Sorry for the late post! I meant to finish blogging about this last week but I never got around to it…
Anyways, 2 Sundays ago I attended an advanced pole workshop with Charlee Shae at Doll House Pole Fitness in Manassas, Virginia. I was a little nervous because I had never been to Doll House before and didn’t know anyone there, but it ended up being my favorite workshop to date!
First of all, Charlee was super sweet. She went around introducing herself, finding out people’s names and giving everyone hugs – it felt like she was an old friend! Not only is Charlee a fantastic teacher, but she is also very, very talented. I knew she was a beautiful dancer from previous videos I’d seen on YouTube, but seeing her in person was on a whole other level – wow!
I really liked how Charlee ran this workshop. She had everyone sit in a circle and asked each person what they wanted to learn from her. I think this is a much more effective way of conducting a workshop than having the instructor pick the moves beforehand – this way the instructor can teach tricks that everyone actually wants to learn. This is also a good way to gauge the overall level of the group – if everyone can do a particular move, the instructor won’t end up wasting their time teaching that move. I requested the mechanics of a move called the Fonji, since it is one of Charlee’s signature moves.
Here is a quick breakdown of what Charlee taught us:
- Fan-kick Drop
- Funky Charlee + combo
First, she had us practice the hand placement from the floor. We practiced switching our hands from double cup grip to flag grip around 20 times, to really get an understanding of where our hands need to go when we flip. Charlee told us that it’s really important to think about flipping to the side, rather than flipping up. The side depends on which shoulder you are shoulder mounting on – flip left for left shoulder mounts and flip right for right shoulder mounts. It’s also important to give a big enough pop in order to have enough air time to flip over and switch your grip. Finally, she told us that this move should never be “half-assed” – you either go for it full-out, or don’t do it at all.
She came around to spot everyone, and I ended up getting it on my second try! For me, it wasn’t as difficult as much as it was scary! I haven’t perfected my Fonji yet, but I am planning on working on it this week, so I will post a video once I have it solid. Check out my first couple of attempts with Charlee below!
Charlee showed us this really cool drop from an aerial fan kick. I wasn’t able to completely let go to make it a dramatic drop, but I was able to grasp the concept of the move. I need to keep working on this one, but here is a step by step photo of what the drop should look like.
The Funky Charlee is a neat way of getting into a brass monkey. It’s one of Charlee’s original/signature moves and looks very fluid. I was able to get this after a few couple of tries, but I keep catching the pole with my flexed foot rather than with my knee pit, so I need to perfect this one too. You can check out the Funky Charlee in the combo she taught at her workshop below: