Traveling with work definitely has it’s bonuses: new cities, nice meals and adding the spice of variety to an otherwise ordinary work week. However, traveling frequently does mean that you miss out on things too.
So far in 2014, I haven’t been able to get to a pole class regularly – I’ve taught, but not been able to get to a class for someone to teach me! London has a couple of really good pole schools, so while I’ve been here this week, I decided to make the most of it, and experience something new.
Ecole de Pole has two studios in London: one in Camden, and one near Tower Bridge. It’s run by Justine McLucas, who has been nominated as ‘Instructor of the Year’ by the International Pole Dancing Fitness Association in 2013, was number 17 globally in 2011, and was in the Top 34 for Sky’s Got to Dance in 2012. Here is her performance from the Miss Pole Dance UK. And here is a picture of her work:
So….. not too intimidating then?!
The class I attended is called the ‘Whack Me Workout’, which focuses on strength and technique for some of the more advanced moves. Known for being a toughie, I braced myself for a beasting….
When I arrived, I sat talking to two lovely girls, one of whom turned out to be Justine: not intimidating at all, but lovely and friendly. Phew. And, bonus, she’s an Aussie too! This doesn’t matter much, except it was nice to hear some of the Aussie names for moves again. Jamillas and Static Vs, people!!
The class itself was really good, lasting 90 minutes in total. Justine led a warm up for the first 15 minutes, which was made up of different Michael Jackson songs, and their dances. Basically, it was a chance for me to humiliate myself with my
awesome dance moves, but by the end, I was warmed up all the same.
The next 30 minutes or so focused on some conditioning work for our legs, glutes, abs, shoulders and forearms. The glutes stuff was insane! You expect your abs to hurt, but my glutes were on fire approximately 5 seconds after we started the exercises. The same with my forearms. That exercise was simple: clenching your fist as if you’re grabbing a stress ball, but doing it over and over made my arm-veins pop out in a most surprising – and highly unattractive – way. At least I’ll have a better grip on that pole now!
The rest of the time was spent working on some power moves, including:
- Handstand techniques – on the floor, on handstand bars, on the pole and up the pole
- Handspring variations – where you grip the pole and swing yourself upside down into an upside-down v
- Deadlifts – where you lift yourself upside down using your abs, not by jumping off the floor!
Some of these I have mastered (handspring, some handstands), some I am very much still working on (deadlifts). It was also really cool to learn new things that I’ve not seen before.
I left the studio later that evening absolutely starving, covered in sweat, and with a big grin on my face. It’s great to know that when I come to London now I don’t have to miss out on training, and I’ve met some really friendly new dancers too
PS – this isn’t a sponsored post, I went to genuinely get some training in whilst away from home. All views are my own, and I 100% intend to return.