Saturday, 31 May 2008

performance nerves again!

A brief blog today starting with this picture offering advice on how to keep your husband out of mischief; Keep him in a bag in the kitchen! No seriously this picture was taken last year on my husbands return from Thailand and after a few drinks Sid decided it would be fun to get into the bag. I am sure he will not thank me for posting this but hope you all find it amusing anyway.

I hope that I will see some of you at Annabel's tonight for our art of dance social. I am performing and am a little apprehensive as usual as I have overdone my training this week and am feeling a little fatigued but will do my best regardless. I am looking forward to seeing some of my other instructors performing as well as some of my students.

After all my indecision I have decided to enter Miss Pole Dance UK 2008, I know that I will be a nervous wreck by the time I get there but can't resit the temptation to get up and have a go.

I have just finished teaching a lovely group of ladies from Cardiff who are down on a hen weekend and now I am off home to ready myself for tonight. More blogging soon,

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Latest pole dancing news

Today's blog is all about the latest from the pole dancing industry starting with a warning to anyone thinking of buying an x-pole. The market has been bombarded with numerous fake x-poles many of which are being sold on ebay and through some less reputable pole schools. The poles are being sold at the same price as the real thing or cheaper and they are very dangerous. To identify a fake pole look for the following:

1) The upper dome is made of plastic, it has black rubber around it and the silver section is very thin plastic. ( this will crack on pressure being applied)
2) The base is not articulating.
3) The base does not have our little X's on them.
4) The joints are not welded together therefore they will come out and the pole will just be a tube.
5) The instructions are a photo copy and the DVD is also a bad copy.
6) There are only 2 ball bearings - this means the pole will not spin under pressure.

Remebr if you buy a fake pole you will have no returns or replacment policy, if you have bought a fake pole please contact me via e-mail: or contact x-pole direct: Both myself and x-pole are extremly concerned that soemone is going to really hurt themselves using a fake pole. The genuine article will be back in stocmk towards the end of June and then stock should be readily available, apologies to those of you who have been waiting for your x-pole and thank you for your patience.

On the subject of poles just a gentle reminder to ensure that your pole is fixed correctly. Check out this video of what will happen if you do not fix your pole correctly. Please note that the pole shown is not an x-pole:

Controversial news from Exeter this week after after Exeter College refused one of their students the right to hold a pole dancing workshop on campus, click here for the full story. I was outraged by the colleges decision and immediately contacted both the college and the Exeter Express and Echo. The Echo has promised to follow up the story so I will keep you posted on that and Exeter College have contacted me and will arrange for the lecturer who made the decision to contact me next week, after half term, to discuss the matter further.

I have a small dilemma which occurs annually: Do I enter Miss Pole Dance UK? If I do it will be my third year but every time I enter I say it will be my last year and I will never do it again yet the invitation arrived in my inbox and once again temptation started to creep in! I have some time before I need to make a final decision and in the meantime I am practicing hard for our pending night out this Saturday at Annabel's Cabaret. I have also been practicing hard on our new gymnastic rings- pictures to follow - resulting in very sore abs which I hope will recover by Saturday.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 26 May 2008

My bank holiday weekend.

Thursday was spent gathering objects for my new aviary and BBQ, My husband and I had ventured to Stax Reclamation yard and bagged some bargains including a 100 year old chimney for the built in BBQ. As you can imagine shifting bricks, soil and wood provides a great workout but does not result in nice looking hands! The journey to Stax should have bee an easy one but thanks to an accident on the A38 closing the eastbound carriageway we incurred much delay.
Then came the news of the attempted attack on Exeter, it sounds naive but you just don't expect things like that to happen in the peace and tranquility of little old Devon. We had seen the RN bomb disposal van racing off up the A38 towards Exeter and then had been shocked, when driving through Stonehouse to drop the van back, that the accused (and injured) had been living in King Street. The following days events in and around the Drake Circus shopping centre and North Hill seemed even more surreal, I am just glad that no one else was hurt.

Friday was the day I needed to be towed to a garage and believe me I never want to be towed again ( I have since been told that my actions were illegal as I did not have a fixed tow bar - Whoops!), being told is like driving without any control, O so I had brakes but being just a few feet from the car in front scares me and the fact that at one point my tower (is that the correct word?) forget I was behind him and tried to overtake another vehicle added to my tenseness. Anyway all ended up OK and my car is now going like a dream - new clutch and shiny new gear knob- Thanks to my husband for the clutch and my mum for the beautiful new gear knob.

Saturday saw a visit to
Moor and More Beer for some essential bank holiday supplies, worth noting were two new Otter Brewery beers - Beautiful Daze (a light summery beer - 4.5%) and Otter Head ( not suitable for afternoon drinking - 5.8%). Oh and of course I should mention that yo should drink with caution, check out the drink aware site for alcohol advice.

Something else worth mentioning is this Mays
innocent smoothie of the month packed with pineapple, blueberries and ginger - absolutely gorgeous.
You will notice various floral pictures adorning today's blog, they are some of the lovely bouquets I was given for my birthday.

Well it is back to work tomorrow for some serious pole raining as I have a few exhibitions looming so I will look forward to blogging later in the week.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 23 May 2008

Sexually Healthy??

You may have read the title of today's blog and wondered what exactly I was going to be writing about but fear not dear reader there will be no graphic descriptions of my own sexual activity ( I hear a big sigh of relief from my husband!). My subject arises from an article I read in the Erotic Trade Only Magazine which discusses the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill 2008. One of the main concerns abut the bill is the impact it could have on our human rights particularly for those who are disabled. It is also raises questions about what exactly the government are going to restrict next.

Section 63-66 of the act looks at the criminalisation of downloading extreme pornography. You may be thinking that extreme pornography should be restricted and I completely agree with you but some aspects of this bill are going to have a detrimental effect on a large number of adults. Many are concerned that the Bill will invite the government to monitor more closely what we download off the internet using Big Brother tactics while the MP's get protected by secrecy laws. Let's face it we all have sexual desires and fetishes and anyone who says they don't is lying. Just because someone fantasises about being strangled doesn't mean they actually want to be strangled. My view is that consenting adults should be able to do what they want as long as they are not causing any physical or mental harm to another individual.

For most of us we can explore our sexuality through our partners or through masturbation but for many disabled physically and mentally disabled people they do not have the same opportunities, this is where pornography and visits to sex workers can give them that outlet.

In this day and age I think it is important that our views on sex move forward, no longer do we live in a society where people get married and then have sex (missionary position of course!) etc. We live in a world where Ann Summers can sell vibrators on the high street, where glamour publications are available in all newsagents and where many celebrities use skimpy outfits to market themselves.

If you want to learn more about this and other censorship issues you may want to visit the Sexual freedom coalition website or the backlash UK website. How many more of our freedoms are we going to lose? We are already surrounded by CCTV, threatened with ID cards and taxed to the hilt, if you want to be proactive and contact your MP then try the they work for you website which can put you in contact with your local MP. Thanks to Dr Tuppy Owens, founder of Outsiders and chair of the Sexual freedom Coalition for many of the references used in this blog. By the way, the picture shown at the top of the blog is actually a lady receiving her golf trophy for any of you who thought otherwise.

Before I sign off for today I just wanted to issue a small health and safety warning regarding BBQ's, after the recent incident in Plymouth where a gentleman was very badly burned whilst lighting his BBQ my husband found this blog! Enjoy.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Aching and hungover

What a great day I had yesterday although I am paying the price today, every muscle in my body is aching and I have plenty of bruises and skin abrasions too. I blame Jamie (Jo's stepson) for making me do the Flag (full flag no half mast variation- see picture top let courtesy of x-pole of Donovan Jones of Crazeehorse perfroming at Erotica 2007) at the end of my mammoth three and a half hour pole session. I will perfect the full flag and will post pictures to prove it very soon.
You would think as a fitness professional that I would know better than to follow up this gargantuan training session with countless pints of locally brewed St Austell Tribute and Well's banana bread beer accompanied by some shooters but then again it was my birthday so I think I can be forgiven. If you happen to be a real ale drinker I can highly recommend these beers.

Aside from nursing my aching body and hangover my husband and I ventured out to the
Foxhound in Brixton for a Sunday Roast. The food was great and I had a starter of Garlic Mushrooms followed by home made fish pie and veg, my husband opted for the lamb. We were served by one of my lovely students, Sarah, Hello to Sarah if you are reading this.

One quick whinge which is not aimed just at the Foxhound but at most establishments, why do we need nasty chemical filled automated sprays in all the toilets, I don't know if it is just me but I find myself holding my breath as I enter the toilets to avoid inhaling such nastiness. The funny thing is I would rather smell something more natural or have no artificial spray at all. I am sure it cannot be good for you to inhale these products and I just find them completely overpowering and unnecessary.

A quick hello to
Hayley (pictured right) who has finally got to grips with her blog and has uploaded some fantastic pictures. Nixi should be back on the scene too as she has just finished her end of year exams at Plymouth University. Also a big Happy Birthday to Puss who celebrated her birthday on Friday.

For those of you who are not sad like me you may have missed Eastenders on Thursday and therefore would not know that the entire episode revolved around pole dancing, the episode stated with Ronnie flying of the handle about pole dancing lessons happening in her club but went on to see Ronnie yapping to the instructor and discussing the fitness benefits of pole dancing - nice one BBC! To watch the episode click here, the episode will only be viewable until Wednesday 21st May.

I am now off to
Leigh's farm shop to stock up on eggs, veg and a few other essentials followed by a visit to my Nan and Grandad whom I have not seen since I got back from holiday and then out for a birthday meal with my dad and his girlfriend. My husband is going to edit our holiday video today so I will be able to scare you all with some clips later in the week.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Happy birthday to me

Well today will be perhaps the shortest blog I have ever written as it is my birthday and I have just returned from Raffles Bar. After a 5 hour pole jam (of which I managed 3 and a half hours!) we ventured to Raffles for a few post jam beverages. I want to thank a few people for making the day special. Thanks to my husband as always, thanks to my Mum for the lovely cards and presents, thanks to my Dad & Pat for the lovely card and money. Thanks to Jo for being there as my friend and essential number 2 for the art of dance and for the beautiful oriental lilies. Thanks to Rosanna for her card, kind words and ongoing support, Thanks to Nixi for her text, Thanks to Mia for her friendship and support of the art of dance, Thanks to Sarah and her husband Neil for being great friends and for understanding my business and supporting my business ethos, Thanks to Miranda for turning up and being a great sport, Thanks to Kirsty (the first student I ever taught) for turning up and introducing some new friends to the art of pole dancing, Thanks to Phil and all the staff at Raffles for looking after me, singing happy birthday to me and giving me flowers and cake, Thanks to Sue for being an ongoing friend and a valuable part of the art of dance team. I will stop my thanks now as there are simply to many people to mention without whom I would never achieved half of what I have.

Have a great weekend,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Mammoth blog.

Well despite being on holiday I still found time to pole dance as you can see from the pictures! The week in Algarve was fabulous as always, I simply love the laid back lifestyle. Most of our time was spent next to the pool at our villa, the rest of the time was spent visiting the local veg and seafood markets to stock up on fresh produce which we then cooked poolside on the barbecue.

Our fish and seafood purchases included Sea Bass, various types of Bream, Tuna and Prawns. 6 of the prawns were a variety I had never seen before, they were about 25cm long and were pillar box red, they were so sweet and succulent that I would definitely buy them again. Our meals were generally accompanied by salads or fresh veg and beer of course!

Poolside reading came in the steamy form of the first book by Belle de Jour. Great holiday reading.

Tuesday 6th March was my second wedding anniversary, My husband and I basked in the sun using our pool inflatables - video evidence to follow. I won't go on about my holiday too much as I really can't explain how great it was- I hope to return to the Algarve ASAP.

For those of you living in Canada you may be interested in an event being organised by the delightful Tammy Morris aka Vancouver Pole dancer, Tammy is organising a student showcase to raise money for animal charity BCSPCA, check out their very cute website with animal of the month Jose pictured below right.

A bit of fitness advice, check out the NHS new fitness videos, a great source of free advice including advice on sex (apparently there could be evidence to suggest that increased orgasms could increase your life expectancy!), women's health, exercise via Katak dancing and the new vid section featuring various advice including how to deal with anorexia and bulimia. Don't miss out on the free Bollywood dance taster video

Don't forget the art of dance Pole Jam at our Plymouth studio this Saturday 17th May, the event starts at 12 and finishes at 5pm, there is no need to book and all are welcome as long as they are happy to have a go at pole dancing. Entry costs £5 n the door, half of the money raised will be going to the Anthony Nolan Trust.

More news to follow,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

I'm back!

After a fantastic week in Portugal I have returned feeling fresh and invigorated, I will post a very smug blog in the next day or so to tell you all about my wonderful week in the sun. My blog today will be brief as I have just done an 11 hour day with three hours of pole classes and sleep will follow very shortly.

A big happy birthday to
Jo and a thank you to her for keeping things afloat in my absence, also thanks to my brilliant team of staff who worked hard as always. Another big thank you to my Mum who looked after my house and menagerie in my absence. No thanks to my neighbours evil cat who managed to break into my aviary and chase half the birds out, I am missing 10 of my babies and no doubt most of them have fallen foul to magpies and seagulls by now.

Last Thanks to Jojo for the wonderful article he wrote about the art of dance in the Herald last week, I noticed that quote that stated that I am 'raking it in'- if only! The money may be coming in well but the outflow is also huge (nasty bills, tax, insurance, mains supplies, business rates etc.....). Still hopefully in the future the second home in the Algarve may materialise!

I hope you have all been well and have been careful during the recent heatwave.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 2 May 2008

Get well soon Colin.

I wanted to start today's blog by sending my thoughts and best wishes to Colin Pester and his family. For those of you who have not yet herd the news click here for the story so far. I have known Colin for about 4 years as he own the garage next to Saints gym and next to my new studio. Colin was always extremely friendly and we often exchanged wrongly delivered mail with Colin laughing as he told me to keep the bills. Colin even offered to move out of the garage when he knew I was struggling to find a new premises, My Husband & I hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery and I hope that his wife Helen and their children Jack & Lucy will recover from the emotional trauma.

Onto more positive if not mad news, The wonderful blogger Glamour puss is going to walk on fire for the hearing dogs charity, to donate to this worthy cause please click here. If you are unaware of the work that the hearing dogs charity does then trust me in the fact that it is simply invaluable. During my time with the NHS and social services I worked with many people with sensory impairments and did a particularly valuable training session examining sensory deprivation, the training drew my attention to the difficulties faced by those who have sensory impairments. The training was arranged by Scope who sent me out for the day blindfolded and wearing wax ear plugs, I had a carer with me who was excellent but even so the experience was more than scary and although it only lasted a few hours I have never forgotten it. Apart from the obvious embarrassment of walking through a supermarket wearing a blindfold the real issues were fear, frustration and helplessness. At one point the carer handed me a shopping basket but as she had hold of my other arm I just felt more restricted - it was truly horrendous and yet it pales into insignificance against actually losing one or more of your senses long term. Please donate to Puss's charity if you can, remember that the hearing dogs not only are working dogs but they provide companionship in an otherwise frustrating world.

You may notice a distinct lack of blogging from me over the next week as I am lucky enough to be off on holiday to Portugal and just for smug value here is the
link to where I will be staying! Apparently the weather in the Algarve is expected to soar to around 32 degrees early next week but I am sure I will cope. Jo is looking after the business while I am away so will probably be due for a nervous breakdown by the time I return - Good Luck Jo!
I may try and sneak one more blog in on Sunday or even while I am away if I can find time between my hectic schedule of sampling local seafood, swimming in the luxurious private pool and testing local Cerveza.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x