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Helen Green won Silver

On Sunday 14th June, Defy Gravity member Helen Green won Silver in category at The Authentic Pole Competition, that took place in Wigan.
As her Instructor and Coach I can vouch for the many, many hours of hard work she put in. Not only with her routine, but all the obstacles that got in the way, this lady pushed past them all. The last time I saw her routine, the week before the comp, had me in tears as it was so flawless and amazing. I just love seeing passion conveyed via performance. Then on the night, Helen performed it a thousand times better than she did in the studio!

In her words:

" Sunday 14th June brought to an end months of training,a change of song,and moments of inspiration,frustration,confidence,nervousness,excitement and fun. On the day I felt every one of those emotions with a few tears chucked in in the space of a few hours. Phew!, what an amazing day. The Authentics 2015 was unbelievable. The energy of the competitors,audience,judges,and audience was electric,such a lovely atmosphere.....and despite a wardrobe malfunction,I came 2nd in the Intermediate category. Wow! I am elated,still buzzing! And yes...I will definitely do it all again.

Watching pole dancers live is so much better than watching videos, I was up and down on my seat cheering all day and night,so many mind blowing performances. I met loads of new friends,and keeping in touch with them because we're all feeling the same.

I would recommend competing at whatever level, even if it's just for a chance to perform and feel that amazing buzz. Pick a song you really love and go for it!"  Helen Green.

 

Interview with a Pole Dancer! With Jolene Whiting

This week, we meet Jolene Whiting, fellow Stripper Style on Tour performer, and who owns Purity Pole Fitness in Andover.


How long have you been a Pole Dancer?
I have been poling for about 13 years, and teaching for 11 years.

What made you start Pole?
Sexy Sexy Sexy! I have always loved dancing, and at the time of starting pole I was a podium dancer for hard dance clubs in London. I had been to a few strip clubs and also saw pole dancing in films, and it always intrigued me. There were a few tricks, but not like there is now. It was always the sexy dance side that interested me the most. Over the years it has gone through many changes, and evolved, there was even a time when I danced only in barefoot, I was trying to fit in with the world coming to grips with pole. This helped me get schools, uni’s and council run gyms to let me use their facilities to teach, and I think it helped get the word out that anyone can do pole, which is good. But in the recent years a part of me started to rebel and go back to my first love of pole.

What do you get out of it?
Pole has been the one thing I have stuck to over the years, those tops which say ‘Pole Addict’ on them could not be more true! I have never said I have an addictive personality, but when it comes to pole, I think I do. When I dance I feel whole and complete. It consumes me. I have trouble talking to people with no passion, as I wonder what they think about all day. I love the shoes, leg warmers, booty shorts, amazing world of songs to choose from, to suit whatever mood I am in.  

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out?
Take it all at your own pace, and enjoy the journey, the destination is pole, and you are already there on your first class. Take photos and videos, you will think your body is even more amazing when you see your own progression.

Do you have advice for the advanced pole dancer?
Don’t get caught up in the handspring-deadlift-fonji-split craze. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but you should enjoy every step of your learning, and not think, well if I can’t do that mega trick then I shouldn’t be poling. I have had many dancers come to me from other schools, with amazing tricks, but they can’t dance, and can’t link anything together. I find the hardest thing to teach people is how to freestyle, how to let go and embrace yourself and the pole. It is called pole dancing after all.     

Love Jolene and Pole xxx

 

Get a Grip

GRIPS

If you have ever wondered what your grip does and why, and what goes where? Then here is your basic break down of the most used grips in UK Pole Dance classes.

CHALK:
Chalk balls sold as mountain climbing chalk is the cheapest way to keep your sweaty palms from getting slippery. Usually got from Ebay for less than £3.
It is messy, it will get on your pole clothes and all over the floor, but it IS very cheap. GENTLY pat your palms onto the ball, then lightly rubbed your hands down the pole to get rid of any excess before you spin. Pole Dance is not in the Olympics yet, there is no need to bash the poor ball like a gymnast and emerge from a dramatic, 80s style cloud of white smoke.

LIQUID CHALK:
Known as Mega Grip, Liquid Grip, Liquid Chalk. A less messy version of the above. Obtained from weight lifting online stores. Usually over double the price but will not end up all over your clothes or the floor. Some solutions include Rosin, which is pine resin that becomes sticky when hot (Ballerinas use it on the pointe shoes to prevent slipping). Rosin bought on its own, is about the same price as a Chalk Ball, smells like pine, but is a light brown powder that looks more dodgy in a bag than loose chalk does!

MIGHTY GRIP:
This powder is thermoplastic, which means when it heats up in your palms is creates a sticky grip. It is usually prices between £8 and £10. Mighty Grip is great for tacking up a humid pole, and also for drying places that refuse to stay dry when you work out, such as inner thighs and backs of knee’s. When using a grip like this on an invert grip point, such as knee’s, though; always use sparingly and remember that skin grip is a lot more reliable than a fake grip aid.

DRY HANDS and GIRLIE GRIP:
These widely used liquid grips are an anti-perspirant for your palms. Usually around £10, a small drop rubbed between both hands can last between 5 and 30mins of training. Depending on how wet your palms get. Out of all the palm grips listed I recommend Girlie Grip.

DEW POINT:
My all time fave grip aid!! Long gone are those cold Winter days when your legs would never tack up enough to do a simple Leg Hang. We now have Dew Point! Unless you have extremely dry hands, Dew Point is NOT for your palms!!
Dew Point is a pole friendly `moisturiser` that helps the dry skin on your legs or waist, or any other grip point that is not your hands, mimic the tacky feel of hot Summer skin.
I bought the large £40 bottle 3 years ago and am only now half way through, so a little goes a long way.
It comes in 3 different strengths: Red/Ultra for Winter. Green/Medium for Autumn and Spring. And Yellow/Light for Welsh Winters that are very similar to Autumn, but with more flowers.

ITAC2:
Unless you are competition training and have some super scary, barely there grip point tricks in your routine. I would avoid Itac2. It is a painful, super glue type grip that is really difficult to get off the pole. I am not going to tell you where to buy it from. But I have some samples going spare at the studio if you would like to find out how difficult it is to get off YOUR home pole?

DIRTY GIRL POULTICE:
There are now 3 different preparations of this product. Usually around £10. The original 2 powders, are to be mixed with water to form a paste for your palms, which once washed off creates a barrier on your palms that sweat cannot penetrate. It is for those who have serious problems with hyperhydrosis and need to use something stronger than Girlie Grip or Dry Hands. The latest version is a no-rinse preparation.

TITE GRIP and TITE GRIPII:
Smells like minty lavender! I wish this stuff worked on me because it smells so nice. Costs £7.25 from its co.uk store. This is another anit-persperant, but a cream version. I have heard from Defy Gravity members, that it is best to apply it a few hours before class or training, as for some reason it takes a few hours to work.

There are other grip aids available, such as Gorilla Grip which is made from honey and wax, meant for the body. Not the palms and totally messes up your pole.
And also Stickum, which is a spray for the body that creates such a good skin grip, it mimics the pain of a bikini wax.
Back in the early days, before pole dancing classes were even thought of, we used sugar water, hairspray, shaving foam and even put Rum on the pole to make it sticky.
Now imagine using all of that on your body then doing floor work on the dirty club floor?
This is one of the reasons why you should never try to lick a stripper!

 

Interview with a Poledancer! - with Kara Owen from Opal Dance and Fitness Studio in Wigan

This week, with the run up to the Authentic Pole Dance competition in June. in Interview with a Pole Dancer, we ask Kara Owen, owner of the competition, about her inspiration for creating the comp.

Kara runs Opal Dance and Fitness Studio in Wigan.

How long have you been a Pole Dancer?

Hey guys, I started pole lessons is 2009, starting off as a student trying to nail a forward hook. So it has now been 6 years and 1 month to date, but from April 2014 to March 2015 I had a year out to have baby number 3. So at the moment it feels like I have only been pole dancing for a couple of months. Starting at the beginning again.

What made you start Pole Dance classes?

An old friend was a lap dancer, I wanted to tone up after baby number 2 so I bought a pole and set it up at home. It was so much fun and having no pole schools local, we set up the first in the town. I was still a student though and was pole dancing amazingly 5 nights a week.

 

 

What made you decide to compete?

I did my first competition before I became a professional. I dressed as a vampire and danced to 'Lost Boys' Cry Little Sister, back in 2009, to this day I still perform to this song, it's amazing. I didn't place but I wasn't fazed by this as I had so much fun. Creating a creature and then dancing to my all time favourite movie/song made me giddy. But then I became a professional as I started to teach beginner's and assist in late 2010. I started to dance more in my heels, discovered floor work. I then entered my first professional competition, again Vampire but used Marlyn Mason 'If I Was Your Vampire' ( I have a massive love for vampires and rock/indie/metal/ music ) Again I didn't place and this didn't bother me, but I got to see the girls back stage, the organisations of things and that was when it clicked... I'm a Authentic Pole Dancer, my style restricts me when competing, but I don't want to compete again, so this is when my idea of DO YOU OWN! I wanted to comfort and praise the girls back stage, give them a competition they wanted to come back to. So with a lot of work and time to put together The Authentic Pole Dance came to light in 2013 for the first of its kind in 2014.

What do you get out of it?

As I said above I got the buzz to organise a competition to draw the authentic of the pole world in. Give women and men to chance to not hide how they truly want to dance and in what clothing. I am so glad I had a go at competing as I feel you need to know how the competitors are feeling, have some respect and courtesy for how their feeling and being able to connect to them and reassure them how ace they are.

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Defy Gravity - Jamie Taylor
Defy Gravity - Jamie Taylor
Defy Gravity - Jamie Taylor
Defy Gravity - Jamie Taylor

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