New class, new goals

January 17, 2012 at 9:20 am Leave a comment

Last week I attended my first pole class of the new session (the last one ended right before Christmas).  I’m now in the highest level pole class that my studio offers (yay!) and I have a TON of learning and improving to do.  I have an amazing teacher and the class is much more intense and fast-paced than all of the other levels I’ve taken have been, and I absolutely love it.  I’m definitely being pushed to my limits not only with the new moves I’m learning but also with the intensified conditioning and stretching exercises.  My progress in December was a little slow and my goals were a little sparse.  Granted, I did learn some new moves and even participated in my first showcase (I’m waiting on the photos and video from the event before I post about it).  However, after seeing what this new class is like and what is expected of me, my goals and priorities need to change a little.

Okay, splits are a must.  I know this is something I should be working on on my own, but I’m a little surprised that we don’t do much splits stretching at the studio in any of the pole classes except in the most advanced level, because by then, you should really have them already.

I’ve been working on inverting with straight legs, but apparently I was missing a key tip to make this easier.  I knew it helped to rotate your outside hip in to the pole and sort of sweep your legs open, but the technique was never actually explained in any of the other levels.  Apparently in addition to rotating the hips, you really have to lead with your outside leg so it’s in front of the other one, like a pair of partially open scissors.  Only then do you fan them up and tilt back.  Although it makes inverting easier, this technique is hard to get the hang of at first so I’ll be working to perfect it for a while.  This method of inverting might be a pretty basic concept to most people who do aerial inverts, but it was news to me.

I really need to get the superman solid.  I have done it many times, but not nearly enough to feel comfortable and I’ve been avoiding practicing it.  I did get it on command in class when we were learning the superman drop and I was also able to get into the dove from it, but I just need to do it over and over and over until it’s easy and less painful.  And a shoulder mount from a dove would be nice to get too – eventually.

My split grips need to be much more solid.  I can do a butterfly but there isn’t much else I like using the split grip for because my hands are so small (not to mention they get really sweaty) and we use 50mm poles – let’s just say, I’m not even close to being able to touch my thumb and middle finger together when I put my hand around the pole.  In class we were learning how to twist out of a cross ankle release and an inside leg hang into a split grip aysha, and I can’t even do a split grip aysha so I was just working on the twisting part.  Well, I’m not sure if it’s because the pole is so thick and my body is so compact or I just don’t get it, but I could barely reach the pole above my head to wrap my hand around it!  And it wasn’t just a shoulder flexibility issue, because I’ve been working quite a bit on that.  My hand could get there, but with the extra awkward bend in my wrist I couldn’t even really get my fingers around it most of the time, and I certainly could not have put weight on that hand when I did.  My kingdom for a 45mm!!!

I really need to focus more on the cartwheel and handspring mounts.  I’ve already given them both a go a couple times, but I don’t trust my grip and I’m scared to try going all the way up without a spotter.

I would also personally like to work on my shoulder mount deadlift.  I was told to try lifting up with one leg first before going right into practicing the standard deadlift, so we’ll see how that goes.  My shoulder dismount is already solid and I can do it slowly and with control, so I feel like this is definitely withing reach.

I’ve been working on the knee hold quite a bit on my own, but I think it might now become a staple of our warm-up.  So it’s great that I finally got it because I was able to do it on command in class, and that made me feel really good.

Ah, the cartwheel dismount/Jenyne tumble.  I was ahead of the curve when I attempted it in the intermediate level class (with a spotter of course!), but now we are officially learning the move.  I’m definitely getting more comfortable with how it feels, but the scariest part for me is actually leaning over my bent leg to hook my arm around the pole before cartwheeling off.  So I guess I just have to keep practicing!

There were a couple other things we worked on that were new, but I think I covered most of the basics.

And SPEAKING OF NEW THINGS, I HAVE GREAT NEWS!!!

  1. I’m taking pole, silks, AND lyra this session!  I am so excited!  Also, since I have a show coming up in February for which I’ll be performing in a pole quartet, I have a bunch of rehearsals scheduled for that as well.  School hasn’t started yet so I’ve been at the studio quite a bit lately.  In fact, excluding this past Saturday, I have had something aerial scheduled every day from last Thursday up until this Friday.  And then over the weekend, I’ll have another rehearsal.  In addition to all that, my pole buddy and I are going to schedule a weekly practice day like we did all throughout last semester, so with that, the rehearsals, and three aerial classes per week, I’ll be pretty active at least 5 days a week.  Sooo exciting!!!
  2. I’m going to study this semester to get a personal trainer fitness certification!  It has become very clear to me that pole is one of the only things that has made me truly happy since I started.  I figure that with a certification I can learn more about how the body works and how to teach fitness safely to others, so that one day I just might be able to become an instructor.  If I don’t have time to really prepare for that this semester (I have no idea what my schedule will be like yet), it will definitely become my summer project.
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You never know until you try I am a BEAST

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