Tag Archives: pole dancing

RE-IGNITING PASSION: A Tomcat’s Pole Adventure

24 Jan

Even though most of us in the company are teachers, we have to admit that we also miss being students. There will ALWAYS be something new to conquer and old tricks to be improved.

The great thing about learning is that it knows no bounds and this is why we should take advantage of opportunities we’re faced with.

This is what AJ, our senior tomcat, did when he went to the US over the holiday break.

Here’s a quick summary of AJ’s US pole adventure!

My first stop was at the Shine Alternative Fitness studio in Las Vegas where I took a flexibility and private pole class with American Pole Fitness Silver Medalist David C. Owen. I also met 2011 American Pole Fitness Bronze Medalist Suwasit Ritthiphon that day. Talk about being surrounded by pole superstars!

Check out David’s and Suwasit’s videos!

 

My next stop was at the Twirly Girls Pole Fitness studio where I took a class with the studio owner, Bel Jeremiah, who other pole stars fondly call Mama Bel. I became good friends with a fellow pole enthusiast named Sean Michael (not the wrestler. That would be Shawn Michaels. Haha!)

twirly girl

With Bel Jeremiah (studio owner) and Patrick Lorange (student) of Twirly Girls Studio

I concluded mhy US pole adventure by attending a private class with the beautiful Phoenix Kazree at the Entangle and Sway studio.

kazree

With Phoenix Kazree, and my kindred polemate Sean Michael.

Phoenix Kazree gave us tips on how to be better pole performers, especially onstage. She greatly stressed on the importance of avoiding shortcuts and making every single movement big.


Isn’t she beautiful?!

Along the way you meet people who give you another reason to do what you love to do. Im fortunate enough to meet these beautiful pole souls.

Advertisements

Music Monday: Esthero

7 May

It’s another work-a-day week ahead of us and it’s time to set the mood of our groove 🙂 Today’s musical offering comes from the very talented Esthero. She’s got the beat, she’s got the voice and this song will definitely keep you relaxed for the week ahead. Enjoy!

In Silhouette

23 Feb

6901748029_cd125a423d_b

The response to our little black and white photoshoot has been overwhelming. All we really wanted that day was to take photos of some new moves so that we could keep encouraging our students to keep working hard.

6901764271_314953a41c_b

In fact, that morning was an a really stressful one. It was supposed to be an outdoor shoot, but it rained all morning long. We were looking for other indoor venues, but none were working.

6901768921_7f9106cafb_b

Finally, we decided to go back to the studio to be safe. We set up the lights, put up dark velvety curtains as a backdrop, but for some reason the flash trigger stopped working and we had to pull all the curtains down and work with natural light.

6901755723_e28d4a892e_b

This is one of those times when it really was a blessing in disguise. We held the poses as long as we could, and Pong Ignacio, our lovely photographer, made sure our lines were wonderful and the shadows hit just right. And then everything just fell into place.

6901751985_3ab4180fab_b

Our group has always been about promoting a love of one’s body, allowing women of all shapes and sizes to discover just how far they can go. And the fact that now so many people from different parts of the world has seen and acknowledged that effort, is both exhilarating and humbling. We still have so many things we need to do as a group, and so far to go as individual pole artists.

6901823583_1218fc3f66_b

But every day the respect and love for the sport grows, and we hope to keep pushing it on for as long as we can. Strong is the new sexy, ladies and gentlemen. And this is how Polecats Manila does it.

6901819147_5d1af4f8c8_b

Polecats Manila: Smitten Kitten Meets Curious Cat

9 Jul

Thank you so much for this wonderful article sexandsensibilities.com! Thank you so much for joining us in class 🙂

***

Polecats Manila: Smitten Kitten Meets Curious Cat
POSTED ON 22. MAY, 2011 BY SASADMIN IN SASSY EVENTS

By Vixen, Sex and Sensibilities.com Guest Contributor

I was a little dubious when I learned about Polecats Manila. Embracing an art which is traditionally composed of nearly naked women wrapping their legs around a—let’s face it—undeniably symbolic pole for a male audience seems, if anything, backward to me. I therefore walked into my beginners’ pole dancing lesson this past week prepared to criticize. Before I had time to think a single critical thought, however, I was greeted by a room of smiling women, ushered to a pole on the floor, and thrown into the most physically demanding dance class I have ever attended. And though my criticism of the origins of pole dancing remain, I can only praise the classes at Polecats Manila.

Meet the Polecats

Polecats was founded in 2009 by visual artist Christina Dy and some fellow pole dancing friends. Dy, who began pole dancing as a remedy for a broken heart, eventually expanded the company from a school to a performance group, taking on corporate events, live music gigs, and even a show at the CCP. Since then, the group has continued developing the art form by collaborating with musicians, photographers, and filmmakers for various projects, and last year they were joined by their first male “tomcat”, Job Bautista.

mara2

Despite their performance projects, however, Polecats is first and foremost a school. As described on their website, the primary objective of the team—and what ends up making the classes so much fun—is to encourage their students, “no matter size, height, or history”, to “bloom into their own brand of beauty”. Indeed, this was the first dance class I have ever been to where I haven’t felt constantly judged for my missteps or moments of awkwardness. The atmosphere of the room was entirely positive, and the teacher and other “kittens” (Polecat slang for students) friendly and supportive.

And believe me, at times I needed their support. Before the class, I never appreciated the enormous physical strength of pole dancers, but it is now obvious to me why pole dancing, reported to improve core and upper body strength, flexibility, and balance, is such a praised method of physical exercise. All of the women I spoke to at the class were there for personal fitness, many to lose weight. Furthermore, I felt safe as I did the workout—Polecats uses professional grade poles, the stability of which we checked carefully at the beginning of the class, and is the only such program in the country with internationally certified instructors.

By the time that I finally, after fifty minutes of struggle, completed a spin and felt proud of it, I began to see another positive of the class: I felt…hot. As Christina Dy said in a recent interview, “Being sexy can be very empowering, especially in our society where there are so many rules. This can be the one time in a woman’s week where she is allowed to feel sexy.”

Though I can’t help but question the belief that this version of sexy is something to strive for, I also can’t help but wonder if, now that this sexiness is a definite part of our culture, perhaps instead of continuing to struggle against it, the best thing an empowered woman can do is embrace it and use it, as Dy says, as her own best weapon.

Maybe.

In the mean time, give Polecats Manila a try. At best, it’s a great workout and a great environment, and at worst, it will certainly inspire some interesting and difficult questions.

###

If you’re interested in changing how you view your body, promoting a healthy, fit, and active lifestyle, challenging yourself, and—why not—feeling sexy all at the same time, contact Polecats at 0917-700-POLE (0917-701-7653) or send an email to classes@polecatsmanila.com to reserve a spot in the next class.

Polecats is located at Gen Studios, 3F Pearl Plaza, Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center.

Striptease classes are now offered from 12:30-1:30 on Saturday afternoons. Other dance classes are offered throughout the week.

For more information, check out Polecats Manila’s Facebook page and website.

See article at: sexandsensibilities.com

Polecats Interview with Yahoo! South East Asia and loQal.ph

31 Mar

Yahoo! South East Asia and loQal.ph do a short feature on the Polecats. Watch Christina Dy’s interview right here 🙂

61024_148101191897419_108140319226840_237994_167177_n

To know more about loQal.ph, visit their website, YouTube channel or Facebook page.

Danah’s Story

20 Mar

Here’s an article by Danah Gutierrez, one of our lovely students. As her teachers, we are more than proud to see her grow and get better in the craft we all love. May her words inspire you to dare and conquer what lies beyond your perceived limitations.

To know more about Danah, visit her blog  The Plump Pinay.

Pole-ing my way to happiness. 🙂

“A dream never stops knocking until it happens.” When I read this quote, something inside me shattered, because it is so true to me. I have loved dancing ever since the moment I knew it’s something I can do and it’s something I’m pretty good at. I guess I got it from my momma, because she herself is a self-confessed frustrated dancer (she says dancing is her first love). So whenever there were opportunities to dance, whether in school or in barangay fiestas, I’m in. Dancing just gave me so much joy, and I knew in my heart it’s definitely something I am passionate about. However, as I got bigger come grade 5, the taunting and teasing from other fellow dancers got magnified which caused deep wounds in my heart. Sure, I shrugged it off and still pursued dancing up until I moved to my new high school, but it was a time I never knew of body-acceptance, and so I finally believed the idea they were all trying to tell me subliminally—that I shouldn’t dance because I’m fat, and because dancers must be thin.

After a massive weight loss because of obsessive calorie-counting and excessive exercising, I figured since I had the acceptable body for dancing, might as well go for it. So promised myself I will join a dance troupe in college–and I did. But my priorities shifted and I gained back all the weight I lost, so I quit. I was devastated, I knew I was letting go of something dear to me–an extension of me–but I justified my cowardice with a lot of smart-sounding excuses. From then on, I tried to stop thinking about it; but it was like an annoying little creature running after me—the thought of dancing just wouldn’t go away. So one time, I finally gave that little creature what it wanted. I enrolled in All Stars Dance Studio, with the internationally-known dance group, Philippine All Stars. I remember the shame and fear I felt before going to the studio. “I won’t fit in. I’ll make a fool out of myself”–these where the thoughts lingering in my mind as I waited for the dance class to begin. So after paying for a year’s membership fee and a month’s worth of classes, I told myself I can’t keep up with this pressure and feeling of dismay. I stopped right attending after my 2nd class.

I wanted to give up this dream. I felt stupid for even trying to revive something that already died a long time ago. Or so I thought.

It was after I had pledged to take the journey of body acceptance that I finally wanted to do something grand with my body—and that is to awaken the dance freak in me (hehe). As I scoured the internet for the best dance genre for me (I had to consider the skills I got: I was a hip-y person and loved fluid moves), I came across a video of a plus-size pole dancer. MAN OH MAN, SOMETHING SO STRONG WAS RENEWED IN ME AND IT WAS THE DESIRE, THE PASSION AND THE COMMITMENT I ONCE HAD WITH DANCING. It felt good–like a love affair waiting to begin. As I watched this dancer’s movement, something in me felt so determined to achieve the same. I want to be like her, I CAN BE LIKE HER. So with high hopes and a more confident me, I searched for a credible pole dance studio to work with.

This is where POLECATS enter the picture. I saw their ad on Dance Manila’s website and did a little more research and finally enrolled. I felt so foreign as I entered the studio. Was I afraid? Yes, but excitement took over my fear. “Do it afraid”, I quoted Joyce Meyer as I reminded myself.

We were asked to partner with someone, and amazingly, I was partnered with Karla, a big, beautiful woman, who seriously took my breath away the moment we started our warm up. She was such a sweetheart, bursting with confidence and energy. I remember her saying, “If I can do this, so can you.” She was my hero that night, pushing me to my limit with a lot of encouragement. The class was unbelievably fun; my first class was with teacher Myla, a gorgeous, friendly and spunky girl who always asked if I was okay, and assured me that I’ll get better in no time, as long as I practice.

The sense of support in the room was overwhelming, and it all the more makes me want to persevere as a dancer. Sure, there were moments I wanted to burst out crying because I feel so awkward and slow, but hey, I gotta start somewhere, and this time, I won’t let these challenges hinder me from doing what I love. They are nothing compared to the elated feeling of achieving something after a hard night’s work.

I remember teacher Myla asking us to do the superman move (photo below), and after demonstrating it, I just instantly said I can’t, without even trying. This is what I also love about pole dancing: I get to break poor mindsets and surprise myself later on. So as Karla and teacher Myla finally got me to try doing it (oh how strong Myla was to spot me), I WAS ABLE TO LIFT OFF MY LIMBS AND CARRY MYSELF. Those 3 precious seconds were so powerful—it showed me that I CAN, AND I AM ABLE, AS LONG AS I SET MY MIND TO IT. It was the first trick I ever did, (next is the climb which is my ultimate favourite) and I felt great.

There is more to pole dancing than meets the eye. It is for strong, confident women (we don’t even need partners!) who are comfortable with their bodies. I love how it made me realize more things in my journey to body-acceptance. It doesn’t discriminate, it forms friendships, it strengthens and it brings out encouragement and also and more importantly, the best in you. Most especially, it made my dream a reality, and I’m not stopping anytime soon. 🙂

***
To the PoleCats team especially teacher Myla Tan and Christina Dy, thank you for being in this journey with me. You have been so wonderful and encouraging, your words bring life–you truly inspire me to be the best dancer I can be.

To other plumpies out there who are afraid to try something new because of fear or shame: GO FOR IT. JUST DO IT. DO IT AFRAID. Learn to have fun with your bodies and do what you really wanna do. May it be a sport or a funky dance class, just go! Trust me, you won’t be experiencing many great things until you step out your safe zone. It also opens so many novel things in terms of body-acceptance. 🙂 As for the critics–let them be. As Marilyn Monroe said, “When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I’m already better than them.”

Superman
Danah 1

Caught in the act! Dancing (with matching emotions) during our contemporary jazz pole night with PoleCat Mara Andres
Danah2

Born to pole! Hehe, my mom made this ♥
Danah3

DO VISIT POLECATSMANILA‘S WEBPAGE AND LEMME KNOW IF YOU WANNA TRY IT WITH ME! 🙂

Plump love,
Danah

See article at: http://www.theplumpinay.com/2011/03/poling-my-way-to-happiness.html

Polecats Summer Program

15 Mar

188620_10150121976599501_169538659500_6296622_7461030_n

POLECATS SUMMER PROGRAM

Mondays

4:30 – 5:30 PM – POLE BEGINNERS 1
8:30 – 9:30 PM – POLE INTERMEDIATE

Tuesdays and Thursday

6:00 – 7:00 PM – POLE BEGINNERS 1
7:00 – 8:00 PM – POLE BEGINNERS 2
8:00 – 9:00 PM – POLE INTERMEDIATE

Wednesday

12:00 – 1:00 PM – POLE MIX LEVELS
4:30 – 5:30 PM – POLE BEGINNERS 1

Friday

7:00 – 8:00 PM – POLE INTERMEDIATE

Saturday

11:30AM – 12:30 PM – POLE MIX LEVELS
12:30 – 1:30 PM – STRIPTEASE

Rates – Walk in Php 500
Classcard – Php 3000 for 8 sessions (2 months validity)
Summer 30 days Unlimited – Php 3800 valid on April 2-May 2 or May 3 – June 3
Recital Fee – Php 1,500 with free DVD

* Rates effective starting April 1, 2011.

* If you have an active classcard and would like to avail of the 30 days unlimited, we can extend validity of your classcard after June 3.

* Summer 30 days Unlimited is valid on from April 2- May 2 or May 3 – June 3. You can attend all classes in your level, Pole mix levels and striptease.

* First timers are advised to take BEGINNERS 1 classes until further notice from the teacher.

* Pole mix levels classes are open to BEGINNERS 2 and POLE INTERMEDIATE students.

* Recital fee should be paid on or before May 15, 2011.

March Schedule

9 Mar

Here’s the updated schedule for the month of March. See you in class ladies! 🙂

200582_10150107050375835_531075834_6414936_8054198_n

Feel free to invite your friends! Spread pole love!

SOON on PolecatsManila!

8 Mar

Up next! Mr. Bones and The Boneyard Circus share their Ultimate Pole Playlist with the Polecats.

SOON on POLECATSMANILA.

74694_473317277930_162385522930_5834870_8379949_n

To know more about Mr. Bones and The Boneyard Circus check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/theboneyardcircus

LOW and SLOW. Training Safe and Training Smart

6 Mar

LOW and SLOW. Training safe and training smart.

by Ira Villar, founder of PKPH /Parkour Philippines

ira doing some pk moves

In this article, Ira writes about the importance of training Low and Slow for beginners. While this article is intended for those who practice parkour, there is a lot of wisdom here applicable to beginner pole dancers as well.

——-

I am now watching the newest PK Vids on YOUTUBE. Some have promise, some have potential, some have a very bright future, and most are just cluttering the internet with poor technique and bone breaking drops.

The problem with all these videos is that the initial attraction to Parkour becomes the big drops and rarely anything else. People need to understand the basic principle of starting LOW and SLOW.

New practitioners are constantly jumping off buildings and heights (usually 2nd or even 3rd floor!), believing that the PK ROLL will help them. There are many variables to consider in these cases. Is it properly practiced? Is the form correct? Does the roll put impact on the spine? Does it travel through the meaty and fleshy muscle parts of the body? Do the legs sufficiently take impact before the roll? Is the head properly tucked?  Etc.

In other cases, there isn’t even a roll (I’ve seen videos… TONS.) In that case, how’s the landing form? Is there a proper “crumple”? How far do the knees bend? How are the toes and heels? Other than that, we also have to consider the physical health and fitness level of the jumpers / droppers (in most cases, I don’t classify them as landers! 😉 ) How are the knees? Are they prepared to take the strain? How fit are the quadriceps / thigh muscles? And there are many more questions I constantly ask.

With all these variables in hand, is it really enough to justify jumping off a balcony after only a few months of training?

Most teens that start training immediately jump off heights and they don’t feel it. YOUR BODY IS YOUNG, AND RESILIENT. You can jump off now, you won’t feel it. But in a few years, you will regret all of it when you have chronic pain, or when your knees can’t handle most jumps.

(If you don’t believe me, look for the videos of DVINSK CLAN. The traceur, OLEG, has insane jumps. There is a lot of height, but only moderate technique. If any of you are wondering why he hasn’t posted a video in a while, it’s because he is now in a wheelchair.)

Think about it. And now going back to topic,

Before even attempting anything that level, one must train LOW and SLOW.

 

LOW

I don’t want to get too scientific but everyone knows the principle of acceleration due to gravity. The higher you are, the faster you will fall, and the stronger you will hit the ground. Training LOW means to avoid heights. And I’m not only talking about jumps and lands. Even vaults, or precisions, we should all start training LOW. The aim is to practice the techniques, to explore options, to find your own individual way. All of which can be done on a LOW level.  Staying low, there is less risk. You can mess up a landing, and with less height, there is less risk and there is less force towards the ground.

SLOW

Parkour is not a quick trip, it’s a journey.… and all journeys begin with a single step.

There is absolutely no rush or hurry to get to heights. People always want to jump higher and higher. Why? Ask yourself why there is a rush to do so? Why there is a need to go there? (If the answer involves impressing someone else, you should really rethink why you’re training in Parkour.)

The main reason we train slow (slow in the sense that it takes literally thousands of jumps before going up a level) is because we try to develop muscle memory. One does a jump, and a land, literally thousands of times in order to “feel” the move. How is your weight distribution? Where are you leaning? Does doing the move this certain way help you? Does it stop your momentum? There are many questions you can ask yourself. Parkour after all, is also about self discovery and body awareness.

The technique has to be known inherently. Also, the technique needs proper and mastered form.

Another reason for training slow is to develop the necessary muscles. Want to get a faster climb up? Keep doing climb ups, and you’ll feel your triceps, your upper back, forearms, and all other muscles used. The same goes for landings. As I’ve stressed more than enough, it takes thousands of jumps. Not only do you adjust to proper technique, but you also develop your quads and the muscles around your knees.

Put LOW AND SLOW together and simply put, why jump off a balcony if your technique is not at a hundred percent? Why jump that high if your legs aren’t ready yet?

David Belle said himself “to be strong, to last”, which in my opinion talks about Parkour in the long term. It is not ALL about individual techniques and moves. Also, it’s not ALL about that one run (in emergency cases, it could be) BUT rather, I believe it’s ALSO about the long term training and discovery.

Apart from the altruistic core of training in order to be prepared (for that one emergency situation, to escape danger, or to save someone) Parkour has evolved to bring much focus on self improvement, exploration of possibilities, and discipline.  In any case, training in the long term is much better with full and well developed health, than with chronic knee pains or torn ligaments. (Or not being able to train at all!)

Training low and slow is the best way to train. It’s safe, and it’s smart. Don’t just attempt a thousand landings. What’s the use if the landings are all in bad form? It’s okay to make mistakes. But this is why we train low and slow. There is less risk.

Parkour is a beautiful art, and it looks easy, but to reach that, there’s a lot of steps to go through. LOW and SLOW.

 

To learn more about Ira and PKPH, check them out at  www.facebook.com/parkourphilippines.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: