Pole Camp… Is that like Band Camp?

2014/02/07 Posted by MsAJL

Straight off, I can clarify that Pole Camp is not like Band Camp. After pole training 5 hours a day for 3 days, there is no energy left for shenanigans. And actually, as a band camper myself, from ages 10 to 20, Band Camp is not really wrought with the shenanigans you might expect either… at least, not in my experience… but who can be everywhere at once… I digress.

It’s been 5 days since I flew home from Perth and although my bruises have healed and my aches subsided, I am still buzzing from this year’s West Australian Pole Camp. My training began on Friday morning with Alex Shchukin’s Flexibility workshop. Although Alex is an amazingly acrobatic, international pole dance champion, I was actually a big fan of him because of his blogging – in particular, his endearingly romantic reason for getting into pole dance and his insightful wisdom on participating in pole competitions.

Andrea James Lui & Anh Le Handstand Middle Splits stretch with Alex Shchukin in Flexibility at West Australian Pole Camp 2014

Handstand on Middle Splits with Alex Shchukin

Andrea James Lui Middle Splits stretch with Alex Shchukin in Flexibility at West Australian Pole Camp 2014

Extreme Stretching with Alex Shchukin

Awesomely enough, he is even more entertaining in real life than he is on the internet! The partner stretching in his Flexibility workshop yielded my favourite photos from the entire weekend (good thing I’ve been working on my middle splits). I didn’t even realize he was doing a handstand on my back during split stretching because my head was buried in my new friend’s crotch (thanks, Anh!) But he really took it to another level when he sat me up for the next stretch – he is in fact, pulling my legs back while pushing me forward with his body. So if you happen to find yourself lying comfortably flat on the floor in your middle splits, then you may be interested in stretching with a partner – preferably a charming bloke with a nice 6-pack to lean on.

Andrea James Lui with Michelle Stanek at West Australian Pole Camp

Master Class with Michelle Stanek

My next workshop was Advanced Pole Tricks with Crystal Lai, who is Canadian like me! It was a relief to see a familiar face – and one, not just from YouTube – because I was otherwise pretty nervous and starstruck. I got over my starstrucked-ness with the the first-ever Miss Pole Dance Canada after training with her last year at what may very well be the greatest pole studio in the country! Thankfully, there were a couple more familiar faces to keep company at camp as well – Fontaine Bradbury, of course, who is basically my Pole Mum as I’ve been training with her since I started a few years ago; and Cleo The Hurricane, whose Rockin’ Legs N Abs Facebook page I’ve been managing. The interesting by-product of spending time with these celebrity pole instructors is that other celebrity pole instructors tend to congregate around them as well – Jamilla Deville, Lou Landers, Maddie Sparkle & Michelle Shimmy, Enchanted… it was all a bit overwhelming!

My afternoon was packed with more tricks – Mixed Tricks Class with Carlie Hunter, Master Class with Michelle Stanek, and Advanced Tricks & Combos/Transitions with Alex Shchukin, again. I could talk about the bruises from Carlie Hunter that day, but they were nothing compared to what I would endure the next day in her Elbow Grips workshop; and frankly, I could write an entire post about how lovely Alex Shchukin is; but for now, I’ll just have to point out how mesmerizing it was just to watch Michelle Stanek move. So, here’s where I began plotting how to get into her Work The Floor! Workshop…

Stay tuned for WA Pole Camp Day 2: Drop ‘Til You’re Dead… For now, watch this (again or for the first time):

One Response to Pole Camp… Is that like Band Camp?

  1. Pingback: Andrea James Lui | WA Pole Camp Day 2: Drop ‘Til You’re Dead

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