Lori Myers has agreed to help me out with a guest post. You can find more of her writings at her blog, As the World Twirls.
Have you ever met a 200 pound ballerina?I know, I haven’t either. But I have recently begun incorporating ballet into my workout routine. Not just to benefit my pole practice, but also to amp up my workout in general, get me into shape, and help me move out of the mindset that a big girl can’t dance.
Most people who know me would say my style on the pole is raunchy.
I like loud, dirty, fast rock music. I gyrate my hips. My friend, Jimmy, says I have a liquid spine and I can wiggle like there’s no tomorrow. I use my overt sexuality on the pole to cover up for the fact that I don’t know how to dance! I played baseball as a kid. I wasn’t taking ballet. I was twice the size of other kids, anyway. I would have been the round girl giggling and stomping the other girls’ feet while the feathery light girls with their hair pulled too tightly into buns pirouetted and danced on their own toes.
I have watched other girls do ballet-inspired pole routines. So beautiful and elegant. Perfect lines. Perfect faces. Perfect legs. That’s so not me, but someday I hope it will be.
I have really started to work on my strength and cardiovascular fitness. I am doing pole once a week at the studio. I have been doing spin (cycling), yoga, running (Couch to 5k), and spending a little time lifting weights. Once the couch to 5k program is over in six weeks, the focus will switch back to lifting more weights so I can get stronger. I am also going to be adding in pilates reformer classes to work on my core. My upper body and core strength really sucks!
TransformationIn order to help the transformation, I have started doing pliés in the five ballet positions. For the first time in my life, my butt almost has a shape (I’ve been doing squats for years, so don’t tell me I need to squat more)! I start with a couple of demi pliés, then three or four grand pliés. I move through each position. I stand in front of the mirror and barre in my tennis shoes and running shorts, surrounded by gym rats who are grunting and lifting heavy things. I try to block out the noises, make my neck look long and graceful, hold my arms out “pretty” and pretend for a minute that I’m actually a ballerina.
It really only takes five or six minutes, but my legs get warmed up pretty quickly and my butt is clearly improving!!
I learned about pliés while taking a burlesque pilates class at The Absolute Center in Lafayette, California. It was a fun class and our instructor, Chelsea, taught us a lot of “quick and dirty” tricks to get into shape. I’ve also noticed a huge difference in my flexibility during my yoga practice, which will help later on as I work toward being able to do the splits.
So now that I have the basic movies down for warm-up, I’m moving on to the arms. When I pole, in particular, I am trying to keep my entire body in mind as I dance. How my legs look, how my arms flow, what my face is doing.
I recently filmed a lap dance/tease video at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness in Pleasanton, California. It started out as a joke between friends and me just acting silly, but after watching myself (and comparing it to a video from a year ago), I am impressed with how much I’ve improved!
Don’t get me wrong … I have a long way to go, but I believe a big girl CAN learn to be a ballerina!
How about you?Do you like to pole just to do tricks or do you consider yourself a dancer? Do you have any “quick and dirty” tricks to keep yourself in pole-worthy shape?
Lori is great at giving us pole dancers something to think about. Get more of her raunchy, no-holds-barred style at As the World Twirls.