October Vixen of the Month - Carina

Hello Carina!


Lady Kori:  What work do you do?


Carina:
I'm a physiotherapist. I work with hospital patients in a few different settings: cardiac surgery, cardiovascular ICU, thoracic surgery, and neurological rehabilitation.


LK: How did you first discover pole dancing?


Carina:
My best friend started taking classes back in 2007 and loved them- she couldn't stop talking about it! She took me for a semi-private lesson as a Christmas gift. I loved it too! The places I lived in between then and now didn't always have a studio close by, so I took classes here and there over the years. I've now been pole dancing consistently for about 2.5 years since I discovered Brass Vixens in Toronto :D


LK: Do you have any previous dance, fitness or sports experience?


Carina: I grew up trying many different sports until I fell in love with competitive swimming and soccer. Throughout my undergrad degree, I decided to try triathlons as well as group fitness classes like cardio kickboxing and boot camp. I actually became certified as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. I really enjoyed the team/group atmosphere for training. Post-undergrad, I traveled and moved around a lot so I mostly stuck with running, hiking, and boot camp style workouts that didn't require any equipment. I've always enjoyed being active and pushing myself to try new fitness pursuits - I love feeling my body getting stronger and fitter. I had no real dance experience prior to trying pole dancing, so that's an aspect of pole that I find to be quite challenging.


LK: What made you feel pole dancing could be for you and decide to try it?


Carina:
My best friend was a huge motivator for me to try pole dancing. She knew I was strong and fit and told me right away, "I know you can invert on your first try!" Her energy and enthusiasm won me over- I had no idea what to expect from pole before my first class so long ago. After learning a bit more about it, I absolutely loved the combination of strength, grace, flexibility, and control that pole athletes have when performing. I knew the dance portion of it would be hugely out of my comfort zone, so I thought, why not go for the challenge!? I also felt the amazing sense of community at pole studios and knew that this was something special <3


LK: How did you come to be a student at Brass Vixens?    


Carina:
I moved to Toronto 3 years ago to start my Masters in Physical Therapy at U of T. I had previously been pole dancing at my friend's studio in Vaughan and was looking for a new pole home. When the Brass Vixens Yonge location opened up a 5 minute walk from my apartment, I couldn't be happier! I've been a Vixen ever since :)


LK: What were your first impressions?


Carina:
LOVE. Smiles. Open arms. So many welcoming and talented instructors! It's been incredible becoming a member of this amazing pole family.


LK: What keeps you committed to Brass Vixens and pole dancing?


Carina:
The insanely empowering feeling I get every time I pole dance with my Vixen family. I love it so much. I can come into class sometimes feeling like the ugliest and most unhappy person, but always leave feeling like a strong, powerful, beautiful goddess- ready to take over the world! I love how there are endless new challenges and moves to learn in pole. And everyone is so supportive and celebrates every success with you along the way.


LK: What do you feel is a crucial element for a successful class experience?


Carina:
Being patient with yourself and trying not to judge yourself. It's easy to compare to others and think they look sexier or more graceful than you. But if you let go of all of that and just have fun, feel the movement and the music, you'll have the time of your life and look super HOT while doing it ;)


LK: What has been an exciting moment for you on your pole journey?


Carina:
Performing at Verticalove this year with my sister, Christa. We trained hard for 3 months to choreograph and practice our routine, so it was an incredibly moving and pivotal experience to finally perform our creation in front of an amazing audience. It was also the biggest show either of us have ever performed at, so it was a huge accomplishment. Sharing that moment with my sister meant so much to me.


LK: Do you have any pole goals?


Carina:
AYESHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And handspring into it :) also to improvise a performance sometime- a huge challenge for me as I struggle with dancing in front of an audience and usually like to be super prepared!


LK: How has pole dancing and taking classes at Brass Vixens affected the rest of your life and sense of self?


Carina:
Pole dancing has completely changed who I am and how I see myself. It's been a journey and transformation in every way- mentally, physically, and emotionally. It has helped me own my body, sensuality, and my "sexy side" and to be less afraid to show this side of myself to the world.


LK: What has surprised you the most?


Carina:
How supportive everyone is and how we celebrate our successes together. I was also surprised that at 5'11 I can still manage to walk in 7 inch heels :P


LK: What are your top 3 reasons to attend classes at Brass Vixens?


Carina:

1. Have fun

2. Get stronger

3. Be sexy ;)


Thank you for being a Vixen Carina!!



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Your First Pole Class - What to Expect

Your First Pole Class - what to expect:


You signed up for your first pole dance class - congratulations on taking the leap! We can’t wait to see you in the studio! As you take the plunge and try something new, it’s completely natural to be a little nervous. To help calm your butterflies and ensure you’re excited when you walk in the door, here’s a quick list of things to know about your first class.


Fitness Level - Everyone, including your instructor, wasn’t as strong or as coordinated before they took their first class. Once you start taking classes regularly you will build the strength and flexibility to start working on more challenging moves. Your instructor is there to support you. Let them know about injuries or concerns you have before class.

Wardrobe - You don’t have to reveal any more skin than you’re comfortable with. We recommend wearing a tank top and shorts so you can get the traction you need to learn the moves, but there are lots of fun ways to cover up. If you have a favourite pair of heels that helps you feel super confident, bring them with you! You can find ideas in our What to wear to class post.

Timing - Our classes start on time, not five or ten minutes after the hour. This ensures that they end on time so you can get to your next event, or back to the office. Please arrive 15 minutes before your first class so we can take care of any paperwork, and answer your questions. It will also ensure that you have enough time to change and get settled.

Instructors - Our instructors represent a range of ages, personalities and fitness levels. They also have unique areas of focus and styles of teaching. It’s why we recommend you try a range of classes (buy an unlimited pass to make it easier) to find someone who suits your favourite way of learning, and is passionate about teaching things you’re interested in learning. Read up on our instructors here Brass Vixens Staff

Classmates - Your classmates may be at the beginning of their journeys, or may be returning from some time away from the studio. They might also be more experienced dancers looking to perfect the basics, or to build strength before moving up a level. No matter where they are at, they are there to focus on their experience, not to judge yours. They are probably just as worried about looking silly, missing a move, or falling out of a spin. You may find that they become your biggest supporters and cheerleaders as you take classes together and learn more advanced moves.

Ambiance - All of our classes are safe, relaxed spaces (even our conditioning classes which may seem more intense). We encourage all of our students to have a good time as they learn to move and express themselves in new ways. Classes usually begin with a mix of slightly nervous, excited energy. There are generally peals of laughter towards the middle as you practice your first spin, learn basic moves and discover that you can hold your body weight.

Music - Music tends to be a personal choice. Your instructor will pick music that reflects their style and the tone of the class that they’re teaching. If you have a favourite song that you really want to move to, feel free to let your instructor know before or after class.

What you’ll learn - You’ll learn to stretch and warm up safely through a series of connected movements, or a routine. Once you’re warm your instructor will walk you through some basic moves, grips and best practices. About half way through the class you’ll learn your first spin, and maybe practice a strength hold or two. You’ll end the class by performing the routine you learned, or building your own.

Cool Down - Please remember to take a few minutes after class to do your favourite full body stretch. You’ve probably used a number of muscles you weren’t sure existed. Also remember to rehydrate. It will help combat any muscle soreness you feel in the next few days.

Do you have a question about your first class that we didn’t address? Did we miss one of your favourite parts of your first class? Let us know - and share your memories of your first class in the comments! We love hearing from you.

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