Friday, September 30, 2011

Today's spotlight is on spinnyTbags!

I know that spinnyTbags has pole inspired clothing and are you a pole dancer or just an admirer?
Hell yeah! I'm a total pole addict! I go to four classes a week at three different studios, attend workshops and jams whenever I can, I have two poles in my house and recently purchased a third on a stage for the garden or elsewhere! Even my instructors call me a hard core pole nut!  I've been poling for nearly 18 months and I'm always eager to try something new. I love achieving moves I never thought possible, at the moment I'm working on a gemini mount, it's a one-armed handstand from the floor, then you wrap your outside leg round the pole and sit up. I saw Hanke Venselaar do it when she performed in the UK this year and thought I must have that awesome move in my repertoire.

What is your fitness background?
I guess you'd call me a "late bloomer". I wasn't last to be picked for the team at school but I wasn't far from it. I spent my twenties and thirties only walking as far as the car, smoking, guzzling beer and living on instant snacks.  Since I fell in love with pole around the time I turned 40 I'm fitter and healthier than I've ever been.  I do a few Les Mills group cardio classes each week because the instructor makes it so much fun but I've only occasionally set foot in a gym. Pole has really toned my body and I'm proud to wear a crop top now which is something I never thought I'd do.

What is your fitness routine (on and off the pole)?
I never miss my Wednesday Step class and I'm always first to arrive for all the pole lessons because I love it so much. When I'm not too busy I try to do a one hour group class every morning but sadly the pressures of life and work mean I don't always make it.  I wish I had the dedication of the people I see who train on the pole every day but I find it quite hard to motivate myself to practice alone. 

What kind of diet do you follow?
Probably not the sort of diet I ought to! I'm a grazer but I'm blessed because I don't really have a sweet tooth; chocolate and biscuits don't make it on to my shopping list but I do like a glass of wine and I have the odd high carb moment.  I'd rather be poling than cooking so salads and cold meats figure large in my diet.  A typical day is nibbling on a Ryvita and humous whilst talking to the computer operator who helps create my jewelry or scoffing a bacon and marmalade sandwich between coats of paint on my shirts and bags. Pasta is my downfall.

Do you have a dance background?
Ha ha! You're kidding! I have two left feet! I did ballet for a while at school, aged 5, and I was a fairy elephant in a pink... UGH! These days I love dance music and have to admit I enjoy an audience so you'll always find me on the dance floor at a party or club gyrating uninhibitedly and possibly uncoordinatedly when the music takes me... you'd better mind your toes though! 

What interested you about pole dancing?
The first time I saw pole dancing was when I went to a rather dodgy club and saw some girls on the pole. I wanted to be able to do a few moves without embarrassing myself or leaving in an ambulance so when I got home I googled and found a class in my town.  My other inspiration was a YouTube video of UK champion Sally-Ann Giles doing a death lay which was the most incredible thing I'd ever seen. I'm attracted to danger and a bit of a daredevil so that really rocked my boat. I saw it and I just had to do it! It won't be long before I nail it too.

Do you have a preference? "pole fitness" or "pole dancing"
I really don't care, if it's pole it's all good! I do both, in my classes I train hard with endless lifts and poses.  At the weekend I let the music move me and do something more sensual in "stripper shoes" with lights in the soles at another dodgy club!

What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole?
I absolutely love a little-known product called STICKUM!  You spray it on your hands or other body parts and it glues you to the pole. It's great for nailing new inverts but impossible to so spins with. I have ridiculously small hands (smaller than my 12 year old daughter) so I find that some moves are terribly difficult to master and on occasion my head has convinced my hands that they can't possibly hold me. The two moves that I really found hard are iguana/pencil lift and Superman. I could always feel my hands slipping off the pole but with a squirt of Stickum I had confidence in my grip and have now nailed them both. I've been quite fortunate to write a couple of grip reviews for Indigo Dance Magazine so I've had the opportunity to have tried and tested almost every grip aid there is.

How do you deal with the dry skin on pole days (and on off-pole days)?
Dry skin is not something I've ever really suffered with.

Where do you like to buy your pole clothes?
I couldn't possibly recommend anybody else's but my own! Ha ha!  The reason why I started making my tops was because I found it hard to find cool clothing that was comfy and practical to pole in.  I only sell clothes that I'm happy to wear myself and I've just added some warm, fluffy hoodies to my range for the winter. Hell, you can't wear your sequinned thong bikini all the time!  I get quite a few clothes on Ebay as I'm a bit of a bargain hunter too.

Do you like to dance in heels or barefoot?
Both. None of my classes will allow heels but I wear my lovely flashing shoes when I dance freestyle at weekends. Heels took a bit of getting used to because at first your feet meet the floor a bit sooner than you expect if you're used to bare feet but I find the extra weight on my feet makes my splits better and the extra height gives me more room to spin.  Plus, you can never have too many shoes, right?

What did you do before opening spinnyTbags?
I've been an accountant, mother, IT trainer and sales rep in the past.  SpinnyTbags accidentally evolved after I made a single shirt for myself which the other ladies at my pole class saw and asked if I could make one for them. The next thing you know I had a website and fan base and I started sending my shirts all over the world.  It's great working for myself because I can take a day out to go to a pole masterclass now and then.

How did you come up with the name for your store?
I chose SpinnyTbags as a name because I started out making T-shirts and bags for people who spin on poles. I wanted a unique name that everyone would remember instead of being another "pole shop/store/kit/things/essentials/gear/stuff" and I liked the anecdote that Arnold Schwarzenegger was told he couldn't use his real name because it was too long and unusual. Since then I've expanded my range to include hoodies, jewelry, "I love pole dancing" stickers and other gifts however I'm stuck with the name now and most people now call me Spinny.

What is your favorite thing about dancing on the pole?
That has got to be the hardest question ever! I love the friends I've made, the feeling I get when I nail a new move, the satisfaction of a non-poler's awe, the muscle tone I've developed, watching other people's videos, discovering an awesome new move and dancing my head off just for the hell of it! 

What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?
Another tough question.  I prefer up tempo songs and one that has always made me smile is Paloma Faith's "Upside Down" it's fun to pole to because you can wriggle and dance then when she says "I like.... living upside down" you can flip up into a great invert! I did my very first public performance to that song and it will always get me moving. 

Do you have any other upcoming events you'd like people to know about?

I'm involved with everything that I can possibly be, I love promoting and supporting all pole events from national competitions right down to local taster sessions so I've created a map of pole events in the UK at my website, listing your event is free so please send the details to events at spinnytbags dot com (click for e-mail). I've given prizes to competitions all over the world and you can check my Facebook page to find out which events I'm attending in person; I really enjoy meeting fellow polers so please come and say hello if you see me at an event.  I'm also launching two very exciting and fun unique new products very soon which I hope everyone will enjoy.

What else would you like people to know about you or your store?
Today I created the very first shirt for male pole dancers, as far as I know it is the world's first piece of clothing specifically for the men who pole dance.  I ran a competition on my Facebook page to find a body to feature as the design and I had loads of great pictures sent in to me, it was tough to choose a winner so I've decided to use three designs. 

I'm working on a new charm design to add to my range which is almost finished and looks fantastic. The new design will be unveiled tomorrow and is completely different from the existing Scorpio charm.  The charms have their own dedicated website and are available in silver or gold.

I've also got two very special projects in the pipeline for new products that will be released later this year so keep an eye out for news of those on my Facebook page and website! I hope I'll be able to go on creating original things that pole dancers love for a very long time.


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  4. I wholeheartedly agree with the above . Exact copies of Sweet vixen Couture. I wouldn;t buy 2nd best I;ll stick with Sweet ! Sweet by name and sweet by nature :)

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  11. Hey guys, I realize there is a lot of contention between the two competitors. But I don't want this kind of negativity on here. I have given Sweet Vixen Couture the opportunity to be included in my blog and she is welcome to address the issues there. In the meantime, I'm going to delete the comments. Sorry.