On Saturday 28th of January to Wednesday 1st February, the University of Plymouth Pole Dancing Clubwent on a group holiday to Spain to bond as a club, explore Barcelona and the local culture, and experience new forms of classes at a local studio.
Whilst in Barcelona, the group attended 8 pole dancing workshops at the Pole Dance Factory over two days. These included Active Flexibility, Contemporary Choreography, two Exotic Choreographies, Handstands and Pole Lines Training.
"It was amazing experiencing classes differing to those we have at our local studio, the Art Of Dance in Mutley, and we greatly enjoyed it all – from the amazing teachers, spectacular choreographies and gorgeous studio." - Elizabeth Harrison, UPPDC Health, Safety and Welfare Officer.
In these classes, most members sported the club's new UPPDC kit, in shades of blue and lilac, and hobbled around in their "magnificent pleasers" (very, very high heels).
"Each class was so unique we developed dozens of ideas to teach to our members in our free weekly practices and integrate into our dancer’s routines for their upcoming competition: the South-West Pole Varsity, at the end of February (wish us luck!). The warmth and generosity of the studio was unmatched, and we hope to be returning as soon as we can – and bring the lovely instructors some pleasers!" - Elizabeth Harrison
On their afternoon and days off the group explored Barcelona:
"We often separated into groups to explore, checking off Antoni Gaudi’s Park Güell with panoramic views of the city and stunning creations (which we thought looked like first place gingerbread houses), and his ongoing creation, La Sagrada Familia. We hoped on and off the metro and relaxed on Barceloneta Beach, watching our wonderful President bathe in the 13 degree sea… you may be into that but I personally thought she was crazy. The club also visited Barcelona’s Illusions Museum, and Big Fun Museum, and to top it off, we had an educational time at the Erotica Museum." - Elizabeth Harrison
On evenings and nights out the group enjoyed sharing tapas and developed a deep love for bravas!
"Always having a laugh, our pole dancers sat together in the hostel rooms or enjoyed Sangria’s in local restaurants or clubs. We bonded so much and learnt so much about one another – some would joke too much! We all had an amazing experience and hope to go on another tour in the coming years!" - Elizabeth Harrison
All members who attending the trip spoke highly of the experience, the team bonding and new skills developed:
“Tour is something as president I was really keen for the club to do, and I am so happy we accomplished it this year. It was both enjoyable and a bit stressful at times to organise but the payoff was worth it. I felt both members and the committee grew in confidence and what was already a close warm group became even more so. The studio and the instructors were amazing, and I learnt so much about what to work on next in my pole journey. Special shout out to Aleksandra Ochnik for her amazing organisational skills.” - Nicole Stockel, UPPDC President.
“It was the first time I ever organised a trip abroad for a group and I’m very proud how it came together. We got to develop pole skills, support local business with similar ethics and sightsee while basking in the sun.” - Aleksandra Ochnik, UPPDC Team Captain.
“Barcelona was great, I loved spending time with the pole girls and learning new skills at a different studio. We had such an amazing time together and bonded so much. The experience was unforgettable and I’m so glad we all had a good time.” - Elizabeth Harrison, UPPDC Health, Safety and Welfare Officer.
“Had an amazing time with all the girls the pole experience was nothing I have ever tried before but the experience had opened up new skills and choreography. It was such a fun holiday and I loved getting to know the girls more and to have all these new stories about pole.” - Megan Lee Acaster, UPPDC Kit Sec.
“I really enjoyed going away with pole on tour and seeing the sights of Barcelona. I loved visiting the beach and the harbour where on one of our days me and liv got a cable car to the top of a mountain and we saw views of the whole city on such a sunny day.” - Jessica Westwood, club member.
"The tour gave me a great opportunity to develop my pole skills as a beginner, helping build on my technique and creativity with new instructors. I also got the chance to explore a new country and make new friends, increasing my confidence. I'm extremely grateful for the experience." - Charlotte Woods, club member.
“I’ve never seen myself as a dancer however after the choreography we learnt this week I am starting to see myself more as a pole dancer. It’s always great to explore new things with the pole girls.” - Hannah McCabe, UPPDC Alumni.
“The place we stayed at was lovely and the locals were very welcoming, and the beaches were beautiful.” - Hope Tremlett, club member.
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