When I was a kid I LOVED to dance. If music came on I would start swaying to the music no matter where I was. As an adult I’ve lost some of the freedom of movement because somewhere along the way I mistakenly learned that there is a RIGHT way to dance. And because I don’t know it, I feel awkward and not good at it. So I don’t do it often. And I sure as heck don’t do it on pole.
I am a trickster. If given the choice to dance or do a trick, trick is going to be chosen 100% of the time. Many of our students are in the same boat and I say that with confidence based on the groans when it is “routine” time. You love learning a routine for the annual show but come week 8 when it is “routine time” in class attendance drops dramatically while complaining goes up exponentially. We teach routines for a few reasons:
- Learning choreography is good for your brain. It makes you smarter according to SCIENCE!
- Combining tricks into longer sequences with transitions in between means cardio.
- Routines give you the opportunity to not think about a specific move and just do it; often times girls get a move they were struggling with when it is in a timed routine passage.
- If we didn’t have routines most students would never DANCE, they would just trick.
One of the weaknesses in the early Aerial Dance program was that we only had routines for dance. Now with Pole Flow, Floor Flow and Dance Cardio we are teaching dance movement and this is an area of the program I hope to continue to grow. Instructor Olivia is a trained dancer and brings lots of new ideas to us on how to train movement. I’m grateful to have her knowledge base on staff because this is not my area of expertise.
When you watch a pole competition, it isn’t the tricks that draw you in, it is the dance. Everyone is pulling awesome tricks. But how they get from trick to trick is what is exciting and interesting and shows who they are. Watch a few pole videos on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean. The transition between the moves is what makes the routine interesting and that is where the dance is found. A dead giveaway to what I am talking about is when you see someone just walk between poles for their next pass and all the magic they created in the air just died on the floor with their uninspired steps.
For a few months I was challenging myself to free dance once a week and it was awkward and felt yucky. And I need to get back to it. Because sometimes there were moments in my weekly free dances that I felt…well…free. Where I felt effortless movement and that my brain wasn’t trying to dance but instead my body was actively dancing. I challenge each of you to find more dance in your pole because that is also where we’re going to find YOU.