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!