What did I do with my summer vacation? I'm proud to say I rocked it.
At the end of the summer, our classes have annual summer recitals where we showcase what we have learned over the summer in pole class (or in our case, since summer vacation doesn't apply) over the years. Last year, we had a burlesque theme - red lipstick, heels, curls, lace, ruffles and feather boas. This year, we tore shirts, distressed shorts, donned boots and leather and messed up our tresses for a rockstar theme. When I found out this year's theme was rock, I screamed in delight and put my name on not just one, but TWO numbers - yes! you got that right, I didn't dance to just the pole number, but the striptease number. Okay whatwasithinking? I've been poleling for just a year and a signed up for two. But hey, when last year I was able to dance after just four months of pole, then why not this year right?
This year, it was quite different because it would be the first time I would be doing inverts on an X-stage pole, which can be wobbly since it's a free-standing pole. And also our trick and spin lists are very new - we have cross ankle (dun dun dun.), reverse ayesha (eeek), and superman, which we do from gemini (and that gemini doesn't come from your usual boomerang invert but from a drop. EEK!) but then again, remembering the thrill of last year, this was one I should not miss. Besides, isn't it me who loves rock music? So why not sign up for something close to my heart?
At the heat of summer, pegs started to mushroom up in our pages. What they did this year was rock music through the ages - from 1950s up to the 90s and present featuring songs of rock icons like Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Guns N Roses (yeaaah!), Queen, Adam Lambert, Marilyn Manson, and Kiss to name a few, celebrating how rock stars are artists themselves that broke barriers and never feared to express themselves through their own music. White makeup? who cares! Big hair on guys? Bring it on!
Each class was assigned an era. Our class was assigned the 80s, which made me even scream louder when our teacher, Amaya announced it. I LOVE THE 80s!!!!! Of course, the 80s reminded me of my flower girl and Santacruzan days of hot pink blush, the aquanet, and teasing of hair but what I do remember was that the 80s had really awesome music, and the rock music didn't disappoint. For our song, we had Guns 'N' Roses's Welcome to the Jungle and our peg was we had to look like Jungle Cats. GAME ON, KITTY!!!! Of course the excitement is just icing on the cake. There's learning our tricks and perfecting the spins. We had to widen our barbie spins (Amaya stresses on the following keys: locked knees, legs high, toes pointed), conquer our fear of the cross ankle, and figure out how to look pretty while in pain with the Superman. Also, the fast pace of the song works both to our advantage and disadvantage. To our advantage, it's such a high energy and upbeat song it's an instant adrenalin rush at the first guitar strum. To our disadvantage, we had to build our resistance to still be able to catch our breath and look pretty at the end of our number (Thanks to my own Lightwater bottle on standby, I was able to quench my parched throat after each run. I wouldn't go into full detail with our rehearsals except that we did our best to make sure that we did our dances well, polished them, built our endurance, and also, made sure we never got injured.
Stellar Year 2 was held at the AFP Theater at Camp Aguinaldo. It was a huge theater that had an amazingly huge stage with a 1000+seater audience capacity. We had an early call time that day, 8:00 a.m. and I made sure (as I was late last year) that I got there early, well, a little too early at 7 am. Excited! We did our blockings and breaked for lunch since we needed energy.
Thank you Kitchen Night for the lunch!
The afternoon was spent doing our runs and also our makeup. We had Benefit Cosmetics as a sponsor this year who did an amazing job. They were there even to retouch the makeup so that we all looked fresh.
To relax we had photo ops of course.
Hannah and I dancing again. She's a strong girl. She's Intermediate 2 already doing those awesome tricks!
My favorite part in our dance - the gemini drop which made the audience scream. It was so inspiring I spun in my superman but project away!
The audience was so warm I almost cried! The two months of hard work were so much worth it. Yay to I didn't fall in my cross ankle and Yay that I remembered the dance.
Breaking before our second number: A photo-op with the boys and our Momma Cat CD!
The boys (fondly called Tigers) were the show-stealer of the day. Dancing to Queen's Another One Bites The Dust, they were the perfect example of strength, agility, and grace combined. Our Tigers were the perfect example of brotherhood, united not only in their classes but in their bonding sessions outside studio doors like dinners and pole practices They have turned their sister Kittens into instant fans, I think like 60% of the screams came from backstage.
Our striptease number is another era close to my heart: the 90s!!!!! bring out the Doc Martens and grungey look everyone! Because here we are to wow you.
The show concluded with a number from our teachers. What's not to scream about?
Even if Saturday were over, we still can't get over the weekend. Open Facebook, you see status updates, picture uploads, raves, and even possible brainstorming for Stellar Year 3 (I'm joining Stellar 3 by the way!). I believe our annual Stellar Summer show not only trained us as performers and dancers but also it was a chance for us to showcase what we worked hard for, to make our friends and family proud with something we're so passionate about. Talk to anyone enrolled in a class and their eyes suddenly light up as they talk about their classes and all. It was also a chance for the whole group to bond and gain new friends. This is my extended family, Polecats Manila is my second home.
Pre-stellar I was getting really tampo because I invited a lot of people and not many of those I asked watched (I think only 3 of those I invited watched). But a pleasant surprise happened after the show. Our classmates who weren't able to join the recital happened to be there watching, complete with a "Go Jungle Cats!" sign. I gave these girls a big hug.
Here's another surprise. A friend from college watched. Hi Winlove! He happens to be friends with one of the Tigers. So nice to see a familiar face after so many years.
Kicking off our boots and back to the grind (for most of us anyway) we still can't forget that wonderful Stellar high. You may read what this year's project head (and Striptease teacher) Mara Andres wrote here.
To those who made our show possible - to our sponsors, production team, friends, and most especially our teachers forever pushing us to do our best and our classmates for the encouragement we need thank you very much and a big hug. You just inspired me to do better here more and pole till I'm like 90 (hahahahaa!)
To you, yes you, the one who reads my articles, my blog, and how I enthusiastically insert my pole adventures in a blog dedicated to beauty, makeup, and fashion (in defense I always go, "but it's fitness!") thank you for bearing and following my excitement at every achievement, every bruise, every chafed skin, every new trick, and every freestyle video I post. You know what, you just got me excited because I said yes to Stellar Year 3!
(the photos are a mish-mash from mine and my friends' cameras - Winlove Mojica, Oliver Loyola, Ann Santos-Dajon, and RJ Regalado)