Monday, April 28, 2014

There is no crying in Pole Dancing... ok, sometimes there is.

Sometimes, you just need to take a moment to yourself and shed a few tears… Then get back on the pole.

So, the other day I was in pole class and having a hard time with getting the moves that were being taught.  I was getting frustrated with myself. I know some had to do with my lack of flexibility on one of the moves, but the other I should have been getting.

Now I realized that I do have a lot going on in my life right now and it is adding stress on me. The law firm I work for is merging with another firm. I know I am keeping my job, but there is still stress there. I also have the AIDS LifeCycle coming up in June and that is weighing on me. Plus add a couple of other stress factors, well it starts having an effect on you.  That stress starts to build up and your health, mentality and even your poling can be affected.

Now back to the other night, we were working on getting into a Martini and I was just not having any luck. I was giving up. I had to sit down. I getting really frustrated with myself and feeling like a failure. As I sat in that corner I started to cry. Surprisingly, no one noticed, or at least let me have my moment in peace.  I just sat there feeling the tears running down my cheeks.

The thing was it felt good. It felt like a little bit of stress was released with each tear. I could feel the tightness in my muscles let up as I let my emotions out.  I took my moment to myself and just let it happen. When I was done crying, dried my tears and was ready to rejoin the class.

I got on to the pole, did my side climb up, swung my leg to the other side, grabbed that leg and there I was, in the Martini.

I am also lucky to have a great instructor, one that knows when to push me and when to let me have my moment in the corner.  

So when life starts to get in your way and weigh down on you, that that moment to yourself and just let the tears flow. There is nothing wrong with it. Just let the stress out then dry them and get on with life.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Emotional Spirituality Of Pole

I remember watching a movie called ‘The Man in the Moon’ back in the early 1990’s. In the movie, the father would go fishing down at the lake every Sunday.  His family referred to this as him going to his church. It was his way of finding God.

I guess we all have our own church that we attend and regardless of what religion belief you follow, the true nature of any spirituality is to find yourself.  For me, at this time in my life, that has been pole.

When you look at religion or spirituality, there are basic elements that a person is looking to find. They are also looking for the guidance to find these elements in themselves. Surprisingly, I have been guided to find these same elements in myself with pole dancing.  Strength, Balance, Courage, Determination are all things that I have found in pole dancing. The scene of community, the support to achieve your goals and the desire to help others achieve theirs, again all elements of spirituality, yet found in a church that had poles instead of pews.  Plus, when you get to the point where you are comfortable dancing around with others in your underwear, you have truly reached a higher plane!

Pole has also been an emotional outlet for me, too.  It’s a place I can let my guards down and not have to worry about judgments from other.  It has become my sanctuary.  It’s very therapeutic being to dance my emotions out. I do notice that my emotions do come out in the way I dance depending on how I am feeling.

I also like to pick music that I can emotionally connect to. I think that is one reason I like country music, I can relate to it and I find it emotionally activating. That is why I perform to a lot of country songs. I want to shear that emotional connection I’m feeling with my music with my audience. I like it more when someone says that my number made them cry or happy or even reminded them of someone rather than how well I pole danced.

I guess the main thing is that I am at home with pole dancing. I am with family every time I walk through that door and that is what really counts.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Am I ready to make a big reveal?

Every morning you look in the mirror and see yourself, all of yourself.  The question is what do others see when they look at you. Even more specific, what do you hide when they look at you?

I myself like to say that I am pretty much an open book, but I know that is not completely true.  We all keep things about ourselves secret, whether it’s our insecurities, our true feelings, a physical imperfection or even our sexuality. After you do that for so long, it becomes even harder to pull those covers off the mirrors and allow your full reflection to show to others.

One reason we keep things secret is that we don’t want them to be used against us. On that same note though, how much power do those secrets have over us once we reveal them ourselves?  Let’s see if I get enough guts to make my own big reveal by the time I am finished writing this blog.

Awhile ago I did a blog on things that people did not know about me. You can read it here. Some of the things that are on the list were reveals about my, while others were more of things that I would just call un-known facts about me.  Saying that, I guess a big reveal is something that would make you look at a person differently. It could be good or bad, but never the less, your view of that person is changed.

One reveal I recently did, and caught on video was a lap dance! I have danced plenty of times in my underwear in front of other people, but this was the first time on another person. Plus it was my first real number I have done that was so sexual in nature. I will now share that video for all of your enjoyment! You can watch it here. I was afraid to watch it at first myself, but when I finally did, I have to say that I was not that bad! Ha-ha! Was that enough of a big reveal?

Another thing about big reveals is who learns about them. You might not mind one group of people knowing who you might have a total pole crush on, but then there are others that is just none of their damn business. Even as I write this, I wonder who might read it, or watch the video. 

In the end, I guess we all make our reveals when we are ready. It’s part of life, learning to know when it is time to open yourself up. Eventually, you will realize that you are no longer looking in the mirror, but out the window… and not care about all those who are looking in.  It’s your life and let the sun shine in!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Finding Myself In Pole Dancing

I have been trying to write a blog about men in pole dancing, and not having very much luck getting my words to come together. Further below you will see what has taken me over three weeks to come up with. As for right now, I am going to say this. It applies to a lot of things in life.

When you do not allow men that want to pole dance into your studio, you are shutting a door. You’re not just shutting the door on that man; you are shutting it on yourself too. You or your business can not expand behind closed doors.

I have been poling now for two years. It is kind of hard to believe how far I have come. I lived a life where I did not get much exercise and was slowly putting weight on. I do not want to think where I would be weight wise if I did not find pole dancing… better yet, if pole dancing did not find me.  I am now down over 35 pounds, I have greater confidence in myself and I have more strength. Most importantly, I have found a place where I feel I belong, a place I can call home and a group of people I can call family. I have found courage to put myself out there. I was even the Face of Mighty Grip for the month of February. Plus I am a new member of the Pole Dancing Bloggers.  I am happy that I can pole dance.

Now, what if that door was shut on me? I might be sitting on the couch watching a bad horror movie on the SyFi channel, weighing 200 to 225 pounds.  My self confidence would be less, and maybe just following in others ways instead of making my own way.

What about the pole studio? The things I have achieved, those are notches that the studio can boast about. I mean what is greater than being able to say, “Hey, we helped Robert find himself and look how far he has come!" They can say, “The Face of February for Might Grip is one of our students!” How cool is that?

I have had doors shut on me before, it’s not fun. It has you walking away feeling even less of yourself. So, just remember, when you open that door, you will most likely be changing someone’s life and that will change yours!

Ok, here is what I had been working on what seemed like forever.  I was just having too much trouble getting it to come out.

Finding my place in pole… as a man.

When I first started poling, I have to admit that I was a little intimidated. I was walking into what I thought was a woman’s world. I know there were a couple of the ladies that would not have a problem with me in the studio, but not sure about the one that did not know me. I have to say that I was quickly relieved that I was wrong on those thoughts!

I pole at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness in Pleasanton, California. Despite the name, this is a pole studio that allows men and shows them just as much respect as the woman. As a matter of fact, a couple of the instructors are guys.  Everyone there seemed perfectly fine with me in their pole class and quick to welcome me.  As a matter of fact, in my two years of poling, I have not felt any judgment against me from the pole community…

Ugh…. I have been trying to write this blog for several weeks now and I am not getting the words to flow. You would think it would be an easy topic for me to write about, since I am man that pole dances. I think I will just do a quick run through of the thoughts I have been having.

First thing that popped into my head is pole clothing. I have found that most the companies that sell pole clothing really don’t have a lot for men, if they have anything at all. Finding a pole outfit to perform in is near impossible.  I do feel that this is a market that is just waiting to be tapped into in the pole industry. There seems to be more and more men getting into pole dancing and they are going to need a place to spend their money.  I do have to say that I do like dancing in the PoleFit Fold Over Pole Fitness Shorts from Bad Kitty. But like the Capezio dance shorts I also wear, they are also a woman’s cut. I have heard some talk that there are a couple of lines for men that might be coming out, but not sure when. Until then I guess I could always perform in my Andrew Christian Ass-less Underwear and cowboy boots. I wonder who would like to see that.

Another thing I was thinking, how many studios have actually had men sign up and pay to take a pole class just to check out the women? I know I have only been poling for two years, but I have yet to hear about this actually happening.  I know I was in some pain in my first class and left swore and bruised. I am sure that would be a deterrent to any men that just wanted to gawk at the woman.  Also, most women are intuitive enough to know when a man walks through their studio door if he is legit in wanting to learn pole or just a creeper. I guess what I am getting at, is don’t let this be a reason not to allow men into your studio. I am sure, if you run a man through a regular pole work out, he will not come back if he is not really there to pole dance.
Now, here are some photos of this man in pole dancing...

Monday, January 20, 2014

My 2014 Pole Goals!

My pole goals for the year of the horse, 2014!

First on my list, is more of a continuation from 2013. I want to continue working on my flexibility. I have been slowly getting a little more bendy with the help of AJ at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness, but I really want to push myself this year. I know I have it in me, as I have seen how far I can flex in some areas when AJ pushes on my body. I just need to get to where I can do it on my own. Oh, and remember to breath while I am stretching myself out.   

Next on the list is getting into Superman, on my own. This will be happening soon I hope. I can get into Superman out of Jasmine with a little help now. When I say a little help, I mean someone grabbing my ass and pushing me thigh over and popping into position. I know I can hold the position once I get into it. Then, of course, I want to keep working on other moves as well. I can only get better, right?

The third item on my list is dealing with choreography. I am lousy at learning choreography and coming up with it. I think part of this has to do with my dyslexia. I seem to get moves switched around or backwards. So, right now, when I perform, I do it free style. One thing that I have planned to do to help me get over this is a pole number with Jade for the Lovely Rita Fundraiser later this year. I am hoping this will build my confidence with choreographed numbers.

What you will see next on my list is I want to just continue to have fun! I enjoy my classes, dancing with my fellow pole dancers and promoting pole. That fun also includes looking forward to going to Pole Expo in Las Vegas! I have to wait till September for that though.

The last thing on my list is actually a goal for 2015. I want to be the Might Grip Guy of 2015. First step is becoming the Face of Mighty Grip for a month in 2014. I am on my third try, for the Face of February. At least I know I have 9 or 10 more tries if I don’t get February. After I win a month, I go on to the next level for Mighty Grip Guy 2015. Don’t you think a Cowboy would make a good Mighty Grip Guy? I do have to say I love all the support I have gotten from the folks at Mighty Grip, especially Stephanie! So if you see my photo post from Mighty Grip on FaceBook, please ‘like’ it!

So, I think that ends my list, for now. I know as the year progresses, I will want to add more to it. I will keep you up dated as we go. 
Keep it wild!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Pole Family

I have heard that Armistead Maupin once said “there is your biological family and then there is your logical family.”  I lucked out and my biological family is part of my logical family. Today, however, I am going to talk about the non biological family, my pole family.

When I started pole dancing, I figured on a couple of things. One, I would be getting some exercise and probably shed a few pounds. I also know I would have some fun doing it. The biggest thing I got out of pole dancing, and unexpected, was the sense of family.

On the first time entering the pole studio, I was a little apprehensive. I was entering what I thought was the girl’s club house. That feeling went right out the door. I was immediately considered one of the girls and family bonding time had begun. I was just blown away by the instant support at was shown towards me over just the first few pole classes I had taken.  That sense of belonging just continued to grow from there.

(Ok, I have to interject here… As I am writing this blog about pole family, I am also dealing with my pole show I am doing February 1 for my AIDS LifeCycle fundraiser. They say family is there to help you out, well, Diana, one of the instructors from the studio I go to, just volunteered her stage pole for us to use at the show. This is what I am talking about! Ok, now back to your regularly planned blog.)

Now, this new family all belongs to the same studio. I did a pole show last year as a fundraiser and I cannot tell you how lucky and proud I was to be a part of this group. The performers volunteering their time and donating their tips, it was amazing! Then there is the learning. If someone thought of something that might help me progress in pole dancing, they let me know, even if I was not in one of their classes. And again, the support is amazing. I am not a great pole dancer but the way this group cheers you on, you can’t help but feel great about your performance. But like I said, this was my pole studio family. It wasn’t till I went to Pole Expo that I saw how big my whole Pole Family was.

Pole Expo was amazing for me! (Thanks to my hubby for paying for me to go! Love You!) I got to meet so many people. How can I describe it? It was like every person I met, regardless of what level they were at in pole dancing or how well they were know, I was on that same level, I was just as important.  It was like, ‘oh, you pole? Then you’re family’.  And the connections continue on, even after the expo was over. Most of it might be on FaceBook, but the communication continues. The notes of support, the comments of encouragement, all of it makes me feel like I belong.

Then there are even the people in pole that I have not met in person, but treat me like family. It makes me feel good and appreciated.

The last thing I’ll say about my pole family is you have all affected me one way or another. Because of you, I push myself harder and further. Not just in pole, but in all aspects of my life. I feel that I can’t fail; I have too many hands holding me up and pushing me higher. I can only imagine what this world would be like if more people were this accepting and giving and caring as my pole family.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Putting on a Small Pole Show!

I want you to know pole dancing! How do I do that? I put on a show!

I am about to put on my third pole dancing show on February 1st. This one will be a benefit for my AIDS LifeCycle ride in June. I am doing the main chunk of the organizing for this one. The other two, I had a lot of help from my friend and fellow pole dancer, Lori Myers. She has shown me the ropes for getting these little shows organized.

The venue for theses shows have been a little club in Walnut Creek called Club 1220. We set up a stage curtain for the performers to get ready behind and one or two stage poles on the dance floor. It makes for an intimate evening of pole dancing.

I have been lucky, because the club does not charge for use of the space and lets us keep the money that is made at the door. The door money has all gone towards the fundraiser or invested into putting on future shows, like the one coming up.

I like the small venue for these shows. It gives a place for the pole dancers to perform without the pressure of a big audience. This is a great chance for the ones that want to show what they have learned in class to friends or family.

Then there is a show that I just went to last night, Volare Variety at the Stage Werx Theater in San Francisco. This was a Burlesque style show with singers, a drag queen and of course, pole artists. The wonderful Kate Cotruvo produced this show. The theater seats 70 and also makes for an intimate atmosphere. All the seats had great views without feeling far away from the performances. I look forward to more of Volare Variety show there.

I guess what I am getting at is these small venues are great for putting on a pole show. And these small pole shows are a great way to introduce new people to pole dancing and see what it is all about. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Becoming Superman

I’m becoming Superman! Well, I am doing Superman. The pole pose ‘Superman’ that is.

I have been poling for a little under two years now at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness.  One of the moves that I have been working on is the ‘Superman’ pose.  This is where you body is horizontal to the floor, the pole squeezed between your inner thighs, legs extended, one arm reaching back and gripping the pole and the other arm extended out in front of you.  There are a few ways to get into this position. As for myself, I have been working on getting into ‘Superman’ from a ‘Jasmine’.

Well, my first attempts did not look that great. One thing, it hurts like crazy on the inner thighs. My legs were bent to where I looked more like I was in a horizontal squat.  I also needed help getting flipped over from the ‘Jasmine’ into the ‘Superman’.

I just needed to practice more at it and that’s what I did. The pain has become less on the inner thighs and I was able to extend my legs longer. I still needed help getting flipped over into position, but I was getting closer to it.

Finally, just a few nights ago, we worked on ‘Superman’ in pole class. I still needed the help on getting flipped over, but I got into the position. My legs were extended long and toes pointed with my arm reaching out for the sky.

I have to give a big thanks to one on my instructors, AJ, for getting me this far. I know with a little more push and a little more effort; I will be getting there on my own. I will have become Superman!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Poling in 2013

What a great year 2014 is going to be! How do I know that? I just look back at what I accomplished and where I was in 2013!

Yeah, I have to say that 2013 was a pretty great year. I got to meet some amazing people and see some fantastic performances. The thing is that none of this would ever have happened if not for pole dancing. I have come a long way in 2013 in my pole adventures, especially in the last four months. 

One of the first big events for me was my fund raiser for the AIDS LifeCycle.  I was so amazed by the turn out and the unbelievable support from my fellow performers. Unfortunately, I injured my knee not too long for the bike ride and I was unable to do it. I am gearing up to do it this year and have another fund raiser in the works. 

March, 2013 had me reaching my first year of pole dancing. That made me an ‘OTG!’ an Original Twirly Girl at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness.  I was very proud of that and looking forward to reaching two years.  

I had a great time in 2013, but I have to say, the best part of the year started in September. First, there was Pole Expo in Las Vegas. That was an amazing event for me!

I got to meet so many amazing and wonderful people!  I took one of Zoraya Judd’s work shops and she had me doing some moves that I had never been able to do and gave a couple of great pole bruises too. I also got to meet and hang out with some of the most amazing performers, like Josiah “BadAzz” Grant, David Owen, and Suwasit Ritthiphon. Oh, and I got to meet Timber Brown, who had just come off of America’s Got Talent. By the way, it was Josiah “BadAzz” that gave me my stage name Cowboy Wild.


I also got to meet some other great people in the pole industries while at the expo. Of course there was Fawnia herself.

Then there were Trisha and Jack from Bad Kitty. I found some great shorts to pole dance in because of Trisha. I secretly want to be a Bad Kitty model!


There were the amazing ladies at Just Pole. They had donated to my AIDS LifeCycle so I had to personally thank them.

I also got to meet some amazing photographers, Christopher Donald and Sam Green. I’m still enjoying FaceBook banter with Sam. He has such a positive outlook on life.

I also got to do a photo shoot with Somer Ahonen of LockBox Studios. I never know I looked that good!


All I know is that I had such a great time at Pole Expo that I am going again this year! Everyone I have meet there has been so supportive! Pole Expo has even donated two passes to my fund raiser on February 1, 2014. Speaking about support from being at Pole Expo, I can’t forget to mention the crew at Mighty Grip! I didn’t get to meet Stephanie Brinlee, from Mighty Grip while at the last expo, but I am sure we have a date at the next one! She has been a great FaceBook friend and can’t wait to meet her in person! 

The other big thing for me in the last part of 2014 was meeting AJ. I started taking one of his classes at Twirly Girls Pole Fitness just a couple months ago. With him pushing my boundaries and body, I have come a long way in pole dancing. His encouragement and support is amazing and I am glad he doesn’t let me get away with me saying “I can’t do that.” 


Finally, while all that was happening in 2013, I continued to have a blast with the Viking Warrior, Lori, in her Boys, Girls and Twirls class. The place and person that got me started on this great adventure in Pole Dancing!

So, as you can see, 2013 has been a pretty amazing year for me. Now, lets get going and make 2014 even better!