How do I start a pole freestyle/improv session?

How do I start a pole freestyle/improv session?

No two days are ever the same, but one of my favorite ways to open is by settling into a posture, with the floor or pole, and staying there— sometimes for several minutes— as I explore weight shifts and joint articulations. I start SLOWLY, practicing patient play. 

The first song lays a trail for where I will go as the session progresses—this is why starting in a way that FEELS right is key.

I’ve found that the more time I give myself in these first moments, the more successful the session feels. (Most are so slow that they will never ever see the internet). For me, successful sessions are:



This is Emily Tan.

Emily's an FFTT alumnum and an accomplished movement coach. Just a few months ago, she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)- the most aggressive form of leukemia. Emily needs a bone marrow transplant, but right now, no on the bone marrow registry is her match. Getting on the registry takes just a few minutes. It is painless; you stick a cotton swab your cheek- no blood involved. 

During the Articulate Body Intensive we took some time to make this awareness-raising video:

Overlooking people in need is easy. When they aren’t our family or close friends, they aren’t really our problem. Even from a position of empathy, sometimes we realize we have to turn away from an emotional burden we can’t handle. We have a lot going on, and we don’t know what to do— so we do nothing.

For many see-sawing with death, the worse things get, the more people turn away from them. Out of sight, out of mind.

Sometimes love, medical, and alternative treatments are enough to bring people back from the brink. Sometimes they aren’t.

My sister died when she was nine years old. She had cancer in a time before the internet. If she had fallen ill now, she probably would have survived.

Today, my friend and inspiration Emily Lola Tan is battling the most aggressive type of Leukemia, AML.

Medicine and chemo alone are NOT her best chance of survival. She needs us to collaborate through more than ‘likes’— she needs a bone marrow donor.

Dance Camp for Life

Dance Camp for Life

I survived B12 Festival (kind of).

As part of my continued efforts to be a student in immersive movement experiences of all different kinds, I signed Ken and I up for 10 days of workshops at Berlin’s premier contemporary dance festival, B12.

B12’s slogan is ‘Research or Die,’ so I thought it was safe to assume that workshops would involve a solid amount of exploration/creation/integration, but that was not really the case. Below is a summary of my experience and some insights on teaching:

May Playlists (includes bonus Matcha May Playlist!)

April Playlists

March Playlists

Don't Wait for the Opportunity to Dance

Don't Wait for the Opportunity to Dance

Did you know I spent decades of my life *wishing* I had the courage to be fully IN my dance?  

Until my mid-twenties, I did the majority of my ‘dancing’ as a student in dance classes. As I learned and reviewed, I pushed myself, but I arely felt the dance was emanating from my body in a truthful way. 

In an attempt to feel more connected to my movement, I would remind myself of how much I love to dance. I would repeat versions of the phrase, "You want this, you live for this, don’t let this opportunity slip by."

February Playlists