A Fun, Freestyle Challenge Progression!

VIDEO AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST, PLESAE USE THE CAROUSEL ARROWS LAID OVER THE VIDEO TO SEE THE 5 CLIP SERIES

This was something that I intuitively created for my Wednesday 4:00 PM Finding Your Freestyle class at Body & Pole (now happening every week!), it’s quite simple, an effective pattern breaker, floor connector, and pathway carver. Take a look, and give it a try!

1. Start a moving meditation with only one rule, keep some part of your foot on the floor the whole time. Many will want to stick with toes and stay “in the pretty” zone, but remember the whole foot has feel-good potential, too!

2. Then you, or a partner/friend, cleverly place objects (the studio props of blocks and straps were perfect but literally anything goes) in the movement space, on the floor. Have fun with this! 😆 Goldilocks style… Not too many. Not too little. Then … move the same exercise intention of step 1 while also playing with avoidance of objects. Play with proximity to the object, the closer you get, the deeper the interaction.

3. Then, take the objects away, but imagine ANY kind of floor obstacle exists as you move. This requires you to tap into your intuitive imagination, and you can base it off the sensations you had from the last round. You can start by imagining the same objects, but then allow yourself to freely associate. They may change as you move, and should. Freedom is important here while you imagine visually or sensorially.

4. LAST ROUND, and this can go on for awhile as you remove all seeming constraints, allow yourself to start lifting your feet and legs away from the floor. Let your imagined objects remain, and spontaneously change, as your explore FLOOR and AIR. Music can help!

Remember to have fun, and stay curious! Breaking patterns can sometimes be uncomfortable, but you may enjoy it start to finish! Both kinds of experiences are useful for your freestyle practice. This progression is very warming as it forces you to engage with the lower body while heavily “leaning” on your pole anchor up top. While you do this work, you will GUARANTEED be shifting movement patterns, creating new whole body shapes and even transitions as you do so. You will also become aware of how you habitually travel directionally and use your feet, and how big and small of circular connections you make (the floor will feed this back to you well). Just the first exercise alone is wonderful for smoothing out your travel pathways and keeping you aware of footwork and fluidity. Socks would also be great here.

Tag @traceekafer and @findingyourfreestyle if you try it! Have fun floor skating and dodging!!!! Hashies: #findingyourfreestyle #fyfchallenge

A little sidenote: There are so many more steps you could make if you wanted this session to be longer, some of which is bringing secondary awareness back to neglected areas of the body, movement quality, or use of space… for example, I got so floor focused my head became “stuck” downward focused (looking at the “objects”), and so with video or partner witnessing and giving feedback I could go back in and play with that. ❤️

I could also interact with the objects with even more defined characteristic or “rules”. This would be great for floor and standing work too.

A post shared by Tracee Kafer (@traceekafer) on

The Finding Your Freestyle Podcast – Episode 2 – Meditation with Dr. Linick

Thank you for tuning in to our second episode of our brand new series: The Finding Your Freestyle Podcast!

The #FYFpodcast will marinate with our blog and current #freestyledtips and the ongoing #fyfchallenge offerings, but now adding an immersive discussion format to bring in new voices. This podcast is inspired to start a larger dialogue on the art of freestyle (beyond modality and form), and tangential topics of mindfulness, awareness, intention, intuition, creativity, self-expression, and collaboration with interesting folks who are doing their thing in their own way! This podcast will continue to touch back on movement and freestyle practice, but includes the connection between freestyle, in moving form, and the way we can access that freedom in many other life experiences.

Dr. Jess Linick, psychologist and somatic therapist, is our second guest here to talk about meditation, and mindfulness. What is it? What is it not? How do we get started and where else can it go? There were so many fantastic talking points here, I highly suggest you listen – start to finish!

ABOUT DR. LINICK
Dr. Jess Linick is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment and resolution of trauma, meditation, mindfulness, and body-oriented psychotherapy. She received her PhD from Columbia University, and currently practices in juvenile detention in New York City. Dr. Jess has danced her whole life, but began pole dancing while living in Los Angeles at BeSpun in 2011. Upon moving back to NYC in 2012, she started dancing at Body & Pole. Along with Tracee Kafer, she is the co-creator of Pole Speak. She is in the process of becoming a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, which is a body-oriented, trauma-focused healing modality. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training at the WOOM Center in NYC, which combined elements of sound meditation with Vinyasa yoga, and is also Reiki Level 2 attuned.

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST ON iTUNES!