Everyone has a “Pole Story” in what brought pole into their lives and how pole has helped forge their path. Here we will be sharing those stories and answers to questions that all of you want to know about your favorite Oakland Pole and Dance instructors and how they got to where they are today.
What are your favorite things to do in your warm up?
I love to warm up my back and hip flexor since I’m very flexible. I should be working on my upper back and shoulders.
Right before you go onto to stage to perform what do you do to get hyped up?
“Just have fun and breathe!” All my worst fears and things that could never happen pops into my head and I have to push them out of my mind. When I hear the crowd cheer, I black out, perform, and talk to myself the whole time I’m on stage.
How many takes does it really take for the awesome videos that you post on Instagram?
Besides the hours of training and warm up, it takes 2-3 shots before my body says I’m done! If it’s something on the fly I’m screaming “point your toes, straight legs, and give face”
What is your favorite trick that you like to do on the hoop?
I love a good fang!
How do you choose your music for your performances?
I try to narrow down a category (drama, sexy, fun, etc) and then pick a handful of songs that I’ll listen to on repeat for a week. One of those is bound to “be the one” where I can create a character, story, theme, and tricks around it.
How long does it take you to choreograph a piece?
Maybe an hour or 2 for a rough draft? hoping I videoed myself. I have TONS of videos of me doing the same thing to make sure they’re clean. About 2-3 months complete a piece depending on when I start and how much I’ve visualized what I can do. I like to blast the music really loud and let it flow through my body. I want the audience to see and feel the movement through the beat or lyrics of the song. I want them to feel the same emotions I do when they listen to the song.
Do you do cross-training on other apparatuses as part of your conditioning? Pole, pilates, etc. How much time do you train outside of lyra?
Pole is my first love- it gave me confidence and strength I would have never found without it. Different types of dance (even if it takes me forever to get the count!) you never know what new stuff you can learn and apply in a performance! I went to a workshop with Yanis Marshall and it was amazing! I also have a group who I train with- we call ourselves “freaksquad”. I binge train 1-2 days a week for a couple hours and soft training the rest of the week (showing my students skills on my bad side when I teach).
How much time do you put into flexibility training per week?
I use to religiously go to flexibility once a week for active flexibility, but stopped when the class switched time that didn’t work for me. I try to keep working on flexibility whenever I can and take workshops from Micah whenever he’s in town. I rely a lot on my bendy back, but I know I need to work on my shoulders....
What does your training bag look like?
A pair of heels, kneepads, deodorant, grip for pole, pole shorts, water bottle, phone, and I always need my bra (Bloombras keeps my girls lifted and not squished!).
What makes your training better?
I love training with people, even if we goof around, we always push each to try harder the next time.