Non-Pole Performances Every Pole Dancer Needs to Watch

In my last post about what to do when you are injured and need to take a break from pole, I mentioned taking the time to explore Youtube for non-pole videos that may benefit you as a pole dancers. Enjoying other forms of performances will help diversify your own pole performance. We all know that physical cross training can help us improve in pole, so I like to think of researching different performance arts as a form of mental cross training. So let’s slick our hair back, put our hands together and dive into this free and multi-faceted educational resource. Here are some non-pole performance videos every pole dancer should watch!

Fitness Competitions

Alright, let’s start with this minor departure from our usual fare.  While not exactly pole, there are many similarities between the two and there is much to gain from studying our brothers and sisters in the fitness sphere. Both disciplines are trying to achieve a certain aesthetic, they both require a show of strength and flexibility as well as spectacular showmanship.  Check out this routine by Myriam Capes.


I love watching burlesque! From the slow tease and cheeky smiles to the tassel twirling, a good burlesque routine is a highly crafted piece of performance art. If you find yourself having trouble with emoting on stage or lacking audience contact, burlesque is the thing to watch to improve you game. Watch the facial expression especially. These ladies, and sometimes gents, ooze charm by the bucketful. The dance style is also massively playful and fun.

Drag Performances

If you want to know how to put on a show, drag performances are where it’s at. Whether you are looking for makeup and costume ideas for your next performance or just looking for some style inspiration, drag queens will never let you down. Many drag performances are not dance centric but if you are looking for a physically demanding dancey performance, check out Haus of Edwards.

There are so many disciplines to explore so take a break sometimes from the usual suspects. Try different types of dance, check out performances of all kind and take look at our body from all angles. Have fun exploring the time sucking pit… err, I mean, educational and entertaining space that it Youtube. And try not to get lost in the cat videos!

If you have any videos you want to recommend, you can connect with me on Facebook and Instagram (liveituppolefitness).
Until next time, be sure to Live It Up


What To Do as a Pole Dancer While Recovering From an Injury

It’s an unfortunate fact that injuries are part and parcel to the pole fitness experience. Just like any other physically demanding sport or hobby, even the most careful and safety minded poler are not immune. So what are we to do during the downtime when we are itching to jump back into training? Well, I’ve had the last 3 months to answer this question.

This January I underwent an open reduction internal fixation of my left clavicle. The decision to go ahead with the surgery happened after I had tried conservative treatment for the original clavicle fracture for 18 months, only to have it break again this past December. Waking from the surgery, I discovered that I have NO motor function and very little sensation in my entire left arm. This was a terrifying experience. One that I might go into detail in another post once the ordeal is over. The short story is, I suffered an unavoidable traction injury to my brachial plexus during the surgery and was told it could take 1-2 years to fully heal. It was only very recently that I got enough motor function back to actually type out this blog post. So I’ve had a lot of time to answer the question, “What do I do while recovering?”

While the answer may change from person to person, and depending on the injury, here are my recommendations to those dealing with an injury.

Make Non-Pole Plans with Your Pole Friends

While you are injured is the perfect time to bring the friendships you’ve made in you pole class out of the studio. Go check out the new froyo place or go watch a movie with your pole buddies. It is crucial during your recovery to surround yourself with people who look forward to your healing as much as you do. One natural response is to hide out at home until it all blows over. But that can do more harm than good, especially if the recovery period is long and slow.

Take a Short Break from Instagram/Facebook

I know I just said not to become a hermit, but it’s okay to remove Instagram or Facebook from easily accessible places, such as your phone. There is a fine line between keeping contact with your pole friends, and obsessively checking what they are up to. And believe me, when you have nothing to do but rest, it’s really easy to check Facebook again even though you just looked at it 20 minutes ago. It can also get depressing watching all the new moves and combos coming out on Instagram. It’s hard enough struggling to stay updated with all the new moves when you’re not injured. When you are forced to sit out of the action due to an injury, it can feel even worse.

Remind Yourself that You are More Than Your Pole

This once was hard for me. After years of living and breathing pole, stopping my training felt as though I lost my identity. This is a very common theme for all athletes who end up on the bench due to injuries.  For many pole enthusiasts, pole takes up a lot of their time and disposable income. Use the newly freed resources to do something that makes you happy, reacquaint yourself with an old hobby, or spend time with your friends, family or even pets. Realize that you are more than the sum of what you can do.


Watch Some Non-Pole Videos on Youtube

Left to my own devices, my YouTube history would look something like this: pole video, pole video, another pole video, one more pole video, make up tutorial, make up tutorial, oh look cats! back to pole video, more pole video, more cats,  back to pole rinse and repeat. Yes, I love my pole videos, makeup tutorials (which never looks the same when I try them) of course, cats. But watching pole while being forced to sit out was no fun at all. During my recovery, I branched out and found a whole new world on youtube of videos that weren’t pole, but can be used to improve my performance when I finally recover enough to get back in the swing. Here are some topics to get you started: fitness competition routines, burlesque and drag performances. You’re welcome! ( BTW, this is getting another blog post all to itself.)

Stay Active and Positive

Staying physically active has also been proven to help improve your mood, and a positive outlook can help speed up recovery.  Even if you are reduced to bed rest, there are things you can do to keep your body supple and reduce muscle atrophy. Even if the only thing you can do is passive range of motion exercises, do them, or in some cases, get someone to help you do them. Pole may be completely out of your abilities for a while, but there are so many other ways to stay active. A good physiotherapist will be able to give you exercises to do to help rehab the injured parts as well as keep the rest of your body in shape. You might also want to read up on some sports psychology. If you HAVE to sit there and mope, put a time limit on how long you can feel sorry for yourself. After that, get up and do something.

Eat Well and Rest!

This should be a no brainer. Aside from rest, you also need to make sure you are well nourished. You may be fighting an urge to diet because the lack of exercise could mean you are putting on the pounds during your recovery, but you still need to make sure that you are not depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to heal. The human body has an amazing capacity to heal from traumatic injuries, but it needs to be given the time and the required building blocks to rebuild damaged muscles, connect broken bones and regrow nerves.

Sitting out of your favourite pastime because of an injury sucks. But every day that pass, you will get a little stronger. Stay active, stay positive, and feed your mind, heart and body with good food, good company and good thoughts! Here’s to getting better!

TL/DR, Stop moping, get some rest, eat well and go do shit!

Until next time, be sure to Live It Up!



Ontario Pole Fitness Championships 2014

Those of you who follow me on social media or know me personally probably know that I debated long and hard whether to drop out of the Ontario Pole Fitness Championship  this year due to a clavicle fracture (story to come). Stubbornness, perseverance or simple masochism, call it what you will, I chose to stay in the running and train through the injury. Maybe not my brightest idea ever, but what’s done is done. OInk-headedness is ever my vice.

Not my best work but the best I can muster given the circumstance and gosh darn it,  I’m pretty damn proud. Here is the video of my performance at the Ontario Pole Fitness Championship 2014.

For those who are wondering how I broke my collarbone, I slipped out of a russian split while wearing heels. Yes, I know, I know, what in the world was I thinking trying to do a russian split with heels on? In my defense, it’s totally possible! I managed it several times before my foot slipped. I just wish I had gotten a photo first. I probably won’t try it again for a very long time.

Until next time, be sure to Live It Up


Guest Post: A World Pole Sports Champion’s Top 5 Performance Tips

IMG_0021_Logo_CCAlessandra Marchetti, current World Pole Sports Champion and official athlete of the Aurelian Sports Grip-Pole, shares her top tips for giving an unforgettable performance.

I have been an athlete for over 20 years, and have performed professionally in many situations.  As a competitor I have won the Italian Pole Sports Competition 3 years in a row, the European Pole Sports Championship in 2012 and last year I claimed the crown at the World Pole Sports Championship.  I am currently traveling the world teaching pole sports and I’m often invited as a guest performer to international pole competitions.

To me, the most important thing in a pole performance after safety is expression.  Make sure you practice as often as possible – this goes without saying – but tricks mean nothing without a meaning behind the dance.  Here are my top 5 tips for a champion performance:

Grip-Pole(1)1. Choose a very inspiring piece of music; it will be much easier to dance to it if the music flows in your veins together with your blood!

2. Don’t put in performance tricks in which you don’t feel very safe. It’s always better to do something easier but perfect, than something hard with unclean lines or a worried face! You have to show mastery of your piece!

3. Train hard to be safe in every trick on the pole, but after this, be sure about what you do when you are on the floor: transitions between poles are sometimes very captivating and can be the difference between an average performance and a “wow” performance!

4. Immediately after technique (not before!) comes heart! So, when you feel safe about perfecting every trick/transition on the pole and on the floor, start to think about interpretation: if you have a story to tell, it’s much easier to touch the hearts of your audience!

5. Wear a proper costume! Costumes have to be coherent with the music and the theme you represent on stage! And first of all, it doesn’t have to be too low-cut and revealing; people don’t want to see your nudity, but your dance!

Follow these 5 simple steps and you are well on track for a winning performance.  For more articles from Alessandra, visit Aurelian Sport’s blog page and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit Alessadra’s Facebook page..


Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas For The Pole Dancer In Your Life

Written by Jen Lau

Items like poles or grip aids can be very personal purchases for pole dancers because of many factors like home environment, skin type, and personal preferences just to name a few. So what can or should you gift them this Christmas? See below for my top 10 gift ideas that may or may not also be part of my own Christmas wish list!

10. Leg Warmers

You literally cannot have too many pairs of legwarmers; especially if you live in Canada. If you want to make this gift extra special, consider knitting them yourself for that cozy DIY feel. Don’t ask me for a tutorial though. Out of all the things that I can do, knitting is not one of them!If anyone wants to get me an 80s leotard by the way, I’d totally rock that at the studio.

I’ve had a lot of luck finding thigh high leg warmers (for my 5’3″ self) at H&M.

9. Water Bottles


Being the forgetful person that I am, I am constantly forgetting to wash my one water bottle when I get home from class. I always end up washing or quickly rinsing it right before I leave the house. I am adamant about not using bottled water so I would love it if I had several to rotate between.

I’m currently using a Contigo one very similar to the one pictured above; 10/10 would recommend.

I also have my eye on the Victoria’s Secret PINK ones because I’m a sucker for cute things.

8. Foot Undeez

foot undeez

Like leg warmers, you can’t really have too many pairs of these. They’re a little pricy for me at this moment, what with my unemployment and all, but they are definitely on my Christmas wish list.

7. Grip Enhancer

If your poler lives in cold climates like Canada, they will probably really appreciate Dewpoint Pole, as it helps our skin grip the pole during the winter months. If you’re feeling particularly DIY this Christmas, an even better option than purchasing Dewpoint Pole would be to make it yourself and decorate it however you’d like. Think personalized or Christmas themed labels! The possibilities are endless. Just keep in mind that there is a short shelf life for the DIY version, so make sure to note the expiry date!

See Maggie’s tutorial here.

See Maggie’s review of Dewpoint Pole here.

6. Pole Journal

Pole journals are great for helping polers document their progress or record their achievements.

Purchase Leen Isabel’s pole journals here.

Purchase Live It Up Pole Fitness journals here.

5. Alethea Austin’s Sexy Fundamentals and Floorwork DVD

Or any of Alethea Austin’s DVDs really, depending on whether or not they already have them. The above mentioned one is her latest, and she’s even doing a Christmas special on it!

Purchase Alethea Austin’s DVDs here.

4. Pole Outfits

I’ve been searching high and low for cute pole outfits, and I just love this one from Dirdy Birdy. I don’t think any poler would ever object to having more options in their arsenal. And if Santa would like to gift me with Dirdy Birdy’s abs, I would not object to that either.

Purchase Dirdy Birdy’s Slinky Top here.

Purchase Dirdy Birdy’s Slinky Shorts here.

3. Foam Roller

Not everyone has the time or money to go to an RMT all the time. Enter the foam roller; an inexpensive and easy solution to sore muscles.



2. Massage Session with RMT

Most people would enjoy a free massage regardless of their pole dancing ways, but for those serious polers, they can be essential. Foam rollers might be fine for everyday use, but it is incomparable to the hands of a trained professional.

1. Pole Studio Membership

If you know which studio your poler goes to, a fantastic gift would be a membership so that she (or he!) can go as often as they’d like. We all know that pole dancing isn’t cheap, so I would consider this an incredibly thoughtful gift.


About the Author
My name is Jennifer Lau and I’m an intermediate pole student at Live It Up Pole Fitness. When I’m not attending class, practicing at home, or poling in my head, I enjoy reading comics and looking at cat pictures. I went to school for Fashion Design and live with a dog who’s often mean to me.

Pole Move Tutorial: Apprentice to Superman

This is the first tutorial filmed at the Live It Up Pole Fitness Studio! Learn to flip over smoothly into the superman from the apprentice.

One trick to making this transitions smooth and fluid is it to use a cup grip on the top hand of your apprentice. It may feel a little awkward at first so practice holding your apprentice with a cupped top hand first and make sure you are very comfortable in it. It helps to lean back a little. The cup grip prevents the hand from getting in the way when the leg passes over to the front.

The other trick is to make sure the pole is very close into the crotch when you pass your leg around. So stick the very top of the bottom thigh to the pole. When passing your leg over, give yourself a little push with the cupped hand to help yourself along. As with many tricks and transitions, it will take some practice to get this smooth.

Good luck, and if you enjoyed this tutorial, please make sure to give the video a thumbs up.

Until next time, be sure to Live It Up!


Dreams are for Living

Live It Up Pole Fitness, the RoostA few months ago, I invited two good friends into the Live It Up Pole Fitness Studio to see a slice of my life they have never seen. I have known Momo (Helen) and Dee (Dina) since junior high, and despite going our separate ways for university and living in different cities, we stayed in touch throughout the years. We have witnessed each others graduations, relationships forming and dissolving, first jobs, first layoffs, weddings, change of faiths, going back to school and all the major milestones in life. When I first fell in love pole dancing, Momo and Dee along with 2 other friends pooled money that Christmas to go towards my first X-Pole. So, inviting these two to see the physical manifestation of my last 5 year’s obsession was nothing short of a pleasure.

Helen has always had a knack for words. Here is the article she wrote for The Roost about my love for pole dance and the opening of my studio, Dreams are for Living: Pole Fitness Edition.

Until next time, be sure to Live It Up!

Pole DIY: Grip Enhancer Solution For Dry Legs and Body

spray poleFor those suffering from powdery dry skin, sticking onto the pole for moves requiring leg and body grip can be a big frustration. Here’s a simple recipe for a spray-on moisturizer/grip enhancer for those with dry skin. It is particularly good for those whose skin stays dry and powdery even after a warmup. It provides a dewy, slightly clammy feel to the skin that mimics a hot dry day or a very long intense warm-up. Try to avoid getting this on your hands as it tends to make them slippery; this recipe is meant for use on the body. Do not use this if your skin is sweaty.

Make this recipe in small batches and make sure to use it up quickly to prevent spoilage.


  • Small spray bottle
  • Measuring spoons


  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Glycerin
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 1 tsp Vodka, as preservative

Put everything in the spray bottle and shake it up. Use within 2 weeks. Play around with the ratio of glycerin and water to find something that works the best for your skin.

How to Use: Spray on to legs and body and rub in well. Wait for it to dry thoroughly before hopping on the pole. Wash hands after is this solution will make hands slippery.

I didn’t have vodka on hand and used gin once with good result, but I wouldn’t try any other liquor. Again, I stress not to use this if you are prone to sweating, it will only make it worse.

I hope this cheap and easy DIY spray-on solution helps those fighting to achieve a solid leg or body grip while dealing with dry skin. And remember to moisturize well after a pole workout to keep your skin supple. Give this a try if you are a dry skin sufferer and let me know how it goes. What do you do to keep your skin happy while maximizing grip on the pole? Please leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below. And if you liked this post, make sure to pass it along to your pole friends!

Until next time, be sure to Live It Up! Maggie

Pole Dancing Bad Habits: Lazy Feet

Yesterday, while spending time on Facebook (when I really should have been writing a blog post), I came across the latest comic from Pole Dancing Adventures and was inspired to write a post about lazy feet. Lazy feet is one of many pole dancing bad habits I deal with both personally and with my students.

I’m sure most people have had the words “Point your toes!” said to them during class. But lazy feet encompasses more than just un-pointed toes and flexed feet, it includes flat-footed dancing and generally being unaware of where the foot is and what it is doing as we dance. Kicking the lazy feet habit involves having “purposeful feet” not just when you are holding the pose, but also while transitioning into and out of moves, during floorwork and when you are dancing. Our pole idols may make it look easy, but more often than not, the most natural looking movements took hours of practice to master.

Just telling ourselves or hearing someone tell us  to “remember to point your toes” just isn’t enough. If it was, we would all have perfectly pointed toes and pretty purposeful feet! And while I still struggle with lazy feet when practicing newer or more advanced moves, I have found a process to give my feet purpose when dancing and executing moves I use often. The trick is to start from the beginning and relearn all your moves all the while focusing on what your feet are doing. Take something really easy, say,  big dip==> pirouette ==> fireman, and film yourself doing it. Watch the recording and note your feet and how you want to improve on it. Is it flexed? Is it sickled? Is it just dangling like a wet noodle? Is it flopping around like a fish out of its element? Practice, film and watch, rinse and repeat. Focus on the transitions in between moves too. I personally have the most problems with this. Once in a pose my feet are pointed and pretty, but in between moves, my feet are super sloppy as if the parts in between doesn’t count. But alas, it does.

And even though the point is not the only thing to fix when it comes to lazy feet, it does make a huge difference. I’d like to confess that my feet has a horrible point. I barely have an arch and I even remember having to give away a sweet pair of shoes because it had a bit of a built in arch. I found a few drills that have helped strengthen the muscles in my ankles and feet. The first is practicing my eleve up to the balls of my feet Russian laybackdaily (well, almost daily).  The second is to sit in a pike and point and flex my toes against a theraband.  I also use a tennis ball to massage the arch of my foot

However, despite the big difference pretty feet makes, I don’t believe in shouting at a student to point their toes when they are still learning how to do the move. I understand that it’s best to learn everything well the first time, but honestly, when someone it upside-down in an unfamiliar position for the first time, the main concern is safety and learning to feel secure in the new position, not how pretty their feet are. If the student is asking where their arm/hand/leg/torso should go, or where the points of contact should be or still requires a crash mat, it’s probably not the right time to tell them to point heir toes. Once they are able to do the move safely and securely and it doesn’t feel awkward anymore then focus their attention to the lazy feet.

I’m pretty sure that lazy feet will be a pole dancing bad habit that I will never see the last of. I still catch myself with floppy feet. My left foot sickles every chance it gets. And every new move or combo is an opportunity for it to rear it’s ugly head…or is that foot? But with deliberate re-learning and practice, you can be one step closer to pretty purposeful feet. And it can even look as though it came naturally!

What tips and tricks do you use to remind yourself to keep your feet pretty and purposeful? Do you have any tips on how to get a good point? Please share your experience in kicking this common pole dancing bad habit

Until next time, be sure to Live It Up!


How Pole Dancing has Taught me to Accept and Push through Fear

This is my first blog post in a very long time and those of you following me on my Facebook page already know why: I spent the last few months turning my dream of owning a pole and fitness studio into reality. The Live It Up Pole Fitness Studio held its first official class on July 2nd. It has been an exciting ride getting the studio ready. But as with everything exciting, there’s also an element of fear and risk. After all, starting your own business completely overhauls your life. You pour your heart and soul (and a shit-tonne of money) into the endeavour, sacrifice all your free time and your previous career with no guarantee of success. You have to wade through a sea of doubt and uncertainty. I have been thinking a lot about how we react to fear lately. I don’t mean the reaction to the gross spider that fell on your purse just as you were reaching for it, or the jolt you felt as a kid walking through a haunted house. I mean the fear of the unknown, the fear of humiliation, the fear of failure, and yes, even the fear of success.

From the time we were school aged children, we have been programmed to avoid failure.  We are never rewarded for trying and failing, only for trying and succeeding. To fail is taboo. It is associated with a host of negative feeling: guilt, disappointment, anger, frustration and most of all, shame. What will people think? The fear of failure freezes us. We procrastinate. We make excuses. We sabotage ourselves through inactivity.

Ironically the fear of failure often beds down with the fear of success, after all, the road to success often requires a certain degree of risk, and what is risk but a breeding ground for failure? And what if we do succeed? Think of all the new responsibilities that being successful will bring! What if our successes make us appear arrogant? What if they are right and success has made us into arrogant pricks and we just don’t know it? It takes a lot of work to succeed, is it even worth it? What if I work really hard, sacrifice all my free time, and finally succeed…only to realise that it wasn’t what I really wanted? What if I succeed and find myself without a purpose now that my goal has been achieved?

As social animals, we put a lot of weight on how others perceive us. Unfortunately a lot of this anxiety is rooted in reality. There are a lot of judgemental people, some of them being our very own friends and family. Some are threatened by our success. Others may not approve of what we do or how we do it. Some may pass judgement on us because they are afraid that other people will pass judgement on them for what you do. (Convoluted, I know. But think of the parent/kid/aunt/uncle who gets upset that you post your pole videos on YouTube because someone they know might see.)

Life requires a lot of courage and while it’s easy to let doubt and anxiety keep us stationary, it is easier still and more common to let adequacy and comfort stop us from progressing. Many people settle for satisfactory in an attempt to avoid risks.

I often claim that finding pole fitness really changed my life. One of the big changes involve the management of fear to drive self-improvement. I learned that fear is not a negative thing. I now recognize fear as a precursor to success. If something illicit absolutely no fear response, then obviously it is not important enough for me to pursue.

Pole dancing has taught me how to fail successfully. How many times did you have to try turning into a superman before you succeeded? Every failed attempt was a step forward, making it an integral part of the final success, despite being in itself a failure… sometimes even the fall on your face in front of everyone in the studio while being filmed variety of failure. We learn early in our foray into this addictive hobby that if we are to progress, we must dust ourselves off, grit our teeth and try again, and again, and again. We learn to view every botched attempt as a small step forward. Now when I sense the fear of failure, I recognize it to mean that I’m embarking on a worthwhile journey, something I really care about.

When I do succeed, I now do so gracefully. I used to be afraid to celebrate my successes, afraid it would be misconstrued as bragging. Now I realise that successes are rarely a one man (or woman) show. They happen within a community. The last time you nailed a new move what did you? Did you hide your success? Chances are you told your pole buddies, or posted your success online, or shared your triumph on a forum, or got cheers from the other students in your class.  And you know what? I bet they were truly happy for you. Not only do other people help us celebrate our successes, they are often instrumental in our achieving them. Without all the support from my family, my boyfriend and all the amazing people in the pole dacning community, I would probably have thrown in the towel after being turned down by multiple landlords because they “didn’t want that type of establishment” in their complex. And finally, even if the final destination isn’t as great as it is cut out to be, the journey there often makes us stronger and we learn much on the way. Time is only wasted if you do nothing.

On the flip side, there are times when your deepest fears are realized and you must find the courage to fight through. There are multiple instances where pole dancers were forced to choose between their jobs and their hobby.  Many family members and/or friend may not approve of what we do. Sometimes, it is someone in the pole community that fulfills our deepest fears, such as overhearing snide remarks made on body shape and size.  And while most individuals in the pole community are genuinely compassionate, there are those who love drama and are quick to criticize, lay blame and air their dirty laundry publicly. What about deciding to perform on stage for the first time? Or posting your first YouTube video? What will people think? What about negative or inappropriate comments? And of course, pole fitness has inherent physical risks as well. We learn to weigh risks logically, decide whether the consequences in our heads match reality and make plans to reduce negative outcomes should we decide to take the risk.

I can’t say whether choosing pole fitness as a hobby create a more constructive reaction to fear, or rather people who react more constructively to risk and fears tend to choose activities such as pole fitness as a hobby. I can say with certainty that being able to accept, come to terms and cope with fear has really helped me in my quest to take charge in all aspects of my life. Now that I have learned how to fail successfully, judge each risk rationally and recognize fear as a signal that what I am pursuing is important, I am much better equipped to handle life hurdles.

“Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done—that’s courage. The one who feels no fear is a fool, and the one who lets fear rule him is a coward.” ― Piers Anthony.

I would love to hear about your experience dealing with the fear of failure. Has taking up pole fitness helped you overcome any irrational anxieties? Please share your stories and comments below. Now that I’m starting to have a bit of a routine again, I’ll have more time post more ramblings and tutorials, so you’ll be seeing more of me soon!

Until next time, be sure to Live It Up!