Girl Crush: Maddie Sparkle

Maddie Sparkle Don Curry3

I haven’t done a girl crush post in a while so thought it was time to do one. I’m a bit embarrassed to do this post especially since Maddie and her sister Shimmy recently stayed at my house during All Stars! That’s right! They needed a place to stay that was near the airport as they had a 6am flight the next day, and since my place is 10 minutes from the airport, I answered their Facebook plea – and they accepted! I still can’t believe it!

Anyway, Maddie was one of my earliest pole girl crushes when I was just starting out at pole which was about 3-4 years ago now. I first discovered Maddie & Shimmy on YouTube. Their style was quite similar but there was something about Maddie that I was always drawn to.

Some older images that I have always loved, gosh I wish I had her back!

Maddie Sparkle

Maddie Sparkle Justin Tran2

I always admired how flexible she was, how hard she trained and yet how petite she would stay! Even though she’s tiny she was so strong and would bust out these tricks that needed immense strength. I always looked forward to watching her new videos with lots of flexy tricks, sparkly costumes and hair flicks. She was one of the first people whose pole videos, that erred on the side of sexy, I would actually watch and not be weirded out. When I first started pole I was very pro “it’s-pole-fitness-it’s-not-sexual-at-all” so I would never watch the “sexy” videos. Now I’m all about the sexy but more on that later.

Some more recent photos of her by the amazing Don Curry:

Maddie Sparkle Don Curry

Maddie Sparkle Don Curry4

Maddie Sparkle Don Curry2

To this day, she is still super flexible, super strong, works harder than ever and she just makes dancing look so effortless and beautiful.

Now that I’ve met her, I can also say that in real life she is a really nice person, she’s really funny and she may be tiny, but she eats a lot! And so is her sister, Shimmy!

How amazing is she in this video?

There I confessed, now tell me who your girl crushes are so that I don’t sound like a total weirdo!

Note: All images from Maddie Sparkle’s Facebook page, the photographers are Don Curry and Justin Tran.

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Alethea Austin’s Sexy Floor Workshop

Hi guys, sorry I’ve been a little MIA again, usual busy at work and too tired to write when I get home situation unfortunately 😦 Although I have also been working on something exciting and can’t wait to share it with you all soon. I can barely keep the secret from all my friends but it will be announced soon so stay tuned!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, All Stars was held in Melbourne. This is the first Pole and Aerial Art Competition of its kind and even had some international entrants competing. I am working on my write up for that so hopefully it will be published soon but if you follow me on Twitter then your feed would have been blown up by my updates that night.

As well as international entrants there were some famous international pole dancers or (polebrities as I like to call them 🙂 ) including the incredible Alethea Austin who did a doubles act with Cleo the Hurricane. I have always admired her and wish that I could move like her. When this woman moves it’s like oil. She is so smooth, her transitions are flawless and every single muscle in her body is used, it’s hard to explain but just search for her YouTube videos and you’ll understand what I mean. She was running some workshops whilst she was here and unfortunately all the ones being held at Pole Divas were full so my friends and I had to travel to Arena Pole which is about an hour away just to do her workshop! It was totally worth it. We did her Sexy Floor Workshop and I was just mesmerised by her the entire time, even during her warm up. I wish that I had filmed her because her warm up is so different to anything that I’ve ever done before and I want to keep doing it at home.

After the warm up she taught us a short routine which involved some of her basic “sexy” moves. Her advice? Do everything slow. It’s a lot harder but it looks so much better, and if you can control it it’s also a great work out! We were all dripping with sweat not even halfway through the workshop. (Sexy right?) She also stressed the importance of working on your sexy performance face, even if what you’re doing is really hard and you’re struggling to do it, never let people know that you’re struggling. Then she taught us some of the different ways to (properly) do a forwards and backwards roll. There are so many ways to do them! I had never been able to do a forwards roll before and when I tried it she picked up my one mistake straight away and yelled at me! I was so mortified with embarrassment but when she came over to help me and I tried again – I got it! For those interested, I wasn’t completely putting my head through the ‘hole’ between my arm and the floor, as soon as I did this, everything fell into place – thanks Alethea! She also taught us a few other moves called a “turtle” and the proper way to do duck dives (excruciatingly slowly) and elbow presses. At the end of class we all did a free dance which we could use the routine as a guide but she encouraged us to just do what we wanted to do, and to definitely not copy her. At the beginning I was peeking at her while I was pretending to dance but then I started to really feel the music and before long I was completely ignoring everyone else in the room and just focusing on my own movement. It felt amazing and when the song ended I just wanted to keep dancing.

After class she was selling her merchandise out of her suitcase but I had no cash! I was so devastated I should have been more organised, I’m going to jump onto her website to buy some things that I missed out on.

The workshop went for about an hour and half and in my opinion it wasn’t long enough! It felt like 15 minutes, I had so much fun and learnt so much. I now have so many new things that I want to practice and have rediscovered my love of free styling. If you ever have the opportunity to do a class or workshop with her I highly recommend you to take it! As well as being an amazing teacher she was also so down to Earth and lovely. I thought that I was going to be intimidated when I met her, since she’s such a well known figure and so highly regarded in the pole world, but I wasn’t, she was just so friendly and approachable. Her students at The Chrome Bar are very lucky to have her!

Below are some photos from the workshop:

VogueFit - Alethea Austin and I

The incredible Alethea Austin and I

Voguefit - Alethea Austin Sexy Floor Workshop

My friends and I with Alethea Austin.

Have you ever had a workshop with Alethea? Or who is a polebrity that you have actually had a chance to meet and do a workshop with? I’d love to know, let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

J xx

Hot Yoga.

Voguefit Hot Yoga

I mentioned in my previous post that I’ve started classes at Hot Yoga. I take classes at Yoga Flame in Moonee Ponds. They have a trial where you pay $20 for unlimited classes for 10 days – what a bargain!

So far I have been 4 times and tried three different types of yoga.

Hot Yoga

What They Say:

Our signature class! Hot Yoga increases strength and flexibility across all areas of the body while the heat allows you to detox, open and transform. The basic structure of each class remains the same; however the sequences will vary to keep your practice fresh and challenging.

34 degrees. Perfect for both beginners and the seasoned practitioner

Different from Bikram Yoga. Bikram is done in a room heated to 42 degrees Celsius and Hot Yoga is only heated to 34 degrees, the perfect temperature for stretching if I do say so myself! My first time was on a 40 degree day so I found it to be quite pleasant as it was actually cooler in the room than outside! The asanas (or yoga postures) are similar to that of Bikram Yoga but there were a few that I had never tried before. I found there were some which I was quite good at and others where I need a lot more practice. I definitely need to work more on my core and balance and I can’t wait to see improvements.

Yin Yoga

Balance is important in every aspect of life so take some time each week to slow down. This class will invite you to take a moment and enjoy long deep stretches that will release both mental and physical tension. Emerge feeling relaxed and renewed.

24 degrees. Perfect for both beginners and the seasoned practitioner

A much slower paced class and not as hot as Hot Yoga. I absolutely loved this class. Each posture was held for about five minutes and we used a lot of yoga equipment like bolsters and blocks. The idea is to really be able to relax into the pose and in time, will help increase your flexibility. I will definitely be keeping this one up! Postures such as Dragon Pose and Swan Pose (I think that’s what they were called) focus on opening up your hips which I have a lot of trouble with so I can’t wait to see if this particular yoga will help me towards my goals of splits and backbends.

Yoga Basics

Whether you are new to yoga and want a slow paced class to learn the basics or have been practicing for a while and want to refine your postures- this is the class for you! During this complete practice we will explore alignment and purpose – giving you the tools to confidently join any class on our schedule.

24 degrees. Perfect for both beginners and the seasoned practitioner

I wanted to try this class to make sure that my technique was right and to refine my postures. The instructor showed us the proper way of how to do them and also did a great job at explaining what we would benefit from each one. I thought that she would come around to everyone and check that our alignment was right but she didn’t, I think that would be my only suggestion for this class. I will definitely do this class every so often to make sure I’m on the right track and especially at the start as I still get confused with some of the poses in the other classes.

I did one more Hot Yoga class which was being run by a different instructor. She was actually quite fast paced and I was struggling more than usual. I also think that this may have something to do with the fact that it was not a 40 degree day and the room actually felt hot! Anyway, I’ve tried a few different instructor’s classes and I now know who is suitable for me at my beginner level. Hopefully after I’ve been practicing for a bit longer and I am more comfortable with my asanas I will be able to go back to her class and nail it!

My trial ended on Monday and I went a total of 4 times in 10 days. That is an achievement for me and if I go at least twice a week (I’d like to go more often but I also have pole so I’m being realistic!) then I can take advantage of the $99 for one month of unlimited classes that they have available for purchase after you have completed the 10 day trial. Head to the Yoga Flame website for more info.

Voguefit Yoga Shoulder Stretch

I decided to add yoga to my regime as a way to try and help increase my flexibility. I also enjoy the meditative side of it, especially Shavasana or ‘Corpse Pose’. Quite a morbid name but it is a pose of total relaxation and rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit. After a yoga class I literally feel like I am floating on air and nothing can bring me down!

Have you ever tried yoga before or have been practicing for a while? Are you finding improvements in your core/balance/strength/flexibility? I’d love to know so please leave me a comment below 🙂

J xx