Blog Archives

A Colorful Day in May:  Dancing with Friends and Flowers

December 10, 2014
A Colorful Day in May:  Dancing with Friends and Flowers

P.S. Instigated by PDBloggers’ Visual Reflection December Blog Hop Inspired by Shannon Ho’s Wordless Wednesday Wonder Sand Flower Art by Andres Amador

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Making Peace With My Too Muchness During a Five Day Selfie Smile Experiment

December 3, 2014
IAmLoveSmile

When I saw Vivienne McMaster’s announcement for Be Your Own Beloved’s Making Peace With Our Smiles Selfie Experiment I was intrigued. I’d taken Vivienne’s Beloved Camera Class (now an e-book) in May. I got better at using my DSLR camera, particularly with aperture priority mode for those luscious blurry backgrounds. And using a mini tripod. But the DSLR came out of its bag less and less as the months wore on. Still, I take more selfies. Especially, when I notice fabulous or interesting light. Or celebrate with my husband; I’m currently addicted to ‘sunset smooch selfies.’ The class also showed me that having a bit of my self in photos made them more interesting. I wanted to join in the selfie experiment to coax the DSLR out of hiding. But I wondered if the prompts would work for me since I already adore my smile. I thought of the moment I made peace with my own smile: A friend complimented the curve of my cheeks. I blushed and smiled wider, which enhanced the concavity. “I love them even more now!” she responded. It transformed my relationship with them. (Excerpt from 10 Steps for Falling In Love with Your Body) One of

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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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