I’ve refrained from writing about this because while I had a great time, this event was very poorly executed and like nothing I’ve ever participated in. I’m usually pretty positive, and I typically try to find a silver lining in everything and point out the positives. There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the competition SINCE the competition, so I’m not really sure how to talk about it. I’m not a negative person and I don’t want to come off that way, but this is not an event I would recommend to anyone. The scoring got very messed up for certain people (not me) and it resulted in a huge disaster with a lot of hurt feelings. There was also a lot of drama leading up to the competition – not with my friends/studio, with the studio that hosted the competition. I am not going to get into the details, but it got ugly.
Besides the fact that I got to watch almost every single person perform, I found the people I met that day to be really interesting. You had everyone from teachers (not just me – there was woman who was a middle school teacher) to strippers participating in the event. I truly enjoyed those aspects of the competition.
There were seven girls in the championship category and I took 4th place! I was pretty happy considering the people who beat me were a pole studio owner, someone who was a serious dancer/gymnast, and my friend, Aimee who has been doing this for years.
We arrived at the venue (The Roxy Theatre) at 9:30am. After checking in, we had the rest of the time to relax, get ready, and warm up. I headed down to the dressing rooms and did both my make up and my friend, Keri’s. I had gotten my hair done by my sister in law that morning so I didn’t have to mess with that. We got things squared away with the DJ (he deleted the whole music file by accident, so there was also that issue) and spent the morning stretching and getting ready. I was strangely calm and really didn’t feel concerned, even though I heard they had sold 100+ tickets for the event. The first two categories to perform were Amateur and Masters. I watched a few of the Amateur category from the back of the theatre before heading back to the dressing room to warm up.
I wanted to watch the Master’s category because I knew several people in the event, so I watched from the wings of the stage. I hadn’t been backstage anywhere since my high school drama club days, and it was really exciting. I still wasn’t nervous yet, but I was pretty excited. I was the first one in the Championship category to perform, and that category was immediately after the Master’s group.
As the last person finished their performance, I was standing in the wings and started to get nervous. For some reason, there was a really long break between the Master’s and Championship categories, and I began to worry that something was wrong with my music. I just wanted to get out there and do it already – I’d been choreographing and rehearsing this routine since January. I was more excited to share it with the audience and the judges. Finally, my name was announced and I headed on stage.
It felt so much like I was back at my high school getting ready to a show, except I felt much more naked – ha! I had on a pair of booty shorts that covers more than most, and a sports bra that I felt confident would be fine (it actually only arrived the night before). The lights were bright and just like my old drama club days, you could only see the first few rows of spectators. I took my position and when the music began, the routine just came like muscle memory.
Overall, it went unbelievably well. It wasn’t my best performance of the piece that I’d done, but it honestly went better than anything I could have hoped for. There were three areas that I wished went a bit more smoothly: right in the beginning, one of my first tricks when I climb the pole – it just looked choppy. Before I got off of the static pole and transitioned to the spin pole, I slipped in the last move that I did. I wanted to hold it for a few beats, but I didn’t. Lastly, when I stood up from my backbend, I was more forceful than I’d hoped and it looks sloppy. Other than that, I was pretty happy and I’m proud to share it with you:
If you’d like to see any of the other performances, here are a few:
Based on the general organization of the event and the outcome of the scoring, I would not participate in this event again. However, I would absolutely participate in a pole competition again! I still don’t consider myself graceful or to be much of a dancer but I had a lot of fun trying. I learned so much, got pretty strong and had a lot of fun with the other girls from my studio that participated. Also, I got to perform on a stage pole, which is quite different from the rigged poles at our studio.
Have you ever competed in anything other than a running event?