Autumn

November is Sexy as Folk.

Folk is stripped-down music that continually repeats and is easy to sing along to. You don’t have to be a great musician to participate – as long as you can stomp the beat, you’re in. You hear it mostly in back-door pubs and at smaller-scale festivals*. It’s not popular music and it doesn’t have conventionally big performance value to it. But then again, most of the music that we hear today was created to provide a source of income for someone. Isn’t it refreshing how folk songs always feel like they were just put together for fun? I bet that folk musicians are still playing in small venues & festivals, playing acoustic music in small ensembles, or playing for their friends & neighbours for free.

Folk musicians are so authentically grounded in the communities in which they play. So of course they play songs that echo what’s important to those communities. It’s an opportunity to hear about moments and ideas that may be untouched or underrepresented in other genres of music. Folk music is wonderful because it paints pictures of ordinary people’s experiences.

This November, let’s Fall for Folk and celebrate you on your most ordinary days. See specialness in the little things that would normally go by unnoticed. There are so many moments like this every day: My cat has tucked himself into my unmade bed. Nice old ladies do tai chi each and every morning in our condominium parking lot. The sunrise and the sunset. The way that she smiles when she’s dancing. You don’t have to celebrate all these little moments … but honour them with your attention. When you enjoy an experience, have the humility to acknowledge that little gift in your day. It’s easier to remember the things that don’t feel good, especially as it gets colder outside – so this month, we hope that you’ll really take notice of all those little things that make you feel good.

When it comes to your dance practice, focus on the little things: Make your movements smaller, but more intentional. Dancing isn’t about quantity of movement – it’s about quality of movement. Try to move each individual muscle on its own. What does that look like if you do it painfully slowly? Pay attention to what your hands are doing. Where are you looking? Be efficient in your facial expressions. And like Helga always says … POINT YOUR TOES!

Also, keep warm! As it gets colder outside, our bodies get colder and more prone to injury while we work out. Be sure to warm up thoroughly and wear layers as needed – leg warmers, shoulder shrugs, sweaters and sweatpants are all great to warm up in!

Like we do every month, we’ve put together a playlist for you. This month we were feeling Folky, but with a sexy, IXF twist. We hope that these songs make you SEXY AS FOLK.

* Okay, I’m a liar:  if you’re lucky enough to live in Ottawa, you do get to hear it at CityFolk Festival in September.

Work with me, I’m trying to write a dramatic introduction here.

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witchy and wild october pole dance fitness ottawa halloween

A WITCHY, WILD OCTOBER

Hot girl summer is over. Thotumn is upon us.

As October casts its spell, the trees start to change their colours, the first prickles of the cool air can be felt, and a thin layer of pumpkin spice seasoning dusts the counters of all our favourite coffee shops. You’re wearing your favourite sweater all of the time. Warm soups sound delicious. It’s getting darker earlier. Your allergies are annoying. This transformation is happening right in front of your eyes, as it does year after year. Yet every year, it’s still a special kind of magic.

The entire month also echoes the spirit of Halloween- and we don’t mean the pop-up costume shops. Some say that the veil between our realm and the spirit realm is thinnest on Halloween, or Samhain. So thin, in fact, that the spirits can walk among us for the night. As we get closer to this moment of intensely focused energy, we want to remind you that the magic you’re seeing all around you is also in you.

This is your witching hour, too. Go feral this Fall. Be unapologetic. Witch, please. Bikini bodies be damned. Get in touch with your dark side in a world that teaches us to be afraid of the dark. Use the word “witch” to describe the parts of yourself that have been called taboo or unacceptable. Know that you are cyclical and enchanting and frightening in all the right ways. Do something naughty this month just because you can… even if it’s something as small as stealing a few of your kid’s best Halloween candies.

Looking to your pole dance journey, dance like a freak this month. Be scary and ugly and abrupt in your movements. Be sexual and don’t say sorry for it. Play with clothing and costumes to add flair to your dance routines. Channel characters and creatures in your movements that don’t usually show up to studio. Maybe they’re good creatures… maybe they’re not.

PLAYLIST OF THE MONTH

This is not a trick! We have a special treat for you this month – make Halloween more fun with these ghoulish grooves we’ve put together for the IXF Halloween Playlist.

HEY, IXF, WHERE’S THE BOOK OF THE MONTH?!

Reading is fundamental! But alas, the IXF Book Club is a bit like our Lyrical Pole class: We all seem to love the idea in theory, but not in practice. We still encourage you to read as much as you possibly can! Don’t hesitate to ask your coaches what their favourite books are too; we’re all big readers and probably have a good suggestion for you!

In case you didn’t know: There is a small library of relevant reads in the recharge station here at the studio if you’re ever looking for a new title to pick up!

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