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Pole Show L.A. Celebrates 10 years of BeSpun Studio

By on February 6, 2017
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Leigh Ann Reilly owner of BeSpun studios and Pole Show L.A. founder

On Saturday Jan 28, pole dancers flocked to Boulevard3 in Hollywood to attend the famed Pole Show L.A. The show is one of the original pole dance performances in Los Angeles and boasts a hefty line-up of pole talent along with performances from pole students from BeSpun studios. This year, Pole Show L.A. creator Leigh Ann Reilly was celebrating the ten year anniversary of her pole studio studio (BeSpun). Guest performers included Natasha Wang, Sasj Lee, Katherine Voorhees, and Bad Kitty® Brand Ambassador Nadia Sharif. Also headlining the show were Be Spun Instructors Claudia Renee, Jordan Kensley, Elizabeth Carmine Black and Brandon Grimm, who choreographed much of the show.

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Slay bunny, Slay!

The venue was warm, beautiful and inviting. Guests entered the club through a courtyard where they could sit in booths adjacent to a fire pit. There were two more entrances to get to the main stage. One led through a small vendor area where you could buy merch from BeSpun studios as well as yogawear and lingerie. The main room had two floors. The first floor was an open space for standing or dancing. A single X-Pole stage was set up on the floor which was used for performers as well as attendees who wanted to play. The second floor had private booths with bottle service that overlooked the entire club and stage. The stage was elevated and jutted out over the bar with a single pole and skinny walkway. To be honest, it looked somewhat terrifying to perform on. One misstep on the walkway and you might land on a bartender’s head.

The crowd was primarily female and primarily pole dancers. True to form, they hooted, shouted, clapped, catcalled and cheered for the performers on stage. And sometimes they were also breathlessly silent and awestruck. Any why not? The dancers gave top notch performances. The evening opened with a group piece that reprised the famous costume party in Eyes Wide Shut. It was dark and sensual and set the mood for the night.

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Eyes Wide Shut

Nadia Sharif came next with a solo piece that was filled with electrifying, in-your-face rawness and her signature aerial fan kicks, and wild flow.

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BK Brand Ambassador Nadia Sharif

The second group piece had dancers from BeSpun and Jagged Vertical Dance Studio. These 4 ladies were dressed in white vinyl leggings with white hair extensions, lending their pole and lyra performance a very futuristic vibe.

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Aerial Magic from BeSpun and Jagged studios

Claudia Renee offered up a technically flawless dance that seamlessly blended her playful sexiness and fairy-like movement.

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BeSpun Pole Instructor Claudia Renee

Perhaps my favorite performance, Bun Buns (yes, you read that right), consisted of a gaggle of pink bunny pole dancers wearing ridiculously large bunny heads, cotton tails on their pink pole booty shorts and shamelessly showcasing every twerk variation along with some saucy floor and pole work. Amazing.

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Love the BunBuns

Jordan Kensley is probably the only dancer who could follow an act like that, and she did, and she killed it. She started off on the pole set up in the audience and sexily and slinkily made her way to the main stage in ten inch heels. She is one of the few pole dancers left who is fearless when it comes to engaging her audience with eye contact and it makes her both accessible and wildly sexy.

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Jordan Kensley killing it in the audience.

If there was one performance that deserved an award for blending beauty, dignity, femininity and sensuality with tenacity and grit it was Brandon Grimm in “Welcome to Burlesque”. The choreo was dynamic and fresh, the costumes were absolutely beautiful and Mr. Grimm danced the majority of the piece with one satin platform dangling from a delicate strap around his ankle. Yes he did. This was undoubtedly a flaw on the stage and not a misstep on his part. Otherwise, he most certainly would not have been able to finish the piece with such grace and poise. Bravo. A true testament to the old adage, “The Show Must Go On”.

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The very talented Brandon Grimm

Elizabeth Carmine Black came next. Flames. This woman is not just sexy, she is deeply rooted in her sexy movement. And she doesn’t mind getting a little dirty with it either. She dances for herself, not to please you. But it’s impossible not to experience pleasure when you witness such unbridled passion. Unless you are  a complete prude. Just saying.

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Elizabeth Carmine Black

“Harem” was a belly dance inspired barefoot piece featuring pole powerhouses Sasj Lee, Anikia B., Katherine Voorhees, Margarita Evans and Wendy Lee. The piece was at once delicate and understated, with power pole moves interwoven into the choreo at unexpected moments. It was as if the dancers were saying “You see, we can be both soft and strong”. And of course, the cohesiveness of the movement in this piece was a testament to the level of skill in each of these dancers. Top notch.

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Wendy Lee, BeSpun Pole Instructor, in “Harem”

And if we are going to talk about top notch, well, then we had better talk about  Natasha Wang. Watching her dance is like watching a moving meditation. She dances with the pole. Not on it. It is her partner. I felt as though I was watching a flower unfold and grow. It was sublime.

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The ever inspirational Natasha Wang

The last group piece was a giggly 80’s jam with male performers, a little lap dancing and a lot of legwarmers. For the finale, Leigh Ann performed a pole piece to Purple Rain, with the entire cast coming out in purple costumes to celebrate. As an homage to Be Spun the dancers performed the original Be Spun warm up on stage which is a familiar set of hip rolls and leg twirls that anyone who has taken a class at Be Spun has experienced in one way or another. It was a heartfelt moment and a throwback to where so many pole dancers started their journey. There was confetti, champagne some fire breathing and a lot of clapping. It was a heartening and congratulatory way to end the show.

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Leigh Ann Reilly

Aside from a few technical glitches at the beginning and end of the production, the show went smoothly. It started about 30 minutes late and ran about 90 minutes total. There were some last minute announcements about performance cancellations from Alethea Austin and Brynn Route, which was disappointing, but the show was still remarkable. The stage was visible from almost anyplace in the club, which made it very audience friendly. The staff were warm and welcoming. We are looking forward to seeing the next installment of Pole Show LA!

A warm congratulations to Leigh Ann, her ten year anniversary, and to the BeSpun staff & students for putting together a wonderful show!

All photos by Brian Feinzimer at the L.A. Weekly

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Claire Griffin Sterrett
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Claire Griffin Sterrett

Editor in Chief at Bad Kitty Inc.
Writer, pole dancer, teacher, social worker and editor of this whole awesome thing.You can find out more about me at www.polestory.com.
Claire Griffin Sterrett
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