I don’t watch a lot of TV, but my husband and I will sometimes watch Ridiculousness on MTV. There’s a teaser for another show that often plays during the commercials, and every time I heard it, I wanted the song that plays at the very end. It took me an hour to find it (for once, the Internet was not super helpful, and the snippet was too short to work for Soundhound), but I was super excited once I was able to hear the whole thing. It’s a great song, but the style was out of my comfort zone. I do really like what I finally came up with, but it was hard for me! I tend to have more flowy movements, and this song demanded hard hits. Once I finally gave in and went all out, it looked great, but it was physically exhausting to take it there for me.
From the moment I saw Pole Theatre USA announced, I knew I had to submit. It’s a competition that originated in Australia and was founded by sisters Maddie Sparkle and Michelle Shimmy. Since it’s first event in Sydney, there is now Pole Theatre Ireland, UK, and South Africa. There may be even more, but those are the ones I’m aware of that are definitely related to the one originally founded in Australia. There are four different categories: pole art, pole drama, pole comedy, and pole classique.
From the Pole Theatre USA website:
Pole Art is for performances incorporating another dance style (e.g. lyrical, contemporary, latin, ballet, etc.). Contestants will be judged on musicality and flow.
Pole Drama is for performances that tell a story. Contestants will be expected to build a clear storyline in their performance.
Pole Comedy is for performances that incorporate humorous and comedic elements.
Pole Classique is for performances that celebrate the beauty and art of sexy/sensual style pole dance and striptease.
Maddie Sparkle is one of my absolute favorite pole dancers and I’ve dreamed of meeting her, but figured it would never happen since we live on almost opposing continents. When I saw that she would be judging Pole Theatre USA, I had to apply. The application consists of two parts: a submission video in the style you’re applying for, and a description of your performance should you get in. I really wanted to do pole classique, but I didn’t have any videos of that style! I ended up filming a couple of freestyles and picked the best one. I came up with my idea for my performance one Saturday morning while proctoring the ACT exam, since I’m not allowed to do anything but watch the students take the test for four hours. I had tons of time to think, so I created the whole story in my head and wrote it down the minute the students had left the room!
The guidelines for amateur vs professional included having placed in the top 3 for a regional or national competition, which I had at PSO’s Southeast Aerial Arts Championship, so I submitted for the pro division even though I don’t see myself as a pro whatsoever. I submitted my application about a week before the deadline, and there were several posts by the event organizer about the pole classique division receiving the most entries. Well, that was it for me, I figured. The competitors for Pole Theatre UK were announced, and Bendy Kate was one of the finalists for the professional classique division. I am nowhere near that caliber of ability, so I assumed I had a snowball’s chance in hell of making it in.
After submission, all applicants received an email that we would hear back either way the first week of March. Friday came and went, Saturday came and went… Sunday ended and still no email. I was dying! I didn’t think I’d gotten in, but I just wanted to know for sure.
Then Tuesday night in between teaching pole classes, I checked my email and saw this:
I immediately took that screenshot and sent it to my husband, who was the only person who even knew I’d applied. Once he’d replied (by saying “Told you”), I turned to my students and told them. I was so shocked I was shaking! How had I made it in, and with only four contestants? I was in a daze for the rest of the evening. I even messaged the event organizer on Facebook and asked if that email was really meant for me! (Thankfully, it was. I’m still not convinced that my video somehow didn’t get mixed up with somebody else’s though…)
My wonderment only increased the next day when the full competitor list was published on Facebook. I’m in the same division as Dakota Fox, Dalijah, and Steven Retchless. How is that even possible? I can still hardly believe it, but I’m so so so excited to have this chance, and I cannot wait to go to Denver in May!
I love this song! I don’t know why it took me so long to do a routine to it, and I’m so glad I finally did. The beats are just so great and fun to hit. This was one of the fastest routines I’ve ever done, but I’m really pleased with how it went. I love heels, and swiveling on my toes, and rolling my hips, and flipping my hair. It’s all just so much fun!
I’ve been wanting to work on some pole skating recently, as inspired by Tracee Kafer’s Finding Your Freestyle challenge. I never seem to get around to doing any on my own, and it was time for a contemporary style dance, so I figured I’d make everyone on my poleography class do it with me! Even wearing pants, though, after running through this choreo the ~ten times we do in each class, my knees were pretty beat up. I need to invest in some real knee pads!
I really liked sliding through my moves and exploring new ways to slide around. Definitely something to work on more in the future!