What inspires us to get off the sofa and hang upside down on a bit of metal? Who do we look up to and what do we aspire to achieve? This week we have asked the girls to tell us about where they find the inspiration for their routines, whether it be music, people, movies, lobsters, theatre, instagram, nature... Wherever the flash of pole genius may come from!
Inspirations for my routines, new moves and combos and general things relating to aerial comes from a variety of different things. I like to try and make things my own and create different moves or combos. If I see something I like on Facebook or Instagram I look and see a) can I do it and b) how can I make it my own. The pole and hoop world is filled with so many strong, flexible and innovative individuals there's always new moves, combos and routines being created. I remember watching the other performers at the first pole competition I did and thinking how effortless they made it look and thinking if I put the effort in that could be me
Watching the flare, stage presents and sheer confidence of Felix Cane was what pushed me to try Back in Black by AC/DC on pole and after workshops with Bendy Kate and Amy Hazel trying to create new flexi shapes in hoop, on pole and in floor work spurred me on to make sure I continue to stretch whilst increasing my strength so I can have the best of both. On a more fitness note, it was Zorena who inspired me and continually supports me to be better in myself. Watching her transformation from the beginning to on stage and how much commitment she had to persist with the diet, training programme and everything else, I just wish I could have half of that! I'm trying my best with the plans she's given me, but as much as I try, I know there is no way I'll ever be able to stay as strong willed and be that strict with myself to get to the level she did.
What inspires me? I’ve looked at that question a few times now, and started typing a couple of responses... It’s a hard question to answer!
I would say that it’s only recently that I’ve been inspired at all when it comes to pole and hoop. It’s only since coming to SAAS that I have started really looking at what I want to achieve with all this stuff and it’s only since being convinced to compete last year that I have started seeing routines when I hear songs or seeing all TV/movies as potential theme ideas! I like a lot of twisted/pseudo scary TV programs like American Horror Story and Buffy (I’d love to do a Buffy themed routine! Not sure I’d be allowed though…) and I like a lot of dark music, lots of rock and that kind of thing. In terms of pole-based aspirations I would say that I look a lot to the more twisty contortion stuff rather than the pretty, sexy or strong stuff. I like being able to get into freaky places and I love getting a move that is totally messed up!
I know that it’s a cliché to say that I am inspired by my teachers but they really are the ones who inspire and encourage me to perform and progress. If I think back to when I first started doing pole, I would look at the moves that Helen (my first pole instructor) could do and be completely blown away with how easy she made it look! Then I had that wow moment all over again after a couple of years break when I started Zorena’s classes, even after a couple of years I still find that when she performs or even practises she has my attention and the attention of the whole room, which is definitely something to aspire to achieve for anyone who is competing. And even though she wouldn’t like to admit it, the same happens with Lauren when she is on the hoop. They both get into a zone and everyone in the room just stops and watches. HA! I promised myself that I wouldn’t go off on a smooshy tangent and hey look at that I did! MOVING ON....
I like to see improvement and progression and a lot of the things that I am motivated by are progression pictures, whether it is flexibility, strength, weight... I often find myself going off on Instagram journeys through progress pictures. I like to make my own as well, putting old pictures up against new ones to show where I have come from. I also like to look at the more bizarre pole and hoop pictures, the artsy images of old school circus freakshow type stuff.
One thing that really drives me to get better at hoop is wanting to do some slightly off-the-wall routines to some music I really love. At the moment, I feel compelled to stay at the cheesy end of the scale music-wise because the big, dancey tracks work well with beginner moves; but, eventually, it would be cool to do some more arty routines. I listen to a lot of more experimental rock and electronic music and it's a big part of my life. So it would be great to do a routine to something a bit like this: https://youtu.be/h-li3KlTtTA. We'll see!
Staff and students of Julie's Dance Studio, based in Sholing, Southampton.