be pushed to their absolute limits. In this workshop Anna showed us some unique splits moves and helpfully broke down the technique behind making sure our splits looked on top form in each trick.
This workshop also involved me tackling my fear of handstands once again head on (as you can see from the picture below), but also facing some of the most burning pole tricks I have ever attempted too. If you ever want to know what it feels like to execute a badass looking split but also feel a trick in your liver, attempt a Jallegra! This mean bugger of a trick is some sort of Jade/Allegra (may have been Janeiro/Allegra actually, who knows, not fucking me) looked stunning, however when resident pole tank Andre jumps out of a trick and runs around the studio in agony, you know it’s not going to be an easy one to conquer by far! A general rule of thumb is that if Andre is struggling, the rest of us are doomed.
As the workshop progressed and the pain and bruising increased, I actually managed a few of the easier splitty tricks as the class progressed, as you can see from the trick below.
Well, as the fun packed day drew to a close, my shattered body could no longer cope as I looked and smelt as fresh as a two week old cadaver. I honestly felt a bit like Louis Theroux in that wrestling documentary he did where they beast him so much after he insinuated that wrestling was fake. All in all I had a fabulous day of workshops with the every amazing Anna (who has the patience of all the saints combined!), felt confident and proud of myself for managing to achieve some moves whilst taking away plenty to practice, but fuck me it was definitely time for a bath then bed.