Journeying to the North Pole – December Blog Hop

 

In November of 2011, after well over a year of pole dancing, I decided to start, “The North Pole”, a blog focusing on my journey to find my truth north. In order to attain my own version of enlightenment, alignment, and authenticity, I needed to explore my sensual and sexual side. In, My Journey to the North Pole, I wrote….

Some have conjured that for women, in the journey of self discovery and actualization, usually one of the missing links involve a huge disconnect from the full scope of their sexuality. In an effort to live at your highest, one would need to live in their full power which includes this sacred part of our being.  Attaining this level of authentic living can manifest in many forms. A little over a year ago, I discovered the most creative, empowering and sensual ways to engage with my sexuality. I found the pole!

BUSINESS

The catalyst for why my 2012 year in pole dancing unfolded the way it did started in December of 2011 after attending a private pole dance party of one of my dear friends. My friend asked me to take photos for all the attendees but after awhile I asked if it was okay for me to take video footage of the women I knew more intimately. The result was  Moving Meditation“, a video that now has garnered over 8,800+ views. My intent was to capture women in freestyle movement showing their fire, their passion, and even their vulnerability. From that video I received writing offers, project inquiries and ultimately shifted one of the focuses of my independent business to Videography.

I started writing blogs for Vertical Art and Fitness such as Adjusting for Decency and as mentioned I started filming more dancers and telling their stories such as the Femme Fatale that is Ilov Grate.

PERFORMANCE

In 2011, I bemoaned about the fact that my home studio did not offer student recitals for those interested in sharing their progress before an audience. Well, I opened 2012 with a bang by being one of many performers to dance in Flight Club presents: White Hot Winter Showcase before an audience of over 100 individuals. I was nervous. I wanted to give up. I completely messed up my choreography, but as you can see from the link above, I had so much fun and the crowd ate it up. From that performance, I eventually went on to dance on Fire Island in Kismet, NY for a neighborhood summer celebration. I danced at an artistic brunch full of eccentric and wonderful characters and I danced at the Sensually Sacred Soiree.

Most recently, in addition to stage managing, and filming…at the same time, I danced at Bare Essentials: A Pole Dance Benefit. Talk about multi-tasking! Speaking of stage managing, after performing in the White Hot Winter Showcase, I proposed to Aerial Amy that she take me on as her stage manager for the next showcase. Therefore, in July I got to be a part of the creative team for Flight Club presents: Sultry Summer Showcase. We’re all set for the Winter Showcase of 2013…of which I’ll be stage managing too.

As the year progressed, I realized I was happening upon my two year pole anniversary. To celebrate the achievement, I partnered with Glen Graham to create two sexy, powerful and perfectly edited videos. There’s U Need by Glen Graham and the Dark Side of the Pole by Glen Graham. If you’re not hiring me to film your movement, you most definitely should be hiring Glen.

This has been such an exciting year of working in the pole industry. Not only have I been a performer but I’ve been a writer, a stage manager, a photographer, and a videographer! I can only BEGIN to imagine what 2013 will bring!

Dark Side Of The Pole from Glen Graham II on Vimeo.

STORY TELLING

One of my favorite things about pole dancing, specifically at Sheila Kelley S Factor has always been exploring the themes and assignments. This year was no exception. I know I dance best when I have a story to tell, an obstacle in my way or a specific reason and person in the chair. This year I pleaded and begged for a lawyer, I counted some bodies like sheep so much so that my teacher literally grabbed my legs and held me down as I danced. I got into some trouble…which is probably why I needed that lawyer.  I was even a bitch, a widow and a housewife.

Not every studio offers classes like these. From what I hear and have experienced, you go and warm up, you learn some pole techniques and maybe you also learn a bit of choreography. I would have never discovered so many bits of my personality and the spirit of my movement if I didn’t have the freestyle dance options and assignments given by S Factor.

Some excerpts from these blog posts on the significance of this type of movement are…

What I found in this dance versus my normal dances which are very self indulgent was that there was a difference in the intent of my movement. When I dance for myself, its different than when I’m dancing for an audience, or for a loved one or for a performance or because I’m pleading. My dances also very depending on my theme or story. My intent to explore rage for instance is different than my intent to beg and plead. I love these intricacies. I love seeing how some of the same movements can mean different things when the intent or receiver changes. Do you notice these differences?

I’m grateful I have a playground to explore my sensual fantasies. I’m grateful I can take words, phrases, props and stories and create moments for myself.  I’m so grateful for the physical exertion, the energy exchange and the spiritual eroticism I get to explore. I grateful for this safe sanctuary of pleasure. I’m grateful for heels, booty shorts, hats,  and ties. I’m grateful for chairs, wood floors and ten foot poles that can hold my full body weight. I’m grateful that I have the space to let my ass take up as much room as it wants. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to linger in every pulsation of my body.

It’s been interesting exploring all the sides of my movement over the last few months in class. I’ve been going more often, trying new instructors, and even dancing to new music. Each dance, each class and each moment reveals a greater truth in me or reaffirms what I already know. I want to express myself. Whether its through tears or whips, I want to freely express myself. I am a seductress, temptress and siren. It is of the utmost importance that I always have a sanctuary where movement, sensuality and sexuality are explored. Within me there lives a feminine energy that breathes life into this world. Its an erotic, soulful part of me that must see the light of day all the time. I am living in my authentic freedom, with no guilt, no shame and in absolute joy. I’m living in beauty.

"New York Pole Dancer"

EPIPHANIES

In addition to telling a lot of stories through my movement, I also have a couple moments of epiphanies and enlightenment.  I learned its more interesting to take risk and explore versus letting my judgements stop me. I discovered that I love the tension, push & pull and constraint of being tethered and tied to myself or to the pole as I dance. This was such a big deal because I later realized that as it related to my sex life, I had a fetish for restraints too. I wrote,

There was something about having a part of my body tied to the pole that I loved. I loved exploring the possibilities within the constraint. I loved trying to go to the edge of that rope and still not being able to break free. Later, I would even explore this in a more intense sexual manner than I ever had in my life and it further confirmed an interest? a fetish? a slight, naughty, yummy, delicious kink? of mine. Yes, tethered, tied down, restrained, bound, roped…..whether while dancing or during …. whatever… somehow sets my inner SIREN free.

I also realized I needed to bring my Vixen to the boardroom, there was something to be said for emotionality and sexuality inner awareness & outward expression, as well as, spiritual eroticism.

COMMUNITY

During 2012, I got to immerse myself into the community of pole. I learned a lot about other Sirens such as  Theresa Schlee Valenzuela, Author of Penelope In The Divine. You can read her interviews here (part one) and here (part two). She spoke of sensuality, Source Energy and even the Feminine Creation Vortex. She happens to be one of my favorite women and we both share a fantasy of having our way with a fireman. If you know of two single fireman, let us know. This year, I also got a chance to speak with another Siren, Kelly Yvonne of Girls Next Door ~ A Pole Dance Soiree and The Choreography House.

In addition to communing with the community, I also had some critiques for the community. Such as my thoughts on Bringing Sexy Back week. Among other things, I wrote,

….To be quite honest, I’m sick of hearing of the people who keep reiterating that they are so very different than strippers. Yeah, I know. The strippers are making money to pole dance and you’re paying money to pole dance. I don’t need all the negatives. I don’t need to know what you’re not and how separate you are from the rest and your political issues with women & sexuality. What I want to know is what lights your fire? What makes you feel most alive? What are you passionate about? What makes you feel most connected, grounded and loved? What makes you feel?

In Negative Talk and Pole Dance, I wrote,

Every time you say a negative or positive word, that energy floats throughout the world. It slides down your body and wraps itself up in your psyche. It touches the person next to you and the person next to them.  It adds grime or polish to the pole. Your words and thoughts on self, your ability and your perceived limitations affect the entire world.

Therefore, the next time your instructor demonstrates a move, BE INSPIRED. When they suggest you try something, just FUCKING try it. Even if you fall flat on your ass. Get back up and do it ten more times.  Do it one hundred times. Do you know how many times I’ve fallen out of a butterfly. Um, a gazillion! And I still haven’t managed a flowy, big body spiral. So what? I’m just going to keep trying! STOP being Debbie Downer. I pay too much money for pole classes to listen to the world’s worst un-motivational speaker.

"New York Pole Artist"

POLE GOALS

This year I had a few pole goals. I knew to achieve my goals I’d have to venture out of my comfort zone. Therefore I started taking classes at other studios such as New York Pole Dance, Body & Pole and Shockra Studios. I studied under Aerial Amy who focuses on technique & flow, all the while looking pretty and sexy. Because of Amy I have a controlled invert, a rock star climb and a pointed toe regular climb. I’ve learned to do a fake out half pint climb and a fake out, sort of reverse sideways climb. I have a controlled tripod headstand AWAY from the pole and I’ve come to climb and invert on my non dominant side.

In an effort to increase my strength, flexibility and endurance I’ve taken all kinds of classes such as yoga, pilates, ballet core fusion, aerial silks & fabrics and THIS Sunday I’m taking my first Lyra (Aerial Hoop) class too! Actually, you can see bits of my first Aerial Fabrics class in this Body and Pole video. Check out the 1:30 mark and beyond.

 

I had a few pole trick goals for 2012. I wanted to get the Butterfly, the Caterpillar Crawl and an Outside Leg Hang with no hands. I got the first two. I also wanted to get the Aeysha but I’ve only just started that. I realize in order to get that move, I have to change my hand positions in the Caterpillar. I also wanted to work on my splits. That happened for about five minutes this year.

One of the things I did realize this year was that I wanted to move past freestyle dancing and really increase my technique and skill level as a dancer. I want to do more challenging and difficult tricks, inverts and combos in addition to basic moves that my studio never focuses on such as the outside leg hang. Hence my branching out!

"Pole Dance Archangel"

 

 

 The V word

The last thing that must be said for my year in pole dancing is THE V WORD –> VULNERABILITY. As I explore my freestyle movement, it is with ease and sadistic enjoyment that I dance as SLY and ISIS. As SLY, I’m a flirt, a tease and a seductress. As ISIS, I’m a vixen, a dominatrix and destroyer. But underneath all of those expressions of my sensuality and sexuality, I’m a human being with a soul. I have my own life story that lives in every cell of my body. Every experience. Every heart break. Every joy. Every loss and every discovery. It’s all in my cells, in my blood and in my body. The essence of my spirit is what I seek to explore in movement and dance. Its also what ALL of my dance teachers keep saying. I swear they must be having conference calls about me. They keep pushing me to be more vulnerable when I dance.  Sometimes I listen. Sometimes not. It’s been interesting to explore this year. In Someone Has to be the Sacrifice, I wrote…

Last week Ilov said, “I wonder who she’d be like if she was loved properly. If she had been cared for and protected.” I nodded but it resonated deeper than a nod. If an EC is the physical embodiment or outward expression of your sexuality and sensuality, despite my healing journey, at her core….she was not protected.

“I wonder what it would be like for us to see her more. We know you’ll protect her. Your EC will protect her but maybe we want to let that vulnerable part out more,” she said.

I wonder if I’m willing to take the risk. I wonder if I can let my domme guard down long enough to dance an entire song as the raw, little girl.

While it is a risk to truly be vulnerable, a risk that sometimes leaves me running in the opposite direction, I want to move more towards that truth. I’m pretty sure the closer I get to vulnerability, the closer I’ll get to what I describe as Cracking Myself Open”….

I want to be open. Every energetic ounce of me wants to be open. I can only conjure what would happen. I imagine freedom happens when you’re wide open.

In living in that vulnerability and openness, I’m pretty sure that’s where my authentic nature dwells. I’m assuming that place is my True North…. The North Pole. I’m getting there one step at a time…. one dance at a time.

"Vulerability"

 (The last photo is courtesy of Glen Graham Photography)

This blog is part of the Pole Dancing Bloggers December Blog Hop.To read the other entries, just click the titles below. Leave comments. They help the flowers to grow.

"Pole Dancers"

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Showing 4 comments
  • Angela
    Reply

    Everything you said resonates with me. I am so glad that I found you in the world and we get to hang out online and share our passions for pole and for life. You had an amazing year!

    • Sheena LaShay
      Reply

      @Angela, I hadn’t realized how much I did in the Pole community until I started making a list for this post. I was like “WOW!” I performed in public FIVE times. I’ve made how many videos for clients? I made how many new friends. I wonder how many hours of pole I did this year?

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