Pole Education in Las Vegas
Personal challenge: I am me.
I had the opportunity to train at Shine-Alternative Fitness in Las Vegas this trip with Jenyne Butterfly, the woman who shaped what pole is for me and Suwasit Ripthion a Las Vegas performer taking the pole world head on. I have been on a journey in the past 6 months of learning to become more authentic, living in my true self, learning that I am complete just being me and to let go of the opinion of others . . . boy was I tested this trip.
My first pole experience was attending Suwasit’s intermediate/advanced class at Shine, along side Jenyne. Now keep in mind that this is Las Vegas. Who do you think attends a class like this in Las Vegas? Cirque performers, professional dancers, and well trained acrobats. I fell prey to my old habits and anxiety momentarily comparing myself to what I envisioned these people were capable of . . . how would I stack up? Luckily it only lasted a few hours then I told those thoughts to go back to the dark places they came from and asked Jenyne if she would help me just get creative.
Suwasit was a ball of sunshine and so accepting. As he began teaching, I chose a few of his moves and with Jenyne’s help created new ways for me to do them that worked for my body. The result? One of the most creative and fun 90 minutes of pole I’ve had yet. I appreciated the amazing grace and flexibility of all the athletes there and they in turn appreciated my strength and creativity. It was so joyful!
The next day was followed by another 2.5 hours of creation with Jenyne and pressing Suwasit for all the strength moves and combos he could throw at me. Exhausting as it was, it was also thrilling. I craved all the new movement, challenges and the very last thing I learned? The Fonji! This is a move pulled from the Chinese circus which begins holding your body off the ground, facing the ceiling, with the pole placed on your shoulder behind you, then throwing the hips up, flipping over and finishing, still off the ground, facing the ground and hugging the pole at your side. Insanely exhilarating and crazy and fun and bruise-enducing!
From there I went onto attend the Pole Expo hosted at the Palms with a few lovely friends from Victoria. I was able to catch up with so many pole buddies and superstars whom I’ve met over the last four years, and through the wonders of Facebook, have been able to get to know. I didn’t attend any workshops there as my budget was limited, but chatting and feeling the vibe of the pole community left me feeling excited and so hopeful for the growth of pole everywhere! Pole idols like Estée Zakaar, Zoraya Judd, Marion Crampe, Evgeny and Anastasia, Veronica Solimano, Marlo Fisken and so many more were teaching at the event.
The highlight of the trip, however was the opportunity to show our skills at the XS nightclub at the Wynn/Encore. They have poles, real brass poles in the club! Tara, Irene, Rhonda and I had met a bouncer there on a quiet night and were playing on the poles a bit. He was impressed by the little bit we had been doing and invited us back for the following Saturday night.
Upon arriving at the club the next night and grooving on the dance floor for a bit, we met up with “Big Rob” who proceeded to clear the area around one of the poles, gave us a towel, and armed with Dry Hands and shorts this night, we gave that part of the club a show of strength, grace, flexibility, and passion . . . it was pole, our way.
The four of us were greeted with oooooohs and ahhhhhhhhhs and a refreshing appreciation for what they saw. So. Much. Fun! We thanked Big Rob for creating the opportunity for us and he said being able to watch such a show was thank you enough.
This has been one of the best pole trips I have been on yet, for many reasons. Mostly because I’m learning not to limit myself based on what others say or think and more importantly not to be controlled by the dark thoughts that tell me “I can’t,” “I’m not good enough,” “Make yourself smaller, shine less bright so others are more comfortable.” Instead I am learning to stay true to my heart, push boundaries and as long as I am living in truth and love, not care about the opinions of others. Some days it’s easier, some harder, but the more I do it the more joyful I am.
Thank you POLE for changing my life in so many ways. I am forever grateful.