I’ve been trying to decide on music for my next competition routines and when this song came on in my husband’s car, I considered it until I realized that the incomparable Sarah Jade had performed to it at Dance Filthy 2016 and there’s no way I could do it justice after her! It’s still a great song, though, so I used it for class where I could really dance it out and bring other people along with me on the ride. I showed my class her video afterwards and it was the first time seeing Sarah Jade for most them: everyone was in awe.
My goal for this routine was to make it more flowy than usual and focus on some floating arm movement. I definitely focus more on legs than I do on arms in my choreography, and it’s a big weak spot. The specifically incorporated arm movements are at :10, :23, :40, 1:01, 1:44, and 1:58. Going back through the routine now and counting them all out actually makes me feel better about realizing my intention! I definitely think I accomplished my goal of making this routine more circular and flowy than others, especially if you compare it to You Don’t Own Me from a couple weeks ago. There is tons of room for improvement, but it’s a start. I have some goals for 2018 in terms of my dance, and I’m eager to accomplish them!
My husband and I watch Shameless – he was into it and watched it regularly, and by virtue of being in the same room while it was on, I got sucked into it. I’m simultaneously horrified and intrigued by the lives the people in the show (and I know many people in real life) live. This song was on the show a couple weeks ago and my husband commented that he was surprised no one had used it for a pole routine yet. We both set off to see who could find it first since Shazam wasn’t working: he found it on Soundcloud, but it wasn’t anywhere else. I found the band’s Facebook page, and it looked like they had created it just before that episode aired, so it was a brand new song! I immediately was reminded of Tynesha Brown’s amazing routine to River by Bishop Briggs last year, mostly because the songs are in the same vein and she did such a good job interpreting that music! This is definitely not my normal kind of music, but something about it resonated with me, so I used it for class.
My favorite moments in this routine are the heel clack – step – step at :23, the little kick – scorpion kick up to sit at :47, and the end chest circles, leg twirls, and pose. I also love this skirted bottoms from Vekker LA! I had so much fun dancing in them: they definitely put an extra pep in my step.
This song is just so good, of course I had to do a routine to it! I know I’m a little late on the trend with this one, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a great song. There are a couple of elements I like in this routine: the low turns in place at the beginning, the little heel clack – hook – cross – roll combo at :41, and the internal consistency of 3 different double stag legs, as well as repeated bent and straight leg shapes. This was a very angular routine, whereas sometimes I try to focus more on circular movements and shapes. Even though there are several spins here, I feel like they are pointy spins. As I go through my videos, both class and competition, I often see better choreography coming from my class routines than my competition ones, and I really want to work on making the competition routines more stylized and consistent in shapes and theme of movement elements.
I’m sure I’ve heard this song before, but it really stuck with me when I saw Brittnai’s USPDF performance in October: I love the beats and the melody and everything about this song that is just crying out to be danced to! I obliged and put together a routine for class; this was one of the easiest and quickest routines for me to choreograph since the music was so much fun!
I also really love this bodysuit that I got from Forever21: it’s not on their website anymore, but it definitely got me hooked and I want more! I feel so sexy and slinky in it. I also love that we were all wearing black and red for this class: I’d posted the song the night before so everyone interpreted it the same way, which is amazing.
Since I got my pro card after competing in the amateur division last spring, I was able to compete in the pro division this fall with the US Pole Dance Federation. This competition is a little different from all the others: there is a 70-90 second routine that must include several compulsory requirements: a reverse grab to shouldermount on static that must have at least 2 rotations before getting into the shouldermount, at least 20 seconds of consecutive floorwork, a twisted sister held for at least 1 rotation on spin with the top foot at least 1 foot away from the pole, an inside leg hang cocoon with both arms overhead, and at least 30 seconds of consecutive spin pole. I only got 1 rotation in my static spin – I was so worried about slipping that I applied too much grip! – so I didn’t score too high on this round: 9th out of 15. We were also provided an outfit by MilaKrasna and a pair of GlitterHeels! We were required to wear heels for this routine. Even though I didn’t score very well, I had a lot of fun in these 90 seconds.
After everyone had gone through their compulsory routine, we performed our “optional” routine in the same order. It’s called optional, but everyone has to do one; there just aren’t any requirements other than a length between 3 and 4 minutes. We can wear whatever costume we like and can be barefoot or wear heels. I LOVE heels, so of course I chose to wear them. I ordered this beautiful set from Gale Polewear and added rhinestones. I wasn’t sure if the heels would be the right color, but they matched perfectly!
I’d had this song in mind for a routine for a while now, but it never seemed like quite the right time. I was listening to songs trying to find the right one for this comp, came across this one in my library, and fell back in love with it. I originally tried to mix it with a dubstep remix and while it sounded kind of cool, it didn’t really work for a pole routine (at least, not one that I could make look good!). I put a few new moves – the upright elbow hold split thing at 1:26 and the illusion plank (no idea it’s real name; that’s just what I call it) at 3:19 – as well as some old stand-bys – the shouldermount flip at 1:15, the cupgrip handspring at 2:26, the drop at 2:46 – and some variations of my favorites, like the forearm ayesha at 3:30. Overall I’m content with this routine, but it’s not amazing to me, either in its choreography or its performance. I think I can do better in making a routine a PERFORMANCE, from the music to the style to how the routine is structured to the moves and flow. I’m looking forward to my next competition: I already have some ideas brewing!
I first heard this song at PSO Southeast back in August and I knew I had to use it for a class routine – right before Halloween was the perfect time for it! I tried to incorporate some new movements, specifically at :35. I first did that slidey wave in my UPSDF optional routine (post about that coming soon!), and I really liked it, but it’s harder than it looks! It’s definitely the hardest part of the routine with all of the muscle it involves. I also think I’m getting a little better at looking at the audience (or camera, in this case): now to make sure I keep doing it during actual performances and competitions!
I LOVE this song. I originally planned to use it for my PSO Southeast floorwork and lowflow routine, but when I stumbled across that song, I changed my mind. I still couldn’t quite give up this song though, so I used it for a class routine. I love all the swirly leg things at the beginning and I really wanted to focus on circular movements around the pole. I may not be over this song still – I haven’t totally ruled it out for something in the future.
I completely forgot to write about this competition that happened August 26! I decided to be crazy (again) and compete in two different categories, though I reused my pro routine from Nationals just 3 weeks earlier. I really wanted to try out the new floorwork and low flow category, and I had so much fun creating that routine. I’m so glad I did that category because I truly enjoyed the process, which I can’t always say for my pro routines. I also won the category! I placed second in pro behind the gorgeous Shelly Murdock, who definitely deserved to win.
I actually was so busy with the beginning of school, my Nationals routine, and coaching my 5(!) students who competed that I didn’t get a chance to put together my floorwork and lowflow routine until the Tuesday night before the competition. I wouldn’t recommend doing that, but since I teach what is essentially a floorwork and lowflow routine every week, I had a good repertoire of moves and the song was so easy for me to work with. I actually had another song in mind, but when I was in Los Angeles for Nationals, we stopped at an Apple store while we were out and about to charge our iPhones. While my phone was charging, I picked up a random phone and started listening to the music loaded onto it. I heard this song, Girls Your Age by Transviolet, and immediately fell in love. I downloaded it as soon as I got home and decided to use it for this routine. I had a vision for this one, and I love how the dress worked with this performance. I’m happier with this performance than I’ve been with one in a long time.
I think I felt a little more comfortable with this run of my pro routine than I did at Nationals, but I don’t know that it was much better. Still, I like this routine and I’m glad I had a chance to perform it twice.
It was a crazy day for me since I had 5 students competing in 5 different divisions and I judged almost every other division that I didn’t have a student in or wasn’t competing in myself. I had a blast though and I can’t wait for the next one. I already have some new ideas in mind…
As I’ve said many times before, the hardest part of choreographing my Tuesday night routines is finding music! This song was suggested by Courtney, and while it’s definitely not music I would’ve chosen for myself, it worked out well. This was an unusually small class, but since Courtney was the one who wanted to do it, we went ahead and just had a duet class. It’s amazing how much faster one person learns a routine than a group! We ended up warming up, learning the routine, and filming the whole thing in just 45 minutes. Not too bad!
This is my second time competing in Pole Sport Organization’s Nationals competition, though the first time was in the now defunct Artistic Pro Division. The last time I placed 4th, and even within a week or two afterwards, and definitely by the time I received the video about a month later, I was wondering why I chose that music and that style. I pretty much hate that routine now! Sometimes I just get an idea in my head that I think I need to do, and it doesn’t quite work out.
I’d had this song picked out for months, but I cut out a bit at the beginning that was somewhat repetitive, and I needed to add something else in to make it a more competitive length. I loved the voicemail at the beginning of the routine that qualified me for Nationals, as did the judges, so I wanted to find something like that and I was stumped for weeks. One morning I literally woke up with Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” going through my head and I had the answer! I wish everything was that easy. As an English teacher, it particularly delights me to have a poem in my pole routine. I found a recording of Frost himself reading the poem and combined it with Tsar B’s song Swim.
I was the last performer of 16 women and 9 men, so I can’t help but feel that the judges were probably somewhat exhausted by that point. I felt pretty happy with my performance when I came off stage, though I knew it wasn’t at a high enough level to place. Yet when the placements were published the next day, I was pretty upset. I placed 10th and tied with 11th place, which was very disappointing to me. Competitions are not all about placing for me, but I always make it a personal goal to place in the top half, and this was the first competition in several years where I hadn’t, and I really questioned my abilities after that. I wondered if I was good enough to keep competing at a pro level since my strength, flexibility, and tricks ability seem to not be growing at all, at least not with the others at my level. I wondered if I had totally messed up on stage and just didn’t realize it. When I got my scoresheet, I was even more confused: one judge had placed me last, tied with 3 others according to the placements, but I had very little negative feedback. How could I score so low but not have many suggestions for improvement?
I noticed that most of the non-positive comments (since nothing was really negative) was about my emotion, character development, and facial expression, so I tried to get more into the routine 3 weeks later when I performed it again at PSO Southeast. I did get more positive feedback and placed 2nd there (though there were just 4 us!)
When I got the video I was a little terrified to watch it, but overall I’m pleased with how it went! The video is gorgeous and Alloy Images got the most beautiful pictures I’ve had from a performance yet, so I’m happy. Onwards and upwards!