I for one am very bloody proud of the pole dance community right now, even more so than usual. Has the temporary closure of our beloved pole studios ground our community to a halt? Have dancers stopped dancing, teachers stopped teaching and the bendy Wendys/Berties of the realm stopped bending?
Have they fuck.
Since the lockdown began, pole dancers across the globe have been working harder than ever to keep the wonderful world of pole dancing alive and kicking. Probably the most popular way they’re doing so is buy running a vast plethora of online classes for us to participate in, and you don’t even need a pole at home to join in the fun! Of course, for you lucky folk with home poles there are heaps and heaps of pole classes for you to partake in- ranging from static tricks, spinning pole and pole flow. However, for those of us who don’t have home poles (yet), many pole instructors are running online flexibility, strength and floorwork classes for you to sign up to get your dance and movement fix. Seriously go and give your favourite dancers a stalk as soon as you have read this blog and check out what online classes they’re hosting, I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
So far, I have gone on a bit of a mad cunt mission and dived headfirst into the world of online classes. Accompanied by two of my favourite training buddies Audrey and Stu, we have begun a quest to see who can cram the most online classes in (we should really give ourselves an end date to this mission before we knacker ourselves out beyond repair) over the lockdown, at least for this coming week. Therefore, I thought it might be a jolly little idea to provide you all with a set of mini reviews of the online classes I have attended so far and how I have got to grips with learning to stretch, dance and put myself through all manner of pain remotely!
Exotic 101 with Pink Kitten Dance School. Platform used – Zoom
This class was my first adventure into the world of online exotic classes and boy oh boy did it feel fucking amazing to get my heels on and dance again. However, guess which total and utter numpty decided to attempt the class on carpeted floor? I’m rather impressed that I only managed to topple over once, and I don’t think anyone saw miraculously. This class provided a comprehensive, basic over view of all things exotic, including wall play, chair and floorwork, which resulted in sexy, well rounded routine that was fun to learn – it’s just a shame I fucked up my camera angle and didn’t get a decent video of my routine! Zoom worked fine, and I like that we were all asked to mute our mics, so we didn’t muffle the sound and the instructor Hannah was able to explain the routine clearly to us. Overall, I got quite a good sweat on from dancing and liked using the wall and a chair to enhance the routine, but don’t do what this dickhead did and attempt it on carpet.
Online Choreography Class – Exotic Floor with Anna Frost. Platform used – Zoom
Now this time I used my tiled kitchen floor like a sensible Sandra and achieved much better results! I was able to roll and glide around on my heels much easier without getting stuck, carpet burning myself something savage or taking a topple, as this was an entirely floorwork based class. I cannot recommend knee pads enough though when doing floorwork, they make the whole experience a hell of a lot less painful and really enable you to let loose and concentrate on the choreography as opposed to your screaming knees.
Anyway, once again it felt fantastic to embrace floorwork and dance again, and this time I managed to get a cracking video for the ‘Gram- winner! My internet was being a stubborn prick at certain times though during the class, so I recommend you train somewhere in your home with good connection and/or ask the other members of your home if they will kindly disconnect from the Wi-Fi whilst your class is taking place to avoid missing any key moves.
Full body stretch with Daisy Moore. Platform used – Facebook live
I have to say that as much as Facebook is the devil, I have found Facebook live (and their video calling service for group calls, but that’s another story) an effective method for following online classes, with fewer technical glitches.
Not a huge amount of space was required for this class (which is always a good thing) as the entire hours’ session was completed on a yoga mat. This full body stretch class provided a decent, all over stretching session that that got you bending but wasn’t too intense to deal with first thing on a Sunday morning (well, I say first thing, it was 11am but that’s early enough for me)! Whilst there were no real agonising bastard painful stretches in this session, I still felt challenged enough and like I had experienced a proper stretching session. This class felt fabulous for my all over mobility and we all know the importance of making sure we stretch- so why not ease yourself into it with a decent, full body stretch?
Front splits stretching with Patchway Pole. Platform used – Zoom
Shit the bed this class is painful but very bloody worth it. Hosted by my instructor Eloise the beast, this very effective, 45-minute class focuses on achieving your front splits, and helps you make outstanding progress. After last week’s class both my good side, bad side and middle splits were the lowest they had ever been and as a regular at Eloise’s splits classes pre-lockdown, it felt great to see my classmates and hear the infamous stretch playlist again (it’s crammed full of Enya in case you were wondering what’s on it). I have seen that achieving a flat split is on plenty of pole dancer’s goal lists for the lockdown and beyond, and if it’s on yours I can thoroughly recommend taking a splits/legs focused stretch class. This class was all completed on a yoga mat and with a band and blocks for some fucking painful yet worth it PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching.
Bendy backs and stretchy shoulders with Anna Frost – Platform used – Zoom
Now, this class was a challenge for my decrepit shoulders and shithouse of a back, but in all honesty, I don’t think I did too bad. I’m a bugger for focusing on neglecting my upper body and instead only deep stretching my legs, so it felt good to give the upper body a beasting, despite seeing how much I have to work on with the old back and shoulders. Hell, I even sorted out an irritating niggle I have in my left arm after a good stretch – so thank fuck for that! We used a yoga mat and surrounding walls to help to really stretch out our shoulders, which I cannot yet decide if this felt horrendous or pleasantly painful! This class gave me plenty to aim for and I may very well set the challenge of getting my feet to my head in a cobra for the rest of the lockdown.
Body Conditioning with Patchway Pole. Platform used – Facebook live
Fuck me I nearly god damn died! This absolute juggernaut of an exercise class consisted of 50-55 minutes of intense, sweat inducing exercises including squats (which I cannot fucking stand), Triceps dips, planks, push ups, weird butt thrusts and actual bloody weights! If you have downstairs neighbours, they might think the ceiling is going to collapse with all the jumping around that’s going down in this class. Especially as it comes with an awesome, 80’s aerobics workout Jane Fonda style to really get you completely bobby boiling in the exercise zone. This class obviously requires a fair bit of space to do all the high kicks and manoeuvres and focuses on fitness and building strength. I loved every minute of this class but struggled to walk/sit down the following day. Shit the bed you will need a rest day, and potentially a rest week after this class!
So, those are the adventures into the world of online classes I have embarked upon so far. I have a fair few coming up this week, including a double dose of front and middle splits with Patchway pole, upper body with Daisy and motherfucking front splits flexing with none other than Felix Cane! Fan girl overload alert!
Have you attended any online classes recently? If so let me know how you found them in the comments.