Saturday, December 8, 2012

PoleAndAerial.com

In September, I got a call from Collette Kakuk, owner of OC Pole Fitness, and manager of the amazing Felix Cane.  She recently started a website called www.PoleAndAerial.com, a site that produces instructional videos for pole and aerial enthusiasts.  She very kindly hooked me up with a free membership so that I could take advantage of all areas of their website and provide a review to all of you, my loyal blog readers!  I was very excited to watch ALL of the videos for my review.  Then the job-situation happened.  The day I got back from Pole Expo in Las Vegas, my former boss told me I should start looking for a new job.  I found a new job quickly but am now commuting into San Francisco every day.  It has left me very tired and with a lot less time for fun and exercise.  I have spent some time on the site (and know Bel from Twirly Girls has spent a lot of time there herself), so I feel comfortable still giving you a review of my findings.

PoleAndAerial.com offers instruction from some of the top pro pole dancers around the world: Felix Cane, Jenyne Butterfly, Marlo Fisken, Mai Sato, Brandon Pereyda, and Erika Labansat.  This month, they are featuring videos from guest instructor, Michelle Stanek, USPDF's most recent champion. 

I love that the videos are broken down between various levels of difficulty: beginning, intermediate, advanced and extreme.  I also love that they offer the same tricks taught by various instructors and even offer instruction in Spanish.  It is good to watch the various techniques, since each instructor has their own way of teaching.  The video genres are also broken down into pole, hoop, silks, floor work, strength and flexibility.  There are sub-genres that can help you further pinpoint what you are looking for. 

The terminology used is associated with the terms defined by the PFA (Pole Fitness Association). While I don't have a problem with their terms, I recognize that there are so many different terms used around the world for the same moves.  I would be nice to see more "aka's" included when you search videos for a certain move. 

I would also love to see a series of modified moves for those of us who may not be strong enough to do certain moves, may be taller or curvier than the average pro instructor, or may be recovering from injuries or dealing with chronic pain or health problems (for example, those with high blood pressure might not be able to invert but would love to have a lot of spins and twirls to work on).  I would love to see a larger pole dancer demonstrate how someone maybe with a little more in the chest area can place their hand or arm on the pole in certain moves.  I know for myself, I can't always reach across my chest for a move such as chair.  I have to reach higher or lower because my boobs are just too big. 

I am not the biggest advocate of learning pole dance at home alone, especially once you get into the more advanced moves.  However, if there are no studios near you, I believe PoleAndAerial.com will provide you with safe and proper instruction.  Please read and watch their safety precautions. 

If you are a studio owner, I think having a subscription can help you take your classes to the next level.  If you have a laptop or iPad at your studio, you can choose a move, watch it performed by multiple pros, and then teach it to your class.  I don't think studio owners should think of a website like this as competition, but should use it as part of their lesson plan, to complement their class.  Everyone learns differently, so being able to watch the moves performed by multiple people can help it "click" in someone's brain.  Also, as a beginning pole instructor, who may be able to talk someone through a move (and spot them flawlessly), since I cannot perform the advanced tricks, I feel like PoleAndAerial.com is a tool for me to help the more advanced students not be bored in my class.

If you haven't checked out PoleAndAerial.com, please visit their website.  You can view their free videos HERE.  A 30-day pass is $29.95, or your can purchase a year for $249 (barely $21 per month -- and hey, if you're a studio, is a business expense and tax write-off!).  I look forward to continuing to use PoleAndAerial.com to help myself and my students learn the newest pole moves in the safest manner possible.  Thanks again, Collette, for allowing me to check out your site and provide this review to my blog fans!

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