Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Don't Dance to Escape Life, Dance So Life Doesn't Escape You.- Yours Truly.

Drops and spins of a B-Boy, graceful lines of a ballerina, swagger of a rapper, isolations and sexuality of a belly dancer, creative expression of tribal events all tied together by the missing strings on his Adidas shoes = StanisLove. And after taking one of his classes I fell in love.
I had just finished two back to back pole dance classes and was going home exhausted. I must admit I was not going to take the Jazz Funk class, with Stanis but as soon as the first beat played and I saw the kicks and turns based on ballet combined with the sharpness of jazz I simply had to. How could I possibly say no after seeing choreography blending the both classic and raw aspects of humanity? He combines all these elements while still remaining true to the lyrics of the song. I entered after a couple of minutes and the euphoria felt during the class still lingers in my cells.
If ever you walk into a glamorous dance studio, walk out. They have spent their money on fluff instead of getting true artists ; teachers who will inspire you while giving you an authentic experience. Sugar Dance Studio thankfully understands this. Like every other teacher there, he doesn't just lead, he stand besides you, takes you by the hand and emphasizes the idea that the only wrong way to move is not to do it at all. Pole dance is perfect for discipline and challenging your body to exceed it's limits. Stanisloves' class allowed me to let go of the pole for a bit and freely use my own body as a prop.
Street Jazz is challenging but the warmth and validation he extended took away any self-doubt , the biggest obstacle to truly learning something new. There are no judgements only patience. At one point after missing a step he looked at me and said, “It's ok you are a superstar.” Indeed for the rest of the class I did feel like a superstar as I'm sure did every woman in there. Best part is he does also. Only if you love what you do, can you share it with such enthusiasm.
He doesn't wear tights and dance on point at Lincoln Center.He doesn't have crowded arenas waiting to cheer him on as he pops and locks.He doesn't battle with the best of them on the streets of the Bronx.(YET)But Baryshnikov, James Brown and Run-Dmc would be proud.
Maria V.

Fighter..Things Will Get Brighter

Fighter..Things Will Get Brighter
As a child I was shy and quiet. I had to be. I was not allowed to show the girl I became in my room every Saturday afternoon . As I cleaned, I would watch American Bandstand and Solid Gold. I tried with my little feet to imitate the every move of the dancers I watched. All of us as children are natural born artists.  Play is the work of children and in my mind today should also be the work of adults.  If nurtured properly the artist remains and thrives.  We continue to play regardless of the work we do. Many of us put that artist to sleep. The dragons and fairies we danced with as children are replaced with a dance of security, insecurity, anxiety and  fear. Slowly, the child dies, our spirit dies. We are programmed by society , by family, by friends to stop dancing and start marching to the melody of quiet desperation. The only music we can hear is the funeral hymn of our lullaby dreams.  For many years my little feet stopped moving. The tiny ivory cells of my mind held onto beliefs that I was NOT GOOD ENOUGH and never would be. To this day these beliefs haunt me. They wake me up in the morning and sleep with me at night. They have caused me to stumble , their weight is too heavy on my soul. But, I have aways been a fighter. Even as a child. Regardless of the oppression, I continued my expression, i continued to dance if even only only in my dreams.
As I got older, I ran.  Literally and figuratively. I ran anywhere I could in travel and when I didn’t travel I ran on the cement floors outside, or to dance studios. It was in these dimly lit studios that I could let the brightness of my child out. When the music hit me I felt no pain. I took many different kids of dance classes. Always with a partner leading me. I have been dancing a long time, mostly with the doubts and insecurities that plague many of us. I always depended on that partner to pick me back up. Sometimes, they just stepped right over me, sometimes I had to find my own strength. It was also in these dimly lit studios where I felt oppressed once more. The little girl inside was not perfect enough once again. Or so I perceived others to believe.  So, I’d run to a different studio, hoping to find one where I could be me and be accepted, perfect or not.  I have tried many different dances, this year I discovered pole. No dance partner to depend on.  I also discovered that high school doesn’t really ever end. Friends form and people are ostracized.
One as sensitive as I just doesn’t play in sandboxes anymore. When I began pole , I heard comments I have always heard, Maria why do you do such strange things? Maria what is the point of that? Maria that is a stupid exercise. That is for strippers. In other words, Maria why can’t you be like everyone else? Why? Simple. I am not, nor do I want to be. My child wants to play. But, she also wants to be validated. The adult wants to be strong but she needs others to believe in her potential. Don’t we all?  I didn’t find that in the first studio I went to for pole dance and fitness. I found instead, Maria you can’t do this, don’t try. Maria just follow what I say, I am the teacher.
As a teacher, I know this is detrimental to all , for within all of us is a child. Whoever said that silly rhyme about sticks and stones obviously never had a bruised heart. So, I left that sandbox and tried to find a new “home”. One where perhaps the little girl could feel free without judgement, could play and reach new heights both on the pole and in body and mind. I don’t believe in coincidences, people come into your life always for a reason. In Sugar Dance Studio I found what I was looking for. Validation and gentle pushing to reach my goals. There is no YOU CANT, there is no LOOK AT EVERYONE ELSE, there is no DON”T EVEN TRY IT.  The only words out of the mouths of these instructors are those that slowly awaken the little girl inside of me and slowly help stitch her heart back together. The only judge I have is myself. And yes,I still do it, even in Sugar Dance Studio, however quickly I am reminded by them to respect my body, to listen to it, that I am beautiful, that I can do any move they show me. If not today, then tomorrow. I am reminded that I have to compete with no one but the Me that was there yesterday. Life like pole dancing has been, is a struggle. Once you embrace it, once you find those you can trust to allow you to fall and gently help you back up again, you can be free if even for an hour out of the day.
The other night was an extremely bad one for me. My mind was in a million different places. I am a person whose mind is always rewinding to the past or fast forwarding to the future. Rarely, am I empty. My body was in pain from the invisible illness of Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder. I could have stayed home to sleep with the dreams of the little girl doing pirouettes and spins in her room, or I could have pushed myself to go to Sugar. I went. Somehow. The studio was the same as always. Dimly lit except with the reflection of colors from the strobe light against the walls. The colors usually which seep into my soul and bring me back to life. It didn’t and I failed or so I thought. I went home and messaged my instructor, Dance First, Think Later…It is the Natural Order. Sometimes it’s not that easy. Her response.. FIGHTER…THINGS WILL GET BRIGHTER. So, for those of you who think what is the point of pole dancing?
Am I just working to improve my body? No. Been there, done that. Meditation does not require sitting in a lotus position. It is a state of complete being. Achieving even for a few seconds emptiness. Out of emptiness can come everything. So, this is my meditation. For those of you who doubt your own abilities, for those of you who let fear and insecurity control your life. I understand. I also know that the greatest obstacle are our thoughts and those thoughts we grasp onto can be let go of even in dance. So, you can choose to put the dragons and fairies to sleep or to wake up the child and climb high on that pole.. as you dance with them once again. The key lies in finding that dimly lit studio,those gentle hearts that will welcome you in and believe in you as I have, like Sugar, where you can shine.
Maria Stefanie

Inch by Inch.

I took a deep breath and listend to the old brags of my heart. I am. I am. I am. - Sylvia Plath

The other day at Sugar Dance Studio during the flexibility class, I heard the instructor say Breathe. We often forget to breathe. Forget to breathe? Of course not. If I forgot to breathe wouldn't I suffocate? I breathe all day long. We all breathe all day long. I thought of her words even after class. Later that night I looked down, there was a faded word tattooed on my foot, breathe.I forgot I even had it. I forgot when I got it. I am pretty sure however, the reasons were the same as her message. Who knew that a pole dance studio would lead me to rethink my methods of being.

We do breathe all day long. Without thought. Mindlessly. Our breaths, our very life force is as rapid as the way we live. After all we are a nation of instant gratification, there is no time to listen and pay attention to the old brags of our heart. There is no time to just be. Much of my time has been spent at the gym, pushing dumbbells, or running on concrete. Ad while there is nothing wrong with that, not only did I forget to breathe, I ignored the fact that my muscles also needed to do so. Stretching was never included, the workout had to be done. Get it over with so I could go do some other mindless activity as long as there was no empty space. Perhaps, for many of us that is a bit scary.

Besides pole dancing, I have tried flexibility this year at Sugar Dance Studio. I have run 60k marathons, destination – finish line , a medal (which I have since forgotten where I placed it) and an extremely tense and rigid mind and body. Watching my instructor and the way she seems to be in complete unison with her own body, I realize that I have done more harm than good. Not only have I not listened to my breath to bring me to a deeper relaxed state, I never listened to a body that was just tired of pounding on pavements without giving breath and blood flow to the muscles that were performing the activity.

One's emotional state can be seen in their flexibility. The more relaxed you are, the more you can open yourself up. The more you can open yourself up in stretching, the more you open up emotionally. Like life it is a cycle. Living mindlessly many of us skip the conception and go straight to birth with our running shoes on. I am by far one of the least flexible member of my class. Years spent running so I didn't have to sit and just be, while respecting my body have made sure of that. But, with the help of the instructors of Sugar Dance Studio and some patience, inch by inch I am getting looser, a bit more relaxed. I am trying to open myself up more in mind, body and spirit.
Maria Vinciguerra

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

10 Myth about Pole Dancing

 1. I need to do the perfect split to be good at pole dancing

There are so many spins and poses that don’t require a split at all, and your dance routine will still look stunning and graceful. There are other poses where a split on the pole is just literally a visual trick. You get into a pose at an angle that looks like a perfect split regardless of your flexibility level. Moreover, you will be able to develop and improve flexibility practicing pole dancing.

2. I need the upper body strength to start practicing pole dancing

It’s the same if you say, “I have to have a strong upper body to start going to the gym.” Does not it make sense, right? You come to pole dancing to develop your upper body strength! Remember, you work with your own weight here, and it will take a couple of weeks for you to get comfortable with that. Be consistent and dedicated, and you will see a tremendous progress.

3. I must take an 8-week beginner course before I start to invert

Eight weeks will not make your inversion easier if you never practiced it. Inverting usually takes a few classes to get comfortable with. Why wait?! There are some people capable of inverting in the first class. Maybe it’s you! Why wait eight weeks to try? Start working on your inversion today!

4. Before trying to pole dance with heels on, I have to practice a minimum of half a year barefoot

It is a little harder to pole dance with heels on but once a certain move becomes comfortable to you, it is not a bad idea to try it on heels. The earlier you start, the less of a shocker it will be later.

5. Pole dance is for gymnasts 

Is gym for bodybuilders? Is pool for professional swimmers only? You get the idea: pole dancing is for Everyone! Even though you’ll see a lot of ex-gymnasts and former ballet dancers amongst pole dancing instructors, people who never did any sport achieved a lot with enough consistency and passion.

6. I can’t do pull ups so I won’t be able to do pole dancing

Good news! Once you are able to do pole dancing ( and you will!), you will be able to do pull-ups! Moreover, pole dancing is not just about pulling your body up to the pole. It’s about about spins, transitions, fantasy, sensuality, flirt. Doing all that fun stuff without a great effort, you will notice the positive changes in your strength after just a month.

7. Pole dancing is for strippers

Pole dancing is a trendy and  innovative type of fitness for everybody. From recent moms to grandmothers, from teachers to accountants, women of all backgrounds love pole dancing. Do a simple Google search to see how many celebrities took a pole class and loved it!  Why? Because pole is a fun exercise that delivers noticeable results fast.

8. Pole dancing is for young people

Most pole dancing studios allow practice pole dancing from 18 years old and over. The majority of the crowd ranges from 20s to 50s. However, many places open classes for kids as a gymnastics alternative. Moreover, there was a 70-year-old lady from California all over the news exploring pole dancing techniques. If she can do it, you CAN too.

9. Pole dance is for skinny people

X-pole suggests weight limitation up to 220lb but you will always see the internet videos with people heavier than that, and they rock !!!There are also fun pictures with 5 girls on the pole with the total weight over 600 lbs. So, don’t worry about the pole holding your body, focus on you holding on to the pole! Here is one of the inspiring videos for you  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRThK7xxCXc&feature=fvwrel  (thumbs up for the girl!)

10.  If I take a class, everyone will find out and criticize me 

Pole dancing studios are very strict about privacy of their students if you don’t want people to find out. Generally, no photos or videos of you are allowed or released without your consent. Feel free to ask if you are uncertain.

Sugar Dance Studio - Pole Dancing Studio in Brooklyn NY
1310 Kings Highway 3fl, Brooklyn NY 11229
Where Dance, Beauty, and Confidence are Inseparable.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

How Pole Dancing Improves Your Body?


Everyone knows how hard it is to get rid of those love handles, round tummy, and excessive fat on thighs!

All pole dancing inversions involve the contraction of the lower stomach muscles. Most of the static moves require placing the pole on the waistline, massaging of which makes it thinner and more pronounced. Climbing burns cellulite on your thighs.

Saggy arms can be a problem for any of the body types. A lot of routine gym exercise is needed to maintain the nice-looking arms.  
Pole exercise immediately tightens all the arm muscle types . The good thing is that you don’t have to repeat the same exercise over and over. No matter what move you perform, your arm workout is taken care of.

With the fast pace of a day, it is hard to maintain a correct posture. Bad posture leads to heavy walk and backaches.

Pole dancing strengthens your core muscles, giving more support to your spine and more control to your body.
Sugar Dance Studio - Pole and Exotic Dance Studio in Brooklyn NY
1310 Kings Highway 3fl, Brooklyn NY 11229
Where Dance, Beauty, and Confidence are Inseparable.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why Pole Dancing is GOOD for YOU

Remember one of those scenarios happening almost every day and making you feel guilty?

1.   You were in a rush to cook or wait in a restaurant, so you picked up a …                                                   
2. You were stressed and decided to treat yourself for some …
3.  To stimulate the brain activity you unexpectedly ate the whole…

4. After a long working day you decided to relax and…
Each of those innocent weaknesses was around to 500 Cal!
To burn it, you can:

Jog one loop around Central Park or…

 Clean your entire house and wash the piled dishes or…

Go for a 7 hour shopping spree

Shopping would be nice but where to get all this money??


P.S. And it surely costs less than 7 hours of shopping!
P.P.S. It can also leave you more satisfied than shopping!
P.P.P.S. Pole dancing gives you something that lasts for many years – strength and great body!

Sugar Dance Studio - Pole Dancing Studio in Brooklyn NY
1310 Kings Highway 3fl, Brooklyn NY 11229
Where Dance, Beauty, and Confidence are Inseparable.

[1] * Depending on intensity of moves and your weight , you can burn even more Calories

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Flexibility Training classes

Flexibility Training Classes-
Your Split is FINALLY Possible!

Sugar Dance Studio is pleased to announce the opening of the long awaited Flexibility Training Classes. During a 60-minute class you will effectively stretch the muscles of your back, stomach, arms, and legs. The set of challenging but effective moves and poses assembled from the stretching routines of gymnasts and martial art fighters is designed to benefit you no matter what level of flexibility you currently have. It will soon let you expand your bodily abilities and go beyond the physical boundaries you thought you had.

Why Flexibility Classes are Good for You:

- Improve your body control for sexier, smoother, and more graceful moves;

- Make your muscles elastic, toned, and resistant to injuries;

- Facilitate your blood circulation for healthier, toxin-free, and younger skin;

- Burn a ton of calories.

The flexibility class at Sugar Dance Studio is one hour of self-discovery and self-improvement. With the lights dimmed, you are really focused on yourself and your own pursuit of perfection. Slow paced and meditation-like atmosphere allows your mind to isolate the groups of muscles and understand their unique behavior. You will be pleased to witness your own progress and body improvement as you make stretching a part of your regular routine. And, as usual, from Sugar Dance Studio you can expect encouragement, support, and acceptance of you for who you are.

How Much?

We want to make the class as affordable as possible. So one hour of flexibility class costs $12 with the yoga mat included in the price.

Does it go any cheaper?

Yes! It costs just $10 if You take pole dancing class the same day.

What to wear?

Wear something that does not constrain your movements; ideally, yoga pants, leggings or shorts with a top.

Still in doubts?

You might have some excuse in your head such as:
-“I am not young anymore to be flexible,”
-“My muscles can not stretch and I can not tolerate pain,”
-“I will look clumsy and stupid,”
-“I have no time,”
-“I can always stretch at home when I want.”

Before letting these or similar excuses stop you from taking a flexibility class, think WHAT IS THE PRICE OF better, stronger, healthier, and happier You? What is the price of you finally having that perfect body? What is the price of someone saying “Wow! You are so flexible!”? What is the price of you seeing yourself in the mirror and being satisfied? Will you let the fear of pain or fear of other people stop you?

Sugar Dance Studio - Pole and Exotic Dance Studio in Brooklyn NY
1310 Kings Highway 3fl, Brooklyn NY 11229
Where Dance, Beauty, and Confidence are Inseparable.