So as you guys remember, I have been bitching and moaning a lot about intermediate teachers.
Basically, my problem has been being stuck between “way too easy advanced-beginner” and “holy shit I can’t do any of that yet intermediate.”
This would not be a problem if the intermediate classes were friendly to newcomers (ie. breaking down new moves instead of just having students do combos including a string of them… as warm up).
But, yeah, the opposite.
So, my basic strategy has been to go to these scary intermediate classes prepared for failure and embarrassment. I’ve been sucking it up, checking my pride at the door, and giving every move my hardest and most ignorant attempts (which inevitably lead to total failure). I figure even if I’m not hitting any of the poses, at least I’m working the muscles trying to get into them, and maybe one day I’ll get there.
This approach still sucks though because 1. it’s pretty humiliating, 2. the teachers I’ve had so far seem repelled by my failingness and prefer to assist students who are instead 80% there, and 3. ouch. (I’m hitting the ground a lot).
So imagine my utter delight at ending up in this one fantastic teacher’s class. I almost don’t even want to give you a name because I don’t want to blow up my spot, but Rica at Body and Pole, you guys…. yessssss.
I just stalked her for you guys and found this video, which is her first place performance at Polesque (a show I HIGHLY recommend seeing this year if you can).
But let me be real: as bad ass as this performance is (and as much hair and flexibility envy as I am experiencing), I kind of could give a shit this point about dance or choreo skills from an instructor. I care about a person who can TEACH. And that’s why I love this chick.
First off, she’s hilarious. She describes the posture for pencil spins by having you “imagine rainbows are shooting out of your vagina through your feet.”
She’s also tough (pull-up climbs, uggggggggggggh), but reasonable. She breaks things down. She gives you different components to a move so that if you can only climb and get into the first position, that’s okay–just work on that. She doesn’t shame you. (I’ve noticed a lot of teachers throwing around the “by this level you should know this” line, WHICH IS REALLY OBNOXIOUS BECAUSE WHY DO YOU THINK I’M HERE? I AM TRYING TO LEARN AND YOU’RE JUST SHAMING ME FOR NOT ALREADY KNOWING ARGHHHHHH).
And here’s the best part: she comes around to everybody as you work on stuff.
Not just the people she’s friends with.
Not just the people who are doing well and want style suggestions.
And again, she’s tough. I did a shitty chopper into a pose and she called me on it, but was also like, “I wouldn’t let you get away with that except I know you’re tired” (which I really appreciated because yeah, it was an hour and 10 minutes into the class, my 10th or 11th invert in a row, and I had been giving my literal all. My arms were throbbing hours after that class). But I like being pushed! Don’t let me get away with anything!! Yes. I’ll do better next time!
Oh oh oh, and then this happened: she called us to the middle of the room to cool down and she put this song on.
Like, I feel as though Jesus has directly guided me into this class. Seriously.
Anyway, thank you Rica!!!!!!! After such a rough patch, I’m remembering why I liked pole again (even when it’s challenging). I’m extremely grateful and more motivated than ever. Cheesy, but true 🙂
How’s everybody else doing with training?
Are we planning some poling for the blizzard?
I’ve honestly been too sore to freestyle with all the classes I’ve been forcing myself into but I’m hoping to sneak some time in tomorrow. Maybe some good stretching too!
Stay warm and dry!!