We danced to this back in January, but I was in need of a freestyle and since this song is both slow and very well-known, it’s ideal for a class freestyle song. It’s really hard to freestyle to a song without knowing it! I love being able to anticipate different aspects of the music and move accordingly.
I put together a few little combinations that we went through (on both sides!) before trying it with the music. We all interpret music differently, and move differently, so I love watching freestyles like this. I always close my eyes when I freestyle: it’s the only way I can really focus on what my body is doing instead of focusing on my positioning and what other people are doing. This night ended up being really therapeutic for me.
After a lot of hard work, help from my fellow Bittersweet competitors (Jane, Summer, Heather, and Kristin, who all placed second in their respective categories!!), and some last-minute fine-tuning from the incredible Pole Sport Organization National Champion Shaina Cruea, I finally placed in a competition! This was my fifth competition, and while I’ve been very close to the top three in several other competitions, this is the only one where I’ve actually placed. And not only placed, but WON! It’s been over two weeks and I still don’t think it’s quite sunk in.
It was an incredible experience, and it really taught me the importance of not performing to win, but to perform. I’d started that realization process with this past Florida Pole Fitness Championship, where I really thought I’d had a chance at placing. I got so in my head and focused on competing that I didn’t think about performing, and it was a mess. I didn’t do well, I stumbled through moves I’d done tons of times before, I felt and looked stiff… it was just not good. When I got into National Aerial Pole Art, I knew I had no chance of placing, so I had zero expectations on myself and I had one of the most flawless run-throughs of any of my routines on that stage. I wasn’t nervous, I was just there to show the audience my performance. And of course, I did well!
The biggest thing for me when it comes to competitions is convincing myself to not think about it as a competition, but as a performance. I LOVE performing, and unless I think I’m being judged by a pole star, I have no nerves when it comes to getting up on that stage and dancing. But the moment I know I’m being judged and ranked, I get all flustered and it shows. I really had to work on forcing myself to think of the SEAAC as a performance, a chance to show the judges what I’d been working on, rather than a competition where I was being compared to everyone else.
It’s not something where I can say, “Yes, I’ve achieved this and now I don’t have to think about it anymore.” I’m going to have to work on making myself consider every competition as a performance every single time I compete. But hopefully it will get a little bit easier with each competition.
Now, I have the Florida Pole Fitness Championship in March to think about, and then the PSO Nationals in Los Angeles in August! I’m already looking for music and ideas, and I can’t wait to craft something new and exciting.
And for making it this far, here’s the professional video from Alloy Images of my PSO SEAAC winning routine!
Whew, the past few weeks have been crazy! I was a wreck last week before the Southeast Aerial Art Championships and my brain was totally unable to focus on teaching, so my Poleography class was somewhat of a disaster and we didn’t end up filming it. I can’t even tell you what song we did! Between work and pole, my brain has been pretty over-worked recently. Hopefully things will get back to normal here soon.
Since I had a competition this weekend (post about that coming soon!), and I had a request for a rock song, I redid a routine from December 2013 that was inspired by the absolutely incredible Miss Pole Dance Australia 2012 opening number. It has a tricky side roll thing, but we got it for the most part!