The last term … for a while :*)

So, we are now officially into the last trimester at around 7.5 months.

And the baby bump has grown heavier and bulkier – that means scaling down even more on the stuff I attempt during classes. Have also been experiencing more pressure on the ligaments so as advised by my gynae, that means no more floor splits either be it during warm ups or during the routine where my weight presses down on those affected ligaments.

Trying to look emo and elegant notwithstanding the bump 🙂

It really has been loads of improvisation for me this term! Most of the time, it involves breaking up a combo by coming down onto the ground first so I don’t invert with my feet off the ground or simply holding on to the pole to be extra safe / secure etc … as well as avoiding pole contact with the tummy and using only the side / waist so that means getting into chopsticks upright and not from a jamilla during this term’s routine.

So far so good 🙂

Splits … but avoiding the pressure on the relevant ligaments

With 2 more classes remaining this term, it’s a “wait-and-see” situation each week. It all depends on how the body feels, what the body says, and what the gynae says.

I really have enjoyed this term with Ms V immensely! It has taught me so much about listening to my body (and thus being able to improvise so I can pole safe) and reminded me why I enjoy pole so much, that pole to me is much more than conquering the tricks.

I know my pole journey will not end here, but that I am merely taking a break for a while as this is precisely what my body seems to be telling me to do at this point 🙂 … I will definitely miss pole loads :*) … And honestly, am not that sure how / when returning back to pole after popping no. 2 will pan out as that means the hubs will now have to manage 2 boys on his own during class.

But yes, I will be back. Again 🙂

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A new term … a new trimester

I signed up for another lyrical term with teacher V! That would bring me into the third / last trimester.

We just had the first class of the new term. My first time at the new studio on level 11! Loved the new staggered placings of the poles where each pole gives a clear view of the instructor. But more importantly, loved the class! I can’t remember the number of times I giggled / laughed during the class 🙂

We are dancing to Jason Walker’s “Down” this term. I’ve danced to this song before at Bobbi’s in another lyrical piece taught by another amaaazing teacher L back in 2015 after I went back to pole following the birth of the first little fella. Heh. I still remember the umpteenth number of times I tried to get each dance movement for the sentence “I shot for the sky” in the song correct without looking like an awkward block of wood and then watching so wistfully at teacher L’s emotive flow and soft fingers. How I miss L…

Have only gone for the first class this term. But the start of this routine albeit to the same song already generated a very different / special feel for me. And I just feel so blessed to be able to learn from 2 very extraordindary teachers 2 different routines to this beautiful but sad song.

Attempted a twisty grip / candy trick up into a left leg hang. Nothing fancy. But got a spotter nonetheless. I managed to hook the left leg after hoisting myself up. Yaye! But after that first (and only) attempt, I decided the bump was getting too much in the way for me to comfortably curl my back and hook the left leg. So, it was the trusted inverted-v up into a left leg hang near the ground instead for me. I think I was the only one doing the simpler version. But keeping it simple (and safe) and just feeling the song is my mantra now!

Learning something new!

Week 8 lyrical

Week 8 has just come and gone.

And nope, no broken wing, and no brass monkey nor meathook-to-static v combo made any appearance whatsoever when we did the routine. Heh.

Nah, no way the elbow was going to hook onto the pole. So, just trying to look as pretty as possible with a bump :p

To be honest, having done the brass monkey transition in other routines, I was so tempted to give the tricks a shot. But nope. By this time, the lil’ fella (or maybe a large portion of me) had suddenly ballooned and I can’t even hold a meat hook securely without letting go of the left hand as I no longer have a waist to help grip onto the pole :p

So, I decided to focus on the lines and listening to the song which, had begun to mean something to me. And learning and completing the routine this term ended up being really special 🙂

Trying to focus on the lines instead …

What have I learnt through this term? In terms of achieving the challenging tricks – not much. But in terms of experiencing a song on a different level as a dancer – so much.

Many people have questioned why I continue to dance with the bump. I don’t think I need to justify anything anymore, especially as the loved ones and family have come abroad this amazing journey with me with such support it actually gives me strength. Strength beyond pole dancing.

So, thanks again, teacher V … *muakz*… you have taught me and given me so so much more than you realise.

The final performance

Thank you, teacher V

So, around close to 6 months in, I am still dancing. Yes, there were times of disappointment when I knew the strength and agility were no longer of the past and all I could do was to look longingly at the other ladies spin and twirl and try new exciting tricks :*(

My basic pole rules all the while when pole-ing with a lil’ fella have always been: not to take risks, not to climb high, not to try anything new unless I am confident and I have a spotter, and when in doubt simply dismount safely.

And I really really wanna thank teacher V for giving me this chance and safe environment to keep dancing during this period of my life. She saw me through my first lil’ fella. This is the second one. And nothing has changed. Her clear instructions, strong arms, eagle eyes and sharp instincts have been just outta this world.

I was watching my videos yesterday. And I noticed how she was always a step ahead of me … *very grateful and thankful look*

This is NOT part of the routine. Just me dismounting the very moment I was unsure. I was very safe, near the ground and with all the necessary points securely on the pole. But teacher V (standing in white) was always there behind me.

This IS part of the routine where I decided to do only the easy variations near the ground. And  with teacher V constantly watching over everyone.

It has been a precious learning experience … constantly understanding and learning how my body is changing as the lil fella develops, and how pole / dance can actually complement the whole process.

There are more and more tricks I can’t do, and won’t attempt to do. But … I still can point my toes, feel the music, extend those arms and embrace the road ahead with a smile 🙂

She used to be mine …

And so, another term of lyrical has begun. What a beautiful but sad song – “She used to be mine”… I was intrigued by the song that was from the musical The Waitress. It was about a lady working in a pie shop singing about how she used to be like before life started being a struggle, especially now with a little life growing within her.

Today, my body didn’t feel like mine. I couldn’t do most of the tricks. I longed for the strength, stamina and flexibility of the past. But it was not to be. And my heart sank :*(

I thought about how time used to be mine before the toil of practice crept in. Where holidays were indeed breaks and there was a much clearer line between work and family.

I thought about how I used to be able to pole a lot more, spend a lot more time in the studio and do what I truly love.

And so, I walked away from the studio dejected and thinking what used to be mine.

That afternoon, the little one threw up all over me. I saw the frightened look on his face and his tired little body unsure of what to do. And all I wanted was to hug the little fella, vomit and all.

There have been things that used to be mine that I had let go of. Things of the past that I may have treasured and loved immensely. But, seeing the little guy, it was worth it.

Dance will always be something close to my heart in so many ways. I will not be letting that go completely for as long as I can still move. And yes, my life now has the big fella, the little fella, and the little-est fella I will be meeting soon. Same 24 hours a day to fit everything into. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.

She used to be mine. But now, her heart and life are fuller than ever.

Trying my best to make the little I could do as pretty as possible 🙂

 

The past and the future

Completed another of Ms V’s beautiful lyrical choreography. Time flies and another 8 weeks of a term has flown by.

And through the course of this term, I’ve seen and spoken to pole babes on their preparations for upcoming big scale pole performances at both studios such as the Night Festival and the Recital. From auditions, to practices, to costumes, to make-up and all. And a part of me misses being involved in these memorable events. How special it is to dance on a stage caught up in your own little dance world but at the same time being able to reach out and share a part of that with an audience – yes, that’s how I used to feel when I perform a piece that is close to my heart. And not forgetting the sweat, laughter, pain and conversations with fellow pole babes on the same journey.

But to be able to do such events again will have to be a thing of the distant future, if at all. I remember shuttling to and fro late-night practices for the last Bobbi’s big event at Scape and balancing a nursing baby as well as work schedules. I would have done it all over again if given a choice because of what that event meant and all the memories it has given me.

For now, I find satisfaction in making a class routine more beautiful where I can 🙂 … For the first time (and only on the last week of the term), I finally managed to force myself to pull up into an elbow stand split with no curled toes under my feet from the kneeling position as well as to run upside down as beautifully as I could and to balance all the twirls by keeping my core low and steady. Hey, that’s real hard work for me 🙂

(a) trying to run with pointed toes upside down; and (b) trying to achieve as nice a line as possible!

I miss the pole past. But I shall look forward to the pole future. It may not be one with bright shiny stage lights or one where I can chart a progression in my strength and technical abilities. But, I shall keep dancing with a smile with another little one in the belly and cheering my pole friends dancin’ their hearts out under those stage lights! That actually sounds pretty special already 🙂

Dancing on the bump journey

The bump has gotten bigger :p … and the pole dancing journey with another little life has been really special!

I remember the first journey a few years ago started with apprehension. The thought of giving up intensive pole, losing my strength, having to start all over and all weighed pretty heavy back then. Not to mention I had just signed up for my first amateur pole competition when we found out.

This time, the heart felt full. And thankful. I knew that notwithstanding the things to be given up, to be able to be on and experience this journey, was so very very precious.

Life is a dance. There will be points we leap, we twirl, we pull back, we let go… And to encapsulate that in real dance classes with a bump (again) has been a ride!

Last week Ms J analysed why I could not hold that pegasus trick. I was amazed. And thankful. Oh my. How details make all that difference. She taught me how holding my hand higher up the thigh helped with the tension / grip and how changing the hips/legs into a front split was key. And guess what? I got it this week! I still haven’t mastered it completely and the hold is not stable all the time. But to be able to get my first pegasus after a week – all credit to Ms J.  I just so love Ms J’s teaching, details and technicality 🙂

Before – Ms J patiently teaching and keeping me safe… After – tada!

 

 

Say You Love Me

So the draw of Ms V’s choreography was truly alluring.

And I am back in lyrical class dancin’ to “Say You Love Me”, this time under Ms J who has been just awesome! Love the technical breakdowns, the details and the demonstrations so much! Contemporary or sexy – she does it all!

The most challenging part of the routine after having gone through 3 weeks of this term? That dreaded little jump-turn-and-land-gracefully move on the floor :p …  I just simply canNOT make that calf muscle do a little jump and co-ordinate the other limbs together for that move. Honestly, that is an advanced move for me. *hmrumph*

Still trying to flatten that split. Much prefer splits on the floor or with some form of “pivot” to help with the flattening –  mm, how do I make more space for the arms? *short arms problems*

 

101,101,101,101 times

Ok, so I probably told myself that number of times  (*maybe more) to let go of my right hand on the pole so that my right foot can slip under to extend into a split. And then another 101,101,101,101 times (*maybe more) to let go of my right hand again so I can release that right foot and come down.

This combo probably is one of the scariest I’ve ever done. Deceivingly chill and simple as teacher M demonstrated effortlessly. But oh my goodness, up there in that shoulder mount cup grip, I needed every limb and flesh on the pole to feel secure.

And 6 lessons later, tada! I did it! Of course, that right hand only left the pole after I felt absolutely secure. Yup, it took me 6 weeks to feel secure enough 🙂 … I still can’t do the grip change with both legs in a straddle. But am happy with the little progress and safety is still paramount 🙂

Just placing that right hand on the right leg in the picture on the left corner is a huge achievement!

Love the song and all the new stuff am learning!

“Are we there yet? ….”

This term’s lyrical routine has been challenging …. there are quite a few combos and the song is pretty l-o-n-g. So, there were a couple of times I figured what we were learning was either the last big combo, or the end of a combo only to find there are more combos and more tricks to a combo.

But I finally managed to get my chopsticks move decently horizontal! Of the many many times I’ve tried it, it happened only a grand total of once where I actually managed a good grip on the waist such that lifting up the back leg actually felt so much easier. There was a sudden “ahhhhh … so this is how it should be” feeling. As Ms V said, it was important to keep the pole at the fleshy part of the waist from the flatline move. Having the extra “pivot” at the waist indeed helped me to balance out horizontally.

The one and only decent chopsticks :p

Don’t know if I can repeat the “aha” moment again. Hopefully. *fingers crossed*

And we are finally at the end of the routine ! I started really excited about this routine. Now at the end, what I’ve learnt and experienced has definitely matched the initial excitement … possibly even more! 🙂