Saturday, 31 July 2010

Exciting Times

Sometimes it would be really handy if there were a few more hours in each day. There are so many exciting projects happening within my life right now that I am having problems balancing them out. Changes at the art of dance deserve a blog on their own so you will have to wait for full details of the art of dance re-launch happening from 31st August 2010, you may want to put Saturday 4th September into your diaries.

Aside from the art of dance I have been working hard, with my husband and the rest of the PDC team, to finalise the launch of the Pole Dance Community Advancement and Accreditation Programme which goes live on Monday 2nd August. The AAP is the latest pole dancing passport for all pole dancers across the globe and it allows them to officially record all of their pole dancing achievements including general pole dancing classes, master class attendance, competition achievements and gradings. UK pole dancers also get free Personal Accident cover included with their booklet. I can't wait to start getting my booklet filled up with my list of pole dancing achievements spanning the last 6 years! You can buy your booklet now via the PDC website or from a PDC approved pole dance school such as the art of dance in Plymouth. Don't climb a pole without one!

I know that a lot of art of dance pole dancing students have been asking me for copies of our syllabus or print-outs to help them with learning the moves; now you can access the PDC free on-line international pole dancing syllabus (please be patient when first loading the page as it is huge!!).

So with both the PDC and the art of dance consuming much of my time I have still managed to squeeze in some lovely family moments as my Cousin Val is over from Beirut and her parents (my aunt and uncle) are over from the States. We have a big family meal tomorrow with 18 family members dining at the Crooked Inn at Trematon (see picture below). I am so looking forward to it. It has been a pleasure to show off Plymouth to my family and within the last 10 days we have managed to dine at many of my favourite eateries including the Mussel Inn, The Seafood and Pasta Bar, The Seco Lounge and Chandlers.
So, I will blog again very soon and will look forward to sharing all the new art of dance news within the next few weeks. I must apologise to our existing students for the increased dust and dirt due to the builders but I am sure that all the hard work will be worth it. Best I disappear of to do some more work and spend some more time with the family!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The art of dance are featured on Girly Legs!

A huge thank you to the team from Girly Legs for their fabulous feature on the art of dance - click here to see the full article.

Sam Remmer from The Art of Dance from Girlylegs on Vimeo.

I will look forward to seeing the lovely Nadine & Liz from Girly Legs when they return for a private pole dancing lesson next week.

More blogs soon on some amazing new changes at the art of dance.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 19 July 2010

UKAPP Bristol Heats.

Last night I had the pleasure of judging at the United Kingdom Amateur Pole Performer South Wets heats in Bristol. The judging panel included Alethea Austin, Karen Chaundy Deb Riley, Chantelle Pritchard and head judge Annie Norris.

I arrived at the venue just before 3pm and was delighted to see the lovely Sally-Ann Giles sat in the VIP area. Sally-Ann is an accomplished pole dancer but was taking a night of the pole to compère for the event. Next to arrive was 'Bendy Wendy' herself Chantelle Pritchard, followed by super-strong Karen Chaundy from BodyBarre in Manchester. Karen had the most amazing jewel-studded shoes which she nearly 'lost' after she left me to look after them, I resisted the temptation to flee the club and returned them safely to her!

Next through the doors was the UKAPP organisers Stacey Sneddon (staceypole/Vertical Leisure) and Kat W (Pole Love). It was great to catch up with Stacey again and lovely to finally meet Kat. There was little time to chat as Stacey invited me to the dressing room for the pre-competition competitors meeting. The rules were simple, everyone was their to support each other, there would be no bitchiness or intimidation, anyone breaking the rules would be thrown out and banned from any future UKAPP events. The competitors were then advised on what they were and were not allowed to do during the evening and then Stacey gave them the chance to ask any questions. The whole thing was professional yet friendly creating a lovely atmosphere.

The lovely Kate Johnstone from Spin City had helped with the organisation of the Bristol heats and her hard work had paid off, it was great to catch up with her again and I will be looking forward to a pole jam with her in the not to distant future.

With just 30 minutes before the doors were due to open I saw two lovely ladies arriving; Deb Riley and Donna Gant whom I had not seen since last competing. Within just a few minutes the gorgeous Annie Norris (head judge) had arrived and we had just a few minutes to catch up before taking our places at the judges table. Last to arrive, but definitely not least was the ever graceful Alethea Austin (USPDF Miss Sexy 2009/USPDF Champion 2010), it is the first time I have met Alethea and she is a truly lovely lady who is extremely hard working, her schedule sounded exhausting! Alethea is currently touring the UK before returning the US for further master classes and workshops. Alethea is famous for both her pole dancing and her amazing chair dancing.

As the doors opened and the spectators started to take their places around the stage, excitement started to mount and I hoped that, as judges, we would ensure that the best person one each section.

Sally-Ann Giles took to the stage to introduce herself, us (the judges) and to explain the UKAPP ethos and audience rules. Sally-Ann is a natural compère and she was fabulous throughout the evening.

Before the competiton commenced we were treated to a stunning performance by Kate Johnstone and the Spin City dance troupe. They performed to Kelis 'Acapella', all wearing black with peacock feather details and amazing eyelashes. The routine was superb.

First up was the performer section; this section is aimed at beginners and the majority of points are awarded for entertainment factor e.g. crowd interaction, costume and dance routine. The performers are given a list of illegal moves to ensure they are beginners and not intermediate level students. For most of these ladies they have never performed in public before but despite this they wowed the audience and the judges, it was a hard decision but the win was given to Rebecca Hocking for her eye-catching boxing themed dance to 'Eye of the tiger'.

The next guest performer was the ever-flexibly Chantelle Pritchard who had been panicking about getting her 'spatchcock', she had only got it once in her rehearsal and was threatening to remove it from her routine but I am so glad she didn't. Chantelle danced to he U2 / Mary J Blige song 'One Love' and it was a beautiful performance including full death lay and the Spatchcock.

Next up was the Intermediate section with points now being allocated for slightly more complicated pole tricks. The competitors were all fabulous and had put some much into their routines. Again it was hard to pick a winner but we had to make up our minds and the win was given to Kerry Low. Kerry's performance included the use of a black ostrich feather fan and her sparkly gold outfit glittered throughout. I am dying to know what song Kerry danced to so if anyone knows please tell me so I can download it?

Before the start of the Expert section it was time for Karen Chaundy to entertain us with another show of strength and flexibility, I love Karen's unique style of dancing which is both theatrical and graceful. Karen danced to fire-starter by the Prodigy and included a fabulous power lift handstand as well as a Chinese Flag, very impressive!

So the standard was about to be raised as we moved into the Expert section. All the competitors demonstrated how the standard of pole dancing is just getting higher and higher but 2 ladies in particular stood out; Kate Czepulkowski and Jasmin (sorry I don't remember her surname). Kate's background in gymnastics gave her a clear advantage and the general view across the judging was that if Kate was going to go professional we should all retire now! Once again, all the competitors were amazing and should be very proud of their performances.

The final section was the instructor section, a new part of this year's UKAPP and a chance for a new instructor to shine. All the ladies were amazing but again 2 ladies stood out for very different reasons. Winner, Varie Anderson - click here for Varie's, performed a 3 minute song starting with a beautiful graceful start then, via a quick costume change, she finished her performance as real rock chick, a very entertaining and accomplished performance. The other instructor, who captured the heart of both myself and Deb Riley, was Spin City Instructor Kate Oldham - click here to view Kate's performance- whose 'Cupid' routine captivated the audience. Kate performed amazingly despite a rotator-cuff injury sustained just days before.

Before the results were announced it was time for the final guest performance of the night from Alethea Austin. Alethea had bravely (or stupidly as she suggested!) picked a 6.5 min song! The routine started with one of infamous chair dances which she performed brilliantly despite the very wobbly, unstable chair. Alethea then pulled out a series of floor moves, including a very strong and uber-bendy free-standing elbow stand, before taking to the pole and captivating the audience.

At the end of the night the results were announced including the judges award for overall winner which we just couldn't no agree on, we were torn between Kate Oldham and Jasmin and eventually, with the help of Stacey and Kat, were allowed to give them both the award meaning that they both get a place in the finals.

Before leaving for the long drive home I and the chance to catch up with several familiar faces; Robyn Rooke, Josephine Ford and Miranda Goldring. It is such a shame that we only got the chance to catch up so fleetingly but I hope to see them all again soon.

I must say that the UKAPP event is the best organised competition I have ever attended and I really couldn't pick fault with any aspect of the competition. The atmosphere was incredible and everyone seemed their to support each other. I can't wait to get involved with next years event and am so pleased that Stacey and Kat invited me to judge at this years event.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Pole Dancing Progress

Thought I would use today's blog to upload a few videos from my recent pole dancing practice. The videos should help to explain a few of my lovely multi-coloured bruises as well as giving some of my students a chance to enjoy my pain! Here is the no-handed corkscrew which is definitely not a pleasure to learn:

The Boomerang Leg circles or swivel hips:

One of my favourite spins - The Snake (apologies to the students who learned the snake this week and who now have large bruises and abrasions to their elbows.)

The scary Flying Back Hook:

A big Thank you to Michaela Roberts (NSPDS), Emma Thorpe (UPPDC) and Georgina Gale for helping with this weeks filming for the Pole Dance Community Syllabus.

Loads more news to follow very soon,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Giving Blood and other random news

I used to write at least 3 blogs a week and now I am struggling just to get one done. It is not that I do not want to write but that things are so busy with the Pole Dance Community site and the launch of the Accreditation and Advancement Programme (AAP) that time is very limited and the AAP has to be a priority. 

Despite limited time I did find a moment to give blood yesterday, it was my 17th donation and I hope some lovely recipient gets to enjoy my tasty garlic infused blood! As always the staff were lovely and they do such a fabulous job. If you haven't already thought about giving blood, platelets or tissue just click here for more information. If you want to be an organ donor just click here.

This weekend will be a mixture of work and fun, I have already had the pleasure of catching up with my brother David and his fiance Michelle as they are over from Australia for a few days as well as seeing my Sister Julie and her husband Chris. Tonight I have a fabulous Golden Wedding Party to attend as my Great Aunt and Uncle celebrate 50 years of marriage and tomorrow afternoon I hope to be able to pop down to the Barbican to see Plymouth's town crier Jack Ringer (see picture above) and his lovely better half. There will various activities including face painting in the afternoon adjacent to the Mayflower Steps, I am hoping for good weather.

Next weekend will be equally busy as I set of to judge at the United Kingdom Amateur Pole Performer competition in Bristol, Here is the judges line-up:

Annie Norris: Pole Divas winner 2009, Pole Divas Runner Up 2007 and 2008 and X-Pole girl.
Karen Chaundy : Miss Pole Dance International winner and British Isle Professional winner 2009.
Sam Remmer: Miss Pole Dance & PoleDivas UK Finalist 2007, 2008, 2009 & founder of the Pole Dance Community site.
Deb Riley: Miss Pole Dance Trixster 2009 and MPD finalist 2006,2007.
Alethea Austin: USPDS Miss Sexy 2009 and USPDS Winner 2010 World Finalist 2010

Click here to get your tickets but be quick as there are only a few left!

Well I must sign off for now as I have to build some emergency quail housing for my poorly Quail!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Bruised and Battered (but I still love pole dancing!)

It seems my passion for pole dancing has left me feeling a little worse for wear this week. My advanced class on Monday at 6.15pm meant a vigorous start to the week as my 3 Plymouth students; Hayley, Sara & Kevin were joined by Exeter University pole dancers Cheryl and Jess. We worked on parallel handstands, floating ballerina's, the Q (don't even ask!) as well as a side climb to figurehead to shoulder mount combination. By Tuesday I had prepared a 'lovely' session plan for my Tuesday night ladies including plenty of thigh holds; planks, the liberty and seated climbs to name but a few. Not content with two nights of training I made the brave (or foolish) decision to join Hayley's 6.15pm class. In hindsight, had I read her session plan, I would have decided to take the night off! The 'Grace and Poise' climbing class was a real beasting in disguise and went as follows;

Monkey Climb and spinning monkey climb, beginners handstand to Caterpillar climb, side climb to figurehead to shoulder mount, Aerial climb to blade, Spyda monkey (by this point the back of one of my knees had started to bleed), Seated climb (from a seated position on the floor) and a Chinese pole climb just to finish off. I was truly battered and had definitely earned the few pints of real ale I drank at the Fortescue afterwards.

I now feel similar to the way I did after the wonderful master class hosted by Karen Chaundy from Pole Dance Community approved pole dance school Body Barre. The master class was part of the NSPDS Routine for the Nation event and was held at my art of dance studio. The master class consisted of 3 hours of exhausting moves including the dreaded Spatchcock, Special and Flying K, handspring dart and Chinese Flag, some lovely deadlifts as well as the boomerang / straddle spin to extended butterfly and the dangerous back hook drop, all of which resulted in a myriad of purple, green, black and yellow bruises similar to the ones I have today.

I do feel I am getting some progress with my handstands, shoulder mount planks and the tabletop but there is still so much more I want to do. I think that is why I love pole dancing so much, there is always a new goal so you can never tire of learning. The bruises are like little trophies of your hard work and determination and, whilst pole dancing you get to meet great like-minded individuals. That was one of the joys of Kaz's master-class, I got to meet new friends from across the country and they were all so lovely. Thanks also to Adham for the pictures included on this blog. To see the full album of pictures from the day just visit the Karen Chaundy master class facebook page. Thanks also to Michaela for organising the NSPDS event and thanks to Kaz for an amazing and inspiring master class.

Before I sign of for today I would like to wish art of dance student Carly Norris all the best as she opens her new gym 'Hybrid Mixed Martial arts' in Cattedown, Plymouth. I hope the venture is a huge success.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x