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An Instructors Perspective of the Studio Feature Video Shoot

For this week’s post in our series about our time with Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov, we voluntold one of our lovely pole and aerial instructors, Clare Burton, to write a piece for us. We also have the perfect video clip to accompany this post on our instagram feed. Make sure to check it out with the sound on. Here’s Clare’s experience of our studio feature video shoot.

Although I knew who Kira and Evgeny were before they arrived, I feel as though I didn’t wholly appreciate the opportunity to learn from them until I was in their presence. I distinctly remember watching both of them practicing before our workshop began and getting chills. The precision, flexibility, and strength took my breath away. As a trained dancer, I noticed these attributes immediately and realized how much I could gain by attending these workshops. All three workshops I attended were hard work, but I came away with a new appreciation for what I am capable of. It’s a never-ending journey of discovery that pole dance has to offer!

When Demetra told us about the video they would be creating for us, I knew this would be a fantastic way for the instructors (including me) to showcase the best of what we offer. Even though I’ve been involved in music videos and similar projects in the past, there’s nothing quite like the experience of hearing “Just one more time!” or “Again!” over and over. Both Kira and Evgeny were committed to producing the best video they could and consistently brought new ideas and angles for us to try.


Kira Noire assisting Clare Burton during the Aradia Fitness Calgary Feature Video Shoot

As I completed my solo shot for the video, featuring my favourite flexibility move, Allegra, I was challenged by them to attempt it with straight legs (which I had not achieved before). Kira pushed and pushed until finally, it was a perfect split. I was so unbelievably happy I was able to complete the move and have it captured in our video! When the final product was released, I could barely contain my excitement. I was bursting with pride for my fellow instructors and my studio. It was a fantastic experience to work with both Kira and Evgeny, two incredible professionals who will always be remembered by us all.


Preparing for the Aradia Fitness Calgary Feature Video Shoot

Thanks for following our journey as we reflect on our recent experiences with Kira and Evgeny. This week we get to share all the excitement in planning the feature video we filmed and then premiered on October 1, 2019. 

(If you’re joining us now, and wanting to catch up on the full story, check out part 2 on why we wanted Kira and Evgeny as guest instructors.)

In thinking back, I remember the feeling of being on cloud nine when we received confirmation of the approved visas for Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov (from Immigration Canada)! It didn’t take long for reality to sink in that I had to get serious about planning and executing the Aradia Fitness Calgary video shoot. Although Evgeny was prepared to bring over all the required equipment to shoot the video, I still had to come up with the inspiration and overall plan. 

The Purpose. Ultimately, my goals for producing the feature video were to: 

  1. Share with our followers how truly amazing our team is.
  2. Make our current students feel proud to be a part of the Aradia Fitness Calgary community.
  3. Encourage men and women to try pole and aerial as well as to join our family. 

This required careful thought, creative inspiration, and a well thought out plan to work!

The Music. My first step was to listen to music. Although it helps get my creativity to flow, finding music that speaks to me is difficult. Picking the right music for the video was especially challenging because copyrights and licensing requirements limited my options. I easily listened to over 150 songs, one that would be inspiring, but with softer sections complemented by edgy dynamics. I wanted the music to motivate people to feel strong and confident, while also having a bit of a sexy feel to it.

Finding the right song helped me to answer the question, “What defines Aradia Fitness Calgary and what do we stand for?”. I tried to bring the answer to life in our video; inclusiveness, community, family, professionalism, encouragement, knowledge through experience and training, and (most importantly) that we love sharing our passion with others. 

The Preparation. Planning what to showcase in the video was the next step. I envisioned a mixture of beginner to advanced combos and tricks to highlight what new and existing students could experience with us. In preparation for the video shoot, planned during Evgeny’s visit, we organized a practice the Monday night prior. We then drafted a list of moves and combos for Kira and Evgeny to review when they arrived. 

Arriving on Wednesday, Evgeny asked to see the studio as soon as possible, so he could have a better idea of what he was working with. There was a moment in the studio when he looked at me and said, “I’m going to climb the truss and video your team from the top.” Our truss for our aerial equipment stands at eighteen feet – and since we are conscious about safety – I told him I would get Monika (our resident climber and rigger) to bring in her climbing gear. He looked at me like I had two heads! 🙂

Evgeny Greshilov crouched on top of an aerial truss filming the aradia fitness calgary feature video

Luckily, Evgeny did not drop a camera on us 😉

I continued to brainstorm ideas with Kira and Evgeny over Wednesday and Thursday. We were able to come up with a final draft (even with Ari, the puppy, interrupting and demanding Evgeny’s attention). We had confidence in the plan, and we were prepared to adapt as the shoot progressed. 

The Video Shoot. Friday arrived, and it was GO time! Evgeny and Kira were unbelievable. Evgeny was able to shoot 78 takes in less than four hours, a testament to their talents. Kira was always ready with adjustments and ideas to change up a section and Evgeny had us repeat takes until the shots and angles met his vision.

Kira Noire helping to pose the instructors of Aradia Fitness Calgary for their feature video shoot.

Kira posing some of the instructors.

I cannot explain how genuinely thankful I am that we had this once in a lifetime experience. We were so incredibly lucky to shoot our feature video with the guidance of two of the best pole athletes in the world!


Why We Wanted Kira and Evgeny as Guest Instructors

This blog is part two of a series about our time with Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov in July 2019. Here is the link to catch up on part 1, “Connecting Kira and Evgeny with Aradia Fitness Calgary“.

When I was deciding on who to bring to Aradia Fitness Calgary, there were a lot of things I needed to take into consideration. 

  1. What styles were most popular?
  2. What skills did we (the instructors) collectively need or want to work on?
  3. Which pole athletes (those who hadn’t been to Canada before) could bring the most value to students.  

All guest instructors we’ve brought to Calgary in previous years showcase amazing skills and are genuinely unbelievable instructors. However, some athletes seem unattainable because of all the red tape to get them into Canada. I wondered, “Should I take the risk and try to get it done?”. I decided it was worth the extensive hours of work and expense to achieve it. The pole athletes at the top of my list were Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov.

Kira started pole dancing in 2008, with no previous gymnastics or professional dance background, but her passion for pole was instant. After two years of practicing, she started to teach and compete in Russia, Europe, and then globally. In 2015, she partnered with Evgeny Greshilov in doubles competition. In 2017, the two of them started working with the biggest Russian Dance-Circus show at Leningrad Centre as pole artists. Kira now travels most of the year as a performer, judge, and instructor. Her awards include (but are not limited to): Winner of Pole Classic 2016 (Pole Expo), Ultimate Champion at IPC 2015 in doubles (Hong Kong), and Winner of Pole Art Cyprus 2014. 

Although her awards are impressive, what drew me to Kira was her dance ability and musicality. Exotic (Russian style) was something I was currently training in, and she is one of the best in the world. The technical aspects of it are difficult to master and, knowing our students loved this genre; I thought it was a no brainer. This would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for students and instructors to receive some of the best instruction on musicality, lines, pointe work, and seamless movement, melting from one to the next. If she accepted the invitation to Calgary, I knew her workshops would be in high demand.

Evgeny is a world-famous athlete who has changed the vision of male pole dancing. He started his career as a pole athlete in 2010, becoming a Russian triple champion in less than one year. In the spring of 2011, Evgeny won the male category of the Aerial Pole International and, by the fall, achieved the title of World Champion at the World Pole Sport & Fitness Championship in Budapest, Hungary. He became the first Male World Pole Champion in history. He continued to amaze and excite the pole community by becoming a three-time World Pole Champion and a seven-time International Pole Champion (among other achievements). Evgeny is so precise in his instruction that I couldn’t resist bringing them both! He honestly can get anyone into anything. He is that talented. 

Evgeny is also the founder and co-owner of the online school Open Dance Academy. To add to his long list of talents, Evgeny is a pole videographer, and I had followed his work for several years.  

I took a leap and reached out to both Kira and Evgeny, in hopes they would respond to my request and accept the invitation to come to Calgary. Thankfully, the gamble paid off. Kira Noire and Evgeny Greshilov were coming to Calgary!

Also, a dream of mine was that one day we would have the fortune of having Evgeny shoot and produce a video for us. When we announced the video shoot to our instructors, they were ecstatic! They knew this was a once in a lifetime experience, and we couldn’t contain our excitement.

This was going to be an unforgettable experience! 


Kira and Evgeny with their Calgary host Ari the puppy

Kira and Evgeny with their Calgary host Ari the puppy.

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