Sunday, 31 May 2009

May is the best month of the year!

I really can't complain: It is a Sunday, I have the whole day of work and the sun is blazing down upon my courtyard (see picture left of the sun streaming down on my husbands BBQ) in addition to that I actually believe that the best act won Britain's Got Talent which wasn't the outcome I was expecting, congratulations to Diversity who have restored my faith (slightly) in BGT.

It is exactly one week until the art of dance 5th Birthday event at RPCYC and part of me is very excited and the other part of me is terrified at the thought of performing at such an important event, I have videoed my performance twice and am disappointed that with just one week to go my performance is far from finished. I am managing the first 2 minutes of the song OK but the third minute is troubling me immensely, I just hope that I can pull it off next week! For any of you who have actually seen me during the last week you will have seen my 50mm x-pole bruise (see picture), it is huge! I am not even sure how I did it but it is exactly the same shape and dimensions as my studio poles.

As promised I have been trying to get some decent pictures of my birds but they do not like posing for the camera so here are some of my attempts to capture the little cuties.

Here is my Kakiriki named Yellariki looking slightly fierce and not impressed at having a camera in her face:

Here are Amber & Tawny (sleeping) two of my three quail:

Here is Preta my Golden Mantel Rosella hiding behind a branch

the gorgeous Levi (cockatiel) having a cuddle

This is Quagmire, the most disturbed cockatiel you could ever meet!

The Old Boys chilling!

Before I sign off for today I must say how pleased I am that the Honda Formula 4-stroke powerboat race is returning to Plymouth, it is a brilliant event and it utilises the natural amphitheatre of the Hoe perfectly, I can't wait to see it.

I am now off to enjoy the sunshine followed by a long soak in the bath with some Neal's Yard Lavender Salts and then a massage with some Vaseline Essential moisture before retiring in front of the TV!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Weight loss, VJ Pablo & BGT.

It is that time of the month again and I am starting to feel like poo! I have already had to cancel me pending performance at Annabel's tonight as I know I am not going to be well enough and don't want to risk injuring myself before next weeks big Birthday Bash! Plans for the Bash are going well and we still have a few tickets left. Tickets cost £30 and include a student showcase, instructor exhibition plus a guest Burlesque performer as well as a sit down buffet and an amazing venue!

Apart from frantically preparing for the Birthday Bash and dealing with art of dance and pole dance community admin I have also been working with a lovely new student - Ellie Hudson - who is showing signs of improvement on the pole and is getting to grips with her weight loss routine, more to follow on Ellie but in the meantime if you want to know more about weight loss or weight gain then check out last nights BBC programme '10 things you should know about weight loss' - Click here to watch the full programme.

Some of you may be aware of the fantastic photographer and video producer that is VJ Pablo.
If you are a member on facebook you should be able to view this fabulous video. VJ says "These clips are from various videos shoots I had created with both pole dancers and aerialists over the past 3 years. The process includes projecting hand-painted/cgi slides developed over 25 years onto dancer with slide projectors. VFX with Motion, AE and Final Cut Pro.The featured performer in this piece is Danielle Watts on pole, an amazing acrobat, aerialist and pole dancer now performing with Cirque du Soleil's "Love" here in Las Vegas, NV.Music composition is by Lamb." I just wish VJ lived closer to Plymouth as I would love to work with him, I think his work is outstanding and he truly understands the beauty of pole dancing.

Before I sign off for today I wanted to feedback on Monday's Britain's Got Talent which featured Debs, Faye, Sash & Becca, the girls were fabulous despite the limited camera shots of them. It is such a shame that the girls were only considered good enough to be background entertainment when they have so much talent between them, it is madness that someone like DJ Talent is in a semi final talent competition yet no pole dancers were allowed to qualify, it seems that as pole dancers we still have a major battle on our hands to educate people about how great pole dancing is and exactly how hard it is to do the sort of routine that Debs, Faye, Sahsha and Becca pulled out of the bag on Monday - Great work ladies!

More news to follow,

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 25 May 2009

Why I hate Britain's Got talent.

If it wasn't for the fact that there is going to be pole dancing on Britains Got talent I would be completely boycotting the show and would certainly not be mentioning it in my blog. I will expand on the pole dancing in a bit but first need to vent my anger over BGT in general and last night's show.

Firstly I feel the need to pass comment on belly dancer Julia Naidenko, she may not be the world's best belly dancer but she does have talent however her performance last night was pure manufactured pop and was very sexual, it amazes me that this is deemed ok for a family audience whilst pole dancing is not, Julia's performance would not have looked out of place in a strip club and athough I have nothing against strip clubs I am still angered that this sort of performance is considered ok for kids yet when I demonstrate fitness pole dancing to children I am slated for doing so.

Then there was poor Natalie Okri, Natalie wowed the audience and judges during the auditions with her Alicia Keyes performance but then the production crew got hold of her, gave a her a bad song choice, gave her a sexy dance (surely this is not appropriate for a 10 year old) and then allowed her to be publically humiliated as she was voted off, the sobbing 10 year old was then left to exit the stage on her own - is this really what the people of Britain want to see?

It seems that we the audience do not really get a say in who gets through, the show is cleverly manipulated so that Simon Cowell ensures his favourite acts get through to the finals, to do that some bad acts have to get to the semi finals whilst those who are genuinly talented do not qualify. It also seems that it doesn't matter who gets hurt in the process, Perhpas the BGT team should be reminded that "If you do not have anything nice to say then don't say anything", I thought that as a society we had gone past the years of public flogging and throwing people to the lions but it seems I am sadly mistaken. Having mentioned the previous phrase about not having anything nice to say it is probably better for me not to comment on Darth Jackson.

So onto DJ Talent, Now he may be a very nice guy, although some news paper reports seem to state otherwise but as I don't know him I will reserve judgement. Due to the way BGT is manipulated DJ Talent has acheived a semi final place and the production team have decided that the best supporting act DJ Talent could have is a set of "4 hot dancers" by that the production team mean 4 pole dancers. Now the pole dancers concerned are actually very talented ladies but I fear that they will not get the respect they deserve partly because they have been paired with an act that is sure to get booted off and partly because of the overall image that BGT has for pole dancers and that is not one of respect.

The pole dancing troupe will include 4 ladies: Deb Riley of Pole Queens (pictured below right), Faye Chatterley from Pole-Fit, Becca & Sasha. I wish them all the very best but fear for their treatment on the show, I would love to think that getting the girls on mainstream television will positively change people's percpetions of pole dancing but I worry that will not be the case, however I would love to be proved wrong! Good Luck to the girls and I hope that you get the respect and recognition you deserve. I also hope the gloves I supplied will help the girls perform in the harshness of the hot studio lighting!

If you are a body and pole member you can view the thread on the BGT pole dancing story by clicking this link.

I will be thinking of the girls when they perform tonight as well as sympathising with the performance nerves that must be starting to build by now as they get ready to go on stage. The show will be aired at 9pm tonight on ITV!

I will leave you with a link to AmyTrees blog as it features her new very cute guinea pigs Starsky & Silent Bob! More news to follow on my thieving MP Linda Gilroy, the aftermath of pole dancing on BGT and preparations for art of dance 5th Birthday Ball on the 7th June.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

My Birthday and Pole Portraits

I can't believe it is nearly a week since my last blog, so much has happened since then! I will try and give you a quick update on the weeks events!

A quick report from my birthday trip to the picturesque seaside town of Falmouth on Saturday, My husband & I drove to the Pandora Inn in Mylor for lunch before heading into the centre of Falmouth to collect 2 kakariki and 3 quail. Lunch at the Pandora Inn was gorgeous, I had fresh pan fried mackerel, broccoli and new potatoes in a hollandaisse sauce (see picture right) accompanied by a pint of Local Ale St Austell Tribute - delicious! My husbands choice of meal was less pleasing, he ordered the BBQ spare ribs but had to send the whole meal back as the sauce was so sweet it was inedible. My meal however was without fault. Here is the view from the Pandora Inn.

So after 'our meal' myself and my poor starving husband then went to collect my new birthday birds, we were only meant to be getting the 2 kakariki having decided that the 2 ring necked parakeets on offer may be to boisterous to join my happy flock of rescued birds. The kakarikis were in their carry case ready to go and my husband was waiting just outside the aviary unaware that 3 quail had managed to sneak into my other carry case! All the birds are delightful and have integrated into the aviary well, I will post some pictures of them at the weekend.

Sunday was a long day, I got into the office at 10am and didn't leave until gone 7pm. The day went marvellously well with 5 students attending the pole portrait day. We always have some props available on the day but one of Sunday's props was a little different - see picture left!

I hope that the girls enjoyed the day and are pleased with their final images, check out this image of Tasha doing a beautiful Gemini pose:

Thanks to Chris from Global eye photography for providing his services on the day and getting some great images and thanks to Hayley for doing a fab job in the make-up department. See picture right of Hayley applying make-up to Student Shony. I will post some more images from the day when I have permission from the models!

You may want to check out the latest news from the fantastic production that is 'Ame Du Pole', click here for the latest newsflash. More news to follow about pole dancing on Britains got talent.

Well that is all from me for today as it is my 3rd day in as row of teaching (and I have to cover Hayley's classes in Liskeard tonight.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Not enough hours in the day

Firstly I must apologise for the lack of blogging recently , it seems that my life is very hectic at present. I am so excited about how things are going with business but am struggling to keep all my eggs in one basket too!. The second studio is progressing very slowly, plans for the 5th Birthday bash are moving forwards and it looks set to be a great night, there are a few tickets left but they are selling fast! We have had confirmation that Burlesque Goddess Miss Glory Pearl (see picture above) will be performing on the night which will be fab.

The new pole dance community site is keeping me out of mischief too and we have new members joining us from across the globe. More news on the PDC to follow.

As if I didn't have enough to to I am taking delivery of 4 new rescued birds on Saturday, they are 2 kakarikis and 2 ring necked parakeets, I will post some pictures of them soon.

On Sunday I will be busy with the pole portrait day at the Plymouth studio in conjunction with Global Eye photography so I probably won't get to blog again till at least Monday! Next week I am teaching every night in Plymouth apart from Wednesday when I will be covering Hayley's classes in Liskeard - no rest for the wicked!

There is someone who is not going to like me very much today! The lovely Ellie came in for her first lesson with me and she worked really hard, I think by today Ellie will be feeling the effects of my beasting. Ellie has taken on the challenge of losing a massive amount of weight and is raising money for Help for Heroes in the process, click here for the full story. More news on Ellie's progress very soon.

Now either I am hallucinating or Rosanna has blog fever, I noticed she has now posted 3 recent blogs!! Anyway check out her recent blog featuring a video of a few art of dance students doing Rosanna's latest routine.

I really shouldn't moan too much about working to many hours as I have tonight off to go for a pre-birthday meal with my Mum at one of my favourite local restaurants, the Mussell Inn at Down Thomas, Yummy! I am really looking forward to spending some time with my Mum and eating some lovely mussels!

It seems we have some potential models amongst our students: Three of our students have entered this years Face of Plymouth competition 2009 - They are Lucy Sings, Sophie Morbey & Alex Bell, You can view all the entrants here.- and Liskeard student Lauren Dodge has entered Miss Cornwall Watch this space for more news and feel free to give them your vote. Good Luck to all the girls!

Any of you who pole dance regularly will be familiar with the problem of not being able to moisturise before getting on the pole, for me this has been a real issue as I am on the pole most days so have not been able to mositurise at all, The result has been very dry skin which is not aesthetically pleasing nor comfortable and also not great for sticking to the pole. Just when I though that I would just have to live with the problem the lovely Bubble aka Robyn informed me of Vaseline Essential Moisture, she claimed that she could put it on before a class and that it even helped her with sticking to the pole - I was very dubious but had to try it.... and it works! I can moisturise less than an hour before getting on the pole, my skin feels soft and my grip on the pole is superb! Bubble - you are a star - thanks for the recommendation!

Before my final comment for today I would like to say how marvellous our Lord Mayor and Lady Badgeress (you can blame Gordon Sparks for this term!) have been over the past year, I will truly be sad to see them go, I have never known any Lord Mayor or Mayoress do so much great work, the new Lord Mayor has a hard act to follow!. I am sure they will be truly missed. (see picture right of Councillor Brian Vincent & Pauline Murphy - image courtesy of The herald)

I can't sign off without mentioning the scandal that is MP's expenses:
- What were they thinking and why haven't they all resigned! I can't believe that none of them are facing legal action. I also notice that Linda Gilroy has still failed to respond to my e-mail questioning why she voted for secrecy for MP's expenses, it is funny that despite having her husband on a £12,000 per year payroll for secretarial duties she still has not been able to get back to me despite the fact that I sent the e-mail over 4 weeks ago, imagine if I took 4 weeks to get back to my customers when they sent me correspondance! Time for some serious change I think!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 10 May 2009

My Shoulders ache!

Sue & Rose painting.

Just when you thought I was about to blog about pole dancing think again, my shoulders ache for a very different reason - D.I.Y! Jo, Sue, Mia, Rose & I have been decorating the 2nd Plymouth Studio ready for its pending launch in June. Now as some of you will know painting ceilings is rarely fun and there seems to be no effective technique to make the job easier, roller in hand I made the constant climbs up the ladder trying to remind myself how rewarded I will feel when the job is finished and the studio is open, at present that seems like an eternity away although we are making good progress.

Jo painting and avoiding me with the roller!

I have always said that you should choose an exercise that you enjoy and for me decorating is far from enjoyable although I did have the pleasure of some great company and a pint of St Austell Tribute waiting for me in the pub at the end of the day.

So the back studio is slowly transforming from its original state as three beauty treatment rooms it is now one L-shaped room, the wallpaper and debris has been stripped and Sue has done a brilliant job of filling the many holes and imperfections. Yesterday the first coat of magnolia emulsion was applied so that the room is beginning to look like a studio rather than a building site.

Mia washing the filthy walls.

I cant wait until the studio is finished, the laminate oak effect floor, mirrors and soft lighting will make the room look really plush and it will be a perfect environment for the Burlesque, Yoga with Claire Nash, Pilates, Floor work, Flexibility and other classes that will be taking place there. It will also be used a portrait studio for our resident pole dance photographer Chris Trent of Global Eye Photography.

The added burden of the building work has certainly made my busy timetable even more hectic and I am seriously behind with admin for both the art of dance and the pole dance community but sometimes I function better under pressure. What I really do have to find time for is pole practice as the 7th June looms ever closer I realise I haven't even started to choreograph a routine or listen to my chosen song, I think all of the instructors are starting to panic but I am sure we will all do our best on the night!

So the rest of Sunday beckons and I really must do a few things on the PDC site, enjoy the rest of your weekend,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Happy Wedding Anniversary to me! (a very short blog!)

My blogging may be limited over the next week or so as I struggle to get the second Plymouth studio ready for opening, I will have lots of news on the 2nd studio and its timetable of activities very soon. On top of painting and decorating the new pole dance community site is also taking up a lot of my time I am not sure what is in the air but some of my staff have overcome their blogging drought and have finally added new posts! I have just read Rosanna's latest blog which contains some very cute pictures from her return visit to Pennywell Farm.

I can't believe that today is my 3rd wedding anniversary - how time flies! My husband and I hope to find some time to celebrate our anniversary but are both too busy at present to even think about taking time off! I wanted to post a wedding photo but cant find one at present so will post later! Instead I will leave you with a couple of pictures from the Barbican Jazz & Blues Festival:

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Blissful bank holiday

The sun is shining and it is a bank holiday weekend, My husband and I have the pleasure of visiting the Barbican Jazz and Blues Festival this afternoon where we will be watching Speakeasy who are described as "Tin Pan Alley tunes from the 1920s and 1930s that you never knew you knew, with fiddling, strumming...and spoons". Events like the Jazz Festival are great for Plymouth and the sunshine is just the icing on the cake!

The jam on Friday for UK Pole Dance day went well despite my decision to leave the heating on full for the spectators, for those of us who were on the poles the heat was unbearable and made dancing quite difficult but we carried on regardless and made the most of the 3 hour jam. I managed my first frodo (let me know if anyone has a better name for it!) on the pole after establishing that I have been trying to do the move on the wrong side of my body. I also managed a new type of flag that I can only describe as a vertical flag (will try to get a picture in the week to show you). We have all been working on the dart too (see picture above left), thanks to Tess for inventing the move, it is great fun apart from the pinching of the skin on the inner arm! Hope you like this little video with some clips from the Pole jam.

Everyone was looking great on the pole so I am really looking forward to seeing everyone perform at the Birthday ball on the 7th June. We are all missing Jo on the pole but I have no doubt she will still be amazing on the 7th. We are also missing Nixi who is still recovering from her dislocated knee although she does have the best brace I have ever seen, it looks like something straight out of Tombraider! Hopefully I will soon get to catch up with Kelly too, it seems like months since I last saw her!

Well it must be time for me to have a nice long soak in the bath and ready myself for my visit to the Barbican. I hope you all have a fabulous bank holiday weekend.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

p.s. here is the winning dance from Felix at the Miss Pole Dance World championships in Jamaica!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Happy UK Pole Dance Day


Yesterday I was mostly taking hospital strength Codeine with a cocktail of two other rather potent drugs that successfully stopped the pain but resulted in me being completely off my head much to the amusement of my staff and students. Apologies to any of you who were in or around reception between 5pm and 6.15pm yesterday but I must plead diminished responsibility!

As I floated around the office yesterday I found myself laughing for no reason and singing to the computer (poor computer). My GP had advised me to rest whilst on the medication and I had assured her that when I was on the medication I woudl take a few days off work! As you have already gathered that did not happen and in my manic state I couldn't resist the opportunity of a Pole jam with Rosanna, Hayley & Tamar.

Now obviously this is not a recommended activity, pole dancing and strong medication simply do not mix but nothing was going to stop me once I set my mind to it. What was great was that nothing hurt so between dizziness I decided to try some new combinations starting with Gemini handstand to one handed Gemini handstand to hands free chopper (or the hip hold as some people know it). The next new combo that Tamar and I had great fun trying was shoulder mount to the spider and shoulder mount to bat ( despite my hallucinatory state even I wimped out on the latter!). Then it was on to a death drop into reverse shoulder mount and parallel handstand to Chinese flag which is almost there but needs some work before my performance on the 7th June. Also included in my insane jam were climb to flag invert and some new thing that isn't really working but I will persist with anyway - videos to follow when I am a bit more normal or should I say a bit less manic.

Despite the intense session there were no achy muscles as I am still on the meds, I have halved the doses that I was advised to take as I have to perform for 3 hours tonight for our open evening, if I was in the same state that I was in yesterday I would have scared the hell out of any visitors.

Another side effect of the drugs was a desire to eat rubbish food, I craved Pizza all day and when I returned home and I persuaded my husband to order us pizza from Pizza hut: Never again, not only was the pizza disgusting but it was luke warm, the dough wasn't properly cooked, the toppings were minimal and it wasn't cheap. I was deeply disappointed with myself for ordering such rubbish and have vowed never to eat anything from Pizza hut ever again. If you don't believe how bad Pizza hut is just do a google search for 'Pizza Hut bad for you'. Apologies to Sid who told me beofre orderign the damn thing that I woudl not enjoy it.

Anyway due to my present state I will keep the blog short in case I write anything even more irresponsible!

Happy UK Pole dance day to everyone and a big hug ot the lovely Kim Quaintance who after a 4 month stay in hospital is finally home-FAO Kim I hope to see you very soon x

I hope to post a quick vid over the weekend of our open event and will be chasing Rosanna for the additional video footage from our staff team build to Pennywell farm last week.!

Stay healthy,

Sam x