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Student Spotlight – Leah

Our Student Spotlight for October 2019 is our amazing student Leah!

Every other month we spotlight an Aradia Fitness Calgary student who we feel embodies our community of positive, supportive, powerful, and fabulous men and women. Just about every day of the week, Leah can be found at our studio dancing on the pole, spinning on the Lyra, or flying on the silks. She is an absolute natural; her progress has been outrageous. Leah works so hard and always shows support and encouragement to her peers. Here is her story.

Where are you from?

I was born in Manitoba, but Calgary is essentially my home town!

What is your favourite past-time? (Besides pole of course, haha)

Leah’s paintings

It’s more than a pastime but I love painting and drawing! I am in my last year of art school, working towards my BFA in Drawing. I am also working on my Certification in Women’s Counselling and would love to find a way to incorporate the two in my future career.

What do you love the most about pole and aerial?

I love that it’s such a well-rounded means of getting healthier. The creative nature of the sport makes you reconnect with yourself and your body in such a unique way. I love that my fitness goals are no longer centered around aesthetic achievements that would often leave me feeling discouraged and ready to fall out of routine. Now I’m just focused on what I am capable of and the journey is so exciting, rewarding, and addictive! I also feel really supported and encouraged by the community, and am really honoured to be part of such an amazing group of people at Aradia and the pole community in general.

What is your favourite class at Aradia? What is your favourite move?

My favourite pole move lately is jade split! It’s one of the first moves I saw that I was really enamoured with, so it’s been really satisfying to work towards. It’s tough to choose a favourite class, I love my regular levelled pole classes because that’s where I see the most of my improvements and always learn something new! But I also love getting into my 8-inch platforms and doing Exotic Flow classes. I also like how restorative Aerial Flow is after a weeks’ worth of exhausting pole/silks/lyra classes.

What motivates you to keep coming to your classes consistently?

I would really like to try competing one day! As a kid I did vaulting competitively (for those who don’t know, vaulting is gymnastics on a moving horse. Yes, my mom liked putting me in unconventional sports lol) so I kind of missed competing and performing now that I’ve found a sport I absolutely love. It’s also just so easy to want to keep taking classes consistently. There’s a variety of different classes to take throughout the week and almost every day has a bit of something for everyone.

When did you start coming to Aradia Fitness?

I started at Aradia in May 2019 after living a very sedentary student life for multiple years and it has been exactly what I needed! Now I’m there almost every day and take multiple classes a day if I can, I wish I started sooner.

What surprised you about pole and aerial fitness?

I was surprised by how painful so many graceful and lovely looking moves were. It just goes to show how conditioned and powerful pole dancers really are both physically and mentally to make such intense moves look effortless. It’s a good feeling when previously painful positions become easier.

Why should someone join Aradia Fitness and start their pole and aerial journey today?

Pole and aerial sports have so much to offer, whatever it is you’re looking for! You will improve on whatever you perceive your weaknesses to be, and will find new strengths. The people at the studio come from all walks of life and everyone is very accepting and inclusive. I always leave the studio feeling inspired and energized (also very eager to come back). The atmosphere at Aradia is amazing and the classes are so fun and challenging! The studio is bright and beautiful, and the instructors and fellow students make it such a special and welcoming place. It’s improved my mental and physical health, and just my life in general drastically and I’m so thankful for Aradia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Spotlight – Victoria

Every second month Aradia Fitness Calgary features an outstanding student in our Student Spotlight. Our Student Spotlight Superstar for August 2019 is Victoria!  She took her first class at Aradia Fitness Calgary in January of 2019. Like many others, she became instantly hooked.  It is a rare day that Victoria is not in the studio dancing and flying.

Victoria has been a fearless student. She was a brand new beginner and yet dove right into the pole and aerial lifestyle; trying absolutely everything from pole to silks, and Lyra to aerial hammock!

Thank you for being a part of the Aradia family, Victoria. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Where are you from?

I am from Toronto, Ontario.

Tell us about your life outside of pole – what are your favourite things?

Aradia Fitness Calgary Student Victoria on a paddle board wearing a life jacket.

Another one of Victoria’s favourite past-times, the paddle board!

I used to burn calories by going out to paddle board.

What do you love the most about pole? How does it make you feel?

Pole dancing accomplishes so many things at once, which I love! I don’t have to go to another form of fitness as it’s got the good core and upper body strength builder, as well as cardio and flexibility. I find all the classes really empowering!

Screen shot of students' instagram story expressing joy over the success of a move

She got it!

What is your favourite class at Aradia? What is your favourite move?

The exotic dance classes. I love exotic because the classes include flexibility, strength, and, of course, a lot of dancing. It doesn’t mean I can dance but I love it. Most part, I get to wear those heels!

As for my favorite move, I like to nominate body waves?! The move that includes waving the body towards and away from pole. I think it’s the most sensual move. I don’t have the body wave yet but I love it. Love and hate relationship.

What motivates you to keep coming to class?

For me accomplishment motivated me to come to classes consistently. When you succeed in something great that you never really thought you are possible to get a move or pose and when you do, you want that consistent great feeling awarding you.

When did you start coming to Aradia Fitness?

My very first Pole intro class was January 24, 2018 with Angela. After my very first class, I left feeling energized, empowered, and confident.

Student spotlight Victoria showing off an outside ankle hook on the pole

Outside Anke Hook!

What surprised you about pole and aerial fitness?

It is much harder than it looks!!!!! Pole dancing may look like it’s all about dance/attitude but it actually requires a lot of strength. 

Why should someone join Aradia Fitness and start their pole and aerial journey today?

Pole is an awesome work out! Pole dancing is great combination for all the possible training that are out there. Personally, I find pole classes are great for people who want to have fun while building strength. Plus, it’s a nice studio filled with fun instructors and friendly people. And please, don’t forget about Lyra and silks. I heart aerial fitness! It’s like you’ve got it all right here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four (real) Reasons You’re Not Progressing

In every athletic and strength-based endeavour, it is possible to hit a plateau. The plateau is a decrease in the progress of your results from your regular training. Plateaus can happen at any point (in our case, in any level), multiple times, and for a multitude of reasons. Plateaus happen to everyone, but not everyone knows how to address them or put in a system to work through them. Here are four real reasons you’re not progressing and some tips on how to move through the block.

1. Foundations and Technique

Building solid foundations and taking the time to perfect technique from the beginning will make your practice better and keep you progressing consistently. If you’re feeling stuck, step back, see if there is anything you can do to improve technique and foundational movements. It’s very easy to get through certain things without proper technique. It does catch up with you eventually, though.

Training specific movements is one of the keys to bettering fluidity in pole, whether you are working on tricks or dance. It may feel repetitive, but something is never “perfect”, it only gets better. This means there is always room for improvement, and a great way to keep your practice moving forward is to practice and better the basics.

2. You avoid your weaknesses

A lot of people tend to avoid weaknesses and stick to what we are good at. This will also eventually catch up with you. If you’re bad at a cradle spin for example, and you don’t understand the technique of properly using your arms to perform a push-pull motion, you’ll be held back from some of the more advanced moves, that let’s be honest, everyone wants (Ayeshas anyone?). So, you will have to work on this weakness. If you are weak at a particular type of grip, work on that. Do some extra training for your arms if you find your upper body is weak. If your core is weak, spend more time on the ground and do your conditioning. Anything that feels difficult and impossible should not be avoided. You’ll get it if you work towards it.

Women in black two piece does handstand against a pole with stag legs

3. Your goals are not refined enough

Refining your goals and setting them properly will ensure you keep progressing. If you are only using your levels to track your progress, you are going to plateau. You are so focused on the level that you don’t see the fundamentals you need to build, and you may potentially skip over them. It is possible to only use strength, or flexibility to obtain moves to a certain point. In some cases, you can use improper engagement and perform the trick – but this leads to injury eventually. Set some measurable goals for your strength and flexibility. How many push-ups can you do? How long can you hold a hollow body position? Can you do a proper handstand? If you run out of endurance in class, do something more cardio-based like dancing, a circuit class, or dare I say it, go for a run.

4. Overtraining/Under Recovering

If you exceed your bodies ability to recover from strenuous work, performance can decrease. It can also happen from monotonous training where your body adapts to what you are doing and plateaus. Cross-training and adding some additional classes that get your body moving differently can really help. If your energy is low, you’re sore all the time, getting injured a lot, you need to rethink your regime. Do you need more downtime for your muscles to recover between intense or long training sessions/days? Are you sleeping and eating enough to keep up with the energy demands?

There are so many more details we could go into, especially for each individual. We all lead different lives, have different strengths and weaknesses, and have different goals. The important thing is to be aware when you’re struggling and keep taking care of yourself. Find what works for you outside of your classes to help you in your classes. Progressing is important – do it safely and in a well planned way so you and your body stay happy.

 

Train smarter to do harder things.

Monika

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