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:
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. HA. I’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.