Break a leg, #polefamily!

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Okay Cast + Crew, don't panic, but we are in the final hours before the show! 

In my past, I always found the 48 hours before opening curtain would be the hardest. I would constantly be practising lines, and dance steps, and cues, and worrying about my wardrobe and cast mates etc. etc. Do you get like this too? How do you emotionally handle performing? 

You may feel that after 8 weeks and many hours of practice it all comes down to this. You have one shot at perfection. But here's the good news! It doesn't matter if you're off beat or miss a trick or make a face or whatever it is. The important part is that you: A) have fun and B) try your best. I know I sound a bit like a school teacher, but trust me on this one, the audience will never know you goofed! (They only will if you tell them!)

You know the old cliché "the show must go on"? There's merit to it. If you just keep going and pretend nothing has gone wrong, the audience will be none the wiser. And you'll leave the stage with a sense of pride that nothing could get in your way of having a good time on stage, no matter how large a flub may seem at the time. Know this, no matter what happens, we at Studio Chic are SO proud of you!

It takes great courage to put yourself out there for all the world to see. To leave your worries and insecurities at home and give a part of yourself to that audience. To be vulnerable and open. To dedicate yourself to something so much that you're willing to risk the unthinkable (embarrassment!) and replace it with incredible memories and pride instead. We are in awe of you and we cannot wait to see you shine on Saturday night. 

We know how hard each and every person who is involved in the show has worked.  From our 10 Studio Chic Dance Troupes + 7 Guest Acts, to our Production Team, Pole Kittens, Volunteers, and Choreographers; it really does take a village. So we wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your creativity, time, passion and talent, and for making this show the spectacle we know it will be. THANK YOU! (We can't wait to celebrate this amazing accomplishment after the show either!) 

So on that note I leave you with an inspirational quote that I think sums things up nicely.

"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do." - Pele


From all of us at Studio Chic: Break a leg, #polefamily and see you Saturday!



Feelin' some show stress? Here are some ways to relax and take care of yourself before the big show! 
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More love from SC Staff: 

"I wanted to THANK every student, Instructor, Volunteer and especially Andrea Fleury for enabling this evening to be possible. I am so looking forward to seeing all your amazing talent and blood sweat and maybe a few tears all come together April 29th. You are all STUNNING, STRONG SIZZLIN Superstars to me!!!! I am so very proud of each and every one of you... we are nothing without our SCPOLEFAM!!! Count down to LIGHTS CAMERA ~ POLE DANCE, PUMPED and EXCITED!!! <3 :) <3" -  Tracey xo

" Dear troupe. First and Foremost thank you for trusting me. Our first session together you had many raised eyebrows and looks of doubt. You trusted me and the progress. You have grown as dancers, performers, and as woman. I couldn't be more proud of you. Thank you for trusting my vision and making it come true. Love you. ????" - Kelly

"Thank you for your laughter, your patience and your willingness to embrace the booty! From the very beginning you were eager to try new moves, lifts and stunts. It has been an absolute pleasure seeing our dance evolve. I loved how you worked together and were open to precarious hand placements - we are so much closer now! I am forever grateful that you chose to be in my troupe! I can’t wait to hit the stage and BRING IT ON!
To my SC family: I am so proud to be part of such a powerhouse of women! You all inspire me to be better than I was yesterday and I love constantly learning and growing with you. I can’t wait to see everyone’s hard work pay off on stage!" - Heather

"So proud of all my beautiful troupes these past 8 weeks... team steak sauce has so much passion , team burlesque so much sass and team gangsta so much flow... love you all!!" - Suzy

"To my beautiful dance troupe: all I can say is WOW, you have blown me away with your enthusiasm and hard work since day one. Being first time performers, this journey is never easy, but your dedication, willingness to learn (even after I changed things 100 times!) and positive attitude has made this experience so special for me! I am incredibly proud of the gorgeous dancers you have become and you deserve all the praise you are going to get when you hit the big stage Saturday night! I feel truly blessed to have shared this journey with you all! love, your "teach" " -Jasmine xoxo

"How can I express the pride I feel when I watch how you all took an idea and made it reality. You all had the guts to enter the unknown and went for it, every rehearsal. I am so thankful you brought your willingness, creativity, bravery, sense of humour and spirit every week and it shows. Enjoy your moment, you have worked so hard for it. Feel the fear and do it anyway! I couldn't be any prouder of you all! Thank you" - Christie

"I would like to thank all of my staff. Without you, and your creativity none of this would be possible. You spend hours and hours of your own time building routines, and choreography, coming in on your own time to make it all perfect so that our students can sign up for a troupe and be a part of something very special. I want to thank Emily Cabral and Tracey Headley for all of their help behind the scenes, which is equally as challenging. In order to see shows like this successful there is a massive amount of work that goes into the promotion, marketing, event planning, and technical parts to make a smooth professional production. Their roles often get over looked, but are as equally important as everything else.

Thank you to our students, and performers coming to our show from all over Ontario. Again without you we wouldn't have a show. I'd also like to thank all of the volunteers that are donating their time to help out. This show is the perfect combination of talent, creativity, dedication and passion. When all of those things come together, magic happens. Thank you xo" - Andrea

"Thank you for your time, talent, passion and friendship! Your dedication to this show and to each other drives us all to succeed and rise higher then we have ever before. The energy radiating off of all of you has been a pleasure to be around and I just can't wait to see you nail this and become the most impressive versions of yourself there could be. So proud!" - Sam

"A huge thanks to all the beautifully strong women in my troupe. You have taken what was in my head and laid it out on stage in a way that makes me proud to have been a part of the process. Thanks you for your time, dedication and laughter. You all rocked!!!" - Miranda

Mindfulness & Pole Dancing

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Last year I talked on this blog about how and why most of our New Year resolutions don’t work. You can read it here, if you’re interested, but what it all came down to was this: resolutions suggest a change needs to be made and that you are somehow not good enough.

This year I want to offer you a different resolution to implement not only in your pole classes, but your everyday. To start the year off right and set yourself up for success, I want to talk about how including mindfulness practices into your pole work will help you get the most out of each session.

 


Mindfulness in its most technical form is defined as “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” More plainly, mindfulness is being fully aware of what is happening in the present moment.

But Emily, aren’t we always aware of what’s happening in the present moment? Well yes, but there is a little more to it than that.  

Mindfulness is typically known as a form of meditation but can be practiced literally anywhere at anytime. Among its theorized benefits are “self-control, objectivity, affect tolerance, better memory retention, enhanced flexibility, equanimity, improved concentration and mental clarity, emotional intelligence and the ability to relate to others and one's self with kindness, acceptance and compassion” according to the American Psychological Association.

As well, inn recent years, scientists have found associations between mindfulness and physical health, especially in terms of weight control, as people who are mindful during meals tending to be less likely to gain weight. A few studies also have suggested that people who deliberately immerse themselves in the feeling of moving and in their environment are more likely to exercise again.  

For me, I can see these things benefitting my pole training in several positive ways. Besides the obvious potential of better flexibility, thinking more kindly about myself means less insecurity about my bodys’ looks and abilities. It means fully appreciating the difficult things my body is achieving each time I go to class and increased focus means I am more likely to remember what I have been taught, future corrections, names of tricks and more.  Focussing on your body will help prevent injury or overworking, and will help keep you safer while completing tricks and in recovery. By being fully present, I can enjoy every moment of each class and feel more fulfilled with each workout.


How do I practice mindfulness during class?

 

1.    Breathe

Your breath is key in not only practicing mindfulness but your pole workouts in general. Steady and even breathing efficiently fuels your body with the oxygen it needs to complete the physical tasks required for pole and to keep your muscles moving. The repetitive inflow and outflow of your breath creates a rhythm that can help anchor you into the present moment and help you push through some of poles more difficult tricks.

 

2.    Feel your body

Before starting class, take inventory of how you’re feeling. Do you have pain or discomfort? How is your energy level? Have you eaten recently? By doing this, you’re connecting yourself to your body and you’re then able to make the right choices for yourself at that moment. By being fully aware of your body, you’ll better be able to prevent injury and strain and you’ll start to feel all the muscles hard at work and realize how strong you really are.

 

3.    Notice your environment

Studio Chic offers a relaxing and bright environment to enjoy your workout, so use this to your advantage! Enjoy the lights, warmth, colours and the people around you by taking note of what you see, feel and smell. By grounding yourself to your surroundings, it’s easier to remain in the moment.

 

4.    Slow down

I know you are super excited about pulling off this move (and I am too!) but sometimes its important to slow down during your class. Take a moment to breathe between each trick attempt. Remember that you set this time aside specifically for YOU, so give yourself permission to enjoy it. Use this moment to remember why you are here. Take your time with each movement, particularly strength training exercises. Focus on your form and your posture which will improve your pole technique over the long term.

 

5.    Correct your posture

Posture affects every move you make. Through correct posture you create the optimal spinal alignment for any physical activity. Posture is especially key in pole for all the back and shoulder work required. Remember, shoulders down and back! (You'll thank me later)



6.    Think kindly about yourself

Studio Chic is already a judgement-free zone, but the worst culprit of body shaming is always ourselves! Make the studio your safe space from your own head and leave the self criticisms at the door. Make it a goal to no longer shame your body for what it can’t do and doesn’t look like, and instead celebrate it. If you nail a trick, give yourself a pat on the back. If you fail at something, give yourself a pat on the back for trying and go again! Your body and mind are accomplishing some pretty amazing things and you should be proud. If you wouldn't say it to your friend, don't say it to yourself.

 

7.    Talk to your instructor

Struggling with a move in class? Having an off day?  Thinking too much about negative things? Talk to your instructor! Studio Chic instructors are a wealth of knowledge and motivation when it comes to getting the most out of your pole class. They are there for you, never judge and want to see you succeed but they are not mind-readers. Speak up!

 

8.    Set a goal or intention

Setting an intention or goal at the beginning of your workout will set you up for success by helping you focus on what you’re doing. By breaking down your large goals into smaller ones, you are more likely to accomplish them. For example, instead of saying “I want to be more flexible this year”, say “I am going to challenge myself during our stretch today.” Your goal can even be as simple as “finish this class”, it’s totally up to you!

 

9.    End on a good note

Remember all the good things about the workout you just did and take note of how good it feels when you’re done, either physically, emotionally or both! Give yourself time to cool down and take time to stretch the muscles you worked. If you can, take a moment to lie down at the end of the workout for one last deep breath; you earned it.

 

10.  Write in your pole journal

Write in your pole journal noting things you learned, challenges you faced, goals for next class or even just that you had a fun class! It is very satisfying to review your journal later and see all the progress you’ve made. Writing is also a mindfulness activity in itself. By writing down your experience from that day, you are remembering and valuing each moment and being present during the time you're writing.

 

In conclusion, on top of all your wonderful pole and personal goals, I challenge you to give yourself the gift of presence this year and be in the moment. Happy New Year #polefam!

 

Until next time,

 

Emily

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