Split another private with Annie again last Friday. Damn, these things are addictive!
This time, I only had one specific thing in mind that I wanted to learn: How to push up into a pike from Jamilla, in preparation for DVD cover. (Extended Butterfly)
*Apologies in advance if I’m using the wrong terms for pole moves and confusing anyone. I was going to use photo from Wikipole as a reference, but Wikipole got hacked into. Wtf right?! Poor Wikipole!*
It’s just the first step into getting into an Extended Butterfly, but I might as well call it, ‘Another terrifying way to get your ass up above your head, 101’.
Basically, I feel way more secure in general doing tricks with the pole gripped tightly to my body. Which is why I can happily caterpillar climb up and down the pole without too much fear.
But anything that requires me to push my body away from the pole when I’m upside down freaks the living daylights out of me. At this point, anyway.
I’ve observed that most polers seem to learn the Extended Butterfly from a regular Butterfly first, where your body is already off the pole. But the version of the regular Butterfly we learn at Bobbi’s is called a Venus, and its taught with the torso leaning closely on the pole.
And the Extended Butterfly is taught by first pushing up into a pike from Jamilla, (Thigh Rest) then extending out one leg.
So… knowing that I’m very fearful when it comes to any new way of getting upside down, and that I takes ages to learn a new trick from scratch, I was totally practical and set my hopes squarely on just learning to pike up from Jamilla.
And not even a full straight-leg pike, mind you. literally all I wanted was to try pushing myself up with my body away from the pole, and clipping my knees onto it. Think: arms in Extended Butterfly, but legs in Caterpillar.
On hindsight, I probably should have clearly communicated that to my instructor at the beginning! But I didn’t, (which I take full responsibility for!) and so she got me to try extending my legs, which is still too much for me to handle even now.
Naturally, the first attempt felt disastrous.
I got into Jamilla, hooked my top ankle on the pole, then my instructor lifted me up in place… and I immediately forgot left from right, up from down, arms from legs, and of course, to breathe!!! My right arm suddenly felt like mush, unused to the pressure of the new position, and it was all I could do to look in the mirror to see what it looked like.
Both my instructor and Anni tried to coax me into pushing my hips out and straightening my legs, but I was so busy gripping the pole between my knees for dear life that I only vaguely felt Anni adjusting my feet. Which by the way were locked in place the wrong way.
After a few more supported attempts and fitful shrieks, I managed to hold myself in place (with extended legs and all!) as they let go of me for a split second.
Then towards the end of the session, I finally wised up when asked if there was anything else I wanted to work on, and said that my main objective was simply to learn to pike up from Jamilla on my own.
So this time with minimal lifting support from my instructor, I finally managed a semi-decent push up into pin,e with the pole gripped between my knees.
I know that’s like half a baby step for lots of people, but I consider it a big success! I’ll work on sorting out my feet and later straightening my legs after I feel more confident just being in the position.
No, I haven’t tried it again yet but I will soon.. With a crash mat and a good, strong friend (or two) behind me!
And just in case you had no idea what the hell I was talking about all this time, here’s a video of Cleo doing a DVD Cover into a Middle Split:
She goes into the DVD Cover really quickly around 0:25 and makes it look ridiculously easy… she doesn’t even need to pike both feet onto the pole before she extends her legs into the full pose!