Chair Workshop for Cancer Research

Our teacher demonstrates!
Our teacher demonstrates!

Like so many, my life has been touched by Cancer. I lost my mother far too soon to the effects of Lung Cancer. I miss her. She never had the opportunity to see her grandchildren grow up, graduate from university,  attend their weddings or hold a great-grandchild as her mother did. So, my sisters and I have always supported fundraising efforts for Cancer research. To that end, like many others I have sold raffle tickets, attended concerts, volunteered my services as  a washer upper at various functions and cut up oodles of onions for a sausage sizzle. But never before have I participated in a Chair workshop in an effort to raise money for Cancer research!

Why now, you might ask? Well because this year, the Cancer Council decided to hold a fundraiser in Byron Bay entitled:

My good friend Helen Jarvis landed the pole dancing gig.  Together with her tutor Candace, she has been mastering a pole dancing routine to present on Saturday night. As well, Helen and the other contestants have been raising money with various endeavours. Candace offered to run an all girls chair workshop, donating the proceeds and the rest, as they say is history.

I was told to wear gym gear and bring high heels. I donned my yoga pants, an over sized tshirt and collected my only pair of high heels, if shoes with a 4cm heel can be described as high.   My friend Neroli had also agreed to support Helen and together, we headed off to Circus Arts at the Industrial Estate at Byron. We didn’t  know what to expect but vaguely thought that we would be prancing around a chair, striking a few poses, while we giggled at our foolishness. But it was so, so much more! We were learning a proper dance routine!

Helen and the class hard at work

Initially, we had to stand beside our chairs with one foot on the seat. Yay, my leg could stretch that far. We had to bend and stretch in a provocative manner, slapping  and rolling our bottoms. Well, my bottom was in need of cellulite removal, so no problem, I slapped  away enthusiastically. We had to balance on our knees on the chair before  raising one leg towards the ceiling in an elegant manner and swishing our heads around.  I tried to swish, got vertigo, wobbled and nearly fell off.  But worse was to follow. The beautiful Candace demonstrated the  chair straddle. And we too tried to straddle …

My legs only just made it over the chair. There was absolutely no chance of me being able to do the splits in this position. I was simply hanging onto the chair for dear life.

We also tried to drape ourselves side wise over the chair and complete fan kicks. I invented a new move: the hobble as the fan was beyond me. To make matters worse,  my shimmy was more of a shammy. In truth, I only excelled at standing  still beside the chair rocking from one leg to the other.

This was how the shimmy was supposed to be executed.

Finally, it was time to put our moves together in a routine…to music! The only thing I can say is,  I know I’m  not suffering from Dementia. I could remember all the moves; it was their execution that was problematical.

My preconceptions about this being an easy activity were shattered, It was the most challenging thing that I’ve attempted for a long time. Muscles I had been unaware of, made their presence known. However, it was a lot of  fun. Neroli and I laughed and giggled heaps and would do it again maybe …  for Cancer Research.

On the chair again! check out Candace and her workshops aat http://www.polecatz,

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