Welcome to Miss Fit Academy's blog! MFA is Nashville's leading pole dance studio and aerial boutique! Visit our official website or call us at (615) 891-3910.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weird Wedding Traditions Around the World

Before anyone can get married, ransom must be paid. In a traditional token gesture, the groom comes to the brides house and gives something to her family for her hand in marriage. The family then bring out someone for the groom who is not the bride.  The groom again should ask for his beloved  and the family "demands" a bigger ransom to symbolically represent how valuable she is to her family. Satisfied that the groom knows her true worth, the family gives the bride away to her future husband. Obviously, Vodka is invited +1.

 We're thankful that Scotland’s traditional Blackening of the Bride/Groom ritual doesn't involve literally blackening anybody. We're also thankful that it's not an American tradition because it sounds awful! This ritual involves the couples "friends" pelting them with trash. The oozier the better, apparently. Historically, it was done to ward evil spirits away from the union. Today, presumably, people just want the chance to laugh while they douse people in refuse. Schadenfreude, anyone?

In China, the whole thing is an ordeal. First, since marriage is about the joining of two families, the parents have a formal meeting and set an auspicious date for the wedding. Some couples even dissect a chicken to pick a date, because why not, right? We've always found chicken liver to be very informative. Second, cakes are sent to friends and family by the grooms family as part of their proposal gift. The brides family then assembles her dowry, which usually consists of all the things that the couple needs for their new home- sometimes it is the home! On the actual wedding date so many rituals take place that we don't have enough space to list them. There's a lot of kneeling, and tea, and red envelopes full of money and such. The wedding night is considered the formal vow between husband and wife. The two drink wine from cups tethered by a red string and then she is presented with half-raw dumplings because in Chinese the pronunciation of "raw" is also the same as giving birth to children. The next morning, the bride is expected to, we kid you not, get up early make breakfast for her in-laws because surely she isn't exhausted from the above paragraph...

Chances are good that you've heard that a bride and groom shouldn't see each other on their special day before the wedding. But why? These kinds of things don't pop up out of thin air with the entire culture agreeing to do a silly and inconvenient thing. This one turns out to be quite pragmatic, if you happened to live during the times when most marriage were business transactions arranged by the families. This was to spare everyone the embarrassment should the groom not like what he saw and tried to back out of the union.

Photos of American bride and groom
Blindfold optional

- written by JLK

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Worlds Greatest Male Pole Dancers

Pole dancing isn't just for the ladies. In fact, men have a more elaborate history with pole dancing than women do. Chinese Acrobats were, and still are, often men. Mallakhamb is an Indian wrestling training regimen where men (and only men) flip and climb and are generally awesome all over a large wooden pole. Pole dancing has been open to men in other cultures for centuries now, but in the West is was largely taboo until recently. These men prove that the guys have come to hang with the 'big' girls, and maybe show them a few tricks! Add your own favorites in the comments below!

Felipe Mendoza Perez
The majority of professional male pole dancers have some amazing tricks in their respective repertoires, but few have the flexibility of Felipe Mendoza Perez (We're talking Spatchcocks, people). He is fire at the IPSF World Pole Sport 2014 in London. It takes about 3 seconds to realize that we are watching a professional dancer at work. Hailing from Chile, in his four years as a dancer he has placed first or second five times in major international competitions.  We're excited to see him again in the future!

Alex Shchukin
Born and raised in the Ukraine, Alex was a dedicated athlete up to the fall of the Soviet Union. Without the state to sponsor sporting activities and camps, Alex was left to his own devices and eventually found employment as a break dancer. His talent earned him a spot on So You Think You Can Dance, where he met his future wife who would be his conduit into pole dancing. In his first ever competition he placed 3rd, a fluke that has yet to happen again. He currently holds titles with APFC International, Mr Pole Dance International, and the World Pole Sports Championships.

Dimitry Politov

Make way for the Russians, dominating the dance world, as usual. First up, this guy. Winner of the World Pole Championships 2015, Dimitry Politov is a beast. He has that in common with the men on this list, but, seriously, call your family in the room and watch the video. His transitions are creative. His energy is frenetic. His daring is almost unparalleled.  Politov was a semi-finalist on Ukranes Got Talent and has won six titles since 2012. Here is his winning routine from 2015's World Pole Dance Champion in Beijing for you (and your family) to enjoy.

 Evgeny Greshilov
Former circus performer Evgeny Greshilov came ready made to the pole dancing world.  As a young man, Evgeny was involved in everything from mixed martial arts to drama. At 17, he moved away from his small town in Siberia to study at the State College of Circus and Variety Arts in Moscow. In 2010, he decided to try his hand at pole dance and won three Russian titles in a year. His first world title came to him at the Aerial Pole International in early 2011. Later that same year he became the first male champion in the World Pole Sport & Fitness Championship. His emotional winning performance at Pole Art 2012 will give you life!

- Written by JLK