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Our Online Freestyle Challenges

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FYF CHALLENGE #28: FREESTYLE FRIDAY CHALLENGE

LAUNCHED: FEBRUARY 21, 2017

FOLLOW ON IG: #FYFfriday & #FYFchallenge

THE PROMPT:

So excited to bring back the FYF Challenge, and in a new way – introducing the FYF “Freestyle Friday” Challenge! Each Friday, we will kick off the week with a fun, guided, movement prompt meant to inspire your practice and encourage playful exploration and experimentation. You can use this as a focal point for a freestyle practice that week, or spice up your training regimen to keep it feeling fresh by focusing your mind and body in new or interesting ways on and around the pole!

Each week will feature examples from our FYF Brand Ambassador team (I can’t wait to see these videos!), and be structured by an overarching theme. Why themes? Because by focusing on ideas that work in collaboration with each other (rather than a random list of tasks) we can build a stronger creative foundation, one which helps us make even better connections with time. My hope is that you will walk away from a theme with more movement wisdom and options from your own practice!

Our first theme will be CONTRASTS… two opposing movement ideas that have close associations! Why CONTRASTS? Because we do not fully understand that which is until we understand that which it is not (you may need to read that once twice!). So… in movement, it is really valuable and important to explore on both ends of a spectrum to get a fuller grasp on your preferences and possibilities!

As always, if you share an entry on social media (this isn’t a competition, just an outlet to share and connect in your practice) – please use the hashtags #FYFfriday, #FYFchallenge, and #findingyourfreestyle so we can follow along… and also remember to support everyone else by following our 3-2-1 Social Media Rule – which basically means if you post something on your profile, please try to take the time to comment on and like 3 other posts in the challenge. To get support, we have to be supportive as well! Sending you so much love for doing this!

More info for each week on our blog!

FYF CHALLENGE #27: ONE MINUTE MOVEMENT

LAUNCHED: JUNE 10, 2016

FOLLOW ON IG: #ONEMINUTEMOVEMENT

THE PROMPT:

If you’d like to read more about this challenge, check out our blog here.

This movement challenge (for lack of a better word…) is a focus on duration AND task. I suggest creating freestyle sessions that last at least 10 minutes. It takes me on average about three songs to fall into my flow state. You should allow the full arc of experience in a session, first warming up the mind and body (don’t forget meditation and stillness), letting yourself be aware of what’s going on physically, mentally, emotionally. What feels good? What doesn’t? What sensations are more heightened, is it what you hear? Feel? See? Sense through contact or weight transfer? Then maybe a song or sensation or breath cycle may spark a larger or louder reaction inside your movement, go with it. Follow your own curiosity and instincts. There is no way to explore in a WRONG way! The juicy stuff that happens during and at the ending moments your session also be quite special and useful. (Has a freestyle that happens when you are physically tired, been especially beautiful or honest?) True creativity is gifted through the power of time and attention. Think about the things in your movement that genuinely improved when you didn’t rely on denial and selective attention? A creative process that drags you both through the mud, and into bliss. In these longer formats, we experience integration of all parts, and we become more whole.

Post your #oneminutemovement both for yourself, and your peers. When we train our eyes and perspectives daily to look for more beauty, we inevitable find it. Look past the single beat, the single moment, the 4 seconds of dopeness. Embrace the subtlety of your smaller or still moments, allow the build up, allow the aftermath.

I encourage you be inspired to create your own long-form prompts within the #oneminutemovement. Create your own hashtags and challenge your friends! The more people we can encourage to share, the more confidence and support you may bring to their practice, and your own. I have a few I thought could be great, and will be playing with them as well:

#oneminuteflight (one minute up the pole, woohoo!)/ #oneminuteleghangs / #oneminutebodywaves/ #oneminutefankicks / #oneminutetwerk / #oneminutefloorwork / #oneminutecircles / #oneminutestaticspins / #oneminuteslowmotion / #oneminutelowflow

FYF CHALLENGE #26: PLAYING WITH GESTURES

I wanted to have some fun playing with an element of FYF class…online! Let’s develop and play with creative GESTURES, integrating them into our dance and freestyle! Watch the video for more the explanation, and an example…

Gesture Tip: Working with the gesture I give you, find movement that integrates, honors, or is inspired by this gesture! Allow yourself to feel that gesture physically, what ideas it brings to your movement, shapes, and transitions from the floor to the air. Then, potentially tap into the emotional nature of that gesture! How does it feel, or make you or others feel? When you watch your video, what do you see? You may explore one song, or a few songs to find a way where the gesture can be fully inhabited. Don’t forget to change the perspective, you have so many apparatus, angles, and levels where this gesture can come alive – find your own way that works for you. I will post a new gesture to work with after we have explored this one! Have fun!!!! Happy Freestyling.

If you want to follow along with others, follow the hashtag #findingyourfreestyle and/or #gestureplay, and tag your friends and fellow movers so they can join you!

FYF CHALLENGERS #GESTUREPLAY

IG: #GESTUREPLAY

FYF CHALLENGERS #DANCINGMYGRATITUDE

IG: #DANCINGMYGRATITUDE

FYF CHALLENGE #25: DANCING MY GRATITUDE

LAUNCHED: NOVEMBER 19, 2015

THE PROMPT:

It is that perfect time of year when endings become beginnings, and reflection is at its strongest. Let’s dance through those words, thoughts, and things we are and can be grateful for. Gratitude unlocks joy, allows what IS to be enough, and lets our visions and peace thrive. You can write it down, or just dance it out – don’t forget to tag so we can share in your good vibes…

You may explore gratitude in movement with the breath, posture, gestures and lines, pacing, and music selection. There is no right or wrong way to feel grateful and to move through it!

FYF CHALLENGERS #LEGHANGLOVE

IG: #LEGHANGLOVE

FYF CHALLENGE #24: LEG HANG LOVE

LAUNCHED: AUGUST 19, 2015

THE PROMPT:

Very much like a previous challenge we did called #positionplay over a year ago, this next challenge attempts to work within the movements you love – LEG HANGS! You may already have go-to shapes and lines in your favorite leg hangs…this freestyle exercise is designed to BREAK those habits. It’s like muscle memory, once you land on something you like (and that works), it sometimes becomes difficult to take risks again to find the “new” in old favorites!

For this challenge, choose static or spin pole (high or low!) and ask your body to NOT make the shapes you may always experience, but to explore the lines, directions, transitions, and focal points you don’t explore. Don’t forget to honor your process and use the intentions that help you most; whether it is shape-focused (straight lines? bent lines? contorted? open/closed?), emotions/expressions focused (What might JOY look like in a leg hang? Melancholy?), or movement or musical quality (Smooth? Aquatic? Rapid? Hitting?). Good luck, be patient and feel free to try this a few times before you decide to move on or select a clip to share with us! It doesn’t matter if something you discover for you has already been “discovered” by another, this is about YOUR journey and what feels new to YOUR body – not what IG trick invention we can all claim! smile emoticon Enjoy the practice, love the journey, stay curious, and share success!

FYF CHALLENGERS #IDANCETOBEFREE

IG: #IDANCETOBEFREE

FYF CHALLENGE #23: I DANCE TO BE FREE

LAUNCHED: JUNE 15, 2015

THE PROMPT:

We interrupt our regularly scheduled #FYFChallenge to start the MADNESS. Bring out your inner dissonance. Let your freakstyle fly. Fuck controlling or creating those “pretty lines” and embrace your UNKNOWNS. Stop being self-conscious, even if just for one dance. Or apologizing for mistakes. Freestyle without fear of doing the wrong thing, but with freedom to LET IT BE!!!! Take chances, see where it goes. Surprise yourself. Share you explorations with us and tag #IDANCETOBEFREE, and #FINDINGYOURFREESTYLE.

Make sure you select music that helps pull something new out of you, this is the time to stop listening to the music you love to dance to – but find something ELSE! Get recommendations from your friends if you are stuck! Find your louder voice, your crazy voice, your twisted voice, your brave, silly, or inappropriate voice. I am so ready to see more of this in my feed. Let’s change what and how we share for a little awhile, if for nothing else but to not be bored by what we do and see.

Thank you Jess L. and Aggie Ng for your images! Thank you David Haws Photography and Sum Seen!

FYF CHALLENGERS #DANCINGYOURDESCENT

IG: #DANCINGYOURDESCENT

FYF CHALLENGE #22: DANCING YOUR DESCENT

LAUNCHED: APRIL 24, 2015

THE PROMPT:

Firstly, I want to thank the talent that is Alloy Images, I hope you don’t mind the visual shout out!

Also, thank you to Drusilla Ray and Iris Sparrow, my freestyle sisters on the West Coast, for being poster babes for this next #FYFChallenge!

I’ve been sitting on this one for awhile, and I figured now is as good as time as any for the partner challenge to our ever popular #DANCINGYOURCLIMB movement from last year!!! This concept is simple, and is the counter exercise for beauti-fying your climbing movement. Now, take the time to play with the descent, how to let your body sink, fall, glide, or drop down the pole, or off the pole into your grounded dance. There are SO may opportunities for descending dance and transitional movement, or even narrative or emotional exploration that has you moving downward – what can you visually or emotionally communicate with this idea? I cannot wait to see these entries!!!

As always, don’t forget to take your time, find your breath, and hear your music.

FYF CHALLENGERS #POLESKATING

IG: #POLESKATING

FYF CHALLENGE #21: POLE SKATING

LAUNCHED: FEB 13, 2015

THE PROMPT:

Even though we had been doing this in the studio on cold days for as long as I can remember, it wasn’t until a workshop with Oona K. in 2012 that I saw it utilized as a creative pole play in the classroom (search YT for “Pole Skating” on UPA). I’ve loved the floor connection and refinement qualities of this footwork ever since! (And a pole skating clip I shared on Finding Your Freestyle from last week @jolenetheresa revived an interest for me to pose it as a freestyle challenge focus!) I love doing it in big static spins, infinitely long spin pole combos and play, and also gliding over the toe in heels! So your challenge, should you choose to accept it (and tag a buddy to join you!) show us your #POLESKATING! Socks and covered toes yield the least friction (so, the most SLIDE and SLIP!), you can also play barefoot or in heels for an extra challenge! Spin pole is easier to play with, static pole more physical! LET’S GET SKATING, it’s Winter so why not!

FYF CHALLENGERS #INSPIREDTOFREESTYLE

IG: #INSPIREDTOFREESTYLE

FYF CHALLENGE #20: INSPIRED TO FREESTYLE

LAUNCHED: DEC 29, 2014

THE PROMPT:

Watch a dance or movement video, find a word (or words) that describes that dancer for you – apply that word/tone/movement quality in your own freestyle. (And ps. SHARE IT)

Tips:
1. It’s easy to find the qualities we love in ourselves in others, it’s harder to try and infuse or by inspired by qualities we don’t think we have or those that aren’t strong yet. So feel free to play with this Challenge as a comfort exercise or one that takes you COMPLETELY out of your zone.
2. You can also hashtag the words you picked!
3. It’s always lovely to show gratitude by linking to the original video or person that inspired you! Use this as a prime opportunity to thank those that help you along your own journey, directly or indirectly.

FYF CHALLENGERS #HAPPYFESTIVUSFREESTYLE

IG: #HAPPYFESTIVUSFREESTYLE

FYF CHALLENGE #19: HAPPY FESTIVUS FREESTYLE

LAUNCHED: DEC 18, 2014

THE PROMPT:

Through the Festivus season, share your freestyles with Finding Your Freestyle! For FESTIVUS, the annual holiday for everyone, we dance with our pole, we air our grievances, we show our strength. So however you are feeling for the season, be it elated, Grinch-y, grateful, sad, full of nog…let’s embrace it. Grab your pole, give it a twirl (Holiday music welcome!) – and let’s get in the spirit, whatever that spirit may be. HAPPY FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US!!!!!!

FYF CHALLENGERS #FYFCHALLENGE

IG: #FYFchallenge

FYF CHALLENGE #18: FYF TAG CHALLENGE

LAUNCHED: OCT 7, 2014

THE PROMPT:

The new Finding Your Freestyle TAG CHALLENGE is here! The rules are simple; post a freestyle, tag someone you think a) loves freestyle b) needs to freestyle MORE c) is a mover that inspires you d) really you don’t need a REASON! – and then they have 7 days to post their own freestyle video. They then can nominate/tag anyone they want! The FREESTYLE tree begins to grow! Don’t forget to use #findingyourfreestyle #FYFchallenge so we can follow along on FB & IG!

FYF CHALLENGERS #POLECLEAN

IG: #POLECLEAN

FYF CHALLENGE #17: POLE CLEAN

LAUNCHED: SEPT 10, 2014

THE PROMPT:

We interrupt our regularly schedules Freestyle Challenges (#FYFchallenge)…cause we HAVE to clean those damn poles once in awhile – so why not get creative while doing it!!! BIG THANKS AND CREDIT goes to Natalia Noris of Dolls Kingdom Pole Dance for this amazing and fun idea! Also big thanks to our sexy poster girl and pole cleaning kitty… Michelle Stanek!!!

This challenge is super easy, and the ingredients simple: put on a jamming good song, grab a towel (and your favorite pole cleaner), and show off your creative pole cleaning ways!!! Is it a grounded booty twerk? An inverted drop? A sneaky magic towel trick? Anything goes! Don’t forget to tag your entries to be featured #findingyourfreestyle AND #poleclean. HAVE FUN CLEANING KITTIES!

My example entry for #findingyourfreestyle #dancingyourclimb - can't wait to see yours! #FYFchallenge

A video posted by Finding Your Freestyle™ (@findingyourfreestyle) on

@seemingly_dreaming says, #dancingyourclimb is a great alternative to a hair dryer! YAAS! #findingyourfreestyle #fyfchallenge

A video posted by Finding Your Freestyle™ (@findingyourfreestyle) on

FYF CHALLENGERS #DANCINGYOURCLIMB

IG: #DANCINGYOURCLIMB

FYF CHALLENGE #16: DANCING YOUR CLIMB

LAUNCHED: AUGUST 12, 2014

THE PROMPT:

This is pretty self-explanatory but basically the pole climb is one of the most beautiful opportunities in your pole freestyle to do meaningful, interesting, musical things – and many people rush right through it to get from A to B as quick as possible! But alas! We can sit in this ascending moment and do it with creativity, and intention. So try some music, and invest some time developing your different climb variations. Share your explorations with us!

FYF CHALLENGERS #PANTSONDANCEON

IG: #PANTSONDANCEON

FYF CHALLENGE #15: PANTS ON DANCE ON

LAUNCHED: JULY 7, 2014

THE PROMPT:

One of the most popular challenges to date, a @findingyourfreestyle challenge with @jordankensley! We are connecting the east and west coast in our love for PANNNNNTS. smile emoticon When you freestyle with them, they make you dance differently, feel differently, add different dynamics to your floor and pole surfaces. Enjoy the freedom (if it’s it’s new for you, NEWNESS!) of freestyle in layers. Find your favorite pair of pants (Is it leggings? Sweats? Something soft? Drop crotch? A creativity inducing color?) and show us how you love to move in them. Try and use them to your advantage to explore floor, aerial, and spins in a new way. And don’t forget to share! Tag #pantsondanceon to join the movement, and don’t forget @jordankensley and #findingyourfreestyle! Happy pole pants revolution!!!

FYF CHALLENGERS #CONTACTPOINTCHALLENGE

IG: #CONTACTPOINTCHALLENGE

FYF CHALLENGE #14: CONTACT POINT CHALLENGE

LAUNCHED: JUNE 21, 2014

THE PROMPT:

Maintain 1 Contact Point

Just wanted to let you guys in one what we were working on this week in class! This is a fun, and easy challenge. Your only rule? Maintain at least one contact point on the pole throughout the entire freestyle. It can be any part of your body from foot, to hand, to head, to any part of legs and torso. Really fun to find ways to travel in a circle while being anchored at least in one place on the pole. So great for floorwork exploration too! I wore socks to help open up new options for movement.

A little #positionplay on spin pole pre-class at #bodyandpole. Teaching PoleOgraphy and DIVAS tonight!

A video posted by traceekafer (@traceekafer) on

#findingyourfreestyle Challenge: #positionplay on my inside leg hang! Head over to the page to read full tips/instructions.

A video posted by Finding Your Freestyle™ (@findingyourfreestyle) on

FYF CHALLENGERS #POSITIONPLAY

IG: #POSITIONPLAY

FYF CHALLENGE #13: POSITION PLAY

LAUNCHED: JUNE 5, 2014

THE PROMPT:

This one is called #positionplay … sexy huh! So the concept is, exploring a singular technique or shape and trying to make it feel different, or look different for you and your style. As always, take your time, move slow, and be patient with your exploration. It may take a full song to find the moments that really work. For my example here…I picked an open sit position (where one leg/hip is higher than the other, but the premise is a inner thigh hold or sit position). Take your time exploring how you can get in and out of it, play with all the free limbs and parts of your body you can articulate that are not contact or anchor points … in my case that is my lower legs, my arms, my head … all free to change and be creative! This exercise will hopefully open your mind to your more fundamental techniques, that they are still exciting and new just by the way you approach them. You may also find musicality in tricks that you didn’t give yourself permission to explore before. If you need a suggestion on a position here are some ideas: any leg hang (inside, outisde, brass monkey), sits, layouts, shoulder mounts, climbs, jade, handspring, spin shapes on static, spin shapes on spin mode, the possibilites are endless! Let’s do this, let’s explore!

FYF CHALLENGE #12: HAPPY ACCIDENTS

LAUNCHED: MAY 12, 2014

THE PROMPT:

Sometimes when you are freestyling you can surprise yourself with interesting choices, fumbles that turned out cool, alternative transitions or shapes, happy mistakes that lead you somewhere new! I wanna see ’em! Either snap a pic of your “dramatization” redoing the mistake or go ahead and just screenshot your freestyle videos (old or new) and capture the amazing moment, trick, shape, or beautiful motion movement that caught you by surprise. Let’s celebrate finding new things in our Freestyle journey!

FYF CHALLENGE #11: STYLE SWAP PT. II

LAUNCHED: MAY 2, 2014

THE PROMPT:

So excited for this one, as I’ve played with variations of this idea before on the page – but I’m bringing it back as it is SO important to branch out of your comfort zone!

The idea is simple, ask yourself or ask a pole friend this question “What is a style of pole that is TOTALLY out of my comfort zone?” Or… “What is a style of pole I avoid?” And then – you guessed it – try the style on in a freestyle! Explore imitation of pole dancers from that style, explore new instincts and music that exemplify that style, dress and prepare your mood to commit to it and see how it goes! This is super fun, may take time to get comfortable, and it may surprise you! I choose SEXY & HEELS – because I absolutely never work in that space and I find it aesthetically so beautiful and yet it is so HARD to commit and do it well!

FYF CHALLENGERS #FYFexit

IG: #FYFexit

FYF CHALLENGERS #FYFentrance

IG: #FYFentrance

FYF CHALLENGE #10: ENTRANCE & EXIT

LAUNCHED: APRIL 23, 2014

THE PROMPT:

This challenge is one of my favorite things to explore, as it is one of the most NEGLECTED areas of pole dance, and offer so many lost opportunities to really find your own style and narrative in pole dance freestyle.

This challenge explores your ENTRANCE to the pole EXIT from the pole. This can be interpreted so many ways! Mainly, I’m thinking about the way in which you come into contact with the pole, and the way in which you leave your contact with the pole. This can be done with any part of your body, from hands/arms/fingers (standing spins and dance moves) to foot/legs and hips (entrances to climbs or inversions). I wanna see those important moments when you touch the pole, and those important moments when you leave the pole, it is that simple! Think about what that contact means to you, it it expressing an emotion (scared, joyful, curious, hesitant, motivated?) or is it expressing a creative quality of motion in your pole movement (sticky, swift, slow, heavy, light, rhythmic?)

How can you do this in FREESTYLE without planning? Put on a killer song and tape your entire freestyle with your main focus on the moments when you come in (and out of) contact with the pole, repeat this as many ways as your body can in one song in a continuous flow avoiding the STOP/START hesitations…then review your video and share the snippets of your favorite moments! I recommend submitting one video for your #FYFentrance and one video for your #FYFexit if they can’t fit together.

GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY FREESTYLING!

FYF CHALLENGERS #TRAVELINGCHALLENGE

IG: #TRAVELINGCHALLENGE

FYF CHALLENGE #9: TRAVELING CHALLENGE

LAUNCHED: APRIL 10, 2014

THE PROMPT:

This is TRAVELING! Think floorwork, crawls, slides, glides, flips, rolls. I wanna see you come up with your own “system” or “pattern” and take it as a traveling move (this means the movement is ideally repeated and not sequenced as many/several moves together, it will allow you to grow and expand a singular idea). You can do this on the floor, across your pole space, touching the pole, or as a walk. But KEEP drilling that hand and foot creativity, think of new ways to use the floor to gain distance. I will post examples over the week – this is a fun ANIMALISTIC game to get some cool movement qualities OUT! Let’s get DOWN in the mud, polers.

So happy to see all the IG Challenge participation so we are gonna just roll right into the next one...here we go! PS. I hope the first Challenge maybe had you thinking about freestyle composition differently with 3 level changes in a really short space of time! Saw some GREAT transitional ideas from you guys, just always try and minimize and eliminate that pre-planning! Turn on a song and begin without the ingredients. Find them along your way using the music and room and current feelings and physical instincts. You can keep trying this Challenge and please keep sharing! The second little Finding Your Freestyle Challenge for Instagram: Foot Work! This is a refinement challenge, and should be completed in one unedited 15 second clip (or up to 30 seconds on FB/YT - just message me your link) It's super challenging and fun! Here are your tips: 1) Position your camera so that you can only see your feet (maybe hips down at most, use a friend to tape if you have trouble!) 2) Focus on the way your feet interact with the floor, how do you like to walk, what is your floor connection like? Heavy? Light? Dragging? Springy? Sticky? Loose? Tense? Playful? Try 'em all! 3) Feel free to try simple walks or include spins and transitions, don't forget directional changes! (Shoes??? Socks??? Bare??) :) This is a great challenge to create improvised fancy foot work and really SEE what is happening below in detail. Are you neglecting your feet and traveling transitional work? Can you extend further, change your pacing, play with non-traditional lines? Tell a story about the music with your feet. Try not to rush yourself! Have fun and tag @findingyourfreestyle or #findingyourfreestyle to share!! I will be posting entries on the IG and FB page. Happy Freestyling!!! #polefreestyle #traceekafer #levelschallenge #feetwork #footwork #fancyfootwork #FYFchallenge #poledance

A video posted by Finding Your Freestyle™ (@findingyourfreestyle) on

FYF CHALLENGE #8: FOOTWORK

LAUNCHED: MARCH 31, 2014

THE PROMPT:

The second Finding Your Freestyle Challenge for Instagram: Foot Work! This is a refinement challenge, it’s super challenging and fun! Here are your tips: 1) Position your camera so that you can only see your feet (maybe hips down at most, use a friend to tape if you have trouble!) 2) Focus on the way your feet interact with the floor; how do you like to walk, what is your floor connection like? Heavy? Light? Dragging? Springy? Sticky? Loose? Tense? Playful? Try ’em all! 3) Feel free to try simple walks or include spins and transitions, don’t forget directional changes! (Shoes??? Socks??? Bare??) This is a great challenge to create improvised fancy footwork and really SEE what is happening below in detail. Are you neglecting your feet and traveling transitional work? Can you extend further, change your pacing, play with non-traditional lines? Tell a story about the music with your feet. As always, breath, and enjoy taking your time.

FYF CHALLENGERS #LEVELSCHALLENGE

IG: #LEVELSCHALLENGE

FYF CHALLENGE #7: LEVELS CHALLENGE

LAUNCHED: MARCH 21, 2014

THE PROMPT:

This is a LEVELS challenge, and should be completed in one unedited 15 second clip. Its super challenging and fun! It must include (in any order):
1) LOW level (hips/legs/back/belly on floor)
2) MID level (standing feet/knees on floor) and
3) HIGH level (feet/body off floor).
This is a great challenge to create a improvised combo in a short space of time. Try not to rush yourself!

FYF CHALLENGE #6: REFLECTION

LAUNCHED: OCT 9, 2013

THE PROMPT:

Finally a challenge for the group freestylers! If you haven’t danced with others before, what are you waiting for? Collaboration yields evolution of your own creativity. It is both generous and personally fufilling. It also holds you accountable to practice freestyle if you aren’t productive alone, and it’s FUN!!

In this challenge, we go over a couple variations to work up to the most advanced form of REFLECTION. We only show a few (for the sake of time) … there are so many options!

FYF CHALLENGE #5: THE BODY SCAN

LAUNCHED: JULY 24, 2013

THE PROMPT:

Listen the beginning audio for instructions. This is a GRRRREAT exercise for breaking out of your BLEH moments, it brings out-of-the-box creativity, warms up the body for freestyle, and can lead to invention of new authentic movement that is natural for YOU. YES!

FYF CHALLENGE #4: 2 MINUTE GRAVITY STAND-OFF

LAUNCHED: MAY 3, 2013

Watch the video for full instructions!

FYF CHALLENGE #3: MOVING WITHOUT MOVING

LAUNCHED: FEB 1, 2013

THE PROMPT:

Simple concept, really. How much movement can you find without the added pressure of traveling from one spot? It really gives you time to focus on EVERYTHING we forget about: the direction of our head/eyes, what our hands and feet are doing, our own breathing, changing levels, and more. If you told yourself, “I’m gonna see everything I can play with without any tricks, spins, etc.” This hopefully will expand the fine details…and allow you to just mess around with it, really hear and enjoy the music in your dance, without any stress!

This can truly give you new freestyle ideas, what to do to fill in those “dead spots” when you are taking a break between tricks, catching your breath, or maybe even thinking about what to do next up the pole. These moments are important. Don’t disregard how beautiful the little moments can be. They can be huge!!! I say in my class a lot, “Make the small moves BIG”.

This stationary exercise has the added benefits of growing your own natural movement vocabulary without a lot of pre-conditioning, increase your body awareness and movement sensitivity, and warm-up your body nicely and safely as well!

FYF CHALLENGE #2: STYLE SWAP

LAUNCHED: JAN 7, 2013

THE PROMPT:

Watch the video for a short instruction/intro to this exercise. This was a fun one we did a few weeks ago in class, dancing a similar sequence freestyle to three different styles of music – with the intention of trying to make that sequence look different stylistically. Make sure the songs have either different instruments, different tempos, and/or even a different gender on vocals! It can all influence your movement. Full disclosure, this one’s not easy. When I attempted it, my body kept finding it’s set point and I had to start over a few times to actually comes up with some diversity! And sexy/shoes was my hardest! Yikes, bloopers abound.

A tip: Make sure you keep your planned “freestyle moves” easy! You don’t want to have to worry about forgetting what you wanted to do. I choose to start off the pole, do a standing lean over, then a simple walk to the pole and do a three dip combo into body waves. I chose body waves because I wanted to challenge myself to make a traditionally “sexy” move different, if I could. (This was the most fun move to interpret, for me) Then I went into a climb, chopper, ayesha, to come down off the pole to the floor. Each freestyle took between 1 minute and 1:40, depending on the tempo.

I predict that the more you practiced this exercise, the better you would get at it, the more comfortable you would be at reforming your movement. (The more creativity as well!) Definitely “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” on some styles, but that’s all in the fun!

Per a question I had on the Facebook Page, here are some MORE Style recommendations:
Hip-Hop
Contemporary
Modern
Gymnastic
Latin/Ballroom
Belly
Jazz/Afro
EVEN SEXIER
EVEN DARKER

You can take any of these styles and apply them different. Hope this helps!

FYF CHALLENGE #1: CLOTHING & CONTACT

LAUNCHED: DEC 13, 2012

The first challenge, launched back in 2012! Our older challenges were longer format videos (sniff sniff), and optimized for YouTube. Since then, our challenges have increased in accessibilty through Instagram and FB as well!

THE PROMPT:

Here is my first video excerpt using techniques we practice in my Finding Your Freestyle class at Body & Pole. I combined two intentions for this video….

1. CLOTHING

Adding clothing, like pants, as I’ve mentioned before, change the textures and movement ability when you are in contact with the floor and pole. Wearing pants makes you feel softer, slinkier, more cozy. It can bring you different confidence and inspire you to move differently. I tried to move on the floor utilizing the freedom of fabric.

2. CONTACT

We play with this a lot in my classes! Distracting or focusing your mind with different intentions while moving/freestyling can broaden your style, and give you new ideas. In this CONTACT exercise, I’m playing with hands, how you can use them, and NOT use them, on the pole to create new vocabulary, and new lines/angles. In this video, I tried to play with the other joints and parts of the body coming in contact with the pole; back of the hand, wrists, elbows, knees, neck, you name it it’s game! Just grabbing the pole and taking that moment for granted is a missed opportunity. How can you give connection with your hands, or body, meaning when it touches the pole? It can add excitement, anticipation variety, feeling. Notice textures, the temperature of the pole, the grain of the floor, free your in-the-box thinking of how you come in contact with the pole and floor. Force yourself maybe even to NOT use yours hands when you come to the pole, you’ll be surprised at some of the fun stuff that comes out. (And yes, even awkward, but that is totally acceptable when you experiment, it is a practice after all!)

And of course, last but not least, put on a song that moves you. This song moves me, and allowed me to move slowly enough to explore the ideas of the exercise.

I’d love it if you shared your experiences with either CLOTHING or CONTACT!

FYF CHALLENGE: BACK TO BASICS (Eyes Closed)

Watch and listen for full instructions and demo.