What a week! It included pole and slap workshops with Llush, Porsche and Bobbi, and of course ended with the Bobbi’s White Diamond Affair at Avalon last night, which was a total blast.
In the end, I did 6 workshops in total, as well as a private class with Bobbi. That’s 10 hours within 4 days, which at my level of fitness feels like a pole boot camp!
On Tuesday, I went in for Llush’s Pole Soirée workshop. Before I even talk about her workshop, I must take a moment to say that the woman is Jessica Rabbit in the flesh! She is a statuesque 5’10″ of ridonkulously hot legs, boobs, and ass!
As one of the taller girls at the studio, I always get inspired when I meet pole dancers taller than me who can rock their height with ease. (Cleo the Hurricane is also very tall and leggy, and that woman is simply on another level.)
The workshop was only supposed to be for inter 1 level and above, but included things like a shoulder dismount from ankle grab, twist spins, and some gorgeous floor work and transitions. It ended with a mini routine that incorporated all those moves, along with a starting pose that Llush had seen at The Crazy Horse in Paris. So now we can channel a little Parisian showgirl style too!
Wednesday started with the Chole (Chair & Pole) workshop with Bobbi that I was a bit worried about as it was for Prep Advanced level and above. Also, it was my first time participating in one of her workshops, so I was extra nervous!
I’ve left classes feeling demoralized before when the moves were too hard for me but fortunately this was not one of those classes. It turned out to be really fun and challenging in a good way, though my good friend Murphy’s Law decided to show up in the form of recurring foot cramps!!
Throughout the class, the arches of my feet were seizing up! In the middle of floorwork, while I was on the chair, up on the pole near the ceiling, you name it! I was so freaking mortified.
Because you know the solution to muscle cramps right? You need to stretch them back, aka flex the foot!
I mean, what are the bloody odds that I literally need to flex my feet on the one day that Bobbi is teaching in the room??! Total FML moment.
Thankfully, my feet stopped spazzing out by the next workshop, which was Advanced Lapdance with Llush. I partnered Po.lita on stage and because we were sitting so near to her, both of us kept getting super distracted by the sight of Llush’s perfectly pert bottom peeking at us from under her red leopard printed chaps.
After her Advanced Lapdance, I realized 2 things: that every Slap routine we’ve ever learned at Bobbi’s has been PG-rated in comparison, and a sudden understanding of the reason why men willingly pay so much money for a 5-minute lapdance. Because if you can do it the way Llush teaches it, no straight man will ever want you to stop.
My husband thinks very highly of Llush now, by the way.
Moving on to Thursday, aka the day when the word ‘tired’ did no justice.
So, Thursday started at 12pm with a private class by Bobbi! She usually doesn’t teach privates when she comes here for workshops so this was a truly golden opportunity.
She taught just a couple this tine round and Anni, Sharol and I were super privileged to be her first batch private students during this trip!
The 3 of us had agreed beforehand that all we wanted to focus on was dance. No tricks, no inversions, no routines. After all, any of our instructors can help us with that.
So after our warmup, we told Bobbi that all we wanted was to get ‘Bobbified’.
To which she requested that we show her a little freestyle so she’d know where to start.
Gulp! Freestyle? In front of Bobbi? Might as well shine a giant spotlight on me naked! But we did the best we could, and she explained the importance of maintaining good lines.
Then we proceeded to spend the rest of the time working on headrolls, pole walks and floor work. Because it’s all the little things that make a dancer stand out, more than the big things!
After the private, I went back to work before coming back to the studio for Porsche’s Secrets of a Champion workshop. By then, I’d started to feel like taking a nap instead.
Porsche is really dynamic though, and besides being able to break down moves and modify her teaching pace really well, has an excellent knowledge of anatomy which always intrigues me. She’s trained in rehab Pilates as well, which I wish I had the chance to do with her!
Porsche taught us a short floorwork and pole combo which we filmed, then she showed us how to isolate our ‘turnout’ muscles via a few reps of butt-crunching exercises.
Then we proceeded to work on each move within the combo using our newly identified and very sore turnout muscles. Not only does engaging them help in making lines look better, they also help with flattening split moves too.
Then we filmed the whole combo again to compare the before and after, and I could already feel the difference.
Porshe’s next workshop immediately after was her Signature Flex moves, which was like a more advanced extension of the previous workshop with deeper stretches and emphasis on identifying which muscles to engage.
She had us holding way more deep hip flexor stretches rather than focusing solely on hamstring stretches, and explained the different ways to stretch not just out muscles, but also fascia and nerves!
And did you know that apparently if you massage and loosen the muscles at the base of your neck, (she suggested rolling on a tennis ball) your hamstrings will also loosen too? That’s one more reason to use my rotating neck massager even more from now on!
She also showed us how to improve on flexibility-based moves like the Allegra, Jade, and the ‘machine gun’ which is just totes cray on too many levels for me to handle right now.
By this time, I’d actually developed a full-on tension headache from just being way too achey and tired. But I still enjoyed every minute.
So it’s really a wonder that I even made it back to the studio again on Friday for my last workshop, and the one that I was frankly looking forward to the most: pole grooves with Bobbi.
You see, last year I’d gone a little too gung-ho during the Cleo the hurricane’s floorwork workshop and pulled a freaking shoulder muscle that night, just before Bobbi’s workshop the next day.
Since I couldn’t even turn my head with out pain, I had to sell off my spot in Bobbi’s pole grooves workshop to a friend and just watch it instead, which is a form of torture in itself because I was dying to participate instead!
And after waiting an entire year to do Pole Grooves with Bobbi, (and even despite being beat beyond belief!) it was as fabulous as I’d hoped it would be!
We did a good few rounds of the routine, and by the time we filmed the very last round, I was so exhausted that my right arm actually just gave out mid-combo and I dropped right off the pole.
Which is why I have an embarrassingly terrible video of myself stumbling through all the basic moves in that beautiful routine with bent legs, flexed feet and a pained look on my face . But that’s okay, cos at least I’ve successfully completed Pole Grooves with Bobbi now!
And after pushing myself way beyond my body’s comfortable endurance level, I’m well prepared to jump back into doing the all-you-can-pole promo at the studio in term 3, which started today.
The thing is, I’ll be missing the first whole 2 weeks of term so I will have a lot of catching up to do. And that’s cos yesterday I got my tired self on a plane and flew to Paris with my husband for a work event this week. And since its so nearby, we’re taking a short vacation in London next week.
So of course I’ll be checking out a couple of pole studios in Paris and London…!