Chinese Handsprings

I just had a really great set of practices doing multiple practices at both Allure Dance Studio and Secret Dance Studio. When you first start pole dancing, the new moves come at you really fast. Later on it takes longer to master the more difficult moves. Today I finally did a Chinese Handspring – marked on the Pole Dance Dictionary as an Expert move!! I am not sure if this really qualifies as the “Double Diamond” difficulty of pole dancing but it does open up a whole new world of transitions. To do a handspring, you stand on one side of the pole with a sideways grip, one hand low and one hand high, and lift up into an invert. Finally all those ab crunchs are paying off! I had been trying this move for a while with a variety of different grips on either side and kept stalling half way up. For me the trick was to put my strong arm low, and focusing less on my arms and more on just getting my leg up and over the leg as if I was hooking into a butterfly pose. In fact Jame who was teaching the class didn’t even tell me to do a handspring, just said hook your foot and I did it. Once you get up there you can extend your butterfly, drop into an inverted straddle, or close into a leg hook around your knee. I just like how big and open the invert looks. The version I am doing looks closest to the doubles move below.

Double Handspring
Double Handspring
Handspring (twisted grip)
Handspring (twisted grip)
Twisted Monkey
Twisted Monkey

Jame has taken over Orlee’s Inversions University at Allure on Sundays. She likes to challenge us with tricky inversion combos but I am pretty sure I could not have done this without Orlee hammering in the inversion basics and doing those crazy plank workouts for months earlier this year. After finishing at Allure with Jame I then headed over Candace’s class at Secret where she helped me iron out the kinks so I could keep my balance once I am upside down. It was a great back to back.

The one scary part of the of the day was at the end of class with Candace. After practicing inverts all day, I thought it was time to try a spin. So I tried to go big on a one-armed body spiral (http://poledancedictionary.com/moves/249/corkscrew/) when suddenly the entire pole comes crashing down like a felled tree. Most pole are not acutally screwed in but are held up by tension between the floor and ceiling. Somehow this pole lost all grip on on the ceiling. Luckily I was way out on the pole hanging on with just one arm so I could jump free and it fell towards the center of studio where no one was standing. It was still a shock. I have had my pole at home feel wobbly when I didn’t set it up properly but never at one of the studios. Plus I had been dancing on it for over an hour at this point. Candace was super professional quickly making sure everyone was ok and getting the equipment cleared away. Later on I was contacted by Diamond, the owner of the studio, who wanted to make sure I was safe and try to investigate what happened. Our best guess is that someone tampered with the wrong set screw earlier in the day when trying to convert the pole from static to spin pole. I would like to think it was not because I weigh too much 🙂 Still I wasn’t going to let that incident spoil a fantastic day on the pole.

Now I don’t have any video of my pole fail, but one of my friends posted this compilation of top 35 pole fails on Youtube. Isn’t that what Youtube is for? Showing people falling on their heads, ass, and everything in between.  There are some epic pole fails, most of which result from not securing your pole at home.  You can see them coming before they even touch the pole.  My one disclaimer is that most of these fails are on cheaper imitation poles (not x-poles) and most fails are at home not in professional studios where this sort of thing very rarely happens.

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