Monday, 28 September 2009

What a weekend!

picture above of Councillor David Chadwick and myself opening the new JLN fitness studio, principal pole dance instructor Jess Leanne Norris is pictured centre.

Well things have been pretty hectic since my last blog and my husband has driven me on a 500 mile round trip stopping in Bradford, Westhoughton and Cheadle! To cut a long story short I have spent the weekend doing an official opening for a pole dance studio, JLN fitness, in Westhoughton in Bolton and have tied the visit in with a trip to see my husbands family in Bradford.

Click here to read the article I have just written for the pole dance community about the opening of the JLN studio. Click here to see the part 1 of the video diary of the opening and click here for part 2.

Here is my performance from the opening;

A quick bit of news before I fly off to teach some pole classes in Exeter, the wonderful new board for the University of Plymouth pole dancing society managed to sign up 142 members yesterday and look set to become on of the biggest clubs at the university! It means life at the art of dance will be a bit busier for the next few weeks as we get all the new students, male and female through their inductions. More news to follow on the UPPDC (UPPDC facebook group).

Lastly a huge big thank you to my husband for supporting me throughout the hectic weekend and for being generally lovely!

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tavistock update

This may be my last blog till at least Monday as I am off to Bolton & Bradford for a few days. The last week has been interesting as I think I have overdone things a little. I mentioned in my last blog that I felt poorly but by Sunday I felt truly hideous and Monday wasn't much better but today I think I am through the worst of it and on the road to recovery!

Saturday saw me performing at the Tavisrock Festival on a very wobbly stage next to a wall! As I was feeling ill I was not feeling very strong and forget how horrible it is to dance on a free standing pole! Despite the problems the three sets went well and I didn't fall off or collapse! Click here for the dance I did to Stormseeker singing 'Seven nation Army', click here for the dance I did to T-rex tribute Revolution and click here for the dance I did to The Crossings version of 'Sex on fire'.

Well, I will keep things brief today as I have loads to do before my short trip away and I am teaching tonight, more news to follow,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Pole Performance

Just a quick blog from me as I am about to bury my head in the computer for a few hours to write a set of memorandum and articles of association for my new company - news to follow on that. I am not partcularly excited about writing such a document but am excited about the possibilities that will come as a result of the new company status. I am unsure if it is a good thing or a bad thing but for the last three days I have been feeling under the weather so writing a document is probably more suited to my mood than bouncing around on the pole.

Hopefully my health will fully return by Saturday ready for me three sets at the Tavisrock festival. I then have a really hectic week teaching in Exeter, Plymouth and Liskeard before setting of to Bolton & Bradford for 4 days to open Jess's (JLN Fitness) new studio and to do some masterclasses for her students. Click here for full information on Jess's new studio and the surrounding publicity.

Rather than bore you with any more details of mems and art or ill health I will leave you with some photos from the Bristol qualifying heats of Pole Divas. The pictures were taken by the lovely James from Motion Stop factory. James is coming down to Plymouth next month to do another shoot with me which should be great fun, I am also waiting to see the results of the photo shoot that Sue, Tamar, Mia & I did on Monday with Christ Trent from Global Eye photography.

Gemini Variation

Cradle (concorde legs)

Brass Monkey

no idea what this is called!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 11 September 2009

Tavisrock & Tombstoning.

As you may gather from the title of today's blog I two slightly different issues I want to cover. I will start with the Tavisrock festival that is just over a week a way and is set to be a fab event. it seems that I am dancing with three diffident bands; Angus (an AC/DC tribute band), The Crossing and Stormseeker. Angus will be doing a cover of one of my all time favourites "Back in black", it is the song I fell off the pole too at Miss Pole dance 2008 so let's hope I don't repeat that incident again next week! Click here to see Angus performing the song live. When I support the Crossing I will be dancing to 'Sex on fire' which will be a wonderful song to dance to and should really be a good crowd pleaser. I am waiting for confirmation of which song I will be dancing too when I dance with Storm seeker!

No doubt by the end of next Saturday I will be bruised and battered but it will be well worth it. I will be videoing my three sets and will post the videos after the event. Click here for today's Herald article on the Tavisrock Festival. Tickets can be purchased from the Wharf box office on 01822 611166. They cost £8 for adults and £6 for students. Group and family discounts are available from the organisers direct; call Ellie Hudson on 07799 808737 or email ellie@

So from Tavisrock to tombstoning! Is it just me or is tombstoning not actually as bad as everyone is making out? I know I have had this rant before but it seems that tombstoning is not only free but it keeps kids active and off the streets. It seems complete madness that Plymouth City Council have closed the Hoe diving boards; surely this just forces youngsters to use other areas that are more dangerous. I have heard that the decision to close the boards was in case someone inured themselves whilst using the diving boards and then sued the council but surely the cost to the local economy through injuries sustained away from the diving boards is just as costly? This year I have seen two rescues of the Hoe involving fire engines, abseiling equipment and ambulances. Let's face it kids are always going to jump of things and I don't think this should necessarily be discouraged, the rate of injury is actually very low when you compare it to the number of kids actually tombstoning. I hope that the recent initiative by the Police to educate youngsters actually has positive impact and results in the council finding a way to re-install some safe dive points off the Hoe.

For more feedback from the PoleDivas Bristol heats click here for professional winner Tamar's review of the night.

News to follow on healthy pet foods and kids pole dancing. Off now to teach 2 x 8 year olds the art of pole gymnastics as part of my new pole monkeys syllabus!

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Kids pole dancing doll!!

This hideous looking child's doll has sparked outrage across the world. Click here to read my article for the pole dance community website about the offending doll.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 6 September 2009


Please excuse my writing today as I am slightly sleep deprived so will not be writing to the best of my ability. My lack of sleep was due to my attendance at the PoleDivas championships qualifying heats in Bristol last night. Two of my instructors, Hayley Silk & Tamar Preston, and myself competed in the professional section on PoleDivas and we were over the moon when Tamar was announced as the winner! We have yet to see the scorecards but I have a sneaky suspicion that we have bagged 1st, 2nd & 3rd places.

Anyway, here is my account of the evening. My Mum & I travelled to Bristol and arrived at the Venue just before 5.30pm. The Venue was one of the best I have seen used for a competition (apart from the ceiling which I will come to later), it was clean, spacious and practical. Unfortunately the pole needed to be installed between 2 beams making Tamar's proposed death lay a tricky affair, the close proximity of the beams also meant that the neon light tubes were dangerously close to the pole and thus the performers but luckily no harm was done.

The comp was a little late starting but the show eventually kicked off at about 8.30pm, with a charming chair / pole routine by 4 instructors from Spin City. The judges; Co-Organiser Fay Warne (Pole-tastic) pictured right, Jolene Whiting (Purity Pole) pictured left & Josephine Ford pictured middle (Pole-play and PoleDivas originator) were now ready to judge the amateur section of the competition. A Lady called Reena won (excuse me if I have her name wrong), I personally would have given it to the lady who danced first but the competition had a strict set of judging criteria which I actually favour and despite my reservation over that result there was no problem working out who won the amateur advanced section. Karrie (again apologies if I have the wrong name!) wowed the audience and judges with a performance that would have wiped the floor with us professionals. Karrie's unique style, death defying tricks and originality kept us all mesmerised from start to finish, this lady is definitely one to watch. Our own SJ performed beautifully despite forgetting a bit of her routine, she pulled out some classic tricks and managed to smile and entertain throughout, I was most proud of her.

So then it was our turn, I went first and was generally very pleased with my routine. I knew I had not practiced as much as is required for a professional comp but pulled a nice little routine out of the bag anyway. There were a few mistakes but nothing drastic but I did receive a 5 point penalty for lack of floor work which I kind of expected - I hate floor work and end to get carried away with tricks but hey ho - here is my performance;

Tamar went up next and danced the best I have ever seen her dance starting her routine with a very impressive death lay and including some of classic back bending tricks including her Felix figurehead, Half Moon and The Dove. Next up was Hayley who wowed the crowd with moves such as the Bridge and Crescent, Hayley was highly critical of her performance but I thought she did brilliantly. The fact that all of us were scored so closely made me extremely proud of the art of dance. To see Tamar's performance click here, to see Hayley's performance click here.

One interesting discovery from last night was a new sports drink, now generally I am not a big fan of so called performance enhancing drinks a they are usually full of nasties such as caffeine, taurine and aspartame but yesterday I discovered a more natural alternative that is favoured by the British Triathlon team; Taut is a naturally hydrating drink containg only natural sugars, minerals and fruit. It is definitely something that I will be using in the future.

So now it is back to some serious pole practice as I have several showcases coming up over the next few weeks so expect to hear about some lovely new bruises and abrasions. Lastly a huge thanks to my Mum for travelling with me and supporting me throughout the event and a big thanks to Faye & Robyn for organising such an excellent competition. It was lovely to catch up with so many familiar faces too. Pictures to follow from the lovely James from Motion Stop Factory.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 4 September 2009

1 day to go!

I feel remarkably calm considering tomorrow is the Pole Divas championships qualifiers in Bristol tomorrow. I have felt nervous all week but for some reason I feel OK today, that either means I will be a complete nervous wreck tomorrow or that I am finally learning to deal with performance nerves. Unfortunately I think the bundle of nerves option is more likely! Tonight I plan to visit the Mussel Inn with my husband to get some serious protein in the form of a bowl of mussels or a fish steak depending on what is on the menu.

I am aware that I have neglected my practice over the last few days as I know I have over-trained so I thought it was better to rest my muscles in the hope that my strength will return by tomorrow. The first half of my routine seems good it is the second half that worries me. I will blog on Sunday and let you know how Hayley, Tamar, our student SJ and myself get on.

Yesterday I did manage to spend a few extra moments on the pole for a photo shoot for the Herald to promote the Tavisrock Festival to be held on Sept 19th - I will blog fully about that event in the week and am thoroughly looking forward to perfoming there.

The pole dance community site is continuing to grow from strength to strength and it now has some great new articles on forthcoming UK workshops as well as another Felix cane Interview courtesy of Tiny from Candy & Chrome.

A quick bit of news on the Cystic Fibrosis trust, if you live in or around Torquay then why not visit the fabulous CF trust ball to be held at the Grand Hotel in Torquay on the 25th September, if you would like more info or would like to buy tickets just e-mail - I am unable to make the event unfortunately as I will be in Bolton opening the fabulous new JLN fitness studio! I do however hope to organise a dance event in November to raise money for the CF trust so will keep you posted on developments for that.

Off to drink some peppermint tea and do some admin!

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Sue is in the news

Our gorgeous Burlesque goddess has a feature in today's Herald, click here to read the article. A huge thanks to reporter Gillian Adams for writing such a fabulous report.

Stay healthy

Sam x