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Home Poling: The Poler Bears Guide to Supplementary Studio Training (Part 1)

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Yay, shiny spinny Chrome in your very own home!! Here at Irish Pole Dance Academy, we know that feeling of excitement and optimism that floats about when you install your very own pole into your flat or apartment or in some cases your shed. As you all know we are huge advocates of cross training.  Our membership package allows our clients to benefit from a range of classes that compliment and utilise the Pole to develop fluency in body awareness, strength and fluidity of movement. it makes us super happy and inspired to see so many girls going on to own their own piece of chrome. The poler bears guide to supplementary studio training is for all you awesome ladies who have decided to take your pole life up a notch by investing in a home pole.

Over the course of our instructor’s personal journeys each has participated in workshops and training with many of the International ‘Celebrity’ Poler’s who smash stages throughout the world.

In the pre pole-explosion days, these opportunities simply did not exist and so the main way to develop your practice outside of a ‘studio’ (which btw, was more often than not – a room with or without mirrors in which the instructor had to assemble and disassemble 6 poles each evening- yes ladies we have come a long way) was at home or in the gym (boring, doesn’t come close to describing how a regular workout feels after one has poled right?).

These days, there is a whole new playing field and a range of media from DVD’s to online studios that promise to change your life. So how good are these programmes? Well, the old adage ‘a good workman never blames his tools’ springs to mind and so on that note we have selected our top four in order of appearance on the market. This week we are delighted to bring you…

Alethea Austin – The Chrome Queen

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Alethea Austin is one of the foremothers of sensual movement in the pole dance community. Her signature style combines a mesmerizing stage presence with sexy flexibility that is parallel to none. Alethea made her pole debut in 2009 and has gone on to smash stages, studios, music videos and even motion pictures ever since. More than a pole dance champion and visual artist, this fabulous lady is the owner of Nashville’s premier pole dance studio, The Chrome Bar, as well as, the creator of Miss Pole Dance America. A pole dance competition which has set the bar globally for pole dance competitions. Alethea is also credited for bringing ‘Live Dancing Girls’ to the stage every October in Nashville. This show features our very own Arlene Caffrey.

Alethea’s DVD range comprises four volumes which can be purchased individually or as a set. Each DVD has a different focus and covers all you need as a poler to get started on your journey towards classic pole movement. The titles are ‘Sexy Fundamentals’, ‘Pure Splits’, ‘Stretching for Pole’ and ‘Floorwork’. The entire set can be purchased on Alethea’s website for approximately $100.

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‘Sexy Fundamentals’ is a great place to start for those of you who want to master your Pleasers and learn about some key elements of a classique pole style performance. Alethea takes you through all of the basics from warm up, walking, body waves and pirouettes to my personal favourite using your arms and hands as part of your overall movement. Alethea finishes with a choreography during which she emphasises enjoyment of the music, and NEVER rushing to keep up thus a focus on the breath and awareness of movement; the stretching and flow of YOUR body. This I love as she refers to using these techniques to develop your own movement.

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‘Pure Splits’ was created to help polers develop clean lines and form in poses. This DVD includes deep stretching for front and middle splits. Alethea teaches stretches on the pole as well as on the floor so if you are a home poler with only a little bit of space you can certainly benefit from learning how to use your pole to develop your splits. I particularly like this DVD as the soundtrack is ideal for an activity that requires gentle yet firm efforts. Alethea includes a free style dance section using flexibility at the end of the training section. It is just sublime least not because It gives us the pleasure of watching this goddess at work as it gifts us with choreographed flow to incorporate stretching into your everyday pole dance and in this way led to greater flexibility as well as a more developed range of motion that can feed positively into your ability to master more advanced pole fundamentals at any level.

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‘Stretching for Pole’ is like the B-side to ‘Pure Splits’. More stretching, deeper, longer and more isolation of body parts/muscle groups. The DVD includes a series of stretching for back flexibility, some s-curve wrapping and shoulder flexibility. I really like the nerve stretches to decompress and reduce tension. Alethea cares about and knows how to look after a body and preaches the benefits of ‘poling for longevity’; this DVD is testament to this. Like ‘Pure Splits’, ‘Stretching for Pole’ boasts a pretty chilled soundtrack and I love how she states the goal of a particular stretch from the outset as well as points out the cheating, like bent knees or elbows. This helps bring our focus to the point of making consistent efforts to stretch, its not just about splits ladies, it is about the lines, those beautiful lines and shapes we all have the ability to make.

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I absolutely adore the ‘Floorwork’ DVD and can’t wait to block off some more time to practice just a little more. Any free spaces in Exotic this week Lauren??? 😉 Alethea embodies fluidity and on this disk, you can learn from a professional if you are complete beginner or rediscover and perhaps clean up or perfect your technique if you are a more experienced dancer. This DVD has literally everything you need to guide you through your practice at home as well as come to classes armed with more body awareness and slink than you can shake a pleaser at. Thus making your time at the studio far more beneficial, fun and effective.

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Reviewing the DVD’s in a nutshell:

Pros
• Warmup included that goes straight to the style of movement that has made Alethea an icon of sensual pole
• Alethea focuses on movement with voice-over as a format. This allows for really in depth and excellently delivered teaching points. You can comfortably execute as she delivers
• A focus on flexibility and floor work
• Student of all levels can use these DVD’s
• Once off cost – package deal for the full series

Cons
• Stylistic camerawork makes for great DVD’s overall. However we suspect some might dislike the fact that after the initial instruction we can’t always fully see what Alethea is doing due to camera panning and angles. This being stated, I find the camera work clever, it zooms in on certain elements that for me replicates how learning may occur in real time i.e. mimic what students look at when seeing an instructor demonstrate.

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Alethea who visited us here in Dublin in March 2016 is our Chrome Queen and in addition to a down to earth collection of pole apparel we think that really, no poler should be without her DVD collection.

Yes, this collection right here, WILL change your pole life:

www.aletheaaustin.com

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