This week has been an interesting one when it comes to pole because I was rehearsing for a pole performance on an x stage lite. Normally I train / rehearse at home or in the pole studio, but the studio I go to doesn’t have a freestanding pole and my ceilings at home are not tall enough. This meant that I had to cart my x pole lite, weighing 70 kilos, up 2 flights of stairs in an unfamiliar venue in order to rehearse. Talk about a warm up! Sure it would be easier to just rehearse with a regular floor to ceiling pole, but if I know I’m performing on an x pole lite I have to rehearse with one. It’s a psychological thing! I mean, I don’t mind choreographing without a specific pole, but I think it is good to use it as often as possible throughout the process, particularly if you use the floor area just as much as the aerial space around the pole.
Anyway, as this piece was already fully choreographed I ran through it twice and I practiced my climbs, layaways, knee hooks and inverts for the rest of the time. My climbs and inverts are beginning to feel a little bit easier recently, so if you’re struggling with these moves at the moment do not give up hope. Keep trying. It will get better.
On another note, rehearsing with the right pole is all good and well but it will never prepare you for lighting which is something that I noticed during my performance on Sunday; the complete blackout of the audience, the strobe lighting and the multiple spins made me lose my sense of direction. I doubt the audience would’ve noticed anything because they don’t know the routine so it’s ok. But if this ever happens to you the best thing to do is to just fix it as soon as possible by recognizing where you have gone wrong, in my case I had landed facing the back rather than the front so I just did a couple of steps to get me facing the front and then I sped up a few counts of the following movement to ensure I was in time with the music. I remember another time where I was performing a physical theatre piece and my sense of direction just went blank. Not fun, but it happens and it’s nothing to get upset about.
Do you practice with specific performance poles or are you good either way?