This week, meet the lovely Lori Myers, a protege of Twirly Girls Pole Fitness!
How did you get started learning to pole dance?A few years ago, I went to S Factor in San Francisco and took one of their intro classes. I had heard some of their instructors on a local radio show. I loved it, but the studio was difficult for me to get to (almost two hours commute each way with city traffic). Flash forward to October of last year … my friend received an e-mail about Twirly Girls Pole Fitness in Pleasanton, California (only about 25 minutes away from my house). My friend, Rita, and I set up a taster class for November and we were signed up for full time classes by December.
How do you learn (pole dancing classes, DVD, Youtube …)?I take classes one to two times a week with Bel Jeremiah at Twirly Girls, but I also have a pole at home and have a couple of Jamilla Deville’s DVDs. I took one of Jamilla’s workshops at the studio this year. She was so beautiful to watch, a lot of fun, and had great information for those of us just starting out (even though I’m almost a year in, I still consider myself somewhat of a newbie).
What do you like to do when you’re not pole dancing?I love photography and horseback riding, although I had to give up my horse last year. I am spending a lot of time at the gym lately (to lose some recently-added weight and get stronger for pole dancing). I work for a law firm to pay the bills, but I definitely don’t like to define myself by my job. I love using my blog as an outlet. It started as a pole dancing blog, but I write about health and exercise in there a lot since they are so much a part of my life (I had gastric bypass almost seven years ago and lost 165 pounds).
What is your dream for yourself in pole dancing?I see videos of the famous pole dancers and envision myself doing everything they do. I recently saw the introduction for Miss Pole Dance Australia 2010 (Felix Cane starts it out). I thought, I want to do ALL OF THAT. Realistically, I may not be able to, but in my mind, I’m already there. I also saw a photo of Jessalynn Medairy at Pole Summer Camp in the Caribbean with Milan Pole Dance Studio. The bend in her back is amazing. Again, in my mind, I look like that. Realistically, not so much! My current dream is to invert within six months. I am spending a lot of time at the gym losing weight and gaining strength to get there.
How would you describe your personal style?I think most would describe me as a down and dirty rock chick. I like loud, fast rock songs. I am working on slowing things down and being more sensual.
Favorite makeup tip:I am all about false eyelashes. If I don’t want to spend a lot of time on make up, I put in my purple contacts and false lashes and I’m good to go. Otherwise, on a daily basis, I’ve stopped wearing make up. Only when I want to go out or feel like I have someone to impress (like myself).
Barefoot, sneakers, or platform heels?I am more comfortable barefoot. I have five or six different platform heels and I’m trying to practice in those, as well. I performed at a dance recital to benefit the National Kidney Foundation Walk in San Francisco earlier this year. The video below is of me practicing in my shoes; I feel clunky and slow. When I did it for real, I went barefoot and felt a lot better about it (although I was still less than six months into dancing, so I am definitely not a professional).
Favorite grip enhancer:I have Mighty Grip in my bag, but I try not to use anything (and am not yet able to do the tricks where it might be more necessary).
Pole dance move that made you proudest to learn:Last night, for the first time, I was able to hold myself up for kind of a sad-looking boomerang. I was pretty excited about that.
Pole dance pet peeves:I make funny faces and do weird things with my hands. While I’m dancing, I don’t always notice it but I see it in the videos, so I’m trying to be more aware of my entire body (and yes, Jennifer, I’ve watched your videos on the subject).
Favorite treatment for bruises and sore muscles:Rest and an epsom salt bath.
Who would you most like to have in the audience when you pole dance?No one. I get really, really nervous dancing in front of people. I have a hard time making eye contact and would love to always dance in the dark! I’m a much better dancer if I think no one is looking.
Who is your hero or role model?I adore my instructor, Bel. She is so supportive and really creates a safe, family-like atmosphere at Twirly Girls. I have often found when you gather a lot of estrogen into one room, you get a lot of cattiness – but Twirly Girls is not like that at all. We are all at different levels and there is no jealousy. Everyone is supportive and we all celebrate our small victories when they happen. I’ve never really witnessed anything like it in my life and I’m excited to be part of this amazing group of ladies. What I love most is that we laugh and have fun while we’re learning.
What are your favorite words of encouragement?“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right!” Look, I’m a big girl – 6 feet tall and over 200 pounds. I GET that I physically won’t be able to do ALL of the moves I want to do. But I am trying not to limit myself right now. I’m setting small goals and hoping I can either get myself there or at least find an acceptable modification for whatever move it is.
Favorite pizza toppings:Pepperoni and black olives. Sometimes sausage, too.
Cupcakes or ice cream?CAKE! CAKE! CAKE!! I LOVE CAKE! I’m a foodie. It’s one of my downfalls. And it’s something I have to work to avoid. There is no one bite when it comes to cake. It’s all or nothing. So I try not to have it around much.
Favorite music to pole dance to:Rock music. Fast and hard. Right now I’m going to start working on a routine to Slash and Fergie’s Beautiful Dangerous.
Weirdest place you’ve ever poled:My house. Whodathunk I’d ever have a pole in my house?! Oh yeah, and that one time I was in Texas and I tried to turn Neptune’s arm into a pole (didn’t work)!
Pre-performance rituals:I don’t really have any … although I’ve really only performed for small audiences at our studio. I just get really nervous and have to force myself to get out there.
Strangest pole dancing question/comment you’ve ever received:I can’t really think of the strangest but most definitely the most irritating is: So you’re a stripper?! My response is usually: I WISH! If I had the body and moves, I’d be grabbin’ those dollas!
Anything else you’d like to share:I’d love for everyone to participate in our Twirl Around The World. We are asking for pole dancers to send us their photos and locations so we can add to our album on Facebook! Also, we will be doing another benefit for the National Kidney Foundation next year. If anyone is interested in getting involved, have them add me on Facebook or get in contact through my blog.
We are doing another fundraiser to benefit the National Kidney Foundation (our very own Lovely Rita is a three-time kidney transplant recipient … she wasn’t supposed to live past 20 and she’s about to celebrate her 45th birthday!). Bel would like to get more pole studios involved, so we are asking anyone with a pole studio to get into contact with us if they are interested in coordinating. The fundraiser isn’t until April but we wanted to start early to get other people involved.
Lori is a pole dancer filled with enthusiasm for dance, life, and helping her fellow pole dancers. Visit her on her blog!