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Friday, July 13th, 2012
Blogs | The North Pole
Technique with Aerial Amy
I’m quickly coming up on my two year pole anniversary and I am surprised, elated and overjoyed with this discovery and my personal growth. I began by taking pole dancing at Sheila Kelley S Factor for two hours once a week. After one year and a 10 day, 80 hour Immersion dance experience, I decided to start taking classes twice a week. Soon after that I began going to Flight Club NYC created by Aerial Amy. Sometimes I’d spend 2 hrs there a week or I might go to 2 sessions a week which could be up to 7 to 8 hrs of pole in addition to my 4hrs at S Factor a week. Still I wanted more. I loved the free movement and emphasis on expression and emotion at S Factor but after going to Flight Club I realized I didn’t know anything about an outside leg hang, I kicked into my inverts and I was interested in trying more pole centric strength moves.
Insert Aerial Amy and Shockra Studios. I’d long heard of Aerial Amy while searching for pole blogs in late 2010. At the time there were only a couple. Now 50+ have popped up and the number is growing. Back then Aerial Amy was one of the few. It was how I found out about Flight Club and it was how I found out about her classes. I knew at some point, I was going to study under her. I didn’t realize that studying under her meant bruises and full body aches….that were good for me.
The first day of Amy’s class was culture shock for me. I was used to S Factor where we pride ourselves in low lights and the absence of mirrors. At Shockra Studios, things were different but I pressed on because Aerial Amy was my teacher and that is an honor many pole dancers wish they could experience.
We’d only been warming up for 15 minutes before Amy came over to me and corrected my push ups. Whatever she told me to squeeze, hold and change…changed everything. I’d like to think I’ve been doing reasonable push ups throughout my life but whatever Amy corrected changed my push ups for ever. I felt EVERY muscle in my back, my abs and my arms. “Why hasn’t anyone corrected my push ups before?” I asked her. She just smiled and shimmied away to correct the next girl.
Throughout our warm up, that’s what Amy did. She corrected everything. If she felt you could squeeze your abs even more, she pushed you. She wanted us all to feel everything that every move had to offer. Passivity was not allowed. Even in restful poses liked “child’s pose”, Amy had us engage our abs, our back muscles and our arms and finger tips. I thought, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It’s freaking child’s pose. I’m supposed to be relaxing.
Once we moved into pole work and what Amy calls “Flow”, her expectations were no different. Amy is BIG on technique. She’s all about pointing your toes, making it look pretty, arching your back as well as using your core, building up your strength and focusing on exactly where your body should be engaged with the pole. I showed Amy my descending angel and Amy showed me how to get the most out of it. “Stretch your leg more. Engage this muscle. Rotate your hip,” she ordered. I complied with some “oowws!” thrown in but now I can’t help but do it the way she taught me.
It’s because of Amy that I love my inverts now. I don’t jump into them or pull in some weird, stressful way. My hips are now in front of the pole. My invert is slow, controlled and intentional. Because of Amy I have a rock star climb that I love and even when I climb “regularly” both my toes are point because, well, its prettier that way. Amy taught me this fake out half pint climb and in class just the other day I learned a fake out sideways climb. I learned it but I can’t execute it just yet. It’s pretty though.
By the time I was taking Amy’s class I was already pulling in 8 to 10hr of pole a week if not more. I had started to see my strength increase a great deal. Once I started taking Amy’s class, my body changed even more. I saw an accelerated different in my body. Now I see the abs on the side of my stomach. Now my tripod head stand is pretty easy and controlled. Last week I climbed and then inverted on my non dominate side. And slowly I’m getting better my outside leg hang.
I also enjoy that music variety that Amy plays in class. She has a great attitude. She checks in and follows up with you even after class to ensure you’re getting the most out of your time with her. This shows that she cares a great deal and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
Amy’s schedule is changing now that she’s in grad school and she works full-time and writes for her blog and posts videos and writes for other websites and travels while teaching workshops and has a boyfriend & friends and such. Due to life, she won’t be able to teach at Shockra in the near future, which makes me sad. However, I am grateful for all the six-week sessions I’ve had with her.
I have become a far better pole dancer because of her. I know more about my body and my muscles. I pay more attention to my core, my pointed toe and my technique. I twirl and spin more. My non dominant side gets my attention. And now I find myself making up choreography in my head. Something that was quite a challenge before.
If you ever have a chance to take a private class with Amy or attend one of her workshops, I encourage it. Amy is one of the most sassy, graceful and amazing pole dancers I know. Plus she’s sweet, kind and accessible to.
Amy, thank you for being one of the best teachers that I know!