Fully Stripped Maui Retreat
The more we integrate into the world of pole the more we learn about the industry. We become familiar with its leaders, the various workshops, trainings, events, and shows. We realize that there are many activities and resources out there to help nourish and motivate the pole dancer as well as provide the best possible training. Soon, we develop the desire to attend these events and before you know it we are traveling to new destinations and making new friends.
Retreats and camps are one of those things that combine fun, relaxation and pole into one experience. In fact, I ended up moving to Los Angeles because of the amazing pole camp I attended at The Vertitude during the summer of 2014. For this reason I would like to share with you an event I learned about that is taking place at an eco-retreat center and farm in Hale Akua, Maui. This retreat is called “Stripped to the Fullest” and is produced by Mikka Minx under Mikka Minx Productions. The retreat takes place November 27-Dec 2 2015 and will provide pole dance, yoga, and workshops on sexual empowerment under the hospices of a tropical paradise. I took some time to interview the creator of this retreat to find out more about her vision and hopes. Read below to learn about Mikka Minx and what her retreat has to offer! The format of this article is organized by question and answer. Read below.
ABOUT MIKKA MINX:
Q: How long have you been pole dancing?
A Mikka Minx: 7 years
Q: What do you do in the pole industry?
A: I run a pole dance program called Minx in San Francisco
Q: What do you do outside of the pole world?
A: I am an experiential event producer. Minx Productions has been producing events & retreats in the Bay Area and around the world for over 8 years. Minx is known for creating lavish, intimate, memorable experiences. Detailed themes and decor, incredible music and performances, professional photographers and lush cozy spaces. Awesome new friends are always in the mix.
Q: How do you merge pole and your career into your every day life?
A: I produce pole dance related events, workshops, parties, performances and retreats.
Q: Who are your pole role models? Why?
A: My teachers at Cirque Noir are my role models because they teach in a way that is very authentic to themselves and you can feel their passion for the art of dance, teaching and performance.
ABOUT THE RETREAT
Q: I understand you offer three different areas in your retreat: yoga, sexual empowerment and pole. Can you tell us about these three areas and why you think it’s important for a woman?
A: Our intention is to explore transformation from a spiritual, movement and energetic focus. Each of these areas will go deep into that process
Q: What is the difference between a woman who has explored these core principles in her life and a woman who has not yet explored or developed them?
A: When you explore these areas of your life you are able to come into each life event with tools to apply from each area, depending on the situation or your personal experience. If you are empowered from one area but not the others, you may feel blocked and unable to address different situations in your life because you have limited strategies for success.
CLASSES AND FUN ACTIVITIES
Q: Tell us about the levels of the classes you offer. Is it for everyone?:
A: Stripped to the Fullest is a co-ed retreat for people of all skill-levels. Most students are beginner/intermediate but there are options for the advanced as well. Guests will fill out a questionnaire about their goals and intentions so the instructors can best help everyone reach their intentions and support them/push them appropriately. There are 3 classes offered each day but everyone can participate in as many or as little as they like.
Q: What sort of yoga are you teaching? Can you share how yoga can help pole dancers?
A: The yoga each day will vary from of vinyasa flow to therapeutic, with the addition of some acro yoga, sound healing and massage. Alignment and balance play a huge role in the fluid movement of pole dance.
Q: What will you teach in pole? What will the student come away with?
A: The pole classes start with a sexy dance warm up and then move into fluid pole movements and tricks. We have a focus on choreography and each person’s own expression and style. Each student will come away with some new tricks under their belt, a routine they love and most of all, feeling amazing and ready to take on their life with a new perspective.
Q: Tell us about the fun activities you have planned.
A: We have a variety of excursions and workshops each day, from sunrise hikes, to snorkeling with sea turtles, to farm tours, and raw chocolate workshops—Each activity is unique to the Hawaiian islands. Everything is optional of course and there is also the option to just hang out on the beach or the gorgeous retreat center in the salt water pools, hot tub, or receive a massage.
Q: Who would you like to invite to your pole retreat next time?
A: I have a long list of teachers, inspirational leaders who I would love to invite to future retreats.
HOW THE RETREAT CAME TO BE
Q: Everything starts with a vision. What inspired you to create this retreat?
A: This is my dream retreat. As an experiential event producer, I am passionate about creating life-changing experiences where people have space and inspiration to grow in ways they dream about but never knew possible. This retreat is a beautiful opportunity to do just that. I believe that it is the small moments in our lives that can change everything and bring purpose, inspiration and passion into our existence.
Q: How is it different than other retreats/what is your unique offering?
A: I am an event producer so I create experiences, not just a class with your teacher in Hawaii but a life changing adventure of personal transformation.
Q: Why Maui? how does this location feed into your vision?
A: Being in a tropical paradise nourishes the soul and encourages us to slow down and enjoy the beauty of life which is an important element of a retreat.
Q: What are your personal goals within the retreat?
A: To enjoy spending time with some really incredible people and allow Hawaii to fill me up with its beauty.
Q: What are your goals for others?
A: I am in charge of the experience flow. I will be checking in with everyone’s energy and emotional flow during the retreat and modifying the curriculum accordingly so that everyone has the best experience possible.
Q: What do you have in mind for the future of this retreat?
A: Like all of my events, I will be doing this retreat annually. We will make the retreat better and more amazing every year.
POLE DANCING AS WOMAN EMPOWERMENT
Q: How do you think pole dancing helps women in general?
A: Pole dancing can be many things, but for a lot of women it encompasses a feeling of empowerment in their life. This can be carried over into everything they do.
Q: How has it helped you?
A: Before I started pole dancing, I had a different relationship with my body and my body had a different relationship with the world. I hid my skin, my emotions and my biggest, deepest desires, because I didn’t feel I had the freedom to express myself, or the love and support I needed. Feeling so blocked made it difficult to pursue my dreams in the world with the same kind of passion and empowerment as I feel now. In my first pole dancing class my instructor informed me to take down my hair, which I had always worn up. I’ll never forget that simple, silly, yet influential moment. For the first time in my life, I felt a sense of release from having to hide the rawness of my emotions. That sense of permission and support to feel vulnerable is the kind of experience I want to help other women have.
The lessons I received from my pole classes and teachers were the beginning of a life-changing practice of self-love and expression that fuels my life every day. 7 years later I am still dancing and now fulfilling my vision of inspiring women and those around them with an ongoing experience that cultivates and awakens love and empowerment through movement.
My favorite moments in teaching are watching students recognize and own their unique gifts and characteristics that others love. Everyone comes in with challenges. Many people have low self esteem and don’t realize their own talents. Not everyone has someone in their life to encourage them. I want to be the person that believes in their potential as my teachers have for me.
Q: How do you hope it can help those that attend your retreat?
A: Diving deep into an immersive experience makes a huge difference in one’s growth process. We have a powerhouse staff of 5 teachers, a massage therapist, chef and videographer. Each of us has a unique role in the collaboration of bringing this 6 day journey to life. We have yoga, acroyoga and sound healing that will connect us to our spirit. All food is grown on the organic farm at the retreat center and Kyra, our incredible local chef, will nourish us with food that feeds our soul. Our massage therapist specializes in structural integration to bring us into our bodies in the most functional, connected way possible. Lila and I will take everyone on a mind-blowing journey through movement expression, dance, sexual empowerment and creative group activities. Last but not least, our videographer will capture the entire journey into an awesome short film.
All of these incredible pieces of this retreat will come together to take the guests on their own journey.
For more information on the retreat visit: http://www.mikkaminx.com/#hale-akua
Thank you for reading! UPA Author, Vaidehi Amair: Multimedia producer and talent. Aerial Dancer. Writer. Singer. Dancer. Videographer. Video editor. Fashion aficionado.