Put The Camera Away

Now I may be about to contradict myself here a little… I go on and on about how helpful it is to use photos and videos to see how you are getting on with your moves, and how you can improve. Sometimes I’ll get a move right 2 out of 5 times and need to watch myself back to see what I do with my body that makes the move work.

And it really helps. I can figure out where my limbs are in relation to where they need to be and get better and better.

And Then It Went Downhill

It seems now that I may have gone too far. I’m not really one for selfies (I can’t pose and aim at the same time!) and only last year started sharing my pole pics. Learning on my own the more moves I tried, the more I had to film in order to see how they looked. I wanted to know if my transitions were smooth and if I was lifting or swinging into moves. I did (and still do) find filming moves very helpful.

The problem I have is that I started to do moves in order to prove I could do them by taking a picture. Obviously I did these moves because I wanted to learn them but would manage to do them once and quickly get the phone out to film another in case it was a fluke. Luckily, for the most part I could do it a second time. When I watch videos back of moves that are new to me, I look like Bambi trying to wriggle round the pole and hold on for dear life! The key I found was to pose in said move long enough for my limbs to be still. Going back to the video, I would take a screen shot and immediately send it to my partner.

He only gets one impression – the impressive still image of me holding moves I’ve been trying to work on, with out seeing the (sometimes literal) blood, sweat and tears that went into getting there in the first place.

The Problem

Getting any new move is amazing and I’m super happy about that! The problem I have is that I almost trick myself into believing that I can effortlessly get into and out of these moves. I cross them off my to do list and move on.

I cleared some memory on my phone last night and found pictures of moves that I didn’t realise I had managed to do! I’ve been working on my flexibility to get my Machine Gun for a while now, and as if by magic there was my Machine Gun picture on my phone for all to see! Again now I think about it, this was not a pretty entrance and I’m sure I fell out of it, but who knew I even got close to it!!


I do encourage people to film themselves to see what they are doing, how they can improve and what they are doing well. I love it when people are brave enough to do it (I hate watching my attempts back!) The only thing I would say – because I do it as well – is when you’ve finished your move, put that blooming phone down. I’ve had people spend more time watching themselves back on the phone than actually getting on the pole. A new phrase I used last night is ‘an empty pole is a sad pole!’

I find my training frustrating. I’ll try and do a shoulder mount plank or a shark (first ever pic attached – I was not straight!)  and need to film in order to see what body parts I need to move and how to straighten out further. So I then watch it back and try again. I then watch that back and try again… it goes on and on! It is helpful to see, but sometimes I know that I need to work on my strength rather than watching the videos.

I got to the point where I’d film moves thinking ‘this would look cool if I could put it on Facebook’ rather than happening to film a great move and then deciding to show people. That’s when I knew it had to stop!

How To Film But Not Film!

If you’re as guilty of relying on that camera too often as I am, here’s how to help yourself!

  • Only watch your videos back after class or when someone else is on the pole – and only if necessary! I film a lot of moves as I train alone but now refuse to watch them until I get home. It’s nice to watch your attempts back when you’re not in a pole environment and you can truly be proud. Also if a move does not look as good as you thought, then you won’t get frustrated at the pole 🙂 You also don’t waste pole time watching your moves back.
  • If filming a new move you think you’ve nailed, make sure you can do it 5 times confidently before you film. This way you know the move is truly yours and you won’t get camera shy. It’s more about the pole than the camera.
  • If you do want to film, make sure you have your camera ready. We want camera ninjas that we don’t even know are there rather than you having to run over to your bag to find it. There will be others waiting for the pole.
  • Enjoy yourself! You don’t have to from grin ear to ear but try to have fun. Forget there’s a camera. You’re dancing for you and no one else!
  • Film moves back to back, especially if training by yourself. You can just leave the camera on, film it all and watch it back when you’re ready. No stopping and starting, and no wasted pole time 😀

All in all, it can be super helpful to film moves but remember that pole comes first. You can film all your moves over and over again when you know you can do them, so let’s work on nailing them first! I still say film, but make sure you pole as much as you can. 😀

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