Blog Archives

Happy 11th Anniversary to My Circling Hips + 20 Songs to Inspire Yours

November 10, 2014
Happy 11th Anniversary to My Circling Hips + 20 Songs to Inspire Yours

Eleven years ago today, while appearing on The Oprah Show, Sheila Kelley said:  “I’m dying to do hip circles with you guys.” She demonstrated, but was mostly blocked from the camera’s view. Oh, oh, what were those hip circles? I wished I could step into the television and peer around Oprah and Kim Cattrall for a clear view of Sheila. Something about her child-like, wide-eyed enthusiasm made me sense magic in them. I knew in that moment, that a woman’s secret power must be tucked away like buried treasure in her hips. I’m a smart cookie! I graduated as my high school’s Valedictorian. I earned two degrees from the University of Pennsylvania — BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BA in Biological Basis of Behavior. I got a PhD in Health Services Research & Policy Analysis from UC Berkley’s School of Public Health. Even with all this intelligence, I didn’t fathom the journey I embarked on when I stood up in my living room and did my first tentative, bumpy and boxy hip ‘circle’ after a commercial break as Sheila shouted “Send that hip to Detroit!” . Life is Oh-So-Different Because I Do Hip Circles Pink, leopard

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10 Cover Songs From My Favorite Pole Dance Teachers + Their 13 Favorites

October 24, 2014
10 Cover Songs From My Favorite Pole Dance Teachers + Their 13 Favorites

I have been blessed with extraordinary pole dance teachers. Their guidance, passion, love and support helps make this fascinating journey possible. I am particularly grateful for the time and energy they devote to making their playlists. Because music is the muse that makes our bodies move. I’m sharing a bit of their magic with you through wisdom, cover songs I’ve loved in their classes, and their favorite picks. Ana, my first pole dance teacher, filled her warm-ups with imagery from nature. In the early days, imagining my toes dragging through sand or the texture of pine needles on my arm quieted my mental chatter. Best of all, those metaphorical immersions on shore and in forest planted the seeds for my beloved beach dancing practice. I associate Stairway to Heaven by Dolly Parton with Ana and our class. We also danced to the original by Led Zeppelin, which probably lead me to double my pleasure with back-to-back dances to originals and covers. One of Ana’s favorite covers: 1. Nothing Compares – Jimmy Scott We often danced to Prince, the original artist. Ana’s eclectic taste and sampling from all genres showed me that anything goes for pole. Though Ana doesn’t teach a weekly class,

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Happy 30th Birthday Hallelujah! 10 Covers For Pole Dancing

September 29, 2014
Happy 30th Birthday Hallelujah! 10 Covers For Pole Dancing

Hallelujah’s Fascinating and Inspiring Story I discovered Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah nine years ago the first time I listened to his album, Grace. I bought the CD at a local record store the weekend after my first pole dance teacher played Lover, You Should Have Come Over during our warmup. It’s one of my favorite cover songs for pole, particularly for spine circles. I often listen to Hallelujah when doing an at home S  Factor warm-up, free-style pole or beach dance session after missing a few weeks. For me, the song embodies regretful longing combined with satisfaction so it braids together sorrow, relief and joy. The story of the song is fascinating and inspiring. Learn more about it in Alan Light’s book—The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of ‘Hallelujah.’ Reading it deepened and enriched this meaning for me. The song has become one of the most loved, most performed, and most misunderstood compositions of its time… Joyous and despondent, a celebration and a lament, a juxtaposition of dark Old Testament imagery with an irresistibly uplifting chorus, “Hallelujah” is an open-ended meditation on love and faith—and certainly not a song that would easily be pegged

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Don’t Let September Steal Your Fun: 12 Quotes to Inspire You to Play

September 26, 2014
Don’t Let September Steal Your Fun:  12 Quotes to Inspire You to Play

Play is as essential to life as food, water, sleep and sex. Especially for adults who tend to forget. Or worse, come to believe play is unproductive, unnecessary or wasteful. Here are 12 quotes to remind you how important it is to play. To inspire you to play. To give you permission. To convince you to incorporate play back into your daily life. 1. I like life. Life likes me. I make life a perpetual spree. ~ Scrooge As sung by Albert Finney in the 1970 musical movie. He sings this after he’s seen three ghosts. It’s a testament to the transformative power of joy. And essential nature of play. Deep play. And the quote that takes me back to the magical moment when Ali, S Factor Teacher Trainer extraordinaire, said to me: “I know you have that tiger thing going on, but you’re a playful tiger cub.” 2. Girls Just Want to Have Fun ~ Cyndi Lauper The song was written by Robert Hazard. The lyrical highlight: Some boys take a beautiful girl And hide her away from the rest of the world I want to be the one to walk in the sun Oh girls they wanna have

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Double Your Pole Dance Pleasure With 14 Creative Cover Songs and The Originals That Inspired Them

September 15, 2014
Double Your Pole Dance Pleasure With 14 Creative Cover Songs and The Originals That Inspired Them

You know you’ve had an incredible pole dance when the song ends too soon. This happens frequently enough for me that sometimes I’ll include a current obsession in a playlist more than once. An even more satisfying approach is to find a cover version of a favorite song that you like as much as the original. Choosing a creative cover song that feels different can double your pleasure by enabling you to play them back-to-back and experience something familiar plus something new. Here are 14 of my favorite pairs of creative covers and the originals that inspired them for you to try in your next pole dance session. 1. Dream On – Aerosmith My favorite rock song for pole dancing. Starts quiet and builds. It stokes a roaring fire from dying embers, reigniting passion and creativity. Dream On – Kelly Sweet Soft sweet piano ballad. Provides gentle encouragement and inspiration like a guardian angel is whispering in your ear. As Sweet’s voice soars let your body fly around the pole and let go of anything weighing you down. Bonus:  Another great pair with a cover by Kelly Sweet is In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins. 2. No Ordinary Love –

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