Archive for February, 2010

Pole Dancing-101

Tonight marked my first step into the world of pole dancing and I have one thing to say, ouch ouch friggin’ ouch!!  It hurts…and not because I feel like I worked my muscles to the core, but because you’re gripping a pole and spinning around on it and it beats you up!  Tomorrow, I’m going to have bruises in places I don’t think one should have bruises in (inner thighs…hello…damn!). 

We learned three different spins and a few dance moves to go in between those spins to put together a sultry sequence of sorts.  The first step we learned was the basic way to hold the pole, walk around it, and “lose your balance” so you effortlessly spin around the pole.  Once we mastered that, we moved on to a spin.  The first spin we learned was the fireman’s spin.  For this spin, you are gripping the pole with your right hand as you step one foot at a time around the pole (as seductively as you can muster under the pressure of doing your first spin), opposite hand on your hip.  On the fourth step you lift your left leg into the air and fall into the spin while you bring that leg to the pole and raise the right leg to join it as you spin around and down.  The momentum you build up from letting go of your balance and falling into the spin enables you to go around the pole several times with both knees up with minimal effort (poles do spin, but ours were stationary).  I say minimal cuz it is still hard, but in no where NEAR as difficult as some of the stuff I’ve seen these girls do.  She made us do each spin on each side (it is a fitness class as well, so the importance of incorporating both sides of the body is stressed), so after the right side we always switched to the left. 

The next spin we learned was a switch kick spin.  Same concept as the fireman spin.  You walk around the pole, one hand on at first and then you grab the pole with the other hand on the fourth step while you lift and spin your leg around and fall into the spin.  This spin is a little difficult to explain, so just imagine standing still and kicking your legs straight out in front of you, one at a time.  It’s kind of like that, only you’re holding onto and spinning around a pole 🙂 

At this point, our instructor has given myself and the other girl (yeah, there were only two of us daring souls in this teaser class) how great we’re doing and how “excited” she is that we’re doing so well, so she gets all excited to get to teach us a third spin, “You guys are doing so great!  You’re naturals,” she says!  Not sure how I feel about being called a natural on the pole.  So, the last spin she decides to teach us is a wrap around spin.  Again, you walk around the pole with your right hand on it, on your tip toes, other hand on your hip.  On the fourth step, you wrap your right leg around the pole and grab on with your other hand.  You then “lose your balance” into the spin and you position your other leg just below the leg wrapped around the pole.  You spin a couple of times and plant your feet on the floor and raise your booty in the air to stand up. 

That’s it!  Then we did a little cool down and we were done.    At this point, I’m noticing that I’m actually sweating, which makes me think I did get something of a workout.  It is difficult, I will say that.  I have a newfound…ummm, respect…for pole professionals.  Oh, I forgot to mention how dizzy you get!!  We even took “dizzy” breaks.  I remember when I used to dance in high school, you learned how to spot when you did turns…guess I’ve forgotten all those techniques.  I did end up signing up for additional classes…six weeks to be exact.  So we’ll see how it goes!  I wondered on my way home how I was supposed to get any better or practice with no pole at home…but I guess you can buy poles that don’t have to be mounted into your ceiling…portable poles.  Take ’em to the beach!  Maybe some day…

Shannon…out.

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American Idol–My Two Cents

Is it just me, or do the contestants this year seem to be the WORST batch of contestants on American Idol…EVER???  There are a few who I believe do have some potential to become really great:  Lacey Brown (I mention her name mostly because I know of someone in particular who reads my puny little blog and they’re totally rooting for her…you know who you are; but she is pretty good), Crystal Bowersox (although she should lose the dreads and get her teeth whitened and straightened), and Andrew Garcia (my personal fave).  But let’s face it….the rest are all duds!  I had to rewind my DVR several times during some performances to see if it was my speakers, the show’s audio, or the actually contestant themselves who was causing the vocals to sound “pitchy” as Randy would say.  It was the contestant.  There are rumors milling about that Simon Cowell is deliberately sabotaging the show in order to gather more viewers for his new endeavor “X Factor” set to air next year.  Hmmmm…makes sense I guess, but I’m not going to dwell on conspiracy theories.  I just want my AI back!  I want my weekly, two day entertainment!!  Is that too much to ask??  Apparently so.

Nevertheless, the American Idol crappy contestant-inspired site Vote For The Worst is up to its usual antics by encouraging AI voters to…you guessed it…vote for the worst.  The “worst” contestants this season:  Haeley Vaughn and Tim Urban.  Rightfully earned.  Ok, hear me out, while they’re both adorable in their own right, Ms. Vaughn’s adorableness is beginning to wear on my nerves as is her high-pitched talking voice and never-ending smile (the caricature to the right really paints a good picture of both contestants).  Pretty boy Urban should, in my opinion, take heed from one blogger and apologize to AI viewers for his off-key performance of OneRepublic’s hit “Apologize.”

There was neither a girl nor a guy who delivered an unforgettable performance Tuesday or Wednesday night, so really any one of them could have gone home.  To say that the four that were eliminated in last night’s results show (Janell Wheeler, Ashley Rodriquez, Joe Munoz, and Tyler Grady) deserved to go home is a little unfair.  Oh heck…unfairness be darned…they deserved to go home!  Janell, c’mon!  Her performance of Heart’s “What About Love?” was all over the place and so painful to listen to I had to fast forward through it.  Seriously…adding Ann Wilson to the list of singers not to touch-ever-on AI would be a wise thing to do so as to save any and all daring (and stupid) contestants from total embarrassment and, ultimately, elimination.  For “diva” Ashley Rodriguez to attempt a number by one of Simon Cowell’s proteges was also another daring (and stupid) move.  Her attempt at Leona Lewis’ “Happy” (ironically titled, no?) earned her a place next to Janell in elimination row.  Joe Munoz’s performance of  Jason Mraz’s “You and I Both” was OK.  He’s got a good voice…started off shaky but managed to get it together before too long; however, even if you’re an avid AI viewer (like myself) you’re probably muttering the words, “Who’s Joe Munoz,” to yourself right now.  He’s dull.  Boring.  A little David Archuletta resemblance going on there for me, but only in appearance– not vocally– and David’s smile could light the night sky (now that’s adorableness you don’t tire of…well, maybe).  Let’s not forget Tyler Grady.  The Jim Morrison look-a-like contest coordinators can all shut their doors (no pun intended…ha) and send all trophies to Tyler Grady.  However, looks alone will not pull you through American Idol (case and point, Ashely Rodriguez).  His attempt to rock out on stage to Guess Who’s “American Woman” appeared to be more like a nervous twitch and, once again, I found myself fast-forwarding through.

Thus ends another sad and shaky attempt at searching for America’s next pop star…for this week.  Let’s hope next week the remaining 20 can pull it together and actually give fans a reason to continue watching.  So contestants– shake off the dust, Kara–pull up your panties (your husband’s in the audience for goodness sake), and viewers–try to remain open to the possibility of a better week two of live performances; as difficult as that may be.

Side-note:  is it completely weird that I find myself oddly attracted to last season’s runner-up, and openly gay, Adam Lambert?  Seriously!  I find myself watching the video for “Whataya Want From Me” over and over again cuz he’s so yummy!  Completely strange to me considering I couldn’t stand to watch him perform on American Idol during his season.  How’s that work??  Never mind the fact that the guy wears more make-up and nail polish than I do at any given time…he’s smokin’ hot!!

That’s all for now…go ahead, thank God 😮

Shannon…out (has Ryan copyrighted that phrase yet??)

“Mommy, I can’t see the moon!”

Last night as we were making our way home from my in-laws, Sophie said to me, “Mommy, I can’t see the moon!”  She actually has a habit of looking for the moon (and coyotes) when we’re driving at night, so the statement didn’t come as a surprise to me.  I replied to her, “I know, honey, I don’t see the moon either.”  Then she says, “Where is the moon?”  I told her, “Well, sometimes the moon hides behind the clouds at night and then you can’t see it.”  On this particular night, there happened to be not a cloud in the sky, so obviously I was just making up something to tell her that would make sense to her as to why she couldn’t see the moon.  So of course I told her the first thing that came to my mind that I thought she might actually understand.  Much to my surprise, my 2 1/2 (almost) year old daughter is much more perceptive than I had thought and she responded to my statement with, “But Mommy, I don’t see any clouds in the sky.” 

My husband and I looked at each other and started laughing, somewhat quietly; both of us obviously stunned by the astute observational skills our young toddler had just displayed.  She asked again where the moon was and I managed to cease all questions with the response, “The moon is just hiding right now…it does that sometimes.”  We had just played hide and seek at her grandparent’s house, so I figured that answer would suffice.  I’m just not sure that she would have understood moon phases and how the moon is currently in its last quarter and, therefore, does not actually rise in our night sky until around 1-3 a.m.  Perhaps I should have just gone with that……next time.