Lehigh Valley Poleathon 2016

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:

1st Place Championship Division, Rachel Skye (owns her own studio)
3rd Place Championship Division, MiCole Sechler (gymnast/dancer)
1st Place Masters, Jess (a friend from my studio!)

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?

 

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19 comments

  1. I’m sorry to hear that the competition wasn’t managed well, but CONGRATULATIONS! I love your routine, and in spite of your protestations, I think you are VERY graceful 🙂

  2. Awesome! I thought the routine was really cool, especially the spinning moves at the end. I never would have noticed the “errors” you mention, but, I get it. You’ve really come so far in your pole fitness since you started last summer…hey, wouldn’t your one year poleiversary be coming up soon? Anyway, great job. Sorry this comp was so terribly ran 😦

  3. AWESOME! Congrats on your 4th place showing at your very first competition.

    Sucks that the event was poorly organized, but didn’t I tell ya that you might get hooked???

  4. Congratulations on a wonderful routine! And thanks for linking to some of the other ladies’ as well. So neat. 🙂
    I’m sorry it wasn’t a well managed event, but I hope you can find some better ones to take part in soon.

  5. Great job on 4th place! I had no idea! 🙂 I watched your routine on FB and really enjoyed it. I don’t know anything about pole but I could just tell you getting more and more comfortable with it as you shared videos with us.

    I am not sure if I competed in anything but running! I was a vocal major in college, so I didn’t really compete but I had to sing for the voice professors in a “jury” at the end of every semester and we got scored and graded on our performance. It was soooooooo scary. I love performing in musicals but that is much different than getting graded by your college’s freaking voice dept.

  6. Nice job! I’m always floored by how strong you are!

    I think I’ve only ever competed in running events and triathlons (with the exception of a single series of speech competitions in high school that happened accidentally!). Performance-type stuff is definitely not my strong suit. I think I’d die just from the nerves!

  7. Congratulations on coming in 4th in your division- it sounds like you had some stiff competition and for your first pole competition that seems like a great result!

    I’m sorry the event had drama and issues with the DJ losing music and scoring, but I’m glad you had fun doing it and met some awesome people. It’s so neat how diverse the pole community seems just like the running community. Hopefully if you decide to do another competition it will go smoother and less drama.

  8. First of all, I am so incredibly proud of you. The amount of work you put into this as well as your job and running, astounds me. The fact that you choreographed this amazing performance on your own is also incredible. I competed at the national level in figure skating for many years. To this day, I have others choreograph. As my husband would tell you….I have no rhythm 😉 Congrats!

  9. Congrats on placing 4th in your division!! I can’t see your routine for some reason (likely because my operating system is old), but I was blown away when you posted your routine before. I thought of you the other day because the X Ambassadors performed on Live with Kelly!!! 🙂

  10. What a neat experience and a great performance! Yeah, 1st place was a dancer, so that helped her, but your technical moves were more awesome.
    Also, you can tell your friend Jess that her performance was pretty sweet!
    Sorry about the drama. There’s enough drama between competitors without organizers having to add to it. But maybe this is the first of several competitions!

  11. It was awesome to see you performing because I know how hard you work my friend. I’m sorry the competition was a bit jaded but it does sound like you made it positive.

  12. I’m sorry the event left a bit to be desired, but you did amazing! It’s incredible how strong you are, and I’m even more impressed that you’ve been doing this for less than a year! (Or about a year – close.) Spin pole looks really fun!

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