After amazing Alethea Austin workshops, and with upcoming workshops with Lux ATL, Shaina Cruea and others fast approaching, it is time to examine just how important workshops are to pole dancers.
At IPDA we have hosted some of the world’s most coveted dancers, including Olga Koda, Cleo the Hurricane, Nadia Sheriff, Crystal Gibson and more. As an instructor and pole addict, I often here the same questions arising concerning workshops – am I strong enough or flexible enough? Will it be useful at my level? I didn’t hear about it in time and now it is fully booked, what can I do?
In this post I hope to answer these questions and more, as well as give some handy tips for attending workshops and ask IPDA staff about their favorite workshops!
First of all, let me talk about levels. When I started going to workshops, I never considered that they would be only suitable for a certain level. If my favourite pole dancer was coming to Ireland (a rare occurrence for our little island in the early pole years) I was going to be there no matter what. I would learn something, if only from being around their amazingness! Please don’t watch videos of these pole gods and goddesses and think “I could never do that, I would be lost in their workshops” – these legends are here to teach you! If there is a required level for a workshop it will be clearly stated in the information given before booking, but these people are experts in teaching studios full of people of all abilities. Personally I try to attend a range of levels if this is offered. That way, if I only manage to get a few tricks from the super advanced expert classes, I’ll still have learned beautiful basics and new intermediate moves. We are always happy to help if there is any doubt, but believe me when I say you will always learn something, and it will be awesome.
“But they are so flexible/strong/sexy and I am not” – that’s why you attend their workshop! Stiff as a board? Flexy Queens will help you loosen up. Already super flexible? Great, get the inside tips on how to use your powers like a pro. Don’t limit yourself to the style you already know, or avoid a style you no nothing about – our diverse and growing pole community has a lot to offer and these travelling superstars are experts at passing on their gifts.
Constant vigilance! With Facebook updates, email newsletters, blogs, notes written on mirrors and word of mouth, studio owners and admins put a lot of effort into getting the news out there. However, there are always a few that seem to miss the updates and end up disappointed. Make sure you have signed up for our newsletter, and actually click Follow on our Facebook page. If the workshops book up (and they always do, quicker and quicker as our community grows), don’t worry! Register your interest with us anyway – if there is enough demand we may arrange an extra workshop, or even enquire about privates and semi-privates. And you never know, someone might cancel last minute and then all your pole dreams will come true.
Get your money’s worth. I often hear people say they can’t afford workshops. Ranging from €50 – €80 an hour, with privates costing more, it can be a lot for a one-off payment. Plus the fact that most people attend two or more in one day! We all know what we are paying for – travel costs, accommodation, studio upkeep fees PLUS the expertise that these pole stars bring with them. However, we will always announce the events well in advance, giving you plenty of time to budget and save. Another way to think of it is this: simply assume that at least twice a year IPDA will host one of your idols. Then when we announce that your favourite star is coming to Dublin for one day only, you will be prepared!
Prep time – Whether you are a die hard fan or a new admirer, it helps a lot to be familiar with the body of work these experts have. Watch a few videos and have a look at their Instagram and Facebook – learning their combos and unique tricks is much easier if you know their style. Some of them even allow and welcome requests, so have list of their moves prepared in advance, with pictures if possible so they know instantly what you mean. Take notes, and videos if it’s ok (clear enough memory on your phone in advance!). Buddy up – spot and work with a friend, share the recording responsibilities and the fun.
Come armed with snacks and drinks for the day, a change of clothes (especially if attending a Koda workshop – the sweat!), knee pads, heels, grips, legwarmers etc. And arrive early – workshops draw a crowd from far and wide and there is a lot of chatting and catching up to get done before the awesome learning begins! Bring cash too – some of these polers have a limited amount of exclusive merchandise and will only take cash, and of course we have our own IPDA shop too where we accept both cash and card.
Leanne: “Mine is a growing list, but on the top of it has to be Olga Koda. For a (super)woman who speaks no English she taught us so much and so well.. And the warm-up! It is the stuff sweaty sweaty dreams are made of. I really regret not doing all the levels of workshops she had on offer, although the two I did were amazing. ”
Arlene: “In 2014 I travelled all the way to Nashville, Tennessee to visit Alethea Austin’s Chrome Bar for a weekend of intensive training workshops! Alethea Austin and Sarah Jade delivered 4 x 2hour fantastic workshops in all things sexy! Their floorwork / sexy choreography workshops were the best for me, because the focus was on making everything look stronger, more flexible and more controlled than you’ve ever moved before. They shared so many tips to maximize the smallest movements and how to improve what you’ve already got, and then awesome new stuff!”
Jillian: “The best workshop last year was Nadia Sharif – she emphasized fine tuning basics in order to progress onto more advanced tricks. I liked that her workshops centred around concepts for example space and grip as well as reverse execution of simple combos. These concepts and elements were easy enough for me to incorporate into my own training as well as my teaching when relevant. Her warm up was pretty hardcore too and interestingly brought in movements that are part of exotic routines.”
PS: Contact us on +353 (0)83 187 3602 to book into our amazing workshops, Not yet a member of IPDA? Or interested in training with us over Skype? Click here to request a free consultation and we will help you on your way to becoming stronger, sexier and more flexible!