As most of you know I am currently studying for my Street Dance Qualification with Urban Strides. Whilst I am qualified in Pole I have picked up various teaching skills but nothing was to prepare me for the amount of skills I have picked up from being a student again.
“The more I practice, the easier it gets”
As a kid I always remember my mum shouting at us to hurry up and get ready…. Now I know why. My mum used to play the radio in the mornings as we weren’t allowed the telly on and that is probably what fuelled my love for dance.
Music, rhythm, beats, bass, snare…. From the moment I woke up…. Of course I am only gonna have one sock on when you check in on me! I’m too busy dancing about!!!
Fast forward to today & every morning my alarm wakes me with music and from that moment the playlist is on and I am ‘popping’ whilst I brush my teeth and dancing about whilst getting ready (Popping in the dance sense not the gassy variety!)
I’m proud to have picked up some basic skills from this terms ‘popping’ classes and am now a proud owner of some very basic moves like: Twisto Flex, Egyptian Twist, Romeo twist and many other ‘grooves’ and ‘pops’ that stem from legends like Boogaloo Sam and Poppin’ Pete from the Electric Boogaloo’s.
How did I get better at all these? What was the magic pill? Well, I just practiced everywhere I went. Brushing my teeth, in the car (yea, I don’t care), in between classes. Literally everywhere.
But you know what? It got easier. My amateur arm ‘pops’ are slowly getting better, my Twisto Flex is no longer a Twisto-whaaat? And I constantly have a ‘groove’ that no-one can take away from me. Music is constantly playing in my heart and it feels LUSH!
So what happened this week? Andy asked me to stand up in front of the whooooole class to freestyle what I’ve learnt …..without any music.
If you had said to me that was gonna happen 4 weeks ago… I. Would. Have. DIED!
But he’s given me all the skills, we’ve drilled the techniques so when he beat boxed a beat for me to jam to, it was all just…. there. I didn’t feel overly nervous at all. (Also, my class mates are super lush and sooo welcoming)
It’s such a beautiful place to learn. Failure and playing is welcomed and I think that’s why I connect with his classes so well because for my own pole school I always wanted to create a safe place to learn! If we laugh, it’s together as a family… not AT each other. No-one should be made to feel better or worse as we are all on our journey of discovery…. Ok, ok… I’m getting too sentimental! Hit the brakes Nia.
So getting back to moral of the story. What made me confident and able to grow. The environment I put myself in… surrounding myself with like-minded people that wanted the best for me. What ACTUALLY made me grow…. Practice.
I’ll say that again for anyone who wasn’t sure… PRACTICE!!!!
So, if I give you homework in class… It’s because I want you to go home and practice what I’ve told you so we can take you to the next step. So your flow improves and every tool you have is just….. there.
“How can I practice when I haven’t got a pole Nia?”
If you think Pole is JUST about the skill on the pole… You have so much more to learn.
For starters: Flexibility, strength to back up the pole moves you’ve learnt, musicality (there’s no use calling yourself a ‘dancer’ if you cannot absorb yourself into the music and play with different beats, tempo’s, accents, pauses), flow, floor work… did I even mention handstands?
There is so much practice you CAN do, IF you make the time.
For the past two months at IWRBPD we have been learning a new skill each week to put in our Pole ‘Tool Box’. Body Waves, Floor work, Step-Ball-Change, It’s all BASIC stuff but if you practice it until it’s just ‘in you’… It unlocks so many more opportunities for you to enjoy pole on a higher level.
Believe me when I say, this isn’t me trying to give you guys a kick up the A55 to practice more BUT I fully enjoyed standing proud in front of my peers and dancing last night. I played with my freestyle and got totally lost in the music. I was sweating buckets too …soooo it was exercise and fun?….
Yes, that ultimately is the end goal.
Fun, social, exercise where we all enjoy music and learn cool stuff.
So if that’s what ya down for…. Get ya A55 back to class and practice more!
That’s all I have to say.
Pole Mama / Aunt / Sister
Urban Strider / Cousin