Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Videos and WI feedback

As promised here is the footage of my dance at the
Women's Institute meeting at Golberdon Parish Hall in Cornwall. I had been invited to perform and speak by the lovely Liz Moir pictured below right(far left). The event was extremely positive and gave me the perfect platform to present fitness pole dancing to an older generation.

The evening started at 7pm with the singing of Jerusalem then grace followed by supper. I have to admit that I didn't know the words to Jerusalem and my pathetic attempts to sing along were not good. Supper was fantastic, the ladies had been working had to produce a beautiful meal of chicken breast wrapped in bacon accompanied by carrots, peas and gravy. I opted for a very small salad as a large meal before a pole performance usually results in vomiting, not something that would be a good advertisement for fitness pole dancing. After the main course the ladies tucked into strawberry meringue (see below right) and then straight onto the the agenda, minutes from individual parish meetings and then me.

I was introduced in a very positive way and had decided to perform first then speak (In hindsight this may have been a mistake as I was very out of breath when I started speaking!). I danced to a classical piece of music as I thought it would be inoffensive and would allow me to demonstrate the strength and flexibility involved with pole dancing. It wasn't my best performance as I was extremely nervous ( my performance nerves do not seem to improve, if anything they are getting worse) and the wobbly pole succeeded in scaring the hell out of me throughout my performance (note the dodgy parallel handstand near the end of the routine!)

I am unsure how long I talked for but the ladies were full of valid questions about competitions, the condition your skin needs to be in and peoples perceptions of pole dancing. The main thing the ladies seemed to appreciate was how we are using pole dancing to empower people. Pole dancing is creating social networks, boosting the confidence of individuals and allowing me to work with children to help them to achieve self respect and achievement.

In many ways the aims if the art of dance are similar to those of the WI, we both carry out charity work, we both arrange social opportunities and we both aim to educate those around us. I think that the WI educated me about the valuable work they do and proved to me that they were not outdated but were a fighting force carrying out a fantastic role within society. My deepest thanks go out to the ladies from the WI for receiving me so warmly, also thanks to my mum who attended the meeting with me and of course to Liz Moir for inviting me and to her husband Steve for helping me with the stage. I hope I will catch up with the ladies again in the near future. Also check out the beautiful floral table displays below that adorned each table - truly gorgeous.

Quickly onto news from Rosanna on her latest adventures, she is back on the podium and looking hot, check out her latest video of her perfomance last Saturday at Berties in Newquay. Hopefully Rosanna will be offering some podium / street dance classes in our new studio (soon to be completed), I haven't actually asked Rosanna about this subject yet but no doubt she will read my blog soon! Check out her dance at the bottom of her latest blog.

More news to follow including details of our new Friday night pole classes in Plymouth as well as details of my pending holiday (prepare for smugness),

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 28 April 2008

The man in the red scarf

Some of you may be familiar with local photographer Jojo, pictured left and his project to revive the memory and celebrate the life of late artist Robert Lenkewicz. The project entitled 'the man with the red scarf' will be a play featuring local actors and Jojo hopes the production could make it to the west end and beyond.

To get the project off the ground Jojo has been looking for platinum, gold and silver level sponsors to ensure the success of the theatre production. Local Business's, such as world renowned
Cap'n Jaspers, have come forward to sponsor the venture and we at the art of dance are proud to be silver sponsors of 'the man in the red scarf'

The decision to sponsor a theatre production coincides with our acceptance into
Equity, finally pole dancing has acheived the performing arts status it truly deserves. Jojo is pictured here receiving the cheque from me. We at the art of dance wish Jojo every success with his production.

For any of you waiting on news from my performance at the WI last week I am still waiting on video footage from the event so will update you as soon as I have the edited footage.

Good News from Caradon District Council who have invited me back to work with their youth group teaching 15 year old's at Lux Park Leisure Centre, I am really looking forward to catching up with the girls again.

A quick bit of health and fitness news courtesy of the lovely guys at
Body weight culture, here is your guide to the Car Workout, use you car as your gymnasium!
vid to follow tomorrow,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Rushing around

The last few days have been very hectic and I have not had time to update my blog. I have a few minutes now before I attend Nixi's flexibility workshop, then I am off to Raffles where a beautiful friend of mine is doign a strippergram for Argyles last game of the season then it is back to the studio for some mouich needed pole practice.

There are so many things I want to share with you, so I will be doing some serious blogging in the next few days to catch up on everything, in particular about the fantastic evening I had on Thursday with the Women's institute - video and pictures to accompany that story.

So prepare to be bombarded with blogs over the next few days but in the meantime,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Community & Mental wellbeing.

Firstly a quick picture taken whilst on the Tamar bridge yesterday ( I was stuck in traffic and was not using my phone whilst in transit), I was impressed by the agility of the guys abseiling - very impressive.
I have been meaning to write this blog for a week or so but other events have delayed my writing. It follows on from a conversation with my Grandad about what my business does and why. At first I thought my grandad was just demonstrating signs of the Alzheimer's which is affecting hm deeply but then I realised his question was a genuine one - why am I teaching people to dance? He explained that when he was younger people didn't need to pay to keep fit as their lives were more active, being in the Navy meant that keeping fit was part of the job for my Grandad and outside of work time off included dancing socially or playing tennis - not for fitness but for fun.
It is interesting how things have changed and it also raised a few other questions about whether things were better in my Grandads time? My thoughts were provoked further after the need to purchase a few picture hooks for the studio, I didn't want to go to one of the larger stores and unfortunately there are no nice little independent bits and bobs stores on Mutley any more selling. I remembered Read's DIY store at Lower Compton, it was somewhere I used to visit as a child and I was surprised to find it still there, even more surprising was the fact that it is now owned by a friends husband. What was great was the fact that I could buy two picture hooks without any packaging or without having to buy 100 pieces, what was even more outstanding was the traditonal customer service where customers were greeted by name and addressed as individuals, each customer was given time, not rushed and made to feel cared about, One elderly lady seemed happy to have the chance to talk about her husband who was obviously seriously ill., this is not something that would have happened in a larger store.

So where am I going with this blog? I am thinking community - a concept that appears to be becoming extinct but something that I feel is essential to one's mental health. None of us can survive without support networks for many of us that means family but for others it means their friends and neighbours. A recent documentary highlighted the fact that some people don't even know their neighbours let alone speak to them. This is why the small conversation between a shopkeeper and his customer seemed so important. For the elderly lady concerned it may have been her only point of contact, who else was going to notice if her milk wasn't taken in or if the curtains remained shut.
I have more to comment on this subject but am meant to be manning reception so will have to disspear off and finish my comments later!
Stay Healthy,
Sam x

Sunday, 20 April 2008


I was horrified today when my Husband drew my attention to articles in The People newspaper and News of the world on children doing Muay Thai. The article has come about due to the pending Channel 4 documentary Strictly Baby Fight Club, the programme seems to have focused on over zealous parents rather than actually looking at the Muay Thai practice and discipline itself. I hate the current wave of scandal based TV programmes that have little factual content and instead use clever editing techniques and extreme subjects to provoke reactions from their viewers.

The problem is that this documentary and ensuing news reports are now calling for an abolition of children's Thai classes despite the fact that it is an extremely safe sport. OK so there are always going to be bad gyms and trainers and pushy parents but that goes for any sport and in some ways I would rather see Kid's pushed into fighting than encouraged to stay in their bedrooms watching TV and eating junk food.

It is ironic that only two days ago I was blogging about the fantastic talent and dedication of Christi Campbell and yet today a Tory MP is vowing to get Muay Thai banned and others are talking of reporting the sport to social services.

The News of the world has even quoted my husband despite the fact that he had declined to be involved with the documentary. Check out the comments section on the story. Hopefully most rational people will see through the blurred image of Junior Muay Thai portrayed in today's media and will recognise that generally in Britain Thai boxing is well regulated and as a result many kids get the chance to overcome their fears, get fit, respect others and improve their social skills. All comments welcome as always.

Stay Healthy

Sam x

Friday, 18 April 2008

Christi Campbell.

As promised, news on world champion Thai boxer Christi Campbell pictured let with her trainer Sid Remmer (my lovely husband!). Today I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Christi as we were doing a photo shoot with Chris Trent from global eye photography. Despite Christi's aggression in the ring outside of it she is calm and friendly and is more mature than most 15 year olds I know. Check out Christi's blog for pictures of her tyre pulling workout!!

In addition to sponsorship from the art of dance and M.P Jones solicitors Christi has just got additional sponsorship from IELC (If you are a student or teacher then the IELC website is well worth a visit). Sponsorship enabled Christi to travel to Thailand last year and now hopefully she can return again this August to defend her title. After all of Christi's hard work and determination she really deserves the opportunity to further what is already a remarkable Thai boxing career. Remember that Christi is now fighting adults in her weight category even though she is only 15.

Her new website has been launched this week and gives Christi a new platform to promote herself and her skills. Next year will be an important year for Christi as it will be GCSE year ( I assume that they are still called GCSE's?) so fights will be kept to an absolute minimum to allow Christi to focus on getting good grades to help her in the future.

I would like to offer my praise to Christi for being a fantastic individual and role model to others and to Sid for being a great Trainer to Christi and giving up much of his free time to develop her website and further her Thai training.

Some quick bits of news - firstly thanks to all the irresponsible pole schools and teachers out there, due to your acts my public and employers liability has doubled this year and when I tried to contact other brokers and agents I was told that they no longer insure pole dancing schools due to high risks of injury and bad practice by school owners. Now I am paying for the mistakes of others.

Congratulations to Suzie Wong for the great article in Dance magazine - nice to see good press coverage and a great picture of Suzie doing 'The Knees'.

More news to follow on another sponsorship topic but off home now to enjoy a much needed night off work, Oh and if Amytree is reading this I haven't forgotten I owe you £2 - don't think I gave it to you last week - sorry x

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

New bruises

Well where do I start, I have had such a busy time and I have so much to tell you. Firstly news on my new bruises which, for a change, are not from the pole. After watching a rather disappointing fight night on Satuday night at the Guildhall I decided to do two hours Thai boxing with the University of Plymouth Muay Thai club. My sparring partner for the afternoon was a lovely lady called Neeve (hope I have spelt her name correctly?) who has been Thai boxing for about two years.

My new bruises came abut from holding the pads for Neeve, they are classic pad bruises! The Thai training gave me a chance to work my body in a different way to my normal pole exercise, my pole skills may be helpful for grappling but have not benefited my punching technique (or should I say lack of punching technique). I may go back for more punishment next Sunday. The class included a running test: 3 x 2 minute rounds of stop start running - great for improving y less than adequate cardiovascular ability, some sparring and technique work as well as the chance to grapple with my husband. It is advisable when grappling to wear boxing gloves to prevent you catching your nails on your opponents neck, unfortunately for my husband I wast wearing gloves as you can tell from the picture shown below!

Onto some really positive news for the pole dancing industry, Thanks to some hard work from Genevieve Moody from the Flying studio it looks like us pole dancers finally have official recognition from Equity. This move means that performing pole dancers will get cheaper public liability, medical cover and many more benefits. To read more about the equity meeting please read Puss's blog. I will be attending the South west Equity meeting on Sunday 8th June a 2.30pm at the Athenaeum Theatre.

A small comment on buying eggs, obviously if you are lucky enough to have your own chickens then you know all about the benefits of having fresh eggs but for those of you who don't and who can't get to a farm to buy them then I recommend Clarence Court Eggs. They are stacked in most supermarkets and are part of "a small cooperative of family run farms throughout the country". The eggs taste divine and the Cotswold legbar eggs are a particularly pretty shade of blue.

News on champion Thai fighter, Christi Campbell to follow

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 14 April 2008

Latest documentary

Here is the documentary made by Ten productions looking at attitudes to pole dancing. I will blog tomorrow about my weekend of fighting and accompanying bruises.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 11 April 2008

Risk of death and nutrition links!

Firstly thanks to Chris - Global Eye Photography for the new pics of all the instructors check out their individual blogs to see all images.

Next onto some serious news from the Daily Mail that blogging can be detrimental to your health and can even lead to suicide. Apparently us bloggers are prone to depression as well as feeling pressured into writing, this does not apply to me as I enjoy writing my blog however depression may set in after reading that most bloggers get about £35,000 per year for their blog whereas I get paid £0 (Maybe I should grovel to Neil at the herald, note that Neils last blog is the 16th March - no pressure to write or anything Neil!).

A brief comment on diet, I have eaten rather well this week with lots of meals consisting of half a jacket potato with what can only be described as rainbow salad - freshly chopped Basil, Avocado, grated Carrot, Fresh Beetroot (not pickled or sweetened), Olives, Tuna and a smidgeon of blue cheese for indulgence. Thanks to TJ's sandwich bar in Dale Road for the jacket potates fresh from their jacket oven. The idea of eating lots of different coloured food is not a new one and the concept of the rainbow diet has been around for some time however this could be misinterpreted: eating a Burger and chips with Tomato Ketchup and letuce may look colourful but might not be quite what the dieticians were intending! Basically all you should do is try to get some fresh food into your diet and think about your 5 a day.

Breakfast on Wednesday Morning was particulalry divine as my husband and I treated ourselves to a meal at Bistro One, if you have not been before I highly recommend it, the restaurant is run by local wine connoisseur Stephen Barrett and is renowned for fresh local produce. In the evenings the restaurant has the most amazing specials board but during the day (10.30 to 2.30) the place has a more informal feel and a deilicious yet reasonably priced Breakfast / Lunch menu. Here is a picture of our food, breakfast huffkin roll at the back and poached eggs, mushrooms and Salmon shown front.

Many of you commented on my recent topic of kitchen fighting as well as suggesting a Kitchen fighting masterclass. My husband has declied the offer but has agreed to film some examples of Kitchen fighting, Sofa fighting and hall fighting (Hall fighing usually arises when both myself and my husband decide we both need to use the toilet at the same time and the race to get there first erupts into a bout of Hall / Bathroom fighing). We do not recommend trying any of these activities at home unless you are completely mad like we are.

Well it is nearly time for me to teach so I will sign off for now, off to do half an hour's practice before teaching three lovely ladies for a private lesson. Have a wonderfull weekend,

Stay Healthy

Sam x

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

More video footage etc....

Here is a video I have just been given by Rosanna of my performance last year at the Face of Exeter competition. You can view
Rosanna's performance on her blog.

Today I wanted to give credit where it is due, Firstly I want to say a huge thank you to Mia, Mel & Penny for the very thoughtful gift of an acupuncture session, it was a most generous gift and meant a lot to me - thank you ladies!

Next I want to thank the staff at the Plymouth Garden Centre for providing excellent customer service, I visited them recently to purchase some new plants for the gym- pictures to follow- and the staff were helpful, polite and friendly, I also want to thank my brilliant mum for helping me to install the plants into their new home.

My next thank you goes to the gorgeous Gordon Sparks for having me on his show yesterday, Gordon is a great sport and kept me Laughing throughout the interview as well as giving me the opportunity to share some health and fitness advice on air.

Finally news on kitchen fighting, my husband seems to have invented a new rule which allows him to slam my head into any hard surface he chooses leaving me to rely on my strong grappling technique to protect myself, However if all fails there is always a vulnerable part of his body to target especially if he is wearing his dressing gown - I win!!

I have two more videos to upload, should be tomorrow.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Lazy Sunday blog

Firstly news on new staff member Kelly, pictured left, who may have found us a new venue in Torquay, fingers crossed. Kelly is whizzing through her staff training and looks set to be a fantastic teacher, I will upload a video of her in the next few days.

Yesterday I participated in Nixi's flexibility class which was not for the faint hearted. This class was not the gentle yoga class I was expecting but instead was a beasting for every muscle in my body. It was great but very hard work, hopefully if I follow Nixi's advice I will be doing the box splits very soon. Well done to all those who survived the class, I am sure some people will be feeling the effects today.
Today has been a fairly relaxing day for me catching up with family members, I did a small amount of housework this morning before venturing of to see my Dad, then my Mum, then Jo then My Nan and Grandad. All seemed well. I have quite a hectic week to look forward too so I am having a relaxing evening in front of the TV.

The gorgeous Georgina Gala aka Sue (pictured left) popped in on Thursday evening and let me take a video of her doing her class Black Velvet routine- video to follow. I have also added some new images to her blog page, follow the link above to see them.
Lastly here are a few links for some brand new videos from the amazing Pantera, for those of you who are not familiar with the lady she is one of the leaders in the world of Pole tricks and is famed for her video Pole Tricks 101:
Well the sofa and dressing gown are calling so I am going to sign off now, enjoy the rest of your weekend
Stay Healthy,
Sam x

Friday, 4 April 2008

General stuff

Thanks to Sarah, Sarah & Amy for this great picture of them practising the flamingo on their x-pole, keep up the good work ladies.

If any of you are up and about at half 8 next Tuesday morning, 8th April, then please tune into BBC Radio Devon to hear me gabbling about health and fitness, not sure how eloquent I will be at such an early hour but I am currently writing a small training programme to keep presenter Gordon Sparkes on his toes - quite literally!

Next onto a scary bit of fitness advice from the brave guys at BWC, I am not sure about the health and safety aspect of this workout by I may give it a go anyway! If you want to see the full article click here. I think a safer way of conditioning the wrist would be to do basic knuckle press ups against a yoga mat so as to strengthen the wrists without the risk of ripping your knuckles open. I did find a few other videos of knuckle press ups on you tube but there were some really bad techniques including one guy who was seriously dipping his back whilst doing the knuckle press up therefore putting unnecessary pressure on his lower back. I will let you know how I get on with the knuckle press ups later and may also test them out on Gordon next Tuesday!

Here are a few dates for your diary if you fancy raising a bit of money for charity:

April 11th, The Junction, Mutley Plain - Ray, whom I know through Keren at Bella's pet shop,will be having his hair and beard shaved off to raise money for the Primrose Unit at Derriford, the unit deals with breast cancer and has been threatend with closure on sveral occasions throughot the last few years.

April 18th: Grand buffet dance to raise money for the Lord mayors chosen charities of St Luke's Hospice and the NSPCC, The lord and lady mayoress will be in attendance for this black tie event with the Royal Air Force Asociation Big band signing with the lady mayoress herself. Tickets can be bought from Raffles bar, 5 Ermington terrace or by calling 01752771946.

More news to follow,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Second video as promised

Here is the second video as promised:

Video as promised

At long last here is one of the videos as promised, Part 2 to follow shortly. I think this video demonstrates the strength involved in our art and should dispel those myths about pole dancing being sleazy and unprofessional,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x