Actually, I can't, but sometimes when I'm pole dancing, I feel like I'm flying - especially during Wednesday night's spin class. Tonight's combo included one of my all time favourite poses, Fairy, which is one where I really feel as if I've taken to the skies. Watch the video below and see if you can pick which one of the poses is Fairy, then read on below to find out if you got it.
Did you get it? The combo goes: cross-spin, climb, mount, wrap, fairy, diva, stag-drop (because I can't do the splits), cat-roll, dirty-squat to standing. Fairy is the pose I do where I spread my 'wings' (arms) and kick out my bottom leg. I forgot to point my toes, so it doesn't look as pretty as normal, but I still love how it feels to be in this pose. The strength, the twist, the entry from Wrap... it all just comes together and makes it something special.
Something also to look out for in this combo is the hip lock after the mount and then the unlock as I transition into Diva. As I mount and place my legs on the pole, prior to coming into Wrap, I twist my hips to the side and 'lock' them onto the pole. This is taught as standard in Beginner classes at Pole Divas, as it ensures that you have as much thigh skin, and therefore grip, on the pole as you can. If I were to take my hands off the pole at that point and switch on my abs, I would be able to hold myself up there just by virtue of the thigh grip I have from the hip lock. This lock is what allows me to do the Wrap without sliding all the way down to the floor and it helps with Fairy as well, as my thighs are still hanging onto the pole when I extend my bottom leg, so the grip is strong enough to allow me to release my hands. As I transition into Diva from Fairy, I unlock my hips and centre onto the pole, which then allows me the lines I need for Diva, and also prepares me for a split drop (or, in my case, a stag drop).
So it is the lock that is really doing the magic here, and my thighs are doing some seriously hard gripping to keep me up there. In truth, that is the base of pole dancing, no matter how pretty the trick or how fluid the transition, there's always some part of the dancer's body being twisted up tight against the pole, hanging on in the most awkward position and burning the hell out of them. I have found Hemp Lotion from The Body Shop to be the most effective relief for pole burn (just as long as I don't have another class within the next twelve hours), although I know some of the ladies I dance with, including my instructor, prefer ice. The Lock can cause bruising on the thighs, but the immediate pain of pole burn is usually the most pressing issue following an exit from this position.
So, there you have it, a little about one of my favourite pole tricks and a little trade secret to go with it. Flying into Fairy is one thing guaranteed to make me feel better about anything because, really, what woman wouldn't want to live her childhood dream of turning into a fairy? All I need is a pair of sparkly wings and ballet slippers, and 5-year-old Jewels will jump up and down with joy. Maybe I should try that next time...
Do you know one of the most wonderful quirks about pole dancing is that all the poses and tricks (and I mean all the poses and tricks) have names. Some of them are self-explanatory, but some are just so wacky and out there they make you smile. One of these is JAMILLA.
Jamilla is a beginner level spin trick/intermediate static trick, which involves taking the weight into the arms and rocking back into something of a side split while gripping with the side of your thigh. It hurts, but my pole instructors all make it look so lovely and it's one trick I'm working hard on at the moment.
But not just because it looks pretty or because I need it to pass my course.
About a week ago, in Intermediate Static (Inters) I attempted a Jamilla with slightly incorrect arm positioning... and sprained my elbow. This resulted in me being forced to take a week off pole to recover, and having to carry my right arm around in a sling, which got very uncomfortable and was very hard on my neck.
Once I recovered, it was back on the pole, although taking it very easy, and tonight was the first night since my recovery that I attempted a Jamilla again. I won't deny that I struggled, but I also discovered something that made me just go 'WHY!'
I injured myself attempting to do a Jamilla in my right hand. This is usually my stronger side in pole tricks, as being on the left side of the pole means I'm taking the weight in my right arm, which is my stronger arm. However, I was struggling something chronic tonight and thought, you know what, maybe I should try it on my gumbie (weaker) side.
And discovered that Jamilla works so much better for me on my left than my right!
Reflecting back, I have found this before with tricks that involve tucks, but I didn't click with Jamilla because, when I first learned it in Inters, I wasn't on a spinning pole and you don't tuck to enter Jamilla on a static pole.
This video above is not quite a Jamilla; I'm in the correct position with my hands, but it's more a side-split at this point. I'm working up to rocking back and getting my top leg up and over, so watch this space for further progress as I tackle spinning and static Jamillas. No pole trick will beat me!
If you're afraid to fall it means you're prepared to brave the heights from which you might fly.
Me With No Apologies.