Friday, 29 February 2008

Message to Plymouth City Council.

Thanks to the students at Lux Park for this picture of their weekly pole dancing practice on Wednesday evening. I have mentioned in the past how supportive Caradon District Council have been and just wish I could get the same support from Plymouth City Council. I notice that the local council in Hastings have made moves to put more money into ensuring the fitness of their citizens and have accepted pole dancing as one good way to keep fit. Thanks to amytree for this video of the councils move to support fitness pole dancing.

Still on the subject of Councils, I received an e-mail today regarding my recent lesson for the Caradon Youth group, I am pleased to report that the girls said my session was the best activity they had done so far, I am so pleased they enjoyed it and am looking forward to my return to Lux to teach them again. Perhaps the education authority within Plymouth can consider a similar move.

Some dance news now courtesy of Last friday, The Barican Theatre is holding a dance workshop to celebrate International Women's day for more info contact Abi on 07950 353832, The workshop is free and women of all ages and abilities are invited to take part.

Just a quick reminder about this weeks Women's health fair at the Guildhall, several instructors from the art of dance will be on site performing and giving free taster sessions throughout the day click here for more info.

Well I am off to teach again now having already done about 11 hours worth of teaching so far this week and still have two more hours to teach before I venture off to Annabel's for our student social tonight. I think I will sleep well tonight.

Lastly if any of you want to catch up on news from some of my instructors then try Jo's , Rosanna's or Nixi's blogs to see what they have been up to recently.

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Other bloggers and other stuff.

Firstly I thought I woudl share this delightful picutre of the elusive Amytree, Trust me in the fact that her ears are not really that big and she is much less hairy in real life! Also on the subject of other bloggers if any of you are unfortunate enough (I joke of course!!) to be pregnant then you may be interested in this beautifully written blog called notes from nine months.

Next a small moan at an article in the herald regarding a take-away (the name shall remain anonymous!) supposedly selling fresh healthy food, yet the menu includes kebabs, chicken burgers and pizzas - no offence to the owner but I can't honestly believe that this establishment is selling anything that is locally produced, fresh or heallthy - shame on you Evening Herald for misleading us especially after the brilliant report on childhood obesity.

It is a short blog today as I don't really have much news and my desk looks like a bombs hit it, need more hours in the day. I also need a good sports massage or visit to the chiropracter, I have not been able to do any yoga recently due to my hectic schedule and my body has not been right since moving several tonnes of rubble during the refurbishment of the new studio - note to self - must book massage with sports physio or chiropracter.

More news to follow when I have more time and more motivation, I will also post my findings on my new discovery - perfect pole dancing gloves.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 24 February 2008

I am happy.

I think the title of this blog sums it up, My life is very good at the moment and I feel very lucky. The last few days have provided lots of different experiences that I have been looking forward to sharing with you. Firstly thanks to the lovely Gordon Sparks and his equally lovely producer Stuart Geddes for inviting my husband and his fighter Christi Campbell onto his popular morning radio show, One of the topics of the morning was about supporting local farmers and Gordon had asked listeners to text in with alternative song titles, The farmers themselves have just released 'Stand by your ham' to find out more visit

As promised here is some feedback from my session at Lux Park Leisure Centre in Liskeard, I met the appropriate adult at 7.15pm and then 7 girls alll aged 15 turned up for the start of the session at 7.30pm. The girls worked so hard and seemd to really enjoy learning to pole dance. From what I can gather some of the girls have had some bad life experiences yet they still have so much to offer and so much to learn. I asked one young lady whether she was left or right handed, she replied "I am left handed but I punch with my right", this was a great answer as it meant she could probably work both sides of the pole. Apart from the odd bit of negative physical contact between the girls they were an absolute pleasure to teach and I think they benefitted from the session. I will be liasing with Lux Park next week to see if they would like me to continue with these sessions.

One less enjoyable experience whilst at Lux was several comments made by one member of staff at Lux who seemed to have taken a dislike to me before she had actually spoken to me, after having a go at me for being in "her room", apparently she always uses this room on a Friday evening, I did explain that I had been told to use that room but she did not seem to be listening to me nor have any respect for me. After I had finished teaching she launched into a torrent of abuse starting with the words " You do realise that you have just pushed those young girls into prostitution, do you realise how impressionable these young ladies are?". I tried to have a reasonable discussion with the lady in question but she was clearly not up for discussion. I will be putting in my own complaint about her behaviour on Monday and am sorry she could not find the time to listen to my side of the arguement. I get very frustrated when people are so narrow minded.

Saturday morning meant attending the Theatre Royal's costume sale, it felt like it was my birthday, I bought about 20 pairs of gloves for Burlesque workshops as well as an outrageous flared skirt (Which I will probably only wear on holiday!) and an amazing red wig. If any of you are attending our art of dance social at Annabel's discotheque next Friday 29th Feb 8.30pm till 10.30pm then you will get to see the aforementioned wig! Jo and I had fun rummaging through the bargains followed by lunch at the Plymouth Arts centre where I was disappointed to be told that the arts centre cafe will be closing in march, it will be greatly missed by all who have eaten there. I will be returning to the second part of the Theatre Royal sale next Saturday, it runs from 11am to 4pm.

This afternoon I will be doing my usual farm shop run and hope to purchase some of the gorgeous purple sprouting broccoli that was on offer last week, Lastly Thanks to Peter for the CD he sent to Jo, I must confess that I may have to pinch the free song 'ride my pony' as it seems like a great bluesy pole dancing song! I hope you all have a great weekend.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 22 February 2008

One for the ladies

Thanks to the Fruitarian one for this lovely picutre demonstrating the effects of toning the back muscles, He is a regular on the body weight culture site.
Next on to some great links sent to my by Tony Stephens, Mallakhamb is an indian sport dating back to the 12 century, literally transalted the term means 'wrestler on a pole' that involves the use of a pole, the similarities between Mallakhamb and western pole dancing are huge.

Mallakhamb appears to have three variations, the first uses a wooden pole, the second uses hooks or chains and is known as hanging Mallakhamb and the third is rope Mallakhamb.
To see pole Mallakhamb in action watch this video:
Also an unfortunate update on those monitoring the developments of Catt Wakely, Catt was scheduled to be discharged today but the hospital have discovered significant brain dmage and are having to move Catt to a neurology department at another hospital, this is truly devastating news and my thought go out to Catt and her friends and family.
Well I must dash as I have my first lesson with Caradon District Council tonight, I am scheduled to be teaching ten 15 year olds the art of pole dancing, I will let you know how it goes.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Healthy eating and other whinges.

Well this week has been an interesting one especially after Delia Smith decided to speak out in support of battery hens (see picture left) and against organic farming, the papers did exagerate the headlines slightly making out the Delia was condoning battery hens when in fact later in her interview she went on to say that she would prefer not to buy eggs from or eat battery hens but she felt that it was every person's right to be able to afford cheap meat. I tend to disagree with much of her arguement especially her comments on food miles. You can read more details in on the Telegraph website.

The problem seems to be that we are being exploited by our interest in fresh local produce and organic food and the supermarkets in particular seem eager to label their products organic (even if not all the ingredients are organic) and to hike the prices up. The safe bet is to shop at local farmers markets where you will not pay over the odds and will be guaranteed freshness. You may find the big barn website helpful in locating farm produce and getting advice on what to buy. The site has been set up by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall to help promote local and organic produce. You may also want to visit the website of Leigh farm, a family run farm that has been operating since 1875, They have a regular farm shop that is held at Roborough Village hall on Thursday to Sunday and sells produce from their own farm as well as other local producers such as Quickes traditional, Pymans pates and Mike's Smokehouse amongst others. It is great to buy fresh produce as you can not only taste the difference but you know the produce does not rely on artificial preservatives but will contain maximum nutriton having not lost any goodness through ageing.

Whilst I am on my soap box I must again air my concerns on the proposed life centre to be built at Plymouth's central Park. I still maintain my arguement that there are much better ways to spend 44 million pounds within the city and the money should be distributed amongst smaller schemes to maximise opportunities across Plymouth rather than just ploughing all the money into the life centre. Can you imagine if the council identifed 176 groups across the city such as youth centres & sports facilities and gave each group £250,000 to improve their current facilities. I suppose that it is almost the same arguement as the farm shops in that we should be supporting the smaller farms that make a difference rather than supporting the supermarkets, if you do have any objections against the life centre or against the idea of losing valuable green space from Plymouth's Central park then visit the friends of Plymouth website.

More stuff to follow,

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 18 February 2008

Nuts TV clip - as promised

Hope you like the documentary footage, I also want to welcome Suzie Wong to this blog and to wish her a very happy chinese new year.

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Good times.

Well I hope that you all had a great Valentines day, I know that everyone who attended Rosanna's Valentine's day workout had a great time. My husband and I had already decided not to go out for a meal in the evening but had settled instead for a Valentine's breakfast at Monty's Coffee shop on the Barbican. I picked the meal shown left off the specials menu and was more than satisfied with my choice, fresh Italian Ciabatta topped with asparagus, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, poached eggs and truffle oil - divine. My husband tucked into a more traditional selection of Ham, Egg and Chips.

I had the pleasure today of receivng a parcel in the post from a new company called Rakewear, Rakewear is a new concept in fitness clothing that has been created by international model, Natalie Thompson. Natalie felt that there was a gap in the market for a range of organic cotton clothing that can be used for yoga, pilates and for leisure time. If you are familiar with yoga or pilates you will know that comfy clothing is essential and Rakewear products are designed with exactly that in mind. What is really good about these products is they don't cost the earth - literally, they are both reasonably priced and environmentally thoughtful. I hope that Natalie finds success with her new range.

Thanks to all of you who attended our open day yesterday, it was brilliant to see so many people venturing into the new studio.

Well a short blog today as it is Sunday and I want to catch the Roborough village farm shop before it closes, I think a healthy roast dinner is called for today!

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Very cute lambs & more!

Ok, so these lambs are nothing to do with health and fitness or are they? For Karen, the lady who is currently hand rearing them, I am sure she would argue that looking ater lambs is not an easy task as feeding is required every 3 hours throughout the day & night. Karen is one of our students and already has a great upper and core body strength through various jobs she has to carry out on the farm. We all miss her after her 8 week absence and look forward to her return once the lambs need a little less attention.

Next I must mention the Evening Herald and in particular Martin Freeman, a feature writer, for the fantastic article he wrote about me in today's herald, click here for the full story. After the fiasco with Plymouth University it is great for people to see pole dancing portrayed in such a positive light. The Herald have been extremely supportive over the years and it is greatly appreciated.

I couldn't resist adding this picture of the
storage silo at Millbay, as you can see demolition has already started with a significant chunk of the building missing from the top right corner.
Having lived in Plymouth all my life it will be strange to see the building omitted from the skyline but I welcome the redevelopment that it will bring to the area.

My last bit of news for today is to draw your attention to the dangers of
solvent abuse, I received an e-mail from one of my students, Gina Shpeherd, she is curently a studying at Marjon college and she has set up a petition to raise awarenss of solvent abuse via teaching at secondary schools. Gina felt the need to start the petiton after the tragic death of Danielle Taylor in June 2004, Danielle died after trying to inhale gas for the first time. To sign the petition click here.
Documentary footage to follow....

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

I can't spell.

Before making any more comments I want to apologise for my hideous grammar and random speling mistakes, I tend to get carried away when writing the blog and quite often forget to check it properly (no excuse I know!), to make matters worse the spell checking facility on this blog does not appear to be working so even if I do check my work I tend to overlook certain things! My last blog was particularly awful grammatically so I will attempt to redeem myself today.

I mentioned in my last blog that I was about to attend a photoshoot, I forgot just how demanding a photoshoot can be. The problem is that you get a very harsh workout as you are holding poses on the pole for longer than you would normally and therefore you take the mucles to their absolute limit. Luckily photographs do not illustrate muscle shake, they do however show tension in the face so I will see how they turn out. Since the shoot I have done 4 hours of teaching and my body is feeling a little sorry for itself. It is also that time of the month when my pain threshold is rubbish, all sympathy gratefully received. I have three days rest now to recover and get ready for our Open day on Saturday. If you have never seen fitness pole dancing or would like to have a nose at our new premises then all are welcome beween 12 and 4pm. Entry is free but we will be rattling the collection tins for the Anthony Nolan Trust.

For those of you who like running as a form of exercise (that doesn't include me!) you may be interested in two gentleman from the Evening Herald who have decided to run for 24 hours across a Namibian desert. Bill Martin & Pete Holdgate are doing the event to raise money for locl charity St Luke's Hospice, Click here for the full story and video. The gentleman involved are either very brave and fit or completely mad! Good Luck to them both with their challenge.

For more art of dance news you may be interested in news of Rosanna's sexy dance class or Nixi's blog (it says lovely things about me! - cheers Nixi x).

That's it for me for today as the Lordette of Darkness is covering my classes tonight and I am off home to relax my aching muscles and catch up on todays edition of Eastenders.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Steroids & Chocolate

Before I delve into more serious issues I must start with some chat on chocolate, I persoannly am not abig fan of the stuff but I know than many of you are. Perhaps if I was more partial to the stuff I would understand the new Lynx advert more fully but in fact I find it rather disturbing, the poor male in the film gets his arms and fingers ripped off? Is that what men are looking for from their anti perspirant? Their are already increasing amounts of studies into the danger of anti perspirants and now it seems it can lead to amputation!! (I joke of course)

You would think that a drive to push kids into fitness would be a great thing but according to american research some kids are becoming so obsessed with getting fit that they will take any measures to achieve their goals and that includes taking substances such as steroids. After last years controversy with the tour de france and other sports also discovering their stars are turning to drugs the whole scenario is really not good for sport as a whole. Click here for the msnbc news feed on kids and steroids.

On the subject of kids and exercise I am delighted to be teaching a group of young girls who have been experiencingn problems in their schooling. I was invited by Caradon District Council to work with the girls and the first lesson is now booked for the 22nd February. This is a really excitign opportunity for me to try and motivate the girls and help them acheive their own personal goals. I will keep you posted on their progress. Of course this decision by Caradon District Council is a harsh contrast to the decision taken by the university to exclude me from one of their shows. Thansk to staff at Caradon who have supported me in the past and who continue to do so now. If you live in or around Liskeard check out the variety of classes on offer at Lux.

Don't forget the art of dance open day happening next Saturday 16th February from 12-4pm. This is your chance to see our new premises and see some advanced pole dancing displays in action.

More news and silly chocolate type videos to follow soon, Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay healthy, I am off for a photoshoot with my instructors and one of our favourite photographers Chris Trent of Global Eye Photography.

Sam x

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Pole dancing news.

I thought some of you may be interested in this video from a recent pole dancing competition in Barcelona, the dancer really demonstrates the strength and agility needed to pole dance well, hope you like it. Also a big thank you to
Glamour Puss for blogging about my recent saga with Plymouth university and their dance dance dance event.

For any of my students who are reading this you may be interested in Rosanna's valentines day workshop, for more info click here.

Did any of you watch Supersize vs Superskinny last night on Channel 4, what a great programme, lots of very good nutritional information and sensible advice for changing your diet, click here to view more info on the fascinating programme. It is really important to get your diet right and to consider your lifestyle carefully before making any diet choices. My Instructors and I have to think carefully about what we eat and when we eat and if you get it wrong your performance on the pole will suffer as a result.

Lastly if any of you are members of the Plymouth university pole dancing club please vote for Nixi as chair!

I will keep my blog short for today as I have lots of admin staring at me from my desk.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 4 February 2008

Ball gowns, Alzheimers and Healthy heels.

Well where to start today's blog, there are so many snippets of information that I want to share with you! I will start with my outing on Friday to purchase my ball gown ready for our pending art of dance 4th birthday party to be held in April at a venue that I haven't found yet! I popped down to Love and Marriage, the place where I bought my wedding dress. The staff there are always extremly helpful and I was entertained by news from Alison Love, the onwer, about her pending marriage to a gentleamn whose surname is Valentine! What are the chances of that happening so now Alison will be taking the double barreled surname of Valentine - love. During my visit I stumbled across a beautiful designer dress that my mum purchased for me as a belated xmas present so all is ready to go for the April Ball, all I need to do now is find the venue!

On Saturday we ran a series of masterclasses, the first being a sexy dance workout run by Nixi, followed by a climbing and invert workshop with Jo and finished off with a world class pole class with yours truly. Jo, Nixi and Rosanna worked extremely hard during the session and two of my students Tamar and Lai man also worked hard, it was not a session for the faint hearted. We have all felt the effects of this session. On the subject of extreme workouts I received information on a new piece of training equipment from the guys at Body weight culture, Muscle up is a basically a very strong set of rope ladders that can be used in a variety of ways to exercise the body, click here for a video fo the muscle up apparatus in use. The BWC guys have two very usueful home traing videos Part 1 and Part 2 , very helpful if you are looking to increase your exercise regime without spending money!

After Saturdays masterclasses my Nan visited the new dance studio and then I dropped her home, My grandad who is sufferifng from Alzheimer's made me laugh hysterically, he had just seen a postcard featuringn a picture of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci (pictured above left), he looked at the picture and then asked me is she a friend of yours? I explained that it was a famous painting to which he replied "yes but do you know her?" again I explained that the painting was very old, my grandad decided to change the subject somewhat aware ofo the fact that he was not quite getting the conversation. We returned to discuss whether I was married how busienss was etc only to repeat the same questions several minutes later, we finished the conversation with him saying, "You know that I am told I am forgetting things but I forget the reason why and to be honest it doesn't really bother me, anyway how is that husband of yours?

I meant to mention last week the fantastic news that local school children are getting the chance to try Parkour, a fantastic all body workout that anyone can do anywhere. Just like pole dancign it iall about overcoming your own fears and exceeding your own personal expectations.

My last bit of news today is that
wearing heels may be good for you, contrary to popular belief new studies show that wearing heels helps to tip the pelivs forward and therefore helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muslces, this can lead to benefits in your sex life (reports guarantee stronger orgasms!!) as well as helping tone the legs, particularly the calf muscles, unfortunatley this still does not spell great news for your lower back! Thanks to scientist Italian urologist Dr Maria Cerruto for making these discoveries.

More news to follow soon,

Stay heathy,

Sam x