The Pole Dancing Bloggers Association chose the topic of “A Day In the Life” for their monthly blog hop challenge. I initially wanted to make a cute infographic explaining what that means for me. FAIL. I also thought about doing some behind the scenes vlogging of my pole dance life. FAIL. I thought I’d do all this before July 15th, the official due date for blog post. FAIL.
So let’s start there. Incorporating pole dancing into my daily life means I fail sometimes. Sometimes I don’t get to go to my friend’s birthday party or hang out with colleagues after work for drinks or sleep in on a Saturday or do what “normal” people do because pole dancing constantly shifts my priorities. Let me explain why…because nothing is ever simple for me.
Maybe I could write a very simple story of “A Day in the Life of a Pole Dance Student,” except it doesn’t stop there for me. So let me break this down in a different way.
I am a
- Pole Dance Student.
- Pole Dance Performer.
- Pole Dance Company Member.
- Pole Dance Blogger.
- Pole Dance Editor and Co-Lead of the PDBA group.
- Pole Dance Photographer and Filmmaker.
- Pole Dance Stage Manager and Volunteer.
- Pole Dance Enthusiast.
Pole Dance Student – 10+ hours per month
Pole Dance Performer – 15+ hours per month
Pole Dance Company Member – 15+ hours per month
I am a member of Pole Speak, a new pole dance company that rocks. We’ve been together since April and have weekly rehearsals. Sometimes we have extra rehearsals for photo shoots and video shoots or whatever may arise. Sometimes rehearsals are 3 hours and then there was that night when we were there well pass midnight and I had to be at the airport the very next day at 5am. Yikes! Being a member of Pole Speak in one sense, is simple. We have a schedule. My bag is easy to pack…except if I’m bringing my camera gear to help film and I’m under the direction of someone else. As a Pole Dance Performer, I usually have to make a lot of decisions about the direction of my piece and it can be challenging. With Pole Speak, Tracee and Jess lead it. BUT the work can me emotionally taxing…in a good way. There’s no passivity. Its not a matter of coming to rehearsal, learning a trick, practicing the trick and moving on. Its more-so, Jess and Tracee find things that will force us to display our extreme vulnerability and creativity for hours on end.
Pole Dance Blogger – 5+ hours a month
I have this little pole blog called The North Pole which I started back in 2010 when I first started pole dancing. I don’t give it nearly the attention it needs right now. Usually, my approach to it is to just pour my heart out regarding my experiences in the pole world. Its easy to express myself when I write so this is probably the easiest part of my pole life and yet I’m neglecting it right now. Also, occasionally, I’ve blogged for other websites too like Vertical Art and Fitness. There’s no bag or prep work for this. I just need an internet connection and I’m good to go.
Pole Dance Chair Member of PDBA – 20+ hours a month
One year ago, Valentina of Pole Dance Italy started a little group on facebook of pole bloggers and it has morphed into the Pole Dancing Bloggers Association. Just yesterday, we launched our facebook page and our new Weekly Photo Challenge. At some point I became a co-leader with her. I couldn’t tell you when that happened. I edit and create content for the monthly blog hop. That’s my main focus. I help V behind the scenes with processes and developments and website ideas and copyediting. Sometimes I pretend to be a graphic designer. I do whatever is necessary to help the group flourish. I love it. This involves a lot of brain power, a lot of ego blasting…because its not about pushing my ideas but more-so helping facilitate greatness amongst us all. It’s quite interesting. There’s no bag required. Just an internet connection, editing software, and stuff like that.
Pole Dance Stage Manager/Volunteer – 5+ hours a month
5+ hours a month is not always accurate. If June/July serves as my case study, “5 hours” would be because there was only one event this month in which I served as Mistress of the Pole, it was a glorified title for Pole Cleaner and Floor Manager. I also work as a Stage Manager for pole events. More notably, my stage management skills would be seen at the twice a year Flight Club showcases under the creative direction of the infamous Aerial Amy. In a busy month my hours go from 5 hours a month to over 30+ hours, if not more. For these events I usually have to pack a “normal” pole bag of pole clothing for tech rehearsals plus a cute dress and heels to wear during the actual show. I also pack all my camera gear. I also pack all my stage manager gear..i.e., prompt book, emergency kit, toolbox and more.
Pole Dance Enthusiast – 5 to 10 hours a month
This means I go to pole dance parties my friend’s throw. The best Pole Dance Party host would be Bernadette Pleasant. This also means I participate in things like Flight Club practice sessions and High Heeled Hottie Nights. They are the things I do with friends unrelated to studios or jobs or events. We just do them for fun because we’re sassy and quirky like that. For events like these, I pack a ridiculous pole bag which includes things like 7 pair of sequins booty shorts, dresses, ties, knee highs, multiple pairs of shoes and more. I also pack all of my camera gear, hence why the above links take you to videos created of the event. Travelling can be cumbersome but its worth it once the party begins!
Pole Dance Photographer/Filmmaker/Editor – 45+ hours a month.
I own a business, Sheena LaShay LLC. One of the main aspects of my business to date is photography and videography. Most often, I’m hired to film pole dancers or sensual movement artists. This is the most cumbersome of anything that I do and the most rewarding. Filming a client takes me anywhere from a studio in Chelsea to a Wellness Center in New Jersey to a Pole Dance Studio in Seattle. (Yes, I just flew to Seattle to film all the promotional footage for a pole dance company. HOW FUCKING COOL!) My job doesn’t start when I turn my camera on. My job starts when I conceptualize my marketing plan. Then there’s meetings and proposals. There’s drafting contracts and scheduling filming dates. There’s invoices. There’s storyboarding and creating pinterest boards. There’s model releases and purchasing the licensing rights to approved music. There’s packing a crazy ass bag with every piece of camera gear that I own. Sometimes I hire an assistant. There’s travel. Then there’s filming. And recording audio and taking behind the scenes pictures. Then there’s uploading and formatting and naming files. Then there’s editing, re-editing, and more. Then there’s rendering, burning dvds, uploading media to social platforms and fed-exing finished products to clients. I’ve missed a lot of steps but perhaps you get the point?
Round Up and the Rest
One thing to note is that many of these things can overlap. If I go to a pole party, I film it. If I go to a pole class, later I’ll probably blog about it. Its all intermingled into a lot of hours a month.
Another thing to note is that I am not a full time pole artist.
I have a day job. A very intensive full time day job. I have family. Family that I need to talk to on the phone and email and one day skype with since they are not local to NY. I have friends. Friend’s whose birthday parties I need to attend and dinner parties and 6 hour brunches in which we talk about life and shit. I have dates and a lover I need to invest in and open up to. And then I also have a business. Filming pole dancers is not my business. It’s just one aspect of it. I host bi monthly craft parties which take a shit ton of effort but are fun. I lead an annual retreat that happens less than two months from now. I have clients that hire me to do everything from boudoir photo shoots to 1:1 business consulting to managing their productions and events. I am constantly working on business development which means I attend conferences like #WDS2013 and Blographer. Or I’m taking 3 day workshops like Boudoir Photography on CreativeLive.com or 6 week courses on Social Psychology via Coursera. There’s also the administrative part to my business too. And I’m also a VWZ Buzz brand ambassador/ lifestyle blogger which entails blogging, weekly tweet chats and lots of events! And I’m a blogger for Owning Pink too. I’ve had my latest three posts for them in draft format for two months now.
There’s also eating, sleeping, meditating, reading books, playing Candy Crush and constantly adding to my to do list. It would scare the shit out of you. And there’s also just my own personal interest. I love to travel and go to the library and treat myself to the movies and go on photo walks and spend hours in tea shops and coffee shops and pin thousands of images onto tons of boards on pinterest.
Basically I live a very dynamic life. No two days are alike. I find ways to turn my curiosity into projects which then become a life of its own and I follow the path of what I’ve set fire to. I wonder what tomorrow will be like. I plan on working through another round of Alethea Austin DVD’s and playing on my spin pole at home, but who knows what might happen. Check out the other entries in this month’s blog hop below. Leave a comment and share. We like that. It’s like chocolate treats and bacon rolled into one!
Photos 1, 2 & 4 are by Glen Graham of Glen Graham Photography
Photo 3 is by Tracee Kafer of Pole Speak
Photo 5 is by moi!