The Steep and Unforgiving Learning Curve of Beginner Aerial Silks
Beginner Aerial Silks class can be tough but sticking to it will get you results!
Aerial silks is an intimidating class especially intimidating for a complete beginner aerial silks student. I want to talk about my aerial silks journey, from absolute beginner to, well…still a beginner. I am sure there are many of you who have taken a class and not returned, or are too intimidated to try a class, hopefully my experience will ease some of your concerns.
I first came to cherry blossom in January 2016. I came for a six-week aerial yoga session and ended up signing up for a six-week silks beginner class on the way out. Silks were something I had always dreamed of trying, having always been fond of climbing and hanging upside-down. I was pretty good with the aerial silks hammock but how much different could the silks really be right?
My first class was a humbling experience to say the least. I couldn’t climb at all, I couldn’t invert, and I couldn’t hold myself up. I was forced to confront my physical limitations. I have never had a particularly strong upper body so this was a real challenge for me. There were intermediate students in the class who had been practicing for some time and were inverting and doing all of the amazing cool things I wanted to do, and there I was unable to get one climb up the silk. I felt pathetic and I wanted to cry.
Somehow I mustered up the strength to come back for the second class, and the third, and the fourth, fifth and sixth. By the end of the session I could climb with the help of sticky hand spray (which I still use today), I figured out how to do candles by rolling forward instead of backwards, and I could do foot locks. I was still nowhere near the level of some of the other students in the class but this forced me to stop comparing myself to other people. I became more self-forgiving, I forced myself to take the small victories in and not worry so much about what I perceived as failures in my performance.
It took me about three months before I finally rolled backwards into a candle. This was a huge accomplishment for me and for once I felt strong in my body. New skills still take time, a lot of time, but there is a real sense of empowerment when you accomplish something you thought you would never be able to do.
You are stronger than you know and the impossible is possible you just have to be kind to yourself and not compare yourself to others and move at your own pace. I promise you will be rewarded for your persistence.
Come try a Beginner Aerial Silks class at Cherry Blossom Studio and increase your upper body strength and flexibility!
Post Workout Smoothies
Smoothies Part 2 –Post Workout Smoothies
Fuel your body after your tough workout at Cherry Blossom Studio with a post workout smoothie. Feed your muscles with the proper nutrition your body needs after your aerial dance and fitness classes.
I am pretty sure that I look like Popeye meaning that my forearms feel like they are sausages stuffed into a casing that is too tight. Enter the peanut butter and banana chocolate smoothie…
By now you should be somewhat familiar with my smoothie obsession if you read the last blog about the green monster! This time I wanted to talk about post-workout smoothies. Because time is a factor and we cant ignore proper nutrition especially after a tough muscle-building workout. This is another recipe that you can make in a double batch and leave in the fridge for a day or two for a grab-and-go post-workout fix. The concept of this smoothie comes from research on the benefits of chocolate milk as a post workout drink. Compared to plain milk, chocolate milk has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. At this point you are probably thinking, “why don’t I just have a chocolate milk?” I mean, you could… but this is more fun and it has more nutrients! Especially for anyone suffering from muscle cramping because it has bananas in it. Give it a try, I promise you will not be disappointed!
Funky Monkey Smoothie
1-cup dark chocolate almond milk (or regular chocolate milk if you prefer)
1 large banana (frozen or un-frozen)
2 large tablespoons of peanut or almond butter
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder of choice (optional)
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
* Feel free to throw in a cup of spinach if you feel you need the greens! I know I do, and I promise you won’t even know it’s there.
A fruitier post workout smoothie variation…
Paypaya Ginger Smoothie
1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder
1 cups papaya, chilled and cut into chunks
1 cup ice
½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Leaves from one sprig of mint
Fuel Your Day
Smoothies Part 1 – Fuel Your Day with a Nutritious Smoothie
Fuel your day with a healthy smoothie! I am the type of person who is not particularly hungry in the morning. I typically wake up late, after hitting snooze an obnoxious amount of times I run out the door. The downside with my sleep obsession is that something has to give. More often than not, it ends up being breakfast. Sound familiar? A few years ago I discovered the green monster, a smoothie concoction created by Angela Liddon, featured on her ohsheglows blog (http://ohsheglows.com). Total game changer.
The green monster is green because it has spinach in it. I know what you are thinking, spinach… in a smoothie… for breakfast? But hear me out, it doesn’t taste like spinach, its actually pretty tasty, filling and energizing on top of that! It’s basically a miracle in a cup.
I like to make a double batch the night before so I have breakfast for two days. This way I can hit snooze a ridiculously unreasonable amount of times and still get breakfast in, win/win. I just grab and go and still get my extra half-hour of sleep!
1 cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
1 cup spinach*
1 large banana, frozen or non-frozen, both work fine **
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of your favorite protein powder ***
Throw it all in the blender and blend away!
*I use the spinach that comes in a bag at the grocery store
** I peel my bananas, break them in half, and then freeze them so I always have some on hand
***I use unflavoured hemp protein powder. I find that flavoured protein powders really change the taste of the smoothie, sometimes not for the better. You can use whichever you prefer, but you have been forewarned!
Written By Talena one of Cherry Blossom Studio‘s Aerial Exchange staff. Stay tuned for more delicious smoothie recipes.
Making New Friends in Your Twenties
How Pole Dancing and being a part of a studio has helped me make new friends in a new Country.
By Brittany Ellis
I moved here from California (await gasp, fast forward through all of the “why would you ever leave?” and “but the beach is there”). Back home I have my family, my friends that I grew up with, old class mates, co-workers and team mates. While getting ready to move the last thing on my list of “what to worry about” was how I was going to make new friends. Of all the problems I have had in this life (self-created or not), making friends has not been one of them. Well it turns out I have not actually had to make a new friend, all on my own since the good old days of recess on the playground. This is not to say I have not unintentionally made new friends along the way in my life, but it is usually through an already established friend. Well, this is a new town, province, coast, and country, I was far from established.
It is so hard and strange to go out into the world as an adult and try making new friends. Like, where do I go? The bar, the library, ask my waitress at the restaurant if she is looking for friends too? Compliment the grocery cashiers nail polish and ask if I can go with her to her manicure appointment? Cruise craiglist, tinder, or bumble? So weird, so awkward, so ridiculous. Talk about getting humbled.
What I did do was cruise groupon and “cherry blossom” came scrolling past my screen. I was intrigued and followed by the thoughts in my head giving me every excuse in the book as to why not to go or try something new. I have always watched the girls pole dancing on instagram being so pretty and flawless on the pole. I always thought it would be really cool to try. So why not now?
The truth is I was afraid to try it. Everyone was going to better than me, they would judge me. I would leave feeling bad about myself, and most importantly this would not help me with my lack of friend situation. I like to admit when I am wrong, like that one time I got married (shout out to my fellow divorce’s) but man was I ever wrong about this.
Pole dancing has lead me to the most wonderful, interesting and beautiful people. The studio is my new playground where there are countless friends to be made. Deep and meaningful friendships have absolutely began to blossom and will only grow over time.
Last year during winter I hibernated, feeling sorry for myself. This year I am part of community that is supportive and loving. The girls I have met here encourage you, inspire you and always help celebrate your victories and accomplishments. We really care about each other here at Cherry Blossom Studio so if you are feeling lonely, and want to meet some new friends this winter season come see us!
Being a Lebanese Pole Dancer
Deciding to use pole dancing as my main fitness routine was the best decision in my life. Deciding to tell my parents about it… not so much. Growing up leb was filled with awesome food and very arab family outings (going on a “picnic” at a public park with your 30 cousins, eating grilled chicken skewers with hummus and tabouli, and watching the adults smoke shisha hoping no one notices how extremely loud we all are), however growing up with Lebanese parents meant never doing anything outside a family setting. And if you ever did anything behind their backs, best believe you got a beating for it.
My parents wouldn’t let me go anywhere until I turned about 17 years old and even then they forbid me from having a boyfriend until I was in my second year of university. However, now they constantly hound me about my love life and my entire family (including grandparents, aunts and uncles) are praying for the day I get married.
I believe my childhood made me stronger and probably more rebellious so I always wanted to try different things that were considered controversial. Now, my parents have chilled out over the years and are a lot more open minded. That is, until I told my mom I really wanted to take pole dancing classes. She was pretty easy going at first but when I said I was going to continue taking classes and wanted to work at the Cherry Blossom Studio, her first words were “YOU BETTER NOT BECOME A STRIPPER”.
It took some time to convince her (by some time I mean about a year) I was not going to be a dancer but that pole dancing was a fun way to workout. I kept showing her the videos I took in class and practice sessions and slowly she started accepting this new way of working out. She will actually tell family members that I take pole dancing classes (If you’re not leb you probably don’t get how insane it is for my mom to tell my family that I’m basically being a fake stripper twice a week) and she is impressed by my progress, enough to give me a compliment every once in a while that doesn’t consist of comparing me to a monkey (That’s also my grandmothers favourite thing to do). To be honest, I consider myself lucky because it could be so much worse!
Even if you have strict parents or think what you are doing won’t be accepted by certain, it shouldn’t be a reason for you to stop or not try. Also, in time everyone starts changing their opinion if they’re exposed to it enough. I would have never tried pole dancing if I decided to let my parents opinion stop me and I’m so much happier for it. Just do you and the rest will follow!
Creative Burlesque Costumes
These Creative Burlesque Costumes By Ottawa Burlesque Performers Are Brilliant and Made Out Of…Not What You Think!
Written By Mistress Mae
Performing can be stressful, especially when it comes to figuring out your costume. Burlesque costumes can be expensive to buy, and complicated/time consuming to make. I personally enjoy creating costumes! It allows me to be creative through clothing. It is a stressful, and lengthy process. However, it is worth it in the end when you are back stage and can show off your hand made costume to your friends and fellow performers.
If you have never made a costume before, don’t feel limited in the materials you can use. You don’t have to be a seamstress to make beautiful outfits (I can barely sew myself!). Burlesque costumes can be made of almost anything! Some of Ottawa’s biggest and brightest burlesque stars have made their costumes out of some pretty unusual items. The following is a list of crazy items performers have used to make their gorgeous costumes!
Photo Credit – Viktor S. DeVice
“I made my ‘Happy Birthday’ costume out of a table cloth, stretchy elastic and some fabric… the cupcake on my head is an ice cream container, foam and more of the table cloth!”
“I have a rhinestoned Star Fleet uniform (extra rhinestoned on the crotch)”
“A hula hoop? … a coat rack, a box full of alarm clocks, plastic wrap and a full sized cardboard refrigerator…”
Photo Credit – Betty Bright-Eyes
“I sewed a stuffed beaver to a pair of panties once…”
Photo Credit – Viktor S. DeVice
“I tend to work outside the traditional thought process for a lot of my costuming. One larger prop build I’m particularly proud of are: my 2 pretty incredible light boxes for my Assassin’s Creed routine, which are made out of cardboard boxes and small closet lights that open up to do a personal light show partway through my routine.”
“My cape for my Garden of Spells Routine is a shower curtain”
Photo Credit – Viktor S. DeVice
“I made fake blood out of jello for a gorelesque number”
This list is only the tip of the iceberg. Other performers have used children’s toys, electrical tape, pillows, and fake beards. All in all, it is safe to say that no matter your budget, and skill level there is always a way to make crazy costumes.
Don’t be intimidated by the process! There will be times when you get frustrated (or when you burn your fingers on a hot glue gun). If this happens, invite a friend over to help you and have a costuming party; just don’t give up on your dreams! Finally, never forget that the biggest star should not be the costume, but the performer inside the costume! Have an amazing time making your new masterpieces, and I hope to see you on stage soon!
Canadian Made Pole Wear
Cute prints, great fit and larger sizes!
We have just launched Defying Gravity Active Wear in our Boutique. Not only are these pole wear garments super comfortable but they are Canadian made in Windsor, Ontario!
We have some brand new pole wear in our boutique and it’s Canadian made ! We love the ad campaign that Defying Gravity Active Wear just launched. Not every pole dancer is stick skinny, most are curvy. Thank you Defying Gravity for embracing the big beautiful women of pole with great coverage and comfort.
Choose from an assortment of styles, from crushed velvet tops, shorts, leg warmers to the cutest prints. You will fall in love with this Canadian made pole wear brand. Visit our boutique and discover the cutest prints in their comfortable side scrunch short with unicorns, donuts, cats and ice creams. We even have an exclusive Cherry Print for Cherry Blossom Studio!
Everyone knows pole dancing is even more fun when you have the sweetest pole wear! Support Canadian made products such as Defying gravity Active Wear.
Check out their pieces in our boutique!
Pole Dancing Classes
Start Enjoying your Workouts, Feel Sexy and Get Results!
Whether you are looking to lose weight, tone up build confidence, compete or feel sexy pole dancing will give you all of the above!
At Cherry Blossom Studio we offer a variety of Pole Fitness, Pole Dancing, Exotic Dance and Fitness classes to flourish you into an all around pole dancer. No fitness or dance experience is necessary although it will help we will teach you all you need to know to get your flow on😉
Cherry Blossom Studio is Ottawa’s hottest pole studio focussing on helping students achieve their pole goals whether it be to perform in one of our exclusive shows at The Bourbon Room, Compete in Competitions or to simply do it for fun and fitness. Our studio welcomes students of all shapes, sizes and ages.
We always get asked what happens in our pole classes, so here is a break down comparing our classes so you know what to expect🙃
Below is a breakdown of classes and sessions that we offer:
This is the perfect class to start with as it will give you the how to Pole Dance 101 with floor work, transitions and spins in a 45 minute intro class.
Pole Level 1-6
Pole Level 1 & 2 are both 6-week courses starting at level 3 you stay in the level until the instructor gives you the okay to move to the next because after level 3 we teach way more moves, conditioning and combos. Our instructors know our students well and we plan our classes according to our students strengths and weekness’ so expect to get creme de la creme treatment and instruction as our instructors tailor certain aspects of our classes just for you!
This class is great if you need help working on routines, building them or need help working on your flow. With a new routine each week and two different instructors with different styles you will be learning from the best! Make sure to bring you favourite pole dancing heels as we spin and flow. We recommend taking Pole Level 1 before this class so you know all of the spins and we can focus on the routine and flow.
Our friendly staff and inviting studio hope to see you soon at Cherry Blossom Studio!
Afternoon Yoga Classes
Afternoon Yoga Classes are here at Cherry Blossom Studio!
Get 6 Fitness classes for $10 off by entering discount code YOGAFIT at checkout
Join Kassandra on your mat for the perfect way to start off your weekend with some afternoon yoga classes at Cherry Blossom Studio. Kassandra is best known for her online classes Yoga with Kassandra on YouTube with over 60 000 subscribers. We are so happy to be offering classes with Kassandra at the studio!
Kassandra offers a weekly Friday at 12pm class at Cherry Blossom Studio.Strengthen your core and increase your flexibility with Kassandra’s NEW hour long afternoon yoga flow class! Yoga is a fantastic way to compliment other forms of movement like Pole and Aerial and it’s wonderful for anyone who just wants to get a good workout while relieving stress. A flow class will teach you how to move with your breath while improving your strength, balance and overall flexibility.
Register today for our afternoon Yoga Classes!
Stay tuned for an upcoming inversions workshop with Kassandra at the end of the month! If you are working on headstands, handstand and forearms stands this is a workshop you don’t want to miss!
Pole Dancing Heel Styles
Check out our newest Pole Dancing Heel Styles in our Online Boutique
We add new styles of pole dancing heels to our online boutique regularly. But here are are latest reviews of our new styles go pole dancing shoes. Cherry Blossom Studio offer heels from 5 inch to 10 inch! What other workout do you get to wear all of these beautiful heels in? This is makes it okay to spurge on heels since they are doing your body good🙃
Below are our thoughts of heel height and things to think about when choosing a shoe style that is right for you. Most dancers have a few different styles on hand so they don’t wear down there favourite shoes quickly. Usually professional pole dancers purchase a new pair each month since we are very rough on our heels. Proper care is needed such as proper cleaning and of course gluing. We recommend cutting the tip of the toe sole with an exit knife so it does pull open and so your shoes don’t talk.
5 inch heels
These heels are most popular amongst fitness and figure models for competitions.
6 inch heels
Baby Steps! These have a low platform and a higher arch. Even though they seem like a more comfortable option, we find the comfort starts at 7 inches 😂
7 inch heels
Welcome to your newest addiction! These heels are the most popular! They are heel clack worthy, more comfortable because of a higher platform and not as much of an arch. You can get different styles such as a clear top or a patent one. Notice the arch difference compared to the 5 and 6 inch models.
8 inch heels
The Pleaser Flamingos are the second most popular style amongst pole dancers and strippers. They have a higher platform making them more comfortable and a big bellied platform making heel clacks sound on point!
9 inch heels
A little higher than the Flamingos we are working our way up. They recommend that you don’t walk in these…far…or at all. If you are doing a show up on the pole and floor work you aren’t touching the floor anyways 😉 These pole dancing heels look great in photo shoots!
10 inch heels
These heels come with a warning label! Not recommended for walking or dancing, if you try you will notice it is hard to move fast in these.