Embracing Learning

This past weekend was a whirlwind! As a rare occurrence I taught all day Saturday. And as a fun (but hectic) perk, on Sunday I ended up in Toronto for a couple of workshops with Steven Retchless.

Retchless

Now, to tell you the truth, it’s not as if I had been waiting my whole life to take workshops with Steven. But the sporadic trip was great. As an instructor, I spend half of my time planning & programming- for both myself and my clients. Shutting off my mind while working out is a rare thing.

But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s nice to put your trust into another person, turn off your mind, and do as your told. And that’s exactly what I did. I put all of my knowledge aside and hoped for an ass kicking… and I got one.

The workshops I took were Flow & Dominatrix. Going into the sessions I had an inkling as to what they would be… I was way off.

First off, let me tell you my two favorite things about Steven:

 

  1. He teaches with sound effects- as every single one of my clients know, I am a firm believer that sound effects make life fun. So I was pretty won over when Steven started making ninja noises while teaching
  2. He made me do things I hated- this is a quality I expect of all teachers. I should always be pushed harder in a workshop/class then I would push myself on my own. And this workshop was no exception. As the warm up included over head squats, I knew it was going to be pretty great.

 

Now, pole workshops are a funny thing. Not only do you have a large group of cocky, open minded people, but you have limited time (just ninety minutes) to teach them something great. This is a short time span to properly introduce more than one-two moves.

So the first class began. As it turns out, Steven is a firm believer in spending thirty minutes warming up and doing conditioning exercises before getting into the goods. Off the bat, I was slightly put out by this- only sixty minutes left to get to the actual content?! But, remembering the desire of shutting off my mind I went with it- and it was fantastic.

Action Shot

Steven’s conditioning included all the things I never do- because I hate them- but should do. It’s not often I get the opportunity to have my ass handed to me and focus on all the small things specific to pole dancers. On top of that, by the time we got onto the pole I was so bendy I felt like I could lift anything.

Steven’s overall teaching style is awesome. He playful, joking, and well rehearsed with his moves. He does not look down upon you when you stumble (or epically fail) at the move in question but instead, seeks to help.

Way back in the day I judged workshops based on how many “new moves” they were able to teach me- a pretty high standard in itself. Thankfully, my focus has since changed and I appreciate learning to transition into the moves more and more. Transitions for me are a weak spot, and require completely different strength.

From the two workshops I took, Steven was able to balance out both the tricks as well as the flow nicely. I came out of the workshops sweaty, flexi, pole kissed & with burning muscles- which is a rare event. On top of that my head was spinning with inspiration of all the moves I couldn’t wait to try again.

Pole Kisses

Pole Kisses

By the time I got on the train home, my body was exhausted (as it should have been!) but mentally I was bouncing off the walls. It’s not often I’m allowed to let someone else take over during my workout. To put the thought, planning and detail into another person’s hands, for even a short hour is a blissful thing & allowed me to accomplish so much more.

So was my weekend insane? Definitely. Did I struggle to teach on Monday because I was still so sore? Unbelievably. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Happy Learning Polers ๐Ÿ™‚