Sunday, March 24, 2013

Signs Of A Pole Dancer

Pole has changed my life in so many ways. I became so much stronger physically and mentally and I couldn't imagine if I went on life without plunging to my very first class two years ago. My health has never been better, my back more protected, and my confidence boosted. Sure, I walk around with a bruise or a chafed part on my skin and i've had rougher hands and back-of-knees since then, but as I keep telling everyone, these are scars I wear with pride, even that scar on my left cheek that I got recently. How I got that scar? I literally clawed my way through a cup grip shoulder mount.

Anyway, searching for pole memes online and even discussing too with my friends, I find a few things common to pole dancers, and this I would like to share with everyone, pole enthusiast or not. Maybe you can agree and find yourself chuckling and nodding your heads to a few, right? To those who don't pole but have friends, wives, girlfriends, or relatives who pole, maybe you may relate too.

We feel most comfortable in shorts.

One of my teachers pre-pole only had two shorts in her life. Now, they're where she's most comfortable in. True to that. Anything covering our legs feels weird and constricting. Even on off-pole days, there are times that I pull that pair of shorts and wear them on errands even in chilly December. Because I'll never know if there would be a post that I would like to street-pole to.

We walk around streets and look for lampposts, street posts, or any vertical and stable metal contraption and when we see one, our face suddenly lights up and we decide to mount on it: shoulder mount, flag, handspring or regular climb.

Oh yes. We may shock others when we run to a street post and do our butterfly, up-split, or even a solid boomerang. We just need a photo of it in a guerilla-style shoot and expect it to be uploaded in our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts the moment we have Internet access. Aside from pulling a trick on street posts, we do the same thing on playgrounds, monkey bars, and so on.

Sorry kids, the monkey bars are mine!

Regular bras feel weird.

They do, really. I can't explain why but they really do. Sports bras feel much more comfortable and secure now, and I wear them more that the regular clasp-at-the-back ones. If I could wear my black sports bra under the evening gown I need to wear for my friend's wedding I would. But no.

We subconsciously point our toes.

Hey class is over, but over the course of time, pointing our toes becomes second nature to us, even while waiting to get a pedicure or bench pressing (these situations actually happened in real life). It may be that our teachers constantly remind us to point our toes that the reminder echoes even in our dreams. The ironic thing, though, is that when pole class comes and it's time to point those toes, we sometimes have those lazy flexed feet when we invert (guilty).

Our rituals get simplified.

This was my shower ritual pre-pole - get that lushest, creamiest body wash you can find and work a luxurious lather on your body. Then rinse off then while the skin is damp, apply bath oil and towel off to lock that moisture. Or - get that body lotion and slather it on your skin channelling sexy pinup lady with creamy skin. Then when the moisturizer is absorbed, protect skin with SPF. At night, we add an extra layer of body cream and sleep with socks and gloves after slathering our hands and feet with petroleum jelly. Since baby-soft moisturized skin is a pole dancer's worst enemy, I have avoided lotions like the plague and switched to strong soap, which cut my prep time in half. My skin curses me for it as it can get really dry like the Sahara. Oh, and sunblock has stopped only up to my neck, when I do wear sunblock. I don't know if that's a good thing because I take less time preparing now and people don't have to wait that much for me and I got more time to chill or a bad thing because my hands and feet no longer spell "ladylike".

Our Facebook profile photos and cover photos are usually us doing a new trick.

Forget that photo during that trip to Paris or that photo of you with (insert famous celebrity). Once we nail a new trick in class, it's automatic - we get our cameras (or phones) ask our classmates to take a photo and that immediately becomes our profile photo once we get home.

My current profile photo. Not really a trick, but a recent photoshoot with  Farlet Vale. Will blog about this too, soon

Our playlists are usually dance-able tunes or music we would like to dance to.

When downloading music, I always have that thing into consideration - can I dance to it? I sometimes find myself thinking of a combo when a music is being played or dancing in my head instead of singing to the tune. If you find a pole dancing friend of yours staring into space in the middle of a conversation, he or she isn't in a trance. He or she is probably thinking of a new pole combo  (climb 2x - boomerang - gemini - recover - top hand viva - viva - holly drop to scorpio - pole sit - jade - meat hook -pike - gemini  - inverted thigh hold  -mermaid dismount) to do to a song recently downloaded.

Pole practice takes up most of our (ideal) time calendar and when if something comes up and we miss a class, all hell breaks loose and our day is ruined.

Here's a tip to never piss a pole dancer - never let him or her miss a class because that will piss them off even more. When that happens, expect a very bad mood. It must be missing the endorphin fix or the possibility of missing that time to finally nail the Titanic or Fonji, but you get what I mean. In an ideal time calendar, pole class would occupy a minimum of 2-3 times per week and there are days when we dedicate an hour or two to stretch. We do want to get that super flat jade right? Any pole dancer here getting moody after not poleling for a week or more?

In looking for a house or apartment, ceiling height and building material are one of our primary concerns.

In searching for an apartment, there's always the case of a ceiling. It has to be concrete and be high enough. Why? For the pole to be installed for home practice, whether it be conditioning or tricks. I jumped with joy when I found out that our apartment had a concrete ceiling and fit the minimum height requirements to install an X-pole. The future home must have the same requirements, and probably a bit higher ceiling for circus climbs and a bit more space to do a reverse grab.

For the ladies, in taking group photos, our formula is this - chin up, shoulders down, bellybutton in, and tiptoe. Yes, TIPTOE!

It must be wearing all those 6-inch heels while dancing, or again, the subconscious pointing of toes. But if it makes us look longer, why not?  And maybe flex that tricep a bit (or is it that just me?)

Strange or not, we love our sport and we're proud of what we do. It may be a weird sight to see a grown woman or man to run to a playground and do a boomerang but it's our way of spreading our passion wherever we go. And yes, the view is fun while upside-down.

Still curious about pole? Then try it out for yourself. :)

Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Shiso White BB Serum : A Quick Flawless Fix for Summer.

During summer, the sun is shining and really, spending 2 hours cooped up at home doing makeup when it's just so pretty outside isn't in anyone's agenda. Besides, all that layers of makeup, moisturizer, primer, and foundation is bound to melt one way or the other. It's during the summer when I try to simplify most of my routines, making me subsist on eyebrow pencils, lipstick, bronzer, and mascara (sometimes, there's eyeliner  too). For those blessed with amazing skin and features, then congratulations, you do not need makeup during these two months of hotness. There are times when we need a bit of help, and when too much layering isn't in our agenda, we must say all hail to multipurpose magical things.

BB creams are loved by many, as they give flawless results while caring for the skin with its moisturizing properties with built-in sunblock to boot. If you're fair-skinned with a beige-y undertone you may find that BB creams work well for you, as most BB creams are this shade. Some who find it too white on them may tame things down by correcting with a darker powder or bronzer. Personally, I've had that same problem with BB creams though, but in the course of time, I've learned to adjust.

The Body Shop's newest Moisture White Shiso BB Serum meets me halfway in addressing those needs. I like the benefits BB creams and serums have but I'm kinda off with the grayish whitish case it has, as most of them seem a bit dark for me. This newest product adjusts to my tone just a tad (not exactly a complete match but it will do) so I still get the benefits I need without looking like my face is whiter than the rest of me.

Natural ingredients like Vitamin C, Licorice, shiso (an herb in the mint/basil family believed to reduce early melanin-making signals) help brighten skin. I prefer using the term "brightening" which means it just evens out skin tone and makes it less dull. There is also community trade aloe vera to help soothen and cool skin during hot summer days. There's also SPF 25 PA+++ which protects our skin from the sun.

The bottle though, if you can see is quite tiny, only 30 mL, but really, this is only the amount you need. Otherwise, it would be too much.

I think the amount here is practically less than pea size and I really spread it on my face to even out my skin. As you can see, there's a beige tint so it's like a tinted moisturizer with more coverage. It can cover redness to a certain extent while looking natural. For early mornings to work when we don't have much time, this can be our base. We don't need much makeup on ordinary days. Just on special occasions. Hey, it's summer. As our hemlines go higher, keep our makeup simpler.

It really doesn't feel sticky though, despite the fact that it's very potent. I still have to set it with powder after applying my cheek tint just to make sure things don't slide. I do a bit of contouring just to make sure that my face doesn't look white flat and to add a little warmth, to balance the brightening effect and to make the look more natural.

I can use this as an everyday base if I'm going out and want my skin to look a bit better. It's quite hard to remove though. I tried removing the swatch at the back of my hand with soap and water and there's still residue left. I guess this means I can take this with me on trips too, when I'll be doing a lot of walking.

This is a new product now available at all The Body Shop stores.