Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Power of Pole: Fran

I've been a little quiet this week.  Sometimes I just get overwhelmed and then do nothing.  I have a lot of exciting things in the pipeline, so I should be happier.  But occasionally, I am just not (this, that and the other going on at home is contributing, I guess).  So yesterday I saw a posting on Facebook by a lady named Fran Peacock.  I couldn't tell you why the post stood out to me.  I think something about the move she was pulling off in her profile photo caught my attention -- a move I want to pull off someday but still hurts my thighs so much.  So I asked her to be part of my power of pole series.  Meet Fran, who joins our pole circle and I thank for helping to drag me out of my funk.  :-)


How long have you been pole dancing?

I have been pole dancing since August of 2009.

I had made an appointment with Aradia Studios to take their teaser class. There I met with the studio owner, Carmelle Fedosa, and she has introduced me to the world of pole dancing.  I started out with one class a week on Saturday mornings, and when they introduced a stretch class on Sunday mornings, I took that.  Now when I started, I was a size 24, and had not exercised in like 30 years. I was 52 years old and was going through a separation.

After that first class, I felt a little depressed because I couldn't even do a pole hold. But Shelley, one of the instructors kept working with me and encouraging me to work at my level.  Slowly, I could see progress, and I could do the class with no issues.

What first drew you to try it?

I hate gyms. I am not a gym person. I have joined gyms and been all gung ho, but after a couple of weeks, I make some lame excuse as to why I can't get there.  I am my own worst enemy. But with Carmelle's team, I made sure I was there for my classes. I showed up early. If there was an empty pole, I would use it. I hung out with the girls from the studio, they became my life line.

Soon, I that I had lost a couple of sizes, and...... could it be....I was developing biceps?  My legs were strong, my back was getting some definition.  People noticed i had a little more confidence.  I could wear boots that came over the knees!

Poling became the exercise that was really not exercise. It was fun, and every one was so supportive and it didn't matter how bad I was at something, the girls in my classes were always cheering me on.

 Where do you take classes?

Carmelle bought another studio in Hamilton Ontario which is where I live. The original studio wasn't that far, but the Hamilton Studio is ten minutes from my place.  I am there every Monday, Thursday and Saturday.  Mondays and Thursdays is Pole Progressions, and also on Mondays and Saturdays is a Stretch class which focuses on elongating the muscles. Saturdays, I do the Tight to the Core, and Pole Practice with the Stretch class thrown in now.

I don't think I can handle any more than that, my body would collapse.

Every month, there is the Ontario Pole Jam which I have gone to. Its fabulous. Polers from all over the Toronto area come in and pole which I watch like crazy and absorb what I can.  My instructor Danielle Lavoie was the featured dancer for September and is on the Studio Veena website. She should go pro.

Do you have a pole at home?

I have a pole at home. I bought an X Pole and put it up in my basement, but to my chagrin, its a bit tall for the space, so I have taken it down and I am going to rearrange my dining area so I can pole there. Not for spins, but to climb and work on my inverts.

Inverting has been the bane of my existance. I climb and sit really well, but my leg doesn't seem to want to get up there for the inversion. I am persistent. I will overcome this.

Do you like to dance in shoes or barefoot?

I love shoes. I am a shoe fanatic. However, when I pole, I prefer to pole barefoot. I bring my 6 inch stilettos, but they stay in my bag.

How do you deal with dry skin on pole days and on off-pole days?

My skin gets super dry, but on poling days, I use no products at all. When I am not poling, believe it or not the best product in the world for skin is Pond's Cold Cream.

What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole?

When I do pole, my hands get slippery and I have no grip at all. I keep Dry Hands in my bag with my knee pads. Those two things are my go to things that I must have without question. And believe it or not, I put Dry hands on my thighs as well and make sure the pole is warm.  It was brutal in the summer because the air conditioning made the poles too cold to pole and no one had any grip. We were all flying off the poles.

Where do you buy your pole clothes?

As for where I buy my pole clothes?  Walmart for shorts. Thirteen bucks a pair and they wash great. T shirts? Old Navy, Winners, where ever there is a sale.

What is your favorite song to dance to right now?

And my favourite songs to dance to.  That is tough, I have so many. Heavy Metal Lover by Lady Gaga, Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses, Destiny by Zero Seven and most definitely Glory Box by Portishead.

How do you feel like pole has improved or changed your life?

Poling most definitely has improved my life. I have lost 6 sizes poling, gone from a 24 to a 16.  It has brought a vast array of women who have become friends into my life. As a writer, I love to incorporate some poling into my stories, but the women are what make the stories interesting. They have inspired me to write the novel I am writing. Where else do yo meet such strong, determined and fascinating people who can contort their bodies and site on a vertical piece of metal. And use that confidence to propel themselves further into the world, walk tall and smile.

Yeah, I would say that the day I walked into Carmelle's studio was indeed one of the most influential days of my life. It saved me!

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