Not in Kansas Anymore…

When I posted last week’s music post and my last training update, I snuck a few words in there about a little competition that I may or may not be registered for.


Whoops. So it seems I will be competing in my first pole competition. Who am I?

A few months ago, the owner of the studio I frequent started talking about the competition. I had zero interest in participating, but I thought it would be cool to put a routine together just for fun. My sister in law, Cassie, was the interested party and didn’t want to do it alone. She’s really, REALLY, good. I told her that if she were to do it, I would do it. It was more about getting her to sign up because she is good enough to win, but was lacking confidence.

Fast forward to last week – we agreed to sign up. So I registered…and a few hours later she texts me that her husband’s college graduation is THE SAME DAY. They got married young and he went into the Navy, so he’s just now graduating. She has to go to the graduation, so there’s a good chance that she can’t compete due to the timeline posted for the competition.

But…but….I already registered. What the actual fuck did I get myself into.

So now seems I need to come up with a routine for this very different type of event. I have no problem training for a race and showing up prepared. But pole dancing? I’ve been doing this for less than a year. Let’s also discuss the part where I can’t actually dance. I’m not just saying, “oh, I suck at dancing” and want everyone to be all, “ohhh but you’re so GOOD!” No, like, I really suck at dancing and I could swear that I really have two left feet.

I throw down a short trick reel on a pole, but you can’t just get up and do four minutes of your most badass tricks (or can you? My teacher seems to think otherwise). I’ve been dusting off some of my crazy yoga moves in hopes that I can use those as “floor work” because Lord knows I am the opposite of “sexy” when I try to dance (or ever, really). Trust me, my husband would second this claim. I can’t dance. It’s going to be quite comical.

I am so in over my head. The categories you could choose to compete in are:

  • Amateur
  • Freestyle
  • Masters
  • Burlesque
  • Championship
  • Exotic

Freestyle, burlesque and exotic were out. Freestyle was out because I can’t just start busting out moves – at this point, I need to think about it ahead of time. Exotic and burlesque were out for obvious reasons. That left amateur, masters, and championship. I’m a newbie – so amateur, right? Wrong. So very wrong…


  • This event is designed to welcome new pole dancers into the art of competition. Great, this is for me.
  • In this category, they will showcase basic beginner tricks, spins and movements. Perfect, I can do that. 
  • Competitors in this category must keep 4 points of contact on the pole when inverting.  But my best tricks all use 2-3 points of contact…that means I can’t even do a butterfly.
  • Inversions must all happen from the floor, aerial inverting is not allowed at this level. I can’t invert from a climb?
  • Use of spin pole is not required at this level. No spinny? No bueno. Moving on…


  • This event is for our intermediate pole dancers. I’m a beginner…okay, sure, intermediate. Lets go with that.
  • Aerial inversions are allowed as long as 3 points of contact are used. More my speed…
  • Use of spin pole in this category is required. This sounds like it’s for me.
  • In this category, competitors must keep 3 points of contact when inverting. Better, but three? No ayeshas. No jackknives. No pencils. No fun. 


  • This event is for those dancers wishing to compete with a traditional technical competitive aspect. I mean, I’m not trying to make a career out of pole dancing…
  • Designed to offer competitors the type of experience found at the other major pole competitions, the focus will be on the dancer’s technique, flexibility, artistry and difficulty of tricks. HAI’m not a dancer, I’m not very flexy, I am certainly not an artist. I guess I can do some fancy tricks, but that’s about it.
  • This category is designed for the advanced pole dancer. Intermediate was a stretch. I can’t stretch that any further.
  • There are no restritions on inversions in this level. Can aerial invert using as little as 1 point of contact. I can do all of my best tricks…
  • Use of spin pole required. Well of course it is. Yay.

I was still leaning towards masters, but when I got to the studio that night and we were discussing the categories the owner informed us that we had to do championship based on our abilities. I mean, she would have supported the decision to choose the masters category but she strongly suggested we choose championship so we didn’t have to limit ourselves when designing the routine.

So I chose championship. Efffff.

What it really came down to was the whole “points of contact” thing. I’m not graceful or sexy, but I am strong. My most impressive moves have minimal contact with the pole. If I want to be able to choreograph something without being restricted, I have to be in this level.

I wouldn’t quite as nervous I’d registered for amateur or masters. The championship thing sort of terrifies me. I don’t expect to win anything at ALL, but I am in way over my head in that category.

The thing is, it scares me and that was the real reason why I committed to the competition and the category. The things that scare me the most have always brought me the greatest sense of pride and accomplishment. I was scared to sign up for my first race, and practically shit my pants when I registered for my first marathon (believable since I do that in training sometimes anyway) but I did it and now I can’t imagine my life without running.

I’ve never been the kind of person to let fear stop me from doing something. I’m just as scared (if not more) to stand on a stage and spin around half naked on a pole and be judged for it. But you know what? Even if I fall off the pole, or split my shorts, or my boob pops out, I’ll survive and have a great story to tell.



58 thoughts on “Not in Kansas Anymore…

  1. afastpacedlife January 28, 2016 / 8:22 am

    This is sooo cool!!!!! Please please please record your performance at the competition.

    I think you’re awesome for doing this.

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 8:42 am

      Thank you!!! I will totally record it. I have about 2 minutes of it choreographed now and I record it just so I don’t forget what I did! I think they actually have professional videographers and if I am happy with how it goes, I will probably buy it because God knows it will be unlikely that I’ll ever do something like that again!

      • afastpacedlife January 28, 2016 / 8:45 am

        Or . . . you might get hooked. After my first half I never thought I would do another one. Look at me four years later.

      • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 9:26 am

        Good point. I did say that I would never run another marathon again with my first marathon…here I sit, 38 marathons later…oh dear.

  2. Heather @ShoesRun50 January 28, 2016 / 8:35 am

    Of course you are going to win! You are the best pole dancer that I know! I mean, yeah, by that standard you are also the worst pole dancer that I know, since you are my only pole dancing friend…

    On a serious note, I’m sure you’ll be just fine. I have faith that your instructor wouldn’t have set you up for extreme embarrassment by putting you in the wrong division. Even though you don’t have years of experience, you clearly have the skills needed to compete at a higher level. Think of it this way, last year was my first marathon. I was a marathon newbie. Did I line up at the very back of the pack so all the other experienced marathoners could go first? No, I lined up near a pace group that matched my current abilities. Really that is all that you are doing, getting in the right competition group for your abilities.

    You will be great! Plus you still have quite some time to practice and prepare!

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 8:43 am

      Good point!!! I like your rationale! And thank you so much. I am really excited! I know a few other girls from my studio in my division and they are so talented – I am more excited to see what they come up with. Either way, I think it’s going to be a ton of fun and a really good experience!

  3. niki January 28, 2016 / 9:08 am

    oh wow! 🙂 go you! Fabulous. You will of course be fine…. but I know that fear thing. Have a ball 🙂

  4. Katie Pridgen January 28, 2016 / 9:09 am

    I can’t wait to hear about how this goes… it’s super exciting! It’s actually kind of nice to know you are bad at dancing… I’m terrible at dancing, and if I ever had the opportunity to get involved in pole dancing, I think the dancing and the “sexy” aspect would have totally scared me away! It’s nice to know that those aren’t necessities!

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 9:29 am

      LOL! I am such a bad dancer and so not sexy. I am strong and can do some cool tricks, but who knows if that translates into a cool routine. It will be fun either way, though!

  5. Shauna @ Happily TwentySomething January 28, 2016 / 9:15 am

    Such an awesome new adventure! And you’re totally right… even if you mess up (which I doubt will happen!), you will have done something you never thought you would do! 🙂 Go Gurll!!

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 9:30 am

      Thank you!!! I am excited!!! I think it’s going to be fun. So far, I’ve really had a blast with working on this!

  6. Judith / soveryslightlymad January 28, 2016 / 9:16 am

    Wut? You’re not flexible? Bahahaha! You should see how not flexible I am. It’s sad.

    I’m excited for you! From your pictures, you are ridiculously strong. And if a boob pops out, I’m sure these people have seen one before 😉

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 9:32 am

      I swear I’m not flexible. My teacher would totally agree with me too – most times, you are in a move and I can fake it with some strength and the help of gravity. LOL – and you are so right – most of those people are no stranger to boobs! Hahaha!!

      • Judith / soveryslightlymad January 28, 2016 / 11:19 am

        I’m throwing myself a pity party since if you’re not flexible, I’m practically immobile. 😉

      • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 11:32 am

        Hahahahaha! I do have a flexible back and if I stretch my hips, they aren’t awful. I will give you that. But dude. My hamstrings. The lack of flexibility is no joke. Most times the teacher tells me to straighten my legs and my reply is either to straight up laugh at her or to tell her they are! If it’s anything with splits or straddles, NOPE. If I can use strength, then I can sometimes get them straight but there is always a slight bend in my knee!!

      • Judith / soveryslightlymad January 28, 2016 / 11:35 am

        Yeah, the notorious runner hamstrings. My lower back actually is really inflexible so my chiropractor does a lot of work on it because it leads to other issues if it’s not loosened up.

        I dunno, there was at least one picture of you inverted on the pole in a split that I as super impressed with. Maybe gravity helped your hamstrings out 😉

      • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 11:39 am

        I think I know which one you mean – it’s called a Marion Amber – the only reason it looks like I can get my legs straight is because I can push the side of my calf into the pole and I can drop my hips enough in it. I love that one, but it really is kind of an optical illusion because I could never do that without using the pole to help straighten my leg! Damn running 🙂

  7. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures January 28, 2016 / 9:19 am

    Let me just say that I am proud to “know” someone who is a Championship pole dancer! Funny though, because I thought Masters was going to mean 40+!! That does sound scary, but also so very exciting! 4 mins does sound like a long time. It will be interesting to see what you come up with for your routine. Good luck, you got this!!

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 9:34 am

      OMG I thought masters was 40+ too based on running! When they were first talking about the competition and hadn’t released the criteria for each category, that was my assumption. So far I have like 2 minutes of it choreographed, buts like the first minute of the song and the 3rd minute so I get a break in between to breathe. It’s going to be tough to keep moving for 4 minutes FOR SURE. I can’t wait to see where the routine goes. I wish I could post videos on here without having to do it through YouTube, bc I would totally post clips of what I have so far for you guys. I would love the feedback. I need to figure something out!!

  8. sarahdudek80 January 28, 2016 / 11:12 am

    I love this! I really want to see this performance. I was a nationally competitive figure skater for pretty much all of my life. I could jump, I could spin, but choreography? Heck no!! I left that up to the professionals. Honestly, even now as a coach, I try my best to pass it off. It just isn’t my thing. Good for your girl!

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 11:28 am

      Thank you! OMG I had no idea that you were a competitive figure skater – that is AWESOME!!! Do you still skate??

      This is just a little local competition, and I am sure my teacher will give me some choreography pointers. So far, I’ve been using my yoga background in place of dance moves because I really, really can’t dance!!

      • sarahdudek80 January 28, 2016 / 11:30 am

        I actually teach now. No more skating for me except for demonstrating. I actually competed nationally and lived away from home at a training center. It was a crazy world!

      • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 11:35 am

        WOWWW! That is so awesome. I have a few friends that skated competitively, but not THAT competitively! Amazing. I took ice skating lessons in high school with one of my friends. I think I was too old to get started, but it was SO fun!!

  9. Kerry January 28, 2016 / 11:12 am

    This is so wonderful! You have some pretty awesome tricks, so you’ll do amazing. I mean, if I were the judge, I’d totally give you the win. 😉 I also thought that masters meant 40+. Are you going to have to choreograph this yourself or is someone going to help you? You definitely need to post a video of this!

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 11:30 am

      Thank you! I am really excited!!! I am going to choreograph it myself. I am going to ask my teacher for pointers, and one of my high school students in a BIG dancer so when I have more of my routine videoed, I am going to show it to her and ask her for some little things I can add or adjust to make it more flowy. Dancing is so not my thing 🙂 But I love the pole stuff enough to at least give it a try!!!

  10. Hollie January 28, 2016 / 11:35 am

    That is really exciting and I cannot wait to see how it goes for you. I don’t know if it’s something I can watch (I don’t know how they work?) but I would love to come cheer you on.

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 11:36 am

      You totally could! They are going to sell tickets to the event – they are like $22, which I was like wtf? LOL! But we are doing a demo at the studio which would be free!! You could come for a visit either time and check it out. If you come to the competition, you’d get to see all of the levels, which could be entertaining to watch 🙂 I will keep you posted!!!!

  11. suzysuzyheather January 28, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    HOLY CRAP. This is so exciting. SO EXCITING! I wish I could watch. Make sure you post everything everywhere so I can see as much as possible!

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 12:22 pm

      Awww thank you Suzy! Don’t worry, I am sure I will post the shit out of it and you will feel like you were there 🙂 Tell me if I get annoying. I think I get annoying when I get excited! LOL. xoxoxox

  12. Susan - Nurse on the Run January 28, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    I’m so excited for you!! Can’t wait to see it. And you’ve inspired me to look at pole classes in NYC…if I can work up the courage!

    • allisonfiorini January 28, 2016 / 2:00 pm

      OMG You have GOT to go!!! You will LOVE it. I know in my area, we have 3 studios that do this. One is a little more risque than I can handle, another one is at a gym that takes things a little more slowly but a very similar athletic style to where I go. My studio is really all about learning to do some cool moves. None of us are “sexy” and just like to do fun moves on a pole. I bet she’d know where to go in NYC. I’m going to ask her if she has any recommendations for you tonight!!

  13. irishrunnerchick January 28, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    Wow! Look at you breaking out of that comfort zone and then some. I would love to see your finished routine. And trust your teacher – sometimes it’s hard to see your own potential.

    • allisonfiorini January 29, 2016 / 8:43 am

      I hope she’s right! I’m excited to try something new. It’s been a lot of fun so far!

  14. DarlinRae January 28, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    This is so awesome! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. I know you’ll be a rockstar!

  15. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor January 28, 2016 / 4:27 pm

    This is so exciting!! Best of luck! I’m sure you’ll do great. We often have the most fun when we’re not expecting much of ourselves, because we’re almost guaranteed to do better than we think we will. Taking on new challenges is so fun! You got this!

    • allisonfiorini January 29, 2016 / 9:45 am

      Thanks, Hanna!! I am so excited because it is something so different!

  16. Nora @ 2 Generations Running January 28, 2016 / 8:22 pm

    Hahahaha I’m cracking up at your last comment 😀 It would be a great story if you split your shorts!! But I’ll hope for your sake that doesn’t happen. 😉 I think it’s awesome that you’re doing this even though it’s out of your comfort zone! Can’t wait to hear how it all goes 🙂

    • allisonfiorini January 29, 2016 / 9:43 am

      LOL – if I split my shorts, I hope someone gets it on film!! Haha!

  17. Alanna January 28, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    That’s so awesome! Good luck! I’m sure that you will do great and I can’t wait to read all about it.

  18. Fallon @ Slacker Runner January 29, 2016 / 2:50 am

    How exciting and nerve wracking at the same time! I am sure you will do great! Maybe I am confused but I would have thought a spinning pole would be easier than a fixed one? And if so, wouldn’t that be better for the amateur category? Looking forward to your updates!

    • allisonfiorini January 29, 2016 / 9:41 am

      No, when the pole spins it is SO scary!!! You feel like you are going so fast but most times you’re barely moving. Any trick on static is way harder than spin. Plus I used to get really motion sick using spin. Now, I’m used to it! I wish it were easier because it looks way cooler when the pole is spinning!

  19. myRUNexperiment January 29, 2016 / 9:49 am

    Time to show off your SKILLS!! The first time is always a learning experience right? A few other competitions here and there, and you will be a pro at it. I’m interested I seeing the outcome. Best of luck!

    • allisonfiorini January 29, 2016 / 11:44 am

      I’m excited!!! There will definitely be a learning curve for this but I think it will be a ton of fun to try something different. At the very least, I think it will help keep me motivated with my strength training for our streak!!! 🙂

  20. Brittany January 29, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    You’re a badass and I’m so glad I stalked your IG so I can see your badassery in video form now. #noshamehere

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