December Twirly Boy of the Month: SeanMichael!

How did you find Twirly Girls?

In November of 2012, Nadia Sharif came up to NorCal for a workshop tour just off of her California Pole Dance Championship win. I scheduled a private with her at Twirly Girls through Lori. I didn’t really know anything about the studio or the community but after my private lesson, Bel and Lori took me to lunch and Bel asked me to come teach then and there and three months later, that’s exactly what I did.

How long have you been a Twirly Boy?

Basically a year (The first time I came to the studio was 11/24/12 for my private with Nadia)

Where else have you pole danced?

I started at Kinetic Arts Center thanks to my then co-worker, now amazing life companion, Lizzie. I also took Shelly’s spinning pole class at Phoenix where I developed my intense passion around spin. As my students will attest, one of my favorite phrases that I say almost constantly as if it’s brand new life changing information is “The faster you spin, the easier it is.”

Which class(es) do you teach?

I started off teaching “Tricks, Twirls, and Transitions” then added a new class to the lineup called “Inverted World.” We focus on inversions of all sorts and finding ways in and out of them. Our other big focus is building strength for inversions through reversed movement with the aid of gravity. I hope this all sounds very conceptual and space themed because I love themes.

Which moves have you been most excited to nail yourself, and which is your favorite to teach?

I came into this world of pole with zero body awareness, pitiful flexibility, and arms and hands so weak I woke up for months curled up in pain. Pole has not been a cakewalk for me. I love it because it has challenged me to become conscious of how much my body is capable of and encouraged me to use it while I can. That being said, every time I find a new ability I get the same high as my very first spin. There are some things that took me much longer to learn than others (toothbrush twist-off which I consider one of the harder and most labor intensive skills that I’ve conquered) and some that I accidentally happened upon and took zero finessing (like putting my foot on my head while hanging from my elbow.)

As far as teaching, I have this obsession with getting my students into their pole handstands. The pole community can be very quick to judge moves as strength, flexibility, etc. and then relegate those movies to specific gender representations (masculine = strong, feminine = flexible) so I like to mess up all those rules and teach my girls that they’re all capable of the pole handstand, one of the most iconic, liberating, and impressive moves available to us.

Which workshops have been your favorite?

My first workshop ever was a brass monkey intensive with Philip Deal. I’ll never forget it because I was awful and he kept pushing me and by the end of that day I was bleeding, and sweating, and bruised, and cramping, and I finally knew I wanted to compete. Not because I was proud of my abilities (I certainly didn’t get into a brass monkey without a spot that day) but because I realized how committed I was to this form of expression that I was falling in love with. I also trained privately with Phoenix Kazree while she was in SF with her Lion King tour (and AJ joined us once for maybe the most fun workshop of all!) which was the most transformational experience of my dance journey thus far.

Do you like to dance in heels or barefoot?

I LOVE dancing in heels. Seriously, it ignites the sexy in me. I have only done it in public once and it will likely never become a serious part of my repertoire due to the lack of mobility I feel (I can’t do a cupid!) but I do love it.

What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?

I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t been freestyling at all lately due to performance song requirements but I can tell you that my first favorite song to dance to was “Immature” by Björk.

What is your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure in life is eating pad see ew from the Thai place down the street at 1:00 am in my bed. My guilty pleasure in pole is making my students spin. From their elbows. Oh, how they loathe it but it’s so much fun!!! : P



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