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I get asked the question, "Should I do both Pole and Lyra this term?" and the answer is always "yes!". Cross Training refers to training other disciplines outside of your main artform. For example, if you're enrolled in Lyra, you could cross train in Pole or Burlesque and vice versa. Cross Training presents a number of benefits, all contributing to making you a better dancer. Here are six of my reasons why Cross Training is amazing.
Words by Katia Schwartz
Photography by Etienne Reynaud, Darren's Images & The Pixel Pixie

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This sexy picture of me with dollar bills shoved in my underwear is exactly why Cross Training is amazing. Muscles like this don't come from training one type of apparatus, one hour a week. Pole will condition you for Lyra, and Lyra will condition you for Pole. You're using similar muscles for both, but in a different way - which means that you're going to get much stronger, faster! Things will seem easier, because your muscles are being used more often and you'll get more out of class. 

The queen of fluidity and flow, Miss Lola Grace crosses between Lyra and Pole in her private practice time. Lyra, Pole and Burlesque require you to move your body in different ways. As a result, your body awareness increases and your flow between movements becomes more controlled and fluid. It's also interesting to see how we can incorporate movements across all of the disciplines, as variations of moves tend to appear and your body will recognise the familiarities. 

Before training Lyra, I felt like I was in a bit of an Inspirational drought with Pole. I felt like I couldn't really progress to the next level after repeating so many times because I wasn't able to nail my arch-nemesis moves. I started to lose inspiration for it, so I bought myself a Lyra and trained with that on the side. My strength started to improve dramatically, and my desire for Pole returned because I was able to reach my goals. I actually ended up loving Lyra more, and it's now my apparatus of choice!

The best part about Cross Training is the fact that you can wear different outfits and have different accessories for both! What Pole & Lyra Siren hasn't been envious of the gorgeous Burlesque Babes' sparkly corsets and kitten heels at Nightcap? As much as I love having different items, I also like to design costumes that I can wear for Burly, Pole and Lyra! I call it a "suite" of Costumes, or how Alyssa Kitt puts it, her "Summer" and "Winter" variations of an act. 

Learning routines and technique in classes is definitely food for our Brains. Experimenting with new disciplines not only exercises our body, but also our minds. It will improve memory (think about all the new 'names' you'll have to remember!) and also allow you to be more aware in class as you'll constantly be trying to compare the disciplines together. 

Think about all the amazing babes that you have met since starting classes, and how you train together in Practice and have tea parties every evening before class. By Cross Training, your world is being opened up to EVEN MORE BABES! This means, more tea drinking, more people to take pictures of you in practice time and more people to connect with that share the same passion.