Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pole and silks: sister arts

When I first started aerial silks and pole, I didn't know anyone else who did both. I was running around trying to explain to my silks instructors how similar what we were doing in class was to my pole work. I even convinced them to let me teach a pole class. I designed a curriculum and taught them some moves. Then I took some time off for my scheduled surgery, and while I was healing they found a Chinese pole teacher and instated that class instead of mine. I was sad because that was supposed to be my first formal teaching situation.

Still, I went ahead and started my teaching career, offering private lessons to the aerialists who knew me from silks. At the time it was still unusual to find instruction in the acrobatic side of pole, rather than the sensual side. Of course, now all the polers are doing silks and all the circus people are doing pole. This is totally not because of me at all; I was teaching in relative isolation. It was just an obvious connection that more and more people started making as each sport became independently popularized.

Today, pole is so accepted as a circus-style art that we call ourselves "pole aerialists," and I still often from of circus acrobatics who want to learn pole and polers who want to learn silks. So I thought I'd write a bit about the connection, highlight the similarities and differences.

Both silks and pole are vertical apparatuses. The difference is that the silks move, and the pole doesn't. (Spin pole notwithstanding.)

When you approach the pole with your hands, it stays firm. When you approach the silks with your hands, they yield. That means you have to grip more tightly. That's why silks usually work your hand and forearm muscles more than pole does.

When you approach the silks with your body, it conforms around you. When you approach the pole with your body, it remains place. You have to adjust your body to the pole, whereas the silks adjust themselves to you. That means that many silks move will feel much "off" on the pole, even if they're otherwise identical. An opposite side climb, for example, is executed the exact same way on silks and pole, but it feels very different. Your leg has to go around the pole, not the pole around your leg, so you will feel more horizontal or skewed to the side than the straight up-and-down of the same move on silks.

To attach yourself to the silks, you wrap knots around yourself. To attach yourself to the pole, you use the friction of your bare skin. This requires a greater mental capacity for silks. You have to memorize the ins and out of each "knot," and calculate in your head what wraps will land you in which position. There is a lot less to memorize and calculate on pole; success or failure in a move come down to physical ability (and practice of course). I find that silks attract many more "nerds," engineers, and chess players, than pole.

Silks are usually performed with the body covered in spandex, so as to prevent fabric burn. Pole is usually performed with as much skin as possible, pole burn be damned. This isn't because polers have higher pain tolerances (I have received MUCH worse burns from silks than from pole); rather, it's a frank necessity to our art. Our skin is what's holding us up.

I used to tell my pole students that one of the differences between pole and silks is the bottoms of the feet, because at the time nearly everyone performed in stilettos. Now that many members of the pole dance industry are trying to shed the "stripper" stigma, it is just as common to train on or perform pole barefoot as in shoes, so this may or may not apply, depending on where you're learning.

Silks require greater strength starting out than pole. There is very little you can do on the silks if you can't climb and invert. Pole has a whole repertoire of spins and other moves that can be executed right-side up from the floor. Of course, if you want to reach an intermediate level, you have to build up some serious strength. But the strength you need to get to the next level of pole is the strength you need on the first day of silks. (That said, I don't discourage anyone from trying silks because they think they're not strong enough. You can always have a teacher spot you until you can invert on your own.)

Silks want height. Pole less so. Silks is so full of drops (or just slipping down) that you need a high ceiling to do it. Pole is more ambivalent about ceiling height. On one hand, there is more you can do (and more you can do in sequence) with a tall pole. On the other hand, the integrity of the rig can be compromised if the pole is too high. It will wobble when you do explosive moves, and might start to come loose, causing damage to the hardware or the floor/ceiling.

There are more self-taught polers than silks artists. Because the pole lends itself to a shorter ceiling, many people have poles in their homes. Because the pole moves are less complex (I'm not saying easier, just less to keep track of mentally), people feel more confident teaching themselves. As a result, there are more independent polers working in isolation than silks performers, who build a community through classes and workshops.

Silks allows stronger grip products than pole. Silks performers usually apply rosin before training or performing. But rosin is too strong for most polers. Too much grip and we can't spin (on a stationary pole), and get excessive pole burn.

That's what comes to mind for me. Am I missing anything?

Photo (of me!) by Igor Bass

Monday, September 19, 2011

How to stick to the pole

One of the top complaints I hear from novice polers is that they can't seem to grip the pole with their bodies. Pole-skin friction varies from person to person and pole to pole, depending on many factors: skin chemistry, pole material, products lingering on the skin or on the pole, temperature, etc. Since it's one of the questions I'm asked most frequently, I thought I'd write a little bit on "how to stick."

For the purposes of this article, I'm going to assume you're using a brass pole, but much of the advice applies to other materials as well.

For the love of god, don't wear oils or lotions.

This is the biggest problem I see in beginners. It's not that they're lubing up right before class; most know better than that. But they might have some product left over from after their morning shower, or putting on hand lotion on chilly days. This can kill your grip. I've found that some lotions affect my body grip much longer than others, and also that some dancers seem to retain product more than others. To be safe, it's best not to use any lotions the entire day before training. Ideally, apply them after your post-class shower, or at night before bed. If you really need something, there are some lotions made especially for pole dancers to be grippy, but I don't have a lot of personal experience with them.

Clean your pole

Maybe you're not wearing lotion, but the dancer before you was. Either way, cleaning the pole usually helps improve grip. Most dancers use Windex as they tend to have it handy, but rubbing alcohol I think works a little better. Wipe using a cloth or paper towels, and don't be afraid to wipe a little on your hands when you're done. It can help with your own grip.

Warm it up

Brass responds pretty drastically to temperature. The warmer it is, the grippier it gets. Cold temperatures make it slick. So if it's a chilly winter month, or a summer day with the AC blasting, you might consider heating up the room before getting started. Of course, you don't want it to be so warm that you sweat and that causes you to slip, so tread the line carefully.

Warm yourself up

A warmer skin temperature helps, too. Getting your heart rate slamming before you jump on the pole is not only good for your body, but helps you stick. I prefer kettlebell swings, but most people don't have both a pole and a kettlebell in their homes. So aim for anything that will get your heart rate up and your breathing hard. I've never understood the "jumping jacks" thing, but jump-squats might be a good option. Aim for something that will get you feeling warm without breaking a sweat. But then, I've found that dried sweat is the best natural gripping solution around.


There are tons of products out there to help you with your grip. If I use something it's usually Dry Hands, but Mighty Grip and iTac are popular as well, and there are many more options on the market. You can also use rosin spray or powder, but these might be too intense for most pole work-- too much grip slows spins and increases pole burn.

Check positioning

A lot of times I see students learning a new move who are convinced that they are too slippery-- but really, they're just not in the best position to complete the move. I feel like every dancer I've ever seen try to teach herself an inside leg hang (see photo above) thinks she's supposed to be using just her leg, and doesn't realize the armpit and the side of the torso are playing just as large a part. Reconsider your placement.

Don't be lazy- grip the damn thing.

At the end of the day, gripping the pole is your responsibiity, not a product's. You won't always be dancing under ideal conditions, and it's important to know how to hang on even if you or the pole are a little slick. Don't blame poor hand strength on hair oil, or inaccurate positioning on air conditioning. A good pole dancer has the strength and know-how to modify her force and angling to perform most of her rep under lame conditions.

If other dancers have favorite "grip tips," I'd really like to hear them!

Picture from Pole Dancing Expression

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The precarious ties between pole dance and stripping

Every year, more men and women are taking up pole dancing for fun, fitness, and artistic expression-- Not for the adult entertainment industry. Some of these adults enjoy the sex-positive aspects of the art. Some prefer to downplay it. Either way, most people who are not strippers don't want people to think they are. (Ironically, neither do most strippers.) We want to be able to train in our sport, to perform our art, without feeling like we have something to hide. As a result, a rift has grown between "fitness" polers and pole dancing strippers-- as well as between polers who prefer to wash their hands of pole dancing's smutty past, and those for whom booty popping and stiletto boots are half the fun.

I think one thing that we can all agree on, though, is that pole dancing as we know it owes most of its existence to the titty bars that installed all those poles, and the strippers who danced on them. Although pole dance has sister arts in China and India, the form of pole dancing that we who call ourselves "pole dancers" perform is based directly on exotic pole dancing.

And it's not just our history. Some of the world's top pole stars, including competition winners, are confessed current or former exotic dancers. They certainly don't see it as something to be ashamed of, nor should they.

Others are conversely very open about NOT having ever been strippers, and the media loves to bring that up. I love how that cleanses the image of the art in the eyes of the public; how it reinforces the message that pole dancing and stripping are two different things. But they are not two unrelated things. What if the pole star being interviewed HAD been a stripper, and not one that was public about it? Would she lie and wait to be outed publicly by a creepy ex-friend or lover or customer? Would she have to admit it, while possibly living or working in an environment where such things are not considered acceptable? Just today there was an article in USA Today about a NY attorney general lawyer who was suspended from her job after being outed as a dominatrix. We want to be idealistic, but the world is often not safe for adult entertainers.

I guess I see the relationship as analogous to that between modelling and acting. While these are two different professions requiring different training and skill sets, there is a lot of crossover between the fields. Many people pursue the two simultaneously. And while actors will jump through hoops to explain that the art of theater is one that involves extremely honed skills and extensive study, and not just about being beautiful and photogenic, if you were to inquire whether they'd ever modeled at any level, there's a good chance they'll say yes. Of course modelling and exotic dancing have their own skills that must be acquired, and are also not only about being beautiful. But the skill sets are related enough that there is some interchange between the artists and the arts themselves.

So how should we as a community treat this electrically charged relationship between pole dance and stripping? Do we try to sterilize pole dancing of all its exotic ways, silently shaming those who do it with 4 fewer inches of fabric than we do? Or do we accentuate its sexuality, making it unfit for children and public life?

I think there's no way we can be an art form that's truly open to everyone if we overly sexualize it. But if we ignore the stiletto-clad elephant in the room, we are just in denial. I believe that pole dance is a big enough genre that we can act kind of like a movie theater. We can have G-rated pole, or we can have R-rated pole. But if you want X-rated, you're gonna have to go to another theater!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Things not to say to a fitness pole dancer

Confession: I kind of hate telling people I do pole. Of course I'm not ashamed! I mean I have this whole website and blog and twitter and everything! It's just, you know, people jump to conclusions about your career choices-- and more often, they have really stupid, not funny, heard-it-a-million-times-before jokes.

In case you know a poler, or would like to know a poler, or are a poler and would like to share this article with your more uncouth friends, here is my list of comments that you shouldn't make to pole dancers. You are not funny, we are not amused, let's move on.

"You take pole dancing classes? What, preparing for a career change? HA!"

Pole dancing is a sport in and of itself, separate from stripping. Some strippers are also pole dancers. Most are not. Some pole dancers are also strippers. Most are not. Incidentally, I've never had a student who was taking pole dance to prepare to audition as a stripper. I've had strippers as students, but never aspiring strippers. If you've ever been to a strip club, you know that pole skills are not, not, not at all required to work in one.

"Heheh, you said POLE, heheheh... *stupid penis euphemism*"

Oh wow, pole is a euphemism for penis? Really? Gee! Have you read Freud? EVERYTHING is a euphemism for dongs! After about one week of pole dancing, we really are sick of the penis jokes.

"Are you a stripper?"

Most people who are strippers don't like to talk about it. So unless they're "out," most people will say no whether it's true or not. Might as well not make an awkward situation. If you really wanna know, wait for them to volunteer the information-- or at least wait for better evidence before you go prying.

*watches someone perform superhuman feats of strength* "Wow! You're really FLEXIBLE!!"

OK, this is a legitimate compliment. In and of itself, it's not harmful. Here's my problem: I am NOT flexible. I am really, really strong. 9 out of 10 men recognize that when they see me dance. But there's always that 10th guy who can't recognize a strong woman for what she is. They'd rather covertly sexualize my skills by fantasizing about me putting my legs behind my head than admitting that they might not beat me in a fight. So, by all means, compliment someone on their flexibility if its appropriate. But if you can't admire a woman's strength, you're spectating at the wrong event.

"Yeah, if I was 100 pounds I'd be able to throw myself around like that, too!"

That's something akin to the "flexible" subversion, and likewise something of a compliment ("You're skinny!" I'll take it!). But it's similarly downplaying a woman's strength, while making light of your own weakness. Maybe you're not weak, but you're probably making the comment because you felt somewhat intimidated watching a woman perform and thinking to yourself, "Holy crap, I can't do that." I understand the bodyweight issue, but please understand that we're not this strong because we're skinny, we're this strong because we're strong.

"Shhhh! There are children present!"

Children pole dance now. Pole is not inherently sexual. Kids love poles. Watch them on a subway car, spinning around and trying to climb.

"Wanna come pole dance for me in my bedroom?"

Pick-up line FAIL. No sex for you.

I'd love to hear some more pet peeve comments from other polers. Please share!!

Pic from Maverick Entertainment.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pole Nomenclature

There's a bit of inconsistency in what People Who Do Pole Dancing Outside of Gentlemen Club Settings choose to call themselves and their art. Pole dance, pole fitness, aerial pole-- these are all terms that get used somewhat interchangeably, even though they have different connotations. We may be some time away from an industry standard, but here's a breakdown of some of the options so at least you can decide what to call yourself!

Pole Dance

This is the most accurate descriptor of what we do. Whatever our skill level and performance or training venue, we are all dancing on a pole. The problem is that "pole dancer" to many people is just another euphemism for "exotic dancer" or "stripper." Some people who do pole dancing are current and former strippers, and we owe the art form as it is today to that industry. But most people who are not strippers (or who are but want to keep it under wraps) don't want everyone they meet to jump to that conclusion. Not to mention that many exotic dancers-- who are known as pole dancers-- don't actually do any "pole work." (And we love them anyways. You go, girls!)

Pole Fitness

"Pole dancing is a great way to stay in shape and have fun!" So goes the pitch of gym classes and pole studios everywhere. Pole dancing is an amazing form of fitness. The upper body strength and flexibility required to perform advanced tricks are no less than insane. But what if you're not doing pole to get in shape? What if you're doing it for the artistry, for performance or competition? "Pole fitness" to me is a positive connotation, but it inspires images of gym pole classes and pole crunches. Fitness is just one facet of pole dancing, but it neglects the artistry that many of us strive for. And even more problematic, there's no name for a person who does Pole Fitness. A Pole Fitness... Participant? Enthusiast? Dancer? Performer? Pole Fitness doesn't sound like something you perform.

Aerial Pole

This is the term I use to describe what I do. It took awhile for pole to become an accepted part of the aerial community (with the exception of Chinese Pole, which is not found as often as more popular arts like silks and trapeze), but eventually there was enough crossover between the pole and circus worlds that everyone realized how much pole has in common with its sister arts in the circus. I myself started taking aerial silks when I saw how similar it was to pole, and my first formal pole students were all aerialists. But I want to point out that "aerial" means "in the air." I consider myself an aerialist on the pole because I'm accustomed to working on 15-20 foot poles. Most people are learning pole in their homes or in pole studios, with standard ceiling heights-- not much air happening there. Not to mention that some polers spend their entire routines on the floor, spinning, prancing, and doing floor work. I don't want to dismiss my colleagues who practice more sexually-charged forms of pole dancing, rather than the acrobatic-intensive form that I do, but I don't think the term "aerialist" applies to them.

Acrobatic pole

Acrobatic pole is similar to aerial pole, without the height connotations. My own site is "," and before it was acceptable to refer to ourselves as "pole aerialists" (I have been doing this for 8 years-- 8 years ago aerial acrobatics wasn't even that popularized that people knew what an aerialist was), I called myself a "pole acrobat" and taught "acrobatic pole dance." I think this is relatively problem-free as a catchall term, with some of the same reservations as I had for "aerial pole"-- not everyone who takes pole dancing classes gets anywhere near doing what could be recognized as acrobatics.


Among the pole community, many of use just refer to the sport as "pole" and refer to ourselves as "polers." It sounds funny and doesn't really clarify anything, but I see it as akin to motorcyclists being called "bikers" and video game players calling themselves "gamers." It's just a convenient little nickname that makes sense and will be recognized by those in the know, even though there are other kinds of "bikes" besides motorcycles and other kinds of "games" besides video and role playing games. I see this as gaining prominence among our community, but probably not formal enough to describe our art.

Personally, I call myself a "Pole Aerialist" because it best describes what I do. But I think this varies from dancer to dancer. What do you refer to your pole art as?

Pic from gallery.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do I need a pole dancing teacher?

There are a lot of different paths people take to learn pole. Some join classes at pole studios, circus schools, or gyms. Others find their way to a private instructor like myself. There is also a huge ratio of self-taught pole artists, who use instructional videos and imitate moves they find on YouTube, and might give back to the community by posting their own videos in turn.

I'm often surprised by how many beginning polers tell me they don't need a teacher. "I can just copy videos from YouTube and practice at home." I'm really glad more people are getting poles for their homes (makes me seem less weird). but I wanted to advocate for the teachers a bit.

Full disclosure: As a pole fitness instructor (especially one who just moved to a new city and needs new students), I have a vested interest in this debate. But I will be open and honest, because that's my thing!

Reasons to have a pole teacher:

I believe a huge portion of a teacher's job is to help you avoid injury. A good teacher knows the dangers inherent in each individual move, and can quickly spot errors in your form that could lead to injury. This is the #1 reason I recommend polers find an instructor. Injury is always possible (and bumps and bruises are inevitable), but you want to reduce your chances. Pole dancing is an extreme sport, and your life is at stake.

A teacher will greatly accelerate your learning speed. Alone, you can spend months stuck on a move, whereas a good teacher might be able to tell you immediately what you're doing wrong and how to fix it. An experienced teacher has not only learned each move themselves, but observed and taken part in the process of many other polers learning them as well. They know all the mistakes that are usually made and can often catch them before you make them.

A teacher can give you all kinds of information that will help you on your pole quest. How to take care of your pole, products to use, products to avoid, standard practices, where to train, strength training and supplemental sports, where to get shoes, etc. I always find myself giving this information (for free of course) to novice polers who "don't need a teacher." Hmm...

I always hear people say "I can't afford a teacher." But give it a second look before you reject the prospect. If your gym (Crunch, for one) offers pole dancing classes, it's probably free to members. There are many small, independent pole studios out there, and rates vary. Instructors who have their own poles can often offer a good rate for private lessons in their own homes, since they don't have to pay to rent a space. Many, like me, are welcoming to students who want to split a lesson with a friend to save on expenses. And if you still can't afford many of these options, be on the lookout for someone you can do some sort of exchange with. I've occasionally done lesson exchange with aerial instructors who specialize in other apparatuses, but you could offer a trade for music lessons, tax preparation, babysitting- whatever's your thing!

If you still think you don't need a teacher, I hope at least the following apply to you:

You have a strong background in other aerial arts or gymnastics.

You have a training partner who can spot you or at least be in the room in case an accident happens.

You have good visual and spacial learning skills.

You know how to build moving strength and active flexibility.

You have health insurance.

My story:

I'm being a little hypocritical here, because I am largely self taught. But I'd say I learned the hard way.

I was a good candidate for self-instruction, as I was taking aerial silks classes and lessons parallel to learning pole, I was initially taught pole by more experienced friends, and had a training partner who, if not always present, I could ask for spotting when learning an intimidating new move. I also had a strong athletic background, having studied several forms of dance, run multiple marathons, and been a gym rat. I started learning pole 8 years ago, when there was very little available in the way of instruction if you were trying to do stunts, and not "get in touch with your inner vixen." (That's fine if that's what you want to do. That's just not what I wanted to do.) So I was pretty much left to my own devices. Did I learn? Hell yes I did. But I also dislocated my shoulder 6 times, eventually needing surgery, and experienced a lot of other smaller, entirely preventable injuries. If someone with more experience and a good eye for form had been paying attention and told me I wasn't engaging my shoulder correctly when I was spinning on one arm (and that I had to wait more than a week to heal from my first dislocation), I would have been at my current level 5 years ago, instead of having to wait so long, so many times, to heal.

Of course, having gone through injuries has made me a better instructor in the long run. It's inspired me learn a lot about injury prevention, and put safety first with my own students. But it's depressing when I think how good I could be today if I hadn't had to tiptoe around a recurring injury for five years. (It is pretty solid now, but I still have to be careful, and I'll never gain the flexibility back.)

I feel that my own history, more than my current need for employment, has made me such an advocate for instruction. I understand being broke. God, do I understand it. But I wanted to put my thoughts out on the table so people who "don't need/can't afford" instruction can make a truly informed decision, rather than an assumption.

See you in the sky.

Photo taken from The Inquisitr, in a completely unrelated story for which I can't figure out how to play the video.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Check out my new rig!

NOW it's home! Got my pole set up! My dad and I did it today. Now I can train and teach!!

Like my last home pole setup, it could be better. It's mostly an issue of the sharply vaulted ceiling. Basically, it's easy when doing inversions to be like, OH! There's a ceiling there! Gotcha! And it's close to the fan at the top. But I opted for that rather than have it close to stuff on the floor, which can be really dangerous to bump into when spinning or dismounting. (I once broke a toe dismounting from a "straight edge" elbow grip and slamming my foot on a desk chair on the way down.) This layout may have its annoyances but it's not dangerous.

I got the vaulted ceiling adapter from Platinum Stages in the mail. We were really confused because the piece didn't seem to pivot. My dad was convinced that we'd been sent the wrong piece. I figured there was a trick to it, so I called and asked. All I had to say was, "I need some tech support for my vaulted ceiling adapter," and the guy was like, "OHHH, because it doesn't seem to pivot? People call about this all the time and think they've been sent the wrong thing!" So he explained how it worked and we fixed it.

Then I was like, um, why don't they have instructions for this? OOH WAIT! I'm getting my masters in technical writing!! (ie, writing user manuals.) I SHOULD WRITE THE INSTRUCTIONS!! So I emailed them and offered to do it in exchange for store credit. They haven't written back yet, but I hope they do, because I think it would be a good deal for both of us.

Had my mom take a couple pictures just to show you the setup. Yeah it's embarrassing that I'll be teaching in my room at my parents' house for awhile, but it's actually a lot better than my teeny tiny Manhattan apartment!

Already got to train a little bit. We are experimenting with leaving the carpet under it. So far it seems perfectly secure, and I love that I can fall and it doesn't hurt as much!! If we need to later we can cut out the carpet around the base. They were going to tear the carpet up eventually anyways.

Come on by and check out the new rig soon! Would love to meet some new students!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What's on your pole playlist?

I'm a musician through and through, so what I dance to is very important to me. The most vital quality for me in a song is contrast. quietLOUDquietLOUD, or BANGBANGBANG(silence....)BANGBANGBANG totally does it for me. So as part of launching my blog, I thought I'd share my pole playlist with you!

In no particular order:

"Killing in the Name" by Rage against the Machine

"Creep" by Radiohead

"Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin

"Du hast" and "Te quiero puta" by Rammstein

"Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" by Black Sabbath

"Danse sur la merde" by Prototypes

"Smells like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana

"We're in this Together" by Nine Inch Nails

"I live in New York City" by Sxip Shirey

"Swamped" by Lacuna Coil

"Super Sex" by Morphine

"Mickey" by Toni Basil

"Bodies" by Drowning Pool

"Comfort Eagle" by Cake

"Cry little Sister" by Gerard McMann (Lost Boys soundtrack)

"Livin' on the Edge" by Aerosmith

"Stockholm Syndrome" and "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse

"Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes

"Helter Skelter" Beatles AND Mötley Crüe versions!

If you don't know any of these songs, check them out for your next workout! Just do this starving artist a favor and obtain your music legally. <3

What's on your pole playlist?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why a Pseudonym?


So I've suddenly created this new website, Twitter, and now blog for myself. Because I needed to post under a new name.

It's a little weird for me. I'm a very private person who lives very publicly. On one hand, I hate prying questions, never talk about what I consider personal matters, often refuse to answer basic questions even by people who know me.

On the other hand, I'm a writer, a performer, a prolific tweeter, and a long-time blogger. I've had a lot of websites, I write press releases and send them to newspapers, and I don't shy away from talking about day-to-day life on my many platforms.

So most people who know me know I teach aerial pole. It's been a big part of my life for many years. So why the sudden pseudonymity?

Well, I am more a teacher than a performer, so I didn't usually have to use a stage name. I mostly taught people I knew, friends and friends of friends, so I never had to advertise. People knew me from aerial acrobatics and my general wide social circle.

Now I moved to a new city-- well, it's sort of an old city 'cause I lived here when I was a teenager, but that was a long time ago-- and I need to start over. So all of a sudden I'm having to advertise and reach out and connect and put myself out there in a way I didn't have to before.

I do way too many things. I have a pretty serious music career, many day jobs, and I'm currently in school for another career. I'm up for two jobs so far in my new city-- one in a church, the other in a high school. So even though I'm relatively open about doing pole, it's not the first thing I want people to see when they Google my name.

Not because I'm ashamed of it, but because I don't want to confuse people who might think I'm less serious a musician and writer because I also have another career in aerial pole. And because there are some sheltered, conservative people who don't understand that pole dancing and stripping are two different things, and might not want anything to do with me, or want me near their children. I have no problem educating them, but I'd prefer to do so in person, rather than be prejudged by them based on pictures of me standing on the ceiling in a bikini.

A lot of pole dancers and other aerialists use pseudonyms, but they don't usually switch over to one this late in their careers, which is why I felt like I owed my many contacts an explanation.

Anyways, I have a lot of things to blog about, so watch this space in the near future for my thoughts on pole and its sister aerial arts.

Pic by Valkyrie NYC.