Featured Instructor of the Month: Nita B Yellowcakes

Nita B Yellowcakes is a multi-talented NYC/New Jersey-based Liquid Motion instructor. She teaches at Pole to Pole Fitness (NYC) and Alter Ego Pole Fitness (NJ). She is also an ElevatED Certified Pole Dance Instructor and Twerk Technician. Teaching and Performing is her passion.

1. You’ve been certified in the Liquid Motion in all three levels, all within less than a year! Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion.

I got started with Liquid Motion a few years ago. I believe it was later 2015 at Body & Pole. At first, I just wanted to try a new and, what I thought would be easy, class in between my pole training, but it was not easy at all. The Liquid methodology really helped me find so much freedom on the floor.

2. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?

My motto is “Everyone has a different journey. Take your time; live YOUR life.” It’s so important to remember that we can’t compare ourselves to others. We should appreciate our movement journeys just as much as we appreciate other’s.

3. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?

My most rewarding teaching experience is watching a student absolutely live their lives during their freestyles– incorporating their own styles with what was taught in the lesson. I love to watch them explore the movement pathways on their own. Seeing that makes me internally yell, “Yaaass!”

4. What has been your biggest struggle in your teaching journey?

The biggest struggle in my Liquid Motion teaching journey has been teaching fresh new movers not to get frustrated when they feel they’re not “looking sexy.” I have to remind them that Liquid Motion isn’t about looking sexy, but about using the tools to tap in one’s sensuality and connectedness of movement. They have to first do the work and make Liquid whatever they want it to be. I recall my own experiences to explain how worrying too much about a finished product, or looking like the people around you, can hinder your growth.

5. You also teach pole classes in addition to Liquid Motion. Do you find that the Liquid Motion methodology helps with other modalities, either as a student or as an instructor?

YES! As both a student and an instructor, it helps to improve fluidity on the pole, and in floor-to-pole transitions. It helps with awareness of movement pathways on the pole.

6. What are your goals in your own personal movement journey? Has Liquid Motion had any impact in the way you approach these goals?

My personal goals are to remain honest in my movement, even when learning new tricks and transitions on the pole and floor. I LOVE strength-based tricks, but I very much enjoy slinking around the pole. Liquid Motion helped encourage me to take my time to further explore even different ways to walk around the pole.

7. How do you prepare mentally for your own movement sessions and/or performances? How do you “get in the mood” and find the right head space to dance freely?

I prepare for my own movement sessions by making sure I’m dressed with the appropriate layers (or lack thereof) to get the most out of the movement –that way I can slide, slink or stick as needed for the exercises or choreography. I get in the mood by listening to vibe music just before class (Sexy vibes for sensual movement class, Upbeat Club Vibes for heels and twerk). My playlist goes from 80s rock hits to Meg Thee Stallion. The last thing I do is clear my mind and walk in, or on stage, with the only expectation being to take it all in and enjoy the experience, regardless of the outcome.

8. Do you have any hidden talents?

Haha. I can sing, and I do a few impressions. lol. Yea, I’m a dork.

9. You are very active in the pole community, between teaching, performing, and networking on social media. Do you have any tips for aspiring or new instructors who are hoping to build a supportive community for themselves?

My advice would be to make sure they’re true to themselves and their dance styles. Love and embrace your style and share your content with honesty. Also, follow and engage with movers you’re influenced by, as well as those you influence. Follow your students’ journeys and growth! Social media can be great when we filter it down to the content that we truly find interesting. I love to share and grow with the dance community.

10. In one sentence, share a life lesson you’ve learned – maybe a piece of advice that you’ve always held onto or a random comment you heard in passing that stuck with you. What do you think everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime?

“The most rewarding thing is to be loved simply for being yourself, and not for what you think people expect you should be.”

 

Featured Instructor of the Month: Andrea Plummer

Andrea is a certified Liquid Motion 1.0 & 2.0 instructor currently teaching at The Dollhouse Fitness in San Diego, California. She is a proud military spouse and mom to two rambunctious and sweet kids.

1. You’ve been certified in the Liquid Motion training program for almost a year now! Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion.

I ran across Jeni’s videos on Instagram early in my pole journey and was like “I want to move like THAT!” There was nothing forced about her movement, and it just made sense to me – even if I had no idea what the moves were. I started taking Liquid Motion classes at my studio in Virginia at the time and loved the whole feeling of the class. After taking a few workshops from Jeni, I knew I had to get certified – even if I didn’t teach. I just wanted to know more. It took a while for the stars to align (pregnancy, moving across country, LIFE happening) but luckily I was able to get certified last year and felt it was the best thing I’ve done for my personal movement journey to date.

2. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?

I definitely like to have a lot of fun in class, and I also I firmly believe in challenging my students. My students will tell you that I often remind them that if they understand and can do every move in a class, they’re in the wrong class. That is one of the things I love about Liquid Motion – there are ALWAYS new ways to challenge yourself even with moves you think you already know how to do. My other motto: When in doubt, split it out.

3. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?

I recently had a student tell me that she loves my classes because I teach in a way that helps her understand the moves, so she can make them her own. She said now the moves are truly hers. What could be more rewarding as a teacher than your students taking what you’ve given them and making it uniquely theirs? It was a happy tear moment.

4. What has been your biggest struggle in your teaching journey?

My biggest struggle in my teaching journey has been learning to balance teaching with my personal practice. As a teacher I want to give my students everything to make them successful, but I have to leave room for my own practice if I want to continue to grow as a dancer and as a person. While I have grown through teaching in ways I probably wouldn’t have as a student, I absolutely need to take time to refill my cup as a student. It keeps me centered, happy, prevents overuse injury, and inspires me to keep creating and trying new things.

5. You also teach pole classes in addition to Liquid Motion. Do you find that the Liquid Motion methodology helps with other modalities, either as a student or as an instructor?

It absolutely does! The Fundamentals and Techniques are not limited to the floor. I have a healthy sense of self-preservation so as a student I need to know where all my body parts are and what they’re doing during a pole sequence! Understanding those techniques helps me break down pole combos so I understand what is happening and why instead of flinging myself up a pole and hoping for the best. I also find that the methodology helps me perfect my moves. For me it’s not enough to just do a move. I want to do a move, however simple and straightforward, really really well…and be able to add my own pieces of flare to it.

As a pole instructor, knowing the Liquid Motion methodology helps me explain to my students WHY we’re placing our hand/leg/elbow pit a certain way in a move. It helps my students to understand how to execute a move/combo safely, and helps them to pick up the class choreography quicker.

6. What are your goals in your own personal movement journey? Has Liquid Motion had any impact in the way you approach these goals?

My goal is to keep dancing for the rest of my life. I don’t want to wake up one day with an injury that sidelines me from pole and dance and have that be it. With social media, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest fad and want to do all the new pole and floor tricks whether our bodies are really ready for it or not. One of the things I most appreciate about Liquid Motion is that rather than chasing the latest fancy move, it focuses on understanding technique to make any move special. This allows many movements to be readily accessible to a wide variety of students, and helps a person to quickly identify if a particular move is not going to be their move today.

7. What’s your all-time favorite song or musician that makes you want to get Liquid?

I’m a Gemini – don’t make me choose! 🙂 I love so many songs and artists and feel that Liquid is not limited to a certain genre of music. My current top two are “Honey,” by Sebastian Roca, and “Do It For Me,” by Rosenfeld. I’d also never pass up an opportunity to get Liquid to Janet Jackson!

8. Do you have any hidden talents?

I can get a healthy nutritious dinner on the table for two kids in under 30 minutes – trust me, it’s a talent! Also, a lifetime ago, I was a figure skater.

9. You have quite a following at your home studio. The instructors and students really admire you! Do you have any tips for aspiring or new instructors who are hoping to build a supportive community like yours?

Awwww… That makes me feel really good! I’ve been very lucky to have the full support of The Dollhouse Fitness management team, and it created a strong foundation from the beginning. I’d say if you are looking to start teaching Liquid Motion, make sure to talk with the studio/gym owner and/or manager to ensure they understand what a Liquid Motion class is, and how you envision it fitting into their mission and current curriculum. I also really took to heart the idea that a Liquid Motion class is an experience, and part of that experience is ME: my strengths, my shortcomings, my quirky anecdotes, music, and my swear words – uh… I mean “unconventional cueing.” 😉 I try to show through my words and actions that part of learning is experimenting, trying new things, and not always being successful. It helps create a safe, supportive environment for students to express themselves un-apologetically through movement.

10. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about trying out the Liquid Motion class for the first time or thinking about taking a Liquid Motion certification?

If you are thinking about signing up for a class or certification, come with an open mind. Liquid Motion can be both physically challenging and mentally stimulating. Not everything is going to be everyone’s move, but that doesn’t mean you should pass on the opportunity to learn and grow. And of course, DO IT – don’t wait! I missed the opportunity to get certified in Virginia because at the time I thought I wasn’t good enough – how ridiculous was that! It was another four years before things worked out for me to take the certification – so don’t wait. Do it. Be ready to be humbled, to learn, and to have a great time!

11. In one sentence, share a life lesson you’ve learned – maybe a piece of advice that you’ve always held onto or a random comment you heard in passing that stuck with you. What do you think everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime?

“There is enough spotlight for all of us to shine.”

Why I Compete for Feedback, not Awards (My Liquid Motion Journey)

By Dorcas Washington

Finding your niche isn’t always easy or intuitive. And more than that, it can change over time. When I first started pole in 2018, I wanted to master tricks as soon as possible. That’s it. But as time progressed, I understood that I need something to string these tricks together more fluidly. I realized that I wanted to move beyond the combo. I became interested in aesthetics and flow, in addition to wondering how and where I’d ever apply these tricks. I knew there were pole competitions, but I’d never heard of Pole Sport Organization before. So when Heather, the owner of my gym, mentioned competition to me, I jumped on the opportunity. It sounded like exactly what I was looking for.

Pole Sport Organization (PSO) recently added Low Flow and Floorwork with levels to the competition. At this point I had been pole dancing and doing Liquid Motion for a little over a year. I started this journey towards the end of my Master’s program and decided to continue after I graduated because of the great workout and friends I gained. All my fellow students and even the instructors at my studio, Dimension Fitness, knew Liquid Motion was my jam. So I signed up for Level 2 Junior Low Flow and Floorwork at PSO Central. I did everything right. I trained for weeks with an advanced student at my studio and I did the studio showcase as well. But I got dead last.

Disappointed, I waited for my feedback. I thought the judges’ comments would help me understand how to improve. At the very least, I had pictures and videos from my performance. When I received my feedback, it barely mentioned anything on my floorwork. I hated almost all of the photos, and I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the video. When I thought about competing again, it obviously didn’t come with positive vibes. So I took some time to think about it.

I thought about what I had to gain from doing this competition again – redemption. I want to be proud enough to look at my video and pictures and not cringe. So, not too long after I got home from PSO Central, I signed up for Great Lakes. I immediately felt this dread and fear like I was making the same mistake twice. This feeling stuck around for longer than I liked, and I started to allow doubts to sneak in. For PSO Great Lakes, I signed up for the Exotic category. While that felt more in alignment my dancing style, it wasn’t a perfect fit.

Meanwhile, my friend asked if I was interested in taking her place in a Liquid Motion Certification that she had already registered and paid for because she was no longer able to attend. After agreeing to my friend’s suggestion, I waffled on my decision to take the training because I had no desire to teach. Even going into the first day of the certification, I still didn’t know what I was getting myself into. How I would use this certification without teaching?

During the certification training, I got clarity on why certain things were difficult for me and others weren’t. For example, the wide hip pitch and prancing moves were very difficult for me. From the training, I discovered that my lower abs were weaker that I originally thought. It made sense that doing this movement for prolonged periods of time would be a struggle. At the same time, I began to see why shoulder rolls were easy for me. I seemed to have a better understanding of the pelvic tilt and tuck when lying on my belly compared to being seated. The overall Liquid Motion training experience definitely confirmed my suspicion that I should be in a floorwork-only competition and not a pole competition. But I had already signed up for PSO Great Lakes, so I continued to train the best I could.

After three or four training sessions, I heard that PSO had announced Great Lakes After Dark, meaning All Floor All Day. My heart fluttered at the news. I quickly switched over to the new category and worked on choosing a song. I sat down with Heather and we selected the perfect song. I strung together a couple of moves in my head and then recorded it. I freestyled to the song with and without shoes, recording both sessions. I decided on shoes because I liked the way it looked on camera.

And then it hit me. I needed to change my focus to what I wanted, not what I thought other people wanted. I started adding in moves that I liked and wanted pictures of myself in. There weren’t a lot of lyrics to the song I chose, but it kept repeating “hold me,” so I used that to create my theme. I wanted to become the girl the audience and a special someone wanted to hold and care for in an intimate way. So that’s exactly what I did. I sprinkled in a few tricks to keep people guessing and engaged, but even those tricks were still things that I loved.

The day of the competition came, and I was nervous. I started to mentally pick at things that were the strongest in my piece. I took my time working on my makeup, hoping to take my mind off what I was getting ready to do. In reality, I just wanted to get the whole thing over with.

I got on stage and the music started. All I could think about was breathing and lingering. Taking my time and basking in the moment, even when the move was very difficult for me. Connecting my breath to the movement really saved my ass at times! The last thing that kept popping into my head was keeping my tongue in my mouth and making sexy faces. I bowed and got off stage. Afterward, I immediately sat down and took off my boots, trying to catch my breath. I felt extremely proud of myself. I knew that I’d be happy to look at my photos and see my body move in the video.

In the end, the feedback was phenomenal! I received criticism in the exact areas I was looking for, and I cannot wait to explore and improve on my movement. Also, it didn’t hurt that my pictures and video were amazing. Most importantly, I felt redeemed. I was truly proud of myself. Furthermore, after training for what seemed liked forever, (in reality it was only 5 months) I felt relieved!

While I wasn’t able to take many Liquid Motion classes due to my schedule, having access to my licensed Liquid Motion online materials assisted me during this period. The most beneficial materials were actually videos of others using the #getliquid on Instagram; it kept me inspired and motivated to keep going even though I was exhausted.

So, would I do it again? I think so. If I could accomplish all my other goals while still training, I’d do it. But honestly, life is busy. It’s difficult to squeeze everything in. However, I also recognize the importance of getting feedback on my pole and Liquid Motion journey, and I understand that setting a personal goal like participating in competition is one of the more accessible ways for me to do it.

 

Featured Instructor of the Month: Nicole Braun

Nicole Braun has been poling for 7 years and instructing for almost 3 years. She teaches pole and Liquid Motion at Flirt Fitness and is Pole Moves Level 1-3 certified and Liquid Motion 1.0, 2.0 & Heels certified. She is also a married stay at home mom of 3 kids and 4 fur kids. Her background is in the performing arts including a BFA from Central Michigan University and MFA from Wayne State University.

1. You’ve been certified in all three levels of the Liquid Motion training program. Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion and why you chose to take advantage of taking all three certification levels.

I had just become an instructor when the Liquid Motion 1.0 certification was coming through my studio. I immediately signed up to give myself an opportunity to teach more at the studio and give myself a leg up. I immediately fell in love with the movement style and I’ve been teaching it ever since.

2. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?

I firmly believe that everyone can find joy and freedom in movement. I don’t believe that we should measure our successes in the ability to do a certain trick or move. You should measure your success in the joy that movement brings you.

3. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?

Anytime a student tells me that my class has made a difference in their self image and confidence I feel fulfilled. The benefits of dance are just as much mental as it is physical.

4. What has been your biggest struggle in your teaching journey?

I have to constantly remind myself that comparison is the thief of joy. Comparing ourselves to others is something I discourage my students from doing but we as instructors often need to be reminded of it just as often.

5. You just recently celebrated your 7th year in the pole world! Do you find that the Liquid Motion methodology helps with other modalities, either as a student or as an instructor?

My pole abilities significantly improved as my understanding of the Liquid Motion methodology grew. I began to use the same fundamentals on the pole as on the ground and my progress skyrocketed. I strongly encourage pole students to take Liquid Motion to become better movers!

6. What are your goals in your own personal movement journey? Has Liquid Motion had any impact in the way you approach these goals?

I aim to have new goals for my personal movement every year. This year I’m dedicated to becoming more confident in my heels thanks to recently becoming Liquid Heels certified. The Heels certification was wonderful and I want to continue to build on that knowledge and bring it to my students.

7. What’s your all-time favorite song or musician that makes you want to get Liquid?

A personal favorite is Two Feet. He has a sexy, bluesy, dark feel that makes me want to get on the floor as soon as I hear it!

8. Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.

I worked as a theatre costumer and designer in college.

9. You have an incredibly loyal and encouraging group of students and colleagues at your studio. They clearly love you! Do you have any tips for aspiring or new instructors who are hoping to build a clientele and a supportive community like yours?

Make yourself as well rounded as possible. Take all the certifications and workshops you can. Be yourself and love who you are as a dancer and others will appreciate you for what you can bring to the community.

10. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about trying out the Liquid Motion class for the first time or thinking about taking a Liquid Motion certification?

Don’t think about it, just go for it. Liquid is for everyone!

11. In one sentence, share a life lesson you’ve learned – maybe a piece of advice that you’ve always held onto or a random comment you heard in passing that stuck with you. What do you think everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime?

You will only regret the risks you didn’t take.

 

Featured Instructor of the Month: X2C

X2C is a graceful professional pole fitness and Liquid Motion instructor who possesses a great feeling for music and enjoys being able to express herself creatively through movement. She teaches at Vertical Joe’s in Atlanta, Georgia.

1. You’ve been certified in all three levels of the Liquid Motion training program. Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion and why you chose to take advantage of taking all three certification levels.

I took a sampler class at with Jeni when it was still in the early stages at PoleCon. I fell in love with Jeni’s passion for the movement and teaching style. I never wanted the class to end.

2. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?

I believe that each student has a master key to unlock their potential. My job as the instructor is to show them how to use that key and open as many doors as possible.

3. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?

When the students say they wish they had more time in class to learn more. “Class is over already???”

4. What has been your biggest struggle in your teaching journey?

Being able to practice more for me!!! I want to LIVE on the floor to make myself a better performer and instructor. Teaching so many classes and having a full-time job makes this rather difficult.

5. You’ve taught pole dance classes for over a decade. Do you find that the Liquid Motion methodology helps with other modalities, either as a student or as an instructor?

YES to both!!! Liquid Motion methodology has improved my body awareness whether my movement is on the floor, walking the halls at work, or on the pole. I have learned to let the movement go all the way through my body and move with it.

6. What are your goals in your own personal movement journey?

To make my movements look effortless.

Has Liquid Motion had any impact in the way you approach these goals?

Of course, I am a natural “slow mover” and have always been one to engage and draw in my audience when I perform or execute moves. The methodology for Liquid Motion has allowed me to hone those skills and become even better by making them look smooth.

7. What’s your all-time favorite song that makes you want to get Liquid?

This question is not fair!! I have soooo many, but when I do a demo, I am usually dancing to “Body” by Syd or “Breathe” by Ne-Yo. Perfect tempo for my flow and has lots of intentional pockets within the music to take advantage of.

8. Do you have any hidden talents?

My brain is wired to solve word puzzles in record time. I can look at scrambled words and tell you what the word is in seconds.

9. As a senior instructor, do you have any tips for any aspiring or new instructors who may be reading this?

To be an effective teacher, you should have a good understanding of what you are teaching, be comfortable and confident with how to present the information, and know how to apply it to a diverse client base of all levels and learning styles. You must also be willing to be a student yourself! My clients love when I come back from a workshop, convention, or certification because they know they will be getting something new.

10. One of the things we love about you is that you know how to get things done. You don’t waste time and you always jump at the opportunity to help others. What’s your biggest source of motivation?

Thank you! I enjoy helping others be better. I also have several mentors and work with one of the best in the industry, Torwa Joe aka FiyaStarta, and they have always been so selfless with sharing what they know so that I could be better. At the end of the day, we are a brand, we are family, and we are stronger when we work together.

11. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about trying out the Liquid Motion class for the first time or thinking about taking a Liquid Motion certification?

I would tell them to release all per-conceived ideas you have about floorwork at the door. Allow your mind and your body to go on a journey that you never want to return from.

12. In one sentence, share a life lesson you’ve learned – maybe a piece of advice that you’ve always held onto or a random comment you heard in passing that stuck with you. What do you think everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime?

Advice I heard that stuck with me…”show up and stay consistent” and everyone should hear at least once is that they inspired someone.

Featured Instructor of the Month: Suset Rosario

Suset Rosario (Healgirl) currently teaches at All Souls UU Church every Friday in Colorado Springs, CO. Her passion is getting everyone moving, whether it’s with Liquid Motion, hula hooping, or yoga. She believes movement should be inclusive to everyone from able to disabled, young and old. There’s something for everyone in the Liquid Motion curriculum!

1. You’ve been certified in all three levels of the Liquid Motion training program. Tell us how you got started with Liquid Motion and why you chose to take advantage of taking all three certification levels.

I started taking Liquid Motion classes in 2016 and fell in love with how accessible it was for someone like myself. I have no dance background and suffer from MS and fibromyalgia. I decided that I wanted to share this movement methodology and signed up for all three certifications this year. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn and teach!

2. What is your teaching philosophy? Do you have a motto or mantra?

     My teaching philosophy is one of inclusiveness. If I can, you can, even if you need to modify at first. There’s something for everyone in the Liquid Motion curriculum! 

3. What has been your most rewarding teaching experience?

My most rewarding teaching experience was having my students follow me from one studio to another. Seeing my value in their lives, seeing the value of what I teach gives me great joy!

4. What has been your biggest struggle in your teaching journey?

 My biggest struggle in my teaching journey was being a sensual movement instructor at a studio that did not value my certifications and experience. I finally found the courage to leave (with a bit of pushing from Jeni and Mel Heins) and I couldn’t be happier! 

5. You’re very passionate about teaching Liquid Motion. How do you help spread that passion to your students and light a fire for them? Do you have any tips for aspiring instructors?

    I love showing students where foundational movement can take them and how they can progress in their journey by demonstrating where I started and where Liquid Motion has taken me in my own movement journey. To see the excitement in their faces when they see what they can achieve with commitment and determination gets me even more pumped to teach! My advice to aspiring instructors is to find a mentor, (mine is Kismet Kanatous) and learn how to be a better instructor by continuing your education after getting certified.

6. What are your goals in your own personal movement journey? Has Liquid Motion had any impact in the way you approach these goals?

My goal is to polish up my technique when it comes to dance in general. I am proficient when it comes to movement that involves a lot of strength and flexibility. Shoulder stands and elbow jades came easy to me, but my dancing in general needs work. Liquid Motion has given me the blueprint to help strengthen my weaknesses by making technique accessible. 

7. What’s your all-time favorite song that makes you want to get Liquid?

  I don’t have just one, I have a playlist full of faves that get me daydreaming about choreography and make me want to dance, including: ASAP by Gia Koda (ft. Danny Seth), I’d Love To Change The World by Jetta, Unstable by Janine, and Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard 

8. Do you have any hidden talents?

 I have a few actually! I’m a certified chef classically trained in Italian cuisine. I am fluent in Spanish and can communicate well in Italian. I am also a hoopdance instructor and can hula hoop with the best of them. I am a proficient gardener and normally have a few thousand plants, including fruits, veggies, and flowers in my garden during the warmer months. I’ve also run a marathon and multiple Spartan races. 

9. You have been very open and vocal about your struggles with your own health. Why do you think it’s important to share your truth on social media?

Visibility matters to so many who don’t feel they’re not being represented or those who feel isolated due to disability and chronic illness. My hope is that people with chronic illnesses see my experiences dealing with MS and fibromyalgia and find that their life does not have to be limited because of their condition. Advocating for the disability community is one of my passions, and showing them how Liquid Motion can make movement accessible is something that has made me want to further my education within the Liquid Motion curriculum so that I can then share this wonderful methodology with them!

10. What’s your biggest source of motivation? What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?

      I have four kids ages 1, 7, 10, and 16 years of age. I want to be an example to them of what you can do with your life when you’re passionate and committed. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis exactly 7 years ago, since then I have been determined to not let this dictate my quality of life. These are the biggest factors that motivate and push me daily. 

11. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about trying out the Liquid Motion class for the first time or thinking about taking a Liquid Motion certification?

 My advice would be to just do it! Bring a friend if you need a bit of extra support to get out of your comfort zone, but take the plunge, you won’t regret it. The Liquid Motion community is a large family who only wants to see you succeed, whether thats in learning movement for the first time or advancing your journey in teaching. This an inclusive company that is grounded in making sensuality and dance accessible to everyone, why not be a part of something this amazing?

12. In one sentence, share a life lesson you’ve learned – maybe a piece of advice that you’ve always held onto or a random comment you heard in passing that stuck with you. What do you think everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime?

     “However difficult life may seem, there is always something can do and succeed at.”

      -Stephen Hawking

I Should Have Been a DJ (At Least, I Believed I Should Have) Part 2

By Krystal Bryce

Do you have playlist distress? What you need to first realize is that there is no such thing as a perfect playlist. At least not for every single student you have at one single class. Therefore it’s a good idea to stop trying to make that perfect playlist. Secondly, it’s not all about you. That one was really hard for me to swallow, and sometimes I still wrestle with it.

I mean seriously. It’s not all about me? Are you sure?

Yes. I am sure.

So if you’re not going to make the perfect playlist, then how can you at least get close? Let’s start with the beginning.

There is always a beginning, a middle, and an end to everything. This includes your playlist. Here are some good questions to ask yourself when you begin to put it all together.

  • What is my warm up going to consist of?
  • Will it be fast or slow? Perhaps a little of both?
  • How is it going to flow?
  • Lastly, how is it going to end? Will it end with a wild and exciting song or one they can all just melt into the floor with?

Furthermore, if I really want to go deeper, I may even choose a theme. Perhaps something like an all-female voice playlist, all-male or a mix of duets. An 80’s playlist. A playlist with just dubstep, rap, country, hip hop, or R&B. You get the idea. A theme. This theme can even continue on in the rest of your class. For example, if you decide to go with the 80’s theme then maybe you can add in fun 80’s clothing. You don’t have to go all out for this. It could be as easy as a headband or a leotard and leg warmers. If you don’t want to go with a theme, then be sure to mix it up so all genres get a little air time. This includes male and female voices. Look for opportunities to add in instrumental versions only. Sometimes people simply don’t need words to move.

Once you’ve decided how you want your warm-up playlist to flow, it’s time to start looking for your music. Some really awesome resources I’ve found are Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, and iTunes. I’m sure there are plenty more platforms; however I usually have more than enough music from all of these places that I really don’t need to look elsewhere.

If you get stuck and can’t seem to find the jams that hit the spot, then start looking online for people you know who share the same music platform as you. See what they are swirling to. See if they have any playlists they can share. I find people typically love to help out in this area.

Along those same lines, another place of great musical inspiration is social media. Find those dancers you love and see what songs they are dancing to. If it’s not posted, then use the Shazam app to snag it. Instagram songs are sometimes the best songs because you get to witness how someone else’s body has responded to it. Therefore this can help you discover the magic of variety. Plus, you don’t have to rely solely on your own opinion.

Use technology to the fullest. Network like crazy. Share songs with friends as often as possible. Throw all possibilities into a playlist. Leave nothing behind. Even if it’s something you aren’t very fond of. You may just be surprised at how someone else will absolutely love it.

After gathering your music, start to plan your warm up. Personally I change my warm up every week. I use my Liquid Motion movements to warm them and get them in the Liquid mood. It essentially becomes a twenty-minute Liquid Motion movement guided dance. I do throw in abs, pushups, planks and other conditioning moves as well.

Sometimes I write it out and practice, but most times I just go with the flow of the music. Either way, I’m still prepared because I know my playlist very well. I’m not saying this will work for you. What I am saying is, don’t be afraid to try new things. Look outside of the box.

To add to this, if you ever worry about your students getting bored, it’s usually a sign that you are bored and not them. It’s also a sign that you’re ready for growth. So try that new song out. See if something new happens.

Your beginning is now done. Next comes the middle. What’s in the middle? The teaching section. The part where you dig into the Liquid Motion movements and sequences.

This is where I usually have some low background music going. It keeps the energy moving. Here is where I would advise not to play anything really sad or dreary. This is where you want your students to be engaged and having fun. Nothing can bring a person down faster than one of those tear jerkers we all occasionally love to move to. Ask yourself what mood you want for this portion of the class. Think about your own demos as well. What makes your body move better?

Music plays a huge role in helping students find their flow. Having something prepared for this middle portion of class is a pretty big part of my planning. I usually write it out in my curriculum so I remember what song to play with what movement or sequence I’m teaching. This helps prevent me from picking a song that can totally kill the vibe. Plus I waste less time looking for music in the middle of class and use more time teaching.

Lastly, we have our ending, the conclusion of class. This is where the students get to try out everything they’ve learned. This is where they get freedom to explore it. I look for songs that are different each time. I rarely play the same song twice. I even try to space out when I use the same song between classes. I may only use a song one time and then ditch it. I give them variety. We are all different. Therefore we will all like different songs.

It’s important to allow for the opportunity to try on new music. Most people don’t do this for themselves. Often they don’t even know they might actually like a certain genre until you play it for them. Play it all and then some.

When the final song comes, I usually tend to go for something that feels meditative. This is where I have them cool down and stretch while I review with them the things they have accomplished. This is a time for celebration and for closure. Abruptly ending class tends to leave people feeling a bit undone. I find that closing in this way helps to set the mood for my students for the rest of the day. It also gives them something to look forward to for the next week.

Well, there you have it. This is not by any means all that I would like to share about music and playlists. There is so much more to it. I’m still learning. I will never again pretend to know everything there is to know about building playlists. However I know every day I practice building, I get better.

I would love for you to follow my playlists. They go back several years to when I used to teach for S Factor. I hope you find some music you enjoy. Mostly I hope you find something out of this that is helpful. Music is meant to be heard and shared. I hope you share yours with me! I’ll be looking forward to seeing some playlist posts on the Liquid Motion Certified Facebook page!!!

XOXO

Krystal Bryce

Spotify: KrystalBryce

SoundCloud: Charley Avery