Elle Magazine

It’s HERE! I am deeply grateful to ELLE Magazine for believing that a pole dancer had a place in this series among ABT principles, Ailey dancers and broadway vets and a Vogue Queen. I now have a place in a list of my own dance idols. From everyone in the pole industry, it means a lot to be recognized.

Take a Romantic Gait Date

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When’s the last time you took a long walk without carrying anything?
We’re almost always heading somewhere (close by), with something (bags, phones, beverages).

My suggestion, for hearty dose of self-love is…. go on a GAIT DATE!
What’s a gait date? It’s a walk where you focus on HOW you’re walking. It can be done alone, or with a buddy/lover.

Your stride, like your breath, is something you’re able to do mindlessly. But it can be consciously monitored, refined or altered to improve your well-being. IMO, we should work on our most basic, life sustaining movements and functions before we play with the fancy stuff.
How does it go down?

  1. Carry nothing except the absolute essentials. When you carry things, especially anything asymmetrical (that includes jewelry, phone or a wallet), it changes the way you walk. Even a small amount of weight in your pocket, or on your hand, can change how you move.  If you can’t bear the idea of being unprepared for an emergency (or a compulsion to buy something), bring a debit card. You can survive 30 minutes without a phone. Without the distraction, you might just pay attention to other things… like your surroundings, and your body. Obviously if you are taking this date up a mountain and doing it for hours, bring some water.
     
  2. Wear something on your feet that allows your feet to be...feet. That means, flat, minimal, not restrictive, and not floppy. For a list of what to wear check out this list from the walking goddess herself: Katy Bowman. She has volumes upon volumes of information on this subject and I HIGHLY suggest indulging in it. 
     
  3. Plan to walk a minimum of 20 minutes. It doesn’t take long to notice how you’re moving, but it takes a while for the kinks to work themselves out.  At first, you’ll walk with the remnants of all the other things you’ve been doing. Our habitual postures and patterns reveal themselves as tightness, instability and asymmetries. About 10 minutes into your walk, your tissues become more resilient and your joint motion improves. Your stride will be more open and your breath quality will improve. 
     
  4. Observe and gradually refine how you are moving forwards. Are your toes mostly facing forwards? (They should). Is the timing of your steps even? Are your pushing the ground behind you? Or are your walking from your knees and marching? Is your spine reflexively twisting? Or are you just pumping your arms with no twist? I know this sounds like a lot to think about, but I'm not asking you to think. Just NOTICE. Gait is a complex chain of events. However, because it’s so low effort, and repetitious, you can notice your habits. 
     
  5. Note that walking on uneven, natural(not paved) surfaces is extremely beneficial, but it is harder to notice asymmetries in your movement. If at all possible, walk on both flat and natural surfaces; feel for the difference. 

Gait analysis is a complex thing, but even if you know nothing, you can pay attention. To make changes, just focus on what is happening and make micro-adjustments towards more efficient movement.  A change in one place effects the whoooooole system. If you’re open to having someone walk behind you, they can tell you if they notice any asymmetries. I suggest choosing someone who won’t only stare at your butt; they need to look at the whole picture.

To learn more about walking I recommend these books: Move your DNA  & Born to Walk.

See ya outside!

Israel/Jordan

My most recent tour included a few spots I’ve dreamed of for a long time. One of the most memorable was the Dead Sea. It truly exceeded my expectations.  I'd heard things like, “It doesn’t look like much," so I was expecting a big muddy lake/sea that you float really well in.

But WHOA. The colors of the place were divine. The air was perfect. Not only did I float, I felt like a baby seal --I ’ve never been so slimy, in a good way. For days after, my skin felt like I was 4 years old.

Plus, there was no one else there. We first went in Israel and said, “We have to go back.” So we did, in Jordan. And this time, I was prepared for a shoot.

Ken, the photographer, put together an immersive blog of our experience getting to this incredible place.

See more HERE.  All photos and video by POLE NINJA PHOTOGRAPHY.


Jordan….

I’m SO glad I experienced you. Your scenery, people, culture, history and food left etchings in my heart.

In three incredibly packed days we made our way through Petra, Little Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea. At night we slept in a tent in below freezing temperatures, and during the day we hiked, sweated, and explored.

Ken created this video to give a taste of what we experienced. If you have any interest in epic places, the crazy way we pull of location shoots, or Indiana Jones…WATCH and enjoy:

We entered Petra from the back. In the back there's no fence, no guard, only mountains. We went that way because we hoped to reach an iconic location before the masses who enter through the front gates. Our guide picked us up sometime just after sunrise, and took us over a mountain.

We were the first people to reach the monastery (the carved building behind me). But, I almost lost my chance to shoot; I struggled hard with getting ready for this one. I didn't want to be disrespectful by wearing something considered indecent, but this was my one chance, a several minute window of time before more people would be there. The few workers wandering by did not seem to care at all.

I've learned that great images require skin showing. But-- many great locations are at odds with this, either due to weather, masses of onlookers, or religious and cultural principles. This was one of those times. Despite my discomfort, I am happy to say not only did I visit Petra, I very briefly became a shiny orange mermaid in Petra.

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On top of a mountain, there stood a natural arch. Inside of it stood a dancer... with a less natural arch:

This was taken inside of Petra, Jordan. We hiked up a hill, then I crawled into two thousand year old room slipped on a leotard and shimmied up a wall. This is the result.

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February Playlist

SEVEN Days of Flowgrams and Free Flowing

Starting tomorrow, I’m launching seven days of BIG announcements. Keep your eyes out for info related to my upcoming pole and floor programs, instructor development opportunities, my new scholarship program (!), epic guest instructors and FREE stuff.

Announcements will be on my Flow Movement Facebook page and here, in this blog.


DAY 1: Certified Floor Flow® Teachers Gathering in Boulder, Colorado

Three days of play with other certified floor lovers.If you took the Floor Flow® Level One Teacher Training, tested, and want to go deeper into this practice, what better way to do it than spending three days with a selected group of Floor Flow graduates? More info and registration HERE.

If you are interested in taking a Floor Flow® Teacher Training and testing for certification to be eligible for this event, there are trainings scheduled in March, May, and August 2017.

 


Day 2: Rise + Slide: A Floor Flow® Wake-Up

Before I turned my focus to being in the air, and on the floor, I spent two decades dancing on my feet. What started as a love of jazz dance morphed into a love or anything which a rhythmic emphasis on footwork. i craved the patterns of house, hip-hop and dancehall. Determined to become the rhythms, I listened and danced constantly. I would take every class I could find that kept African and Caribbean dance traditions alive. (I was so sad when Djoniba Drum and Dance closed).

But, I STILL love warming up with footwork, and leading warm-ups this way…but I don’t. Mostly because I don’t want to terrify people who came to me for ‘flowiness’.

But, here’s the deal, rhythm in the feet is rhythm in your heart and loins expressed downward. Footwork, is a way to connect rhythm & earth. Don’t you want all your parts to be able to express musicality? I sure do. (I can go on and on about this, but I won’t.)

But also, footwork patterns can be transformed into floorwork patterns if you embody them. This concept has been exciting the s**t out of me recently. I tested this class format out for my NYE floor jam, and we had a blast. SO, if you are interested how standing patterns turn into sexy, funky, and dope floorwork, join me for this workshop.


Day 3:  Pole Flow® Foundations Intensives

My Summer pole intensives are ready to roar! The dates are set, but a few things have changed. Upon EXTENSIVE consideration, I will be creating two separate Pole Flow® Intensives -- a four day and a seven day event. Learn more on the link below!

(Details on the shockingly popular Anthro-pole-ogy event are coming tomorrow.) And also rolling out this week....scholarship opportunities!

Registration opens on Monday, Jan 23 @9am East coast time.


Day 4: Anthro-pole-ogy

When I first announced this I event, I had a feeling no one would be into it.

See, it had started as something else, a completely different name and concept, but, I wasn’t excited enough about it. I worked and worked on the concept and content until it really made me feel something. But, it was missing what tends to get the most attention in the pole world. In fact, most of the description spoke of self-care, creative development and understanding restorative movement patterns.

I was prepared for the reality that Anthro-pole-ogy might not speak to other people, the way it does to me. I was ready to just spend 10 days talking to myself while dancing to drums, rolling on the floor and climbing stuff.

But I was WRONG. I was shocked by the number of you that submitted an interest form.

The dates and details are now live, and registration opens Monday.

If you attend, you are going to bathe in information and practices that will improve your performance as a human, and as a poler. But also, you will have fun. To me, if your movement practice doesn’t make you happy, you need to change it up.

Just to avoid any surprises, you WILL spend time outside during this, and it WILL be very very good for you.

I can’t wait to go DEEP with those of you who join.


Day 5: Flow Movement® Six Minute Sessions

HERE, HAVE SOMETHING FREE that is grounding and good for you. This video is my gift to you.

Since I’ve been home for a month, I’ve been busting tail to create. One of the things I started is called Six Minute Sessions. They are tutorial videos that contain explanation and progressions of several floor elements that beautifully fit together. At the end, I flow it out and show you how to play with the content, in order to make it your own. There are many more of these coming, enjoy!

Sessions 1-5 available now.


Day 6: SCHOLARSHIP!

When I see comments on my event posts from people who genuinely want to attend my events, but can’t swing it financially, my heart breaks. Movement teachers, I KNOW THE HUSTLE. I’ve been there. In my twenties I would teach 30+ classes a week at venues all over NYC, then personal train on top of it. I was exhausted, I had no spare energy, and little money to invest back in myself.

If you are hungry to learn more about movement, the body, the art of instruction, and creative development, I WANT TO HELP facilitate your growth.

I’ve created a SCHOLARSHIP program that applies to all of my programs and intensives.  There will be several recipients of scholarships ranging from 20-80% off for each program I offer (Pole Flow Intensives, Floor Flow Teacher Training,  Anthro-pole-ogy, Floor Flow/Flowbility intensive).

If you think that attending one of my events would bring great value to your life, apply. Tell me your story. Tell me what this would mean to you, and the people you share movement with.

This should go without saying, but please apply honestly. There is a BIG difference between having very limited disposable income, and dropping lots of money on “things”, then complaining about the cost of education and enrichment . The programs I create are literally years, if not decades in the making. You will not show up and be asked the question “so what should we do today?”.  You will be immersed.

I’m truly excited to be able to offer this opportunity.


Day 7: Fan Appreciation Day

Today, I want to extend my deep gratitude to you, the real people, who through this social media platform, support my work. The practice of leaving behind little comments and likes can seem silly or frivolous, but in many ways, it’s how I measure what people like, value, and want more of. Your simple feedback, or lack thereof provides me direction. If you’ve ever left a comment, a like, a heart, or sent a message, THANK YOU. I want to inspire and help as many people as possible,  and your feedback, supports me on that quest.

There are three people in particular who are consistently commenting on and engaging with my posts on the Flow page. They leave comments and many times, share things—that I had no expectation of anyone sharing. It feels like these three see everything….

AJ, Erlin, and Marguerita, I'm gifting you with access to the entire FM video library which is about 7 hours and 28 videos, as a token of appreciation for the number of times you have helped bring awareness to my work. I APPRECIATE YOU! 

Bonus for everyone: Go grab yourself one MORE free Six Minute Session with code THANKYOU.  Offer valid through 1/22/17, 11:59PM EST.

#SNOWFLOW

It's winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. This means people don't spend as much time outside. But, regardless of season, being outside is an important part of avoiding the winter blues, a.k.a., "SAD" (seasonal affective disorder). You know how winter can be de-motivating and glum? You don't want to move because you're cold, or it's dark?

During daylight, GO OUTSIDE. I'm using all caps not to yell, but to state my enthusiasm over this incredibly simple principle that most of us have forgotten.

I find that a few minutes outside leaves me focused and de-stressed. My postural muscles wake up. As a result, I work more effectively when I go back inside. 

Lately, I've been doing more than walking. I flow with various natural surfaces. While I LOVE to slide all over an immaculately clean, shiny floor, I'm into adaptability.  I've always admired b-boys, traceurs and Capoeiristas that can go HARD on rugged surfaces. So...I've been RockFlowing. And SnowFlowing.

If you're up for trying some outdoor acts of flowing please do exercise common sense.  Don't try rolling on sharp rocks -- but smooth-ish rocks, snow, grass, trees -- you really can do a lot. Of course it will be less than you're used to... but so what. Nature teaches us lessons about technique, adaptability, and control that are hard to replicate indoors. 

Remember to tag #flowmovement and #floorflow so I can see your moves!

Mover Magazine

Did you know there's a magazine dedicated to bringing together the world's best and most passionate movers? Mover Magazine is a fitness magazine of a different kind—and I’m the January cover feature!
Inside, I talk about my movement journey, life philosophy, and the future of Flow. I’m really glad that Mover Mag even exists; the world needs this! See you inside. => https://issuu.com/movermag/docs/movermag_03 <=