Friday, December 9, 2011

Instructor Spotlight on Ellen Lovelace!

I had heard of Ellen Lovelace many times before I actually met her at a Poletential event. She is an amazing dancer and instructor, and she makes me giggle. I loved the hammocks class I took with her last weekend. Here is Ellen!
What is your fitness routine (on and off the pole)?

I’ve done machine Pilates for about 5 years, twice a week. I pole 3 to 4 days a week. I usually take an aerial yoga class once a week, and now am teaching one about once a week as well. And, due to my unfortunate litany of injuries, I have a whole routine of at-home PT exercises that I do in one form or another almost every night.

What kind of diet do you follow? 

I try to always eat a variety from the major food groups: bread, pasta, cookies, and bagels. ;-) I’m allergic to dairy and eggs, and I choose not to eat pork or beef…so I’m kind of like a vegan who eats chicken and fish. In all seriousness, I’ve tried eating low-carb high-protein tons of fruits and veggies, and it just makes me gain weight and feel hungry all the time. So I eat what I want, but in moderation. 

Do you have a dance background? 

Not formally, no. I’ve always danced in one form or another, starting as a Madonna impersonator in my bedroom, then cheerleading and musical theater, leading up to sensual dance and pole. But not formally trained.

Do you compete (pole fitness or any other kind of fitness competitions)?

No, I don’t. This past summer I actually pushed myself WAY outside my box, and submitted an entry to the Masters (40+) division for the Midwest Pole Championship. I was so incredibly honored and blown away to be chosen by the judges to be one of the 6 competitors! However, due to many reasons, including a crazy summer schedule and a shoulder injury, I had to decline. In hindsight, I’m really glad I entered, but I know I made the right choice for me, and won’t be entering any more competitions. I pole because I love it, and that’s all the validation I need.

Do you teach pole classes? If so, where?

Yes! I teach at Poletential in Redwood City , CA . It’s a great studio with a non-competitive atmosphere full of fun women who pole for the joy of it. I teach a few different things, from choreographed dances to intensive clinics (invert, floorwork, etc.) to pure hard tricks-based classes.
Do you have a preference? "pole fitness" or "pole dancing"

I love both, but if I had to pick only one to do forever, it would have to be dancing. I think my joints would prefer that choice, as well. 

What do you think about the stripper vs. pole fitness debate?

To each his or her own. There’s room for all forms of expression. I just don’t like it when people are adamant about one over the other.
What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole?
Usually, just clean hands and pole are all I use. If I am trying something brand-new super-scary that requires a lot of grip and don’t want to worry about sliding, I use a quick shot of Firm Grip. Our studio poles are 50mm so sometimes it helps to stick your hands in place!

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

Since I discovered Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion, I haven’t had dry skin in years! I apply it every day—it leaves you moist and slightly sticky, so it’s perfect for pole. On non-pole days, I hydrate deeply with Kiehl’s Crème de Corps.

Where do you like to buy your pole clothes?

I wear a ton of pole tanks from our studio and others. Unfortunately, all the tiny cute pole and yoga tops are not made for my “girls”, so I wear great bras from Champion. And I am eternally on the hunt for the perfect pole shorts. Still haven’t found them! 

Do you like to dance in heels or barefoot?

Both. I tend to go in cycles of one more than the other. I need to get better about making myself practice tricks in heels.
What is your favorite thing about dancing on the pole?

It’s everything I love about any form of dance: losing yourself in the music and movement. Plus, the challenge of integrating tricks in a way that the dance never stops. That’s what motivates me--how can I make this seamless and pretty?
What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?  

So many come to mind! But I guess the two songs that will always get me up and moving are Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer and The Way I Are by Timbaland. Totally schizophrenic, I know! 

What else would you like people to know about you or your studio(s)?

I’m 41, and until I touched a pole 4 years ago I was pretty much an out-of-shape couch potato. Pole has transformed my life and self-confidence, and made me appreciate what my body can do for me. The bruises, calluses, and injuries are all just proof that I’ve turned my body into a tool that can achieve some pretty awesome things!

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