Pole Expo 2014


I hurt my back today. Again. Bad.

I should have known better because Tabby and I were both talking about how much we hate Bosu Ball workouts yet I took a group fitness class that used, you guessed it, Bosu Balls.

minmax.msI don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with Bosu workouts. The idea is that they create an unstable base which requires you to use all those tiny stabilizing muscles in your core, which is awesome.

Unless you have a back issue, and then it’s not.

Now I’m laid up in bed with my computer and no excuse to not blog about Expo. As my dad (HI DAD!) said, “Your pain, our gain!”

Where to start?

I guess I can start with who I went with.

Thank god Heather wanted to go to Vegas with me because I don’t think I can hang with twenty-somethings. At least not for three days straight, 24 hours-a-day.

I love them, I really do, but I need my sleep and I’m too old to double up in bed (unless it’s Shé) and step over sleeping people to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I also wake up very early (regardless of whether I’m on vacation or not) because this guy has me trained to wake up while it’s still dark.

dos equis dog

Poor Heather. That first morning I was up at 5. I waited for her to make a sound, any sound (she sneezed) and I was all, “Oh! You’re awake! Let’s go do something!” Sorry about that.

Anyway, Heather is much prettier than Blue and such a pleasant travel companion. She’s up for just about anything.

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And when I say anything, I mean like: Do you want to take a cab instead of walking? or Do you want to catch a Cirque du Soleil show tonight? or Do you want to get breakfast?

She’s totally easy. And we look good at the pool together.

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This is 40

Speaking of the pool, could they play the music any louder?

But not too old to care about hearing loss

But not too old to care about hearing loss

Seriously, the noise was obnoxious. Our faces were 18 inches away from each other and we were shouting to be heard. Outside.

Okay, enough of me acting my age and complaining about kids these days. Onto Pole Expo.

The first thing thing to cover is pictures. Pole dancers love pictures … of themselves.

If there’s a camera, we’ll jump in front of it.

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I had to put myself on a self-imposed Instagram time-out due to the number of selfies I was posting. Regard.

Yep, completely out of control.

The photo I’m most excited about happened after I hugged Stephen Retchless (AKA the sexiest human alive) for an awkwardly long period of time, I selfied with him and who photobombed us?

Natasha Wang!

Natasha Wang!

I got a little stalkery at the Expo with Natasha, Marion and Marlo being the objects of my affection.

The Expo took place at The Palms Casino and Resort with a competition/showcase kicking the event off.

I’ve watched a zillion pole videos but seeing the performances live are completely different than watching them on Youtube.

If you want to see some great pole and live in Boulder, Nina’s Colorado Pole Championship is this Saturday (September 20th) at the Boulder Theater.

I’ll be there, but not competing. Are you insane?

Heather and I took workshops for the next three days. I took two a day but wish I had taken more.

Among my favorites was Marion Crampe’s Sexy Chair Dance. She gave me permission to post video of the dance she taught us. Pay attention to her facial expression and nuances.

She is a brilliant instructor and is fucking adorable.

Marion

Her style is sexy and fresh without being too much and I learned all kinds of new words from her like patatina which I think means pussy in whatever language she speaks. Next time I’ll take all her classes.

Next time I'll bring socks because dancing on carpet sucks

Next time I’ll bring socks because dancing on carpet sucks

I had a BLAST in Michelle Shimmy’s Booty class. We laughed and hooted the entire time. Can I just say that being 40 isn’t so bad when you pole dance?

Twerk

I took Bringing Sexy Back with Leigh Ann Reilly and aside from a rather lengthy “Let’s go around the circle and introduce ourselves and say why we’re here,” bit (in a 60 minute workshop, really?) it was fun to pull out all the stops and get as sexy as possible.

Where else can you have instructors that show up to teach looking like this?

I can’t blame the TSA guy for blushing and saying, “That’s awesome,” when I answered his “What are you going to Vegas for?” question. It is awesome.

I took Marion’s Spin Pole class which I must admit was beyond my level, which is the problem with taking pole workshops at Expo.

Marion2

Unless you are pretty advanced, it’s hit or miss whether you will be able to participate fully.

Fortunately Heather is pretty advanced (although she would insist otherwise). I took lots of pictures of her.

There were pole celebrities everywhere and I know I walked right by many of them because all I ever see of them are tiny Youtube videos. I wish My Asian Daughter had come with me just to point out the pole-stars.

Here are a few that I did recognize.

My picture with Crystal Belcher went missing which is such a drag because I love her work SO MUCH. The photos are hilarious because she looks like my little pole baby, she’s so tiny. Alas.

After the first night’s showcase, Bad Kitty threw a party at Ghostbar on the roof of The Palms. It was loud and packed and the music was throbbing. I was into it. I even ran into Nadia!

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Yes, I slapped her again.

I dunno, I feel like she would have been disappointed if I hadn’t. She jumped on me and wrapped her legs around my waist and I gave her a few thrusts so I figure we are good. I didn’t see her again for the rest of the weekend.

Coincidence or is she avoiding me on purpose?

I guess I got a little crazy because she wanted to know who let me out of my cage.

“No kids!” was my answer.

“You’re this way around your kids.”

I guess that means I’m always like this. Tell me something I don’t already know.

I got to enjoy watching Heather try to shake some stiff chatting her up.

Stiff: What are you ladies doing in Vegas?

Me: (throwing Heather under the bus) You got this one Heather.

Heather: We here for an animal nutrition convention. (Good one!)

Stiff: That’s great! I just lost 40 pounds!

Me: Oh hell. We’re here for a pole dancer convention. Let’s bounce.

Next time she should lead with the truth; she’s in patent law. Something tells me he would have great idea for an invention.

The second and third night, Heather and I went to Cirque Du Soleil shows. It seemed like a better choice than knocking around the casinos.

This looks like the opposite of fun

This looks like the opposite of fun

We were totally Gidget Goes to Las Vegas, taking pictures of the ceiling and gawking at everything.

We saw Zumanity and then O. I preferred Zumanity, the Cirque’s “sensual” show, to O.

This was one of my favorite acts from Zumanity. The version I saw had two ladies in it. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

I’m thrilled to have seen them both, though. Had we just wandered around Vegas looking for something to do each night, it wouldn’t have been such a great trip.

I live in Boulder, land of a billion restaurants and I love to cook. I can’t get excited about paying $40 for an entree, no matter how good they say it is. I have simpler pleasure these days, such as …

In the parking lot, enjoying the only shaded, not smoky, quiet spot in all of downtown Vegas.

In the parking lot, enjoying the only shaded, not smoky, quiet spot in all of downtown Vegas

We finished up our trip with Jeni Janover’s Liquid Motion workshop which reminded me of what I feel like Boulder is missing in pole dance. There is a big push for people to go aerial and master harder and harder tricks.

While I can do some of the big moves, taking Liquid Motion reminded me of what a sustained workout pole dance can be.

Heck, taking Shimmy’s Booty class, or Marion’s Sexy Chair Dance got me moving and sweating more than many pole classes because I can’t sustain tricks for that long, but I can sustain dance. More floor work, chair and choreography in Boulder, please!

Going higher up the pole is pretty rad but so is being a fluid, sexy, confident dancer that can rock the spins and floor.

Not everyone wants to (or can) spend three minutes without their feet touching the ground.

Jeni taught basic grounded spins, transitions and floor work. Her class was brisk and she brought lots of assistants to make sure we all got plenty of attention. I would take her workshops again in a heartbeat.

Even with Heather and I sharing a pole, we walked out of her class with wasted biceps. We were sore for days.

Keri's biceps got a workout in Cleo "The Hurricane's" workshop.

Keri’s biceps got a workout in Cleo “The Hurricane’s” workshop.

Our trip home was a little challenging. Our flight was delayed by a couple hours on top of the two hours we were at the airport in advance. I took it as an opportunity to get some reading done without my kids anyone bothering me.

Looking lovely while she waits.

Looking lovely while she waits.

I swear I don’t do stupid things for the benefit of my blog.

I am being perfectly honest when I say that my sports bra was really irritating me and I wanted to take it off but was too lazy to go to the ladies room. I did the female magic trick where you take your bra off under your shirt.

shirt

I don’t know how it got so knotted up but I’m surprised Heather didn’t have to cut it off me. My hand was stuck to my boob because I didn’t want to flash the guys in front of me who were watching with great amusement.

We ran into a lot of Boulder polers at the airport including Lindsey (pictured above laughing at me) and Moneypenny.

Ah. Togetherness!

Ah. Togetherness!

So there it is, my Pole Expo experience. The stories could have been crazier but I’m not drinking much these days and drinks usually lead to me doing crazy things.

I’m not trying to sober up, it’s just that drinks are EXPENSIVE in Vegas. Like $14 for a G&T! And when they ask me what kind of gin I want, I always say, “Only the cheapest will do!”

Couple that with the fact that I’ve lost 9 pounds (6 more to go!) and drinks have a shitload of calories and inevitably lead to MORE DRINKS and MORE CALORIES and then ROOM SERVICE NACHOS, I figured I’d not go there.

I’ll  leave you with this video I put together from Expo clips.

If you want to see some good photos (as opposed to the crappy ones I took with my phone) like Nina’s photography Facebook page. She was one of the official photographers and got some great images.

 

10 thoughts on “Pole Expo 2014

  1. I agree with you about Boulder missing a core part of pole. The studio I started at was all about movement and flow. We learned very few tricks. I ultimately had to go somewhere else to work on my aerial technique, but I loved having the balance between the two places. No matter how hard I try to recreate the feeling I used to get in that studio here, it never works. It probably has something to do with adolescent boys always banging on the studio walls and b-boys blasting their music right outside the door.

    • Even though I should be used to guys hurling their bodies at the studio wall and making everything fall off, I still flinch every time. The stereo wars are tough, too.

      Finding that balance is tough, it seems that studios are one thing or the other. At this point in my life (and with me flat on my back) I’m inclined to stick with “easier” pole activities. But as you know, there is nothing easy about freestyle, flow and killer floor work.

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