Thursday, April 28, 2011

Robot Dancer - Part One

There comes a point in time where you have to step outside of yourself as a dancer and watch yourself through the mirror.  You have look at your reflection, then stop judging it.  This blog is my journey, my personal diary of a journey that began early this year to find the inner performer and dancer and find a way to become emotionally available to her.  I'm not good at being emotionally available at all.  I'm not a touchy feely person, although I do love hugging, I don't like forced affection or sadness.  I cannot stand whiners or even whining myself.  I find myself looking in the mirror and feeling like human life, love and feelings are just puzzle pieces that need to be put back together.  I believe in finding solutions rather than holding onto despair.  I connect on a deeper level with very few people, I call it the circle of trust.  Making truly DEEP connections takes me a long time, I'm not sure if it's the fear of being hurt, the fear of knowing what it feels like to be betrayed and ripped open and knowing I never want to feel like that again or just simply how I'm wired.  I'm a very big fan of logic.  I love logic, it solves everything!  BUT sometimes...logic isn't enough.  You can't cuddle and hold logic, logic doesn't let you cry, logic doesn't let you love with all wild abandon, logic doesn't make you hot and sweaty.  Logically, it doesn't make sense to me to bear your sole to a world who has no use for it.  This is why I think I am so distant from those outside my circle of trust.  I think this is why I get uncomfortable when it gets personal.  The only person I connect with on a deeper, spiritual plane is my amazing and talented boyfriend - who by the way painted the picture to the left which inspired this blog.  He's the only one that makes logic go sit in the corner and be quiet.  He's the only one I can confess and bear my heart fact, he might enjoy me using some logic every now and again.

As I walk down this path of becoming the dancer I want to be - I realized I needed to harness that emotion that I hide deep within, harness the frustration and sadness, the anguish, the past lives that I would rather see buried and bring them to the surface.  It first occurred to me back in mid March in a class I was taking that I had polished these moves yet they lacked any meaning besides being really awesome and pretty.  I had channeled this thing that I think is sexy, this thing that I love so much, yet this thing was empty...or atleast I now feel like it was empty, maybe it was half full?  I had become very good at rolling my eyes in the back of my head, swaying to the music and getting lost in fulfilling the image of what I saw in my head.  Filling up stereotypical images isn't enough - in fact, I've become so good at rolling my eyes in the back of my head and losing myself in the music that I found myself hiding beneath layers of sensuality.  I started to put my sexuality on a platter so that I could hide and be safe.  I'd rather be sexy than exposed.

Then came my stint with stripping.  I began using my clothing as the metaphor for shedding my layers of thoughts and feelings...but really it was another way of hiding.  I could expose parts of my body so I wouldn't have to expose how I felt, in case those feelings we rejected, somehow invalidated.  It's easier to be rejected for being too sexy than it is to be rejected for an honest portrayal of what lies beneath.  Don't get me wrong the physical act of stripping pushed me to begin to toy with the idea of exposing myself, now it's time to play with my emotional clothing and shed that.  I am a big fan of stripping and grinding it out, there's nothing that feels better to me after a moment of hell than to whip the hair and tear the clothes off and roll around on the floor.  In fact some of those never seen before moments ARE the real moments, the moments and things I am talking about hiding, that never get seen because of fear.

It takes a lot of courage and inner strength to tap into the real you and put her out there.  It's scary.  With that in mind I began experimenting privately.  What if I listen, truly LISTEN to the music I want to dance to?  I started using visualization, popping in my earbuds and letting myself slip into the music without dancing, really hearing the words and the rhythms, envisioning what telling that story would look like, then what would it feel like...what if I could move my body and use my talents in a way that expressed how I feel or relate to this?  Then I started noticing my dancing looked different.  I stopped dancing for the mirror and started to live my visions.  At first, it was pretty ugly - without the mirror and my "logic" to guide me, my extensions were not what they could be, toes lacked pointing, I would pull up and sometimes find my shoulders were slumped over.  My dancing FELT better but was so much more raw and unrefined.

How do I express myself and make it pretty and draw people into my world?  How can I intoxicate?  I knew I had to start really working on FEELING the extensions and the power of the floor and the air beneath my feet.  Then it hit me - it's really hard to express yourself with a long series of advanced moves.  How am I expressing my anger at repression with a handspring?  I went back to my basics - which I use as a constant in my dance life for building strength and grace - then I find of fell in love again with the feeling of just spinning around the pole.  I started to FEEL where the aysha goes, where that handspring goes and how to use it express my strength and perhaps anger, happiness, joy, love...but I could never figure out how to USE the bad ass tricks without first finding my inner spinner and falling back in love with the simple things that can be molded and manipulated with speed and grace to tell my story.

I'm beginning to shed my nuts and bolts and become a real dancer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

F@ck The Pole!

"Karol Helms F#cks the pole!"  That was the sentence that came out of a very drunken Thursday night conversation with a non pole dancer.  When the man who had once been my radio cohort and cohost told me to stop a video of myself THAT'S what he said to me.  "Karol Helms F@cks the pole!"  I was silent for a moment.

"She F@cks the pole, she f@cks the audience, she f@cks the music!  That's what makes her so F@cking great!"

Evan Branch.  Comedian, friend, watcher and supporter of my pole dancing - said the most brilliant thing I have heard in a long time about pole dancing.

I asked Evan to host the first ever Metro Detroit Pole Dance Showcase (which Karol very graciously performed in) because of his ability to see the sexual and funny side of pole dancing.  I mean were talking about a guy who thinks that every move that involves a crotch shot is the "lunchbox."  What I didn't realize was that he paid attention to every dancer and everything about each dancer.

So in a drunken conversation about yet again another one of MY videos - he asked me to pause the video and blurted out "Karol Helms f@cks the pole!"  He then explained to me something I had never seen before and gave me the missing piece I've been looking for.  He said in all sincerity "In July, you attacked the pole and made it your bitch, it was so aggressive it made me feel awkward and uncomfortable.  Now, your f@cking the pole too."

I thought drunkenly to myself - I'm not f@cking anything.  I've never let myself go the way someone like Karol or Alethea has.  I've never really f@cked the audience - never looked at them and as Kira Lamb would say made them drink my kool-aid.

Back in August of 2010 I had the pleasure of meeting and coincidently scissoring with Michelle Mynx,  one sexy half of Gravity Plays Favorites and she taught me how to "eye f@ck."  Each and everytime she did it to me I had these goosebumps going up my spine, I am not going to lie, I was a little turned on - and I'm not attracted to women in that way.  She also f@cks the audience, f@cks the pole and f@cks the music.

So where I am leading you with all the pole f@cking?  Personally, I've spent so much of time AFRAID of the fricken pole, scared of falling off of it, in distrust of my body that I've never been able to f@ck it.  I see this all the time - some of us, we're trying to bust our asses to get new moves to show the pole whose boss instead of hustling it and making it give us what we want.   The pole will provide our every fantasy and desire but we have to let it.  We have to be open to it, we have be gentle and make IT want US.  Yes, I know I'm talking about an inanimate object that has no thoughts or feelings...but still the pole to many dancers embodies challenge.  It doesn't always have to be a challenge.  When do we as dancers gain the confidence to f@ck that pole so good, it won't want anyone else on it?  All of the greats, they don't have to continually prove the pole is their bitch...maybe that's why they're great - they've already made the apparatus their bitch.  Their body is their bitch, the crowd is their bitch - it's all assumed.  There is so much POWER in controlling what you expose to your pole or to your audience.  You don't have to PROVE anything when you're dancing or performing - just show them who YOU are.  What are YOU feeling?  It's all about YOU and YOUR GRATIFICATION!

Tonight, I f@cked the pole.  I don't even know what I did but I know it felt good.  I was in control.  I knew the pole was my bitch, it didn't have a choice.  I finally felt that POWER that trained dancers that I admire and girl crush on have confessed that they feel when the DANCE.  I didn't doubt myself.  I wasn't afraid of a cold piece of steel.  I was in control.

Now, I am realistic enough to know this feeling can only last so long in the ebb and flow of self discovery and self esteem, but for now...f@ck the pole.  Make love to it.  Make IT desire YOU.  TRUST yourself and  your body.  Do what feels GOOD to your body and your pole.  It doesn't matter if you can't do a friggin iron X or some stupid advanced thing...f@ck it like it's johnny Depp and you'll never have the chance to do it again.  It feels good.