Monday, 19 April 2010
Jamaica Story Pole Dance Convention presented by Pole Passion
Learning the Skills of Exotic Dance week at Hedonism III at Runaway Bay Jamaica
Saturday 27th February – Saturday 6th March 2010
Attended by; Kay and Steve Penney, Debbie Merchant, special guest performer & positioned third in the world - Alesia Vazmitsel, Miss Pole Dance UK competition Champion 2009/10 Maxine Betts and her sister Simone Maclaine, Jenni Gooch, Alison Gooch, Cat Denning, Alison Constable, Carol Cook, Paula and David Robinson, Paula Bines, Katy Spooner, Miranda Goldring, Gareth, Deborah Cornick, Elena Shishkova, Katie, Kabiashvili Ekaterina, Emily Lardner, Sally Chinda, Laurie Finch, Gigi Hoffpaulr, Daniela Baumann, Johann Borenstein, Emily Fakdvek, and all the special guests of Hedonism III.
Saturday 27th February - We all met up nice and early at Gatwick airport and headed straight for the duty free shopping (we are a bunch of mainly girls!) after browsing round the shops and trying out the samples of free vodka we all headed to board our plane. We were all very excited and looking forward to our trip. We spent the flight stretching in the isles, which caused a few stares! and chilling out with the virgin entertainment oh and of course a few complimentary drinks to get us started!
After a 9.5 hour flight we where all feeling a bit tired and stiff but eagerly jumped onto our coach for the transfer to resort. Once we arrived in resort and checked in it was 8.30pm Jamaican time and 1.30am UK time but we where holding out well. We nipped straight to our rooms and were back in the bar within the hour! We were greeted by the fabulous entertainment staff performing a dance show on the main stage and what a treat that was! Please ask any of the girls how fabulous and they will fill you in! After a few drinks in the bar the ones of us still standing headed off to the nightclub and started a impromptu pole jam up on the bar, with maybe not as much energy as normal! The entertainment staff then announced a Booty Shaking competition on the bar and who are we to say no to a challenge, so up we got Kay, Debbie, Paula and Katy danced and shacked their booties till the jet lag thoroughly kicked in! and what better way to finish your night off by a quick trip to the hot tub to soothe those aches from the flight away!
Sunday 28th February
We started our Sunday morning very early, obviously the jet lag not holding us back because we are generally early risers! and for those of us who are we really keen we headed straight for the gym which is open 24 hours a day (for the very dedicated!) After a good workout and feeling very pleased with ourselves we headed for the all inclusive buffet for breakfast and to meet up with the rest of the group. The breakfast selection was huge and certainly undid all of our hard work, with the choice of omelettes, pancakes and syrup, sausages, bacon, cake and a huge choice of fresh fruit. Whilst we were eating away a guest who had seen our antics from the night before approached us and gave us a lovely comment that our performances on the pole the night before where ' a combination of athleticism and sensuality' definitely the look we where going for!
Following breakfast we had our welcome meeting with Kay Penney who gave us our very exciting and fully packed schedule for the week and a tour of the beautiful resort. After some lunch we all headed to the beach and eagerly awaited our poles on the sand! within minutes Steve Penney had erected our R-Pole and we jumped straight on eager to start on learning some new moves! We had some huge tricks being performed within minutes and there was something for everyone to learn and certainly wetted our appetites for the week of pole ahead! We where all feeling very energetic and started an aerobics session headed by Jenni Gooch and Cat Denning on the beach (if only aerobics was this much fun at home… sigh) and just in case we had energy left we finished of with a ab attack by Maxine and wow can she make you work hard! Now those hard core ladies that still had energy to burn carried on playing on the pole until dinner time!
After a lovely, if not huge dinner, in either the Italian or the main restaurant where there was definitely too much food on offer to try and keep to any kind of diet! Those of who still had some energy left after a whole day of pole stayed for a few drinks in the bar dressed in our ‘pimps and hoes’ outfits ready for the evening entertainment. It was then on to the nightclub where we were treated to a impromptu performance on the bar from Alesia Vazmitsel which was worth fighting the jet lag for! We held out as long as we could before falling into bed after a very long very fun packed day.
Monday 1st March
A nice early start again, but not feeling quite so keen for the gym with our aches from Sundays day long pole jam and work out! (nothing to do with the dancing in club all night long of course!) After a large breakfast and squeezing in some sunbathing on the beach we where ready to get back onto those poles. We started our day with a two hour master class with Alesia Vazmitsel assisted by Debbie Merchant on the main stage and a beginner’s session with Jennie Gooch on the beach. During Alesia's class we where put through our paces learning a variety of different moves and spins including some fantastic shoulder mount variations and trying to make our Jade's look like Alesia’s. The beginners on the beach lesson was a huge success and we definitely started a new craze in Jamaica! We were all feeling the effects of the day before and enjoyed a lovely afternoon sunbathing on the beach and catching up with the latest pole gossip.
After a nice rest we all joined Maxine Betts for another of her soon to be famous ab workouts followed by a very inspiring stretch class with Alesia where our bodies stretched to places we never thought possible!
It was the back to our rooms to get dressed up as ‘pirates and wench's’ for our evening entertainment and fancy dress competition – won by Kay Penney (oh did she mention she stole a hat from one of the other contestants to steal first prize – a visit to swim with the dolphins!!) Everyone was keen for a night out after our day of fun and the party continued after watching more of the fabulous and energetic entertainment crew. It was then on to the piano bar where we discovered what a talented bunch we are with a microphone and a piano to dance on!
Simone selected and requested from the crowd to perform later on that week. It was then back to the nightclub where we were taught a new dance routine by the entertainment staff which was going to become our theme of the week! More dancing on the bar, pole, cage and anywhere else we could find to dance on until we discovered the water slide that goes through the nightclub and that you can get four people down at a time! We finished the night back in the hot tub Jacuzzi, before staggering to bed a little bit worse for wear!
Tuesday 2nd March
We started the day a little bit slower than the previous days and the gym was long forgotten by now! After breakfast we were back on stage for a pole and floor workshop with Alesia, today was much hotter and we were feeling the heat and recovering from the night before antics! We all left the workshop with some new moves and bruises to be proud of! During the workshop Kay started the first day of the International Pole instructor training with Elena from Russia and what a lovely place to learn your instructor training. After class it was back to the beach for more relaxing and games on the beach, whilst Jenni started teaching the practical on the main stage with Elena. After a rest the pole started calling us and Maxine and Cat started teaching lessons on the beach with the sun coming down behind us, there were moves for everyone to learn and we lasted on the beach for hours with our R-Poles.
It was back to our rooms for a little nap then into our outfits for the Pyjama party, after another lovely large meal and stocking up on the adorable harmless little cakes they had on offer! We settled down to watch the evening entertainment on the main stage. They had a special treat for us tonight of a fashion show which included the staff dressing up for every fantasy! It is a night I will personally never forget! Now if that was not enough entertainment we then had a beautiful performance by Alesia to Tom Jones Kiss Kiss, which had the whole audience in awe of her strength and flexibility. After posing for some photos in the fountain it was back to the piano bar for a sing a long, where Simone did us all proud and had the whole bar singing along with her! and of course back to our routine of dancing in the nightclub to finish another exhilarating and amazing day.
Wednesday 3rd March
We all met back in the restaurant for another huge breakfast then Kay was back teaching the instructor training another internationally trained Pole Passion instructor coming along great. Maxine’s workshop started on the main stage this was a great workshop and we covered a lot of new spins and different variations. We were all feeling the amount of pole we had covered in a few days and Maxine revived our love of pole with this workshop. We carried on poling until lunchtime and it was then time to start rehearsals for our Showcase on Friday. After a busy afternoon it was back to the nightclub for our lap dancing lesson with Debbie Merchant, we learnt how to give our partners a special treat on our return, then as a added treat we had one of our favourite entertainers in, to practice our skills on ‘50 No Cents’ aka Wayne as a professional dancer and fitness instructor, who gave us fantastic feedback and as an added bonus showed us a very energetic male lap dance routine which was definitely something we need in the UK! After a fun packed day we were still keen for more and it was back to the main stage for an ab work out with Cat and more stretching from Alesia and by now we were definitely feeling the benefit's if Alesia's years of practice!
After a well deserved nap it was back to the restaurant for Alter Ego night and there were some outrageous outfits in the restaurant that night! We were in our routine now dinner, piano bar for singing then the nightclub for dancing oh and not forgetting the waterslide our new best friend!
Thursday 4th March
After breakfast it was back to the instructor training for Kay, Jenni and Elena whilst the rest of us joined in performance techniques workshop with Alesia eagerly hoping to pick up some tips to make our future performances as mesmerising as hers. After classes it was more preparation for Fridays showcase. Everyone was practicing hard determined to make their shows the best Hedonism has ever seen. Everyone was really dedicated and keen to show the skills they had learnt in the week.
After a busy afternoon it was time to dress up for the burlesque lesson with Ana Dupre aka Kay Penney. Everyone donned there corsets and nipple tassels for a hour of fun in the privacy of the nightclub where we learnt to strut our stuff like real burlesque stars then down to the restaurant for dinner and toga night! There were some fantastic home made togas on show and a parade across the stage showing off our creativity with a bed sheet!
It was then time for one of the wildest nights so far starting with the Hedo Talent show where Alesia performed a fantastic display of flexibility using Son and Dyce from the entertainment crew as props, the ladies in our group where very jealous by this point! Followed by Simone singing and wow she has an amazing voice! Then on to the night club for lots of dancing and drinking games we were all going to feel this night for a few days to come!
Friday 5th March
There were a few pale faces this morning but with a morning off pole workshops some of us recovered on the beach whilst the brave of us headed off resort to Dunns River Falls. After a short bus ride we learnt a lot of history of Jamaica. We arrived at the beautiful waterfall and meet out guide Moses for the day where we walked up one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen and although it was a hard climb it was totally worth it for the experience.
Today was also Paula's 21st Birthday and what a way to spend it - a birthday you would never forget! After our trip it was back to resort to meet up with the rest of our group who were all having a well deserved rest on the beach. The afternoon was spent napping and finalising the last minute preparations for our show that evening.
Friday Night our showcase was about to start, the night started off with a performance with Maxine who showed us why she is Miss Pole Dance UK 2009 with her amazing strength and control on her moves the audience went crazy! Following Maxine was a singing performance from Andre and not only has he a body to die for he can sing as well! Following Andre was Cat Denning who performed to Gold Frapp and gave out some massive tricks and was the best performance I have see her give. Following Cat was Kay who performed a burlesque act which inspired everyone in the audience to take up Burlesque dancing! Following Kay was another pole performance from our very own Paula Bines who has developed so much in one week she did us all proud on the Pole Passion team. Following Paula was Son from the entertainment crew who was a strong favourite within our group of ladies and performed one of the most jaw dropping dance medley performances I have ever seen to Michael Jackson and finishing with a little help from our own Kay Penney. Following Son was Simone singing Hey Big Spender with her sexy backing dancers Jenni, Carol and Maxine who wowed the crowd. Following Simone was Miranda who confessed afterwards had never danced on such a high pole before, did a beautiful performance to Lady Gaga and showed us some amazing tricks, following Miranda was Alesia who performed another jaw dropping show using a chair and some tricks I never have seen her perform before, following Alesia was Melody who sang beautifully culminating her performance whilst sitting on a trapeze and finishing the show was Phoenix who performed a very entertaining drag act!
After a fantastic evening we were all in the mood to let off some steam and the partying for Paula’s birthday started with shots at the bar and group photos on the main stage. It was then back to our second home in the nightclub for more crazy dancing on the bar! We then finished our last night in the hot tub the best place to be after a night out!
Saturday 6th March
After a bit of a lie in this morning it was back to the beach to soak up some final sun before saying our goodbyes before heading for our long journey home.
We had a great week of fun, sun and pole and made friendships that I am sure will last a lifetime.
Written by Debbie Merchant
Pole Week coordinator - Pole Passion
sponsored by www.r-polefitness.com