First pole showcase and 3D printing
Sorry that it’s been a while.
The last time we talked I was overseas in Sri Lanka celebrating my Grandfather’s life that had been.
My mother and I have been back in New Zealand for a while and my father is looking after my grandmother back in Sri Lanka.
Since being back I’ve had two things I wanted to share. About a week ago, I performed in my first-ever pole showcase!
I started learning pole dancing in the middle of this year. At that time, I wouldn’t have guessed I would be performing in front of a live audience. But I did! This also marks the first time I’ve ever performed a dance routine in front of people.
Note: I was scared to watch my performance (maybe I had high expectations of myself). Anyway, it’s a good starting point and I am hoping to improve in the future.
What was the preparation like for the routine?
The preparation for this routine started about six weeks before the performance date. I also had some help with the choreography of the routine from an instructor through two private lessons. We had an hour a week to use the studio just to work on our routine with an option to book more practice sessions with an add-on package. Being in Sri Lanka made it difficult to prepare, but the extra practice sessions did help. The practice sessions were quite scary because I had never seen performances above level 1 (my level). So, it did feel intimidating being surrounded by people who are advanced poler, and here I was looking like a fool. However, I do think, that no matter how long to wait to get better, your expectation of yourself keeps increasing, so it’s better to perform and perform as early as you can.
How were the nerves before performing?
There were lots of nerves. I’d never performed in front of others. I was much less skilled compared to others who were performing. I hadn’t “perfected” the routine. Lots of negatives. But in my mind, I thought: this is a good opportunity to get outside my comfort zone and getting on stage is such a milestone let alone doing a routine. On top of that, my counsellor told me that what you are doing here is uncommon — not in the sense that it’s unusual, but not many people would be brave enough to do it. And that’s true. You are in a position of vulnerability — trying something new, that not many people would do, and expressing yourself with dance. Doing what most wouldn’t do is respectable. This helped ease those nerves and also understand that being nervous is normal.
How did it feel after performing?
While performing, it’s incredible how present you are — you have time to think! After performing though, you are hit with adrenaline and a feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes you might be self-critical: the routine could have been better, the moves need some work, and I feel awkward expressing myself like this to others. On reflection, it’s amazing to be a part of this. And calling back to when I said I feel foolish compared to others, you build friendships with others who are also performing because you are going through something hard together. Finally, this night wasn’t all about me (as much as I think it was), so it’s important to get out of your head (don’t think about your routine that you did in the past) and enjoy the present moment.
Level 1 passed and celebrating
Also, this week I achieved pole level 1. How? There are certain moves that you need to perfect and be signed off by an instructor. Now I’m eligible to do level 2 classes!
To celebrate this milestone, I decided to work on creating digitised sign-off sheets. At the moment, an instructor would use a paper form to sign up if a move was achieved.
The goal here is to create a simple user interface where you can click buttons to “sign off” a movement.
And here are some screenshots:
How does the design look? I took inspiration from Gumroad, with basic shadows and simple straight lines.
I’m not a designer and I’m a mediocre developer but it was a good learning curve to design a user interface from scratch using raw CSS.
Finally, a more polished version of this app would connect to a database to store this data (at the moment the data is stored on the server itself just for simplicity), and on top of this, authentication and permissions would allow a user with an instructor as permissions to sign off students as well as sign moves to levels.
I’ve been learning 3D printing using an application called OpenSCAD, which works better for me compared to using a new graphical user interface. It’s easier to write some code to define shapes.
To make things super easy, I made a simple bowl (it’s the first iteration of a contact lens). I went to the local makers space here in Palmerston North and they were able to 3D print this for me.
Here is what it looks like:
Now the goal is to improve upon this and build some more interesting and complex shapes.
Vice Presidency — We had the AGM for our weightlifting club and I have been elected as vice president. I am nervous since I have a lot on my plate currently, and I don’t want to let the team down. But, we will see how things go and this will be a good experience, nonetheless.
Two books about mountaineering disasters — No Way Down by Graham Bowley and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer are excellent reads from the past month. The first is about a disaster that occurred in 2008 on K2, while the latter is about the disaster that unfolded in 1996 on Mount Everest. We learn about heroism, summit fever and why the death zone has its namesake.
Thanks for reading this newsletter, which is more of an update. I’m not sure if this was helpful to you at all. I just feel at the moment I have nothing insightful at the moment. I will try and be more consistent in future.
Enjoy your week.
Stay focused and talk soon,