This show is SO MUCH FUN! I loved our performance from last year, but this year we decided to take it in a different (though still fierce!) direction.
I found this song and loved it, so I suggested it when our original plan was to do a showgirl-style performance. Our amazing dance teacher, Kasey, took the song and interpreted it as a King Midas situation, and I LOVE how it turned out! We got to smear glitter all over the boys, be obsessed with jewelry, and be as shiny and gold as possible! We put this whole thing together in two weeks, which doesn’t sound bad unless you know that we can only practice on the weekends. I only knew my part, so I love watching the video over and over to see what everyone else is doing throughout – everyone looks so good! This is definitely one of my favorite performances that I’ve been a part of and I can’t wait to reprise it in November at Bittersweet’s 5 year anniversary showcase!
Back in March I competed in the women’s elite division of the US Pole Sports Federation Championships – and placed 2nd! Last year I won the women’s professional division, and to be honest, I’m not quite sure why I decided to do it again this year. I didn’t particularly enjoy the training process and I got frustrated with trying to figure out all the rules, but somehow I found myself signed up for this year, and in a division with some crazy competition: last year the top three were Rafaela Montanaro (this year’s winner as well!), Polina Volcheck (aka Pink Puma), and Samantha Star. So to say that I was going into this year’s competition without any hope of placing is not an exaggeration.
The USPSF competition differs from other competitions mostly in that you have 10 required moves that you must identify in the order that you will perform them on a judge sheet, and that is one of the things you are judged on during your routine. You have the option to gain bonus points by combing two or more of those moves, but it’s made more difficult with the combos having to be moves from different categories, of which there are 5: strength, flexibility, static spins, dynamic elements, and spin elements. It involves WAY more math than you might think when it comes to choreographing a routine, and it took me hours to fill out the difficulty sheet and double-, triple-, and quadruple-check it to make sure I had everything correct (you lose points before the competition even starts if it’s filled out incorrectly). The goal of the USPSF and IPSAF is to get pole into the Olympics, so it’s modeled closely after gymnastics and ice skating requirements.
I actually felt better when coming off stage than I do now watching the video. I don’t think there’s anything particularly smooth, inventive, or unique about anything here, but I followed the rules: hold each compulsory move for at least 2 seconds, have at least 2 full rotations around the pole in the spin element, finish the moves… so I think that some other competitors may have had really nice, cohesive, and great routines, but because this competition is judged so differently, they may not have scored as high. I felt the same after the PSO SEAAC, because it was judged with a heavier emphasis on emotion than tricks, so I think that’s why I won. Sometimes it makes me feel like I don’t really deserve the wins, to be honest.
With all that said, here’s the video! I haven’t even thought about what music/theme I’m going to do in December for Worlds, which, thankfully, is being held at UNF in Jacksonville. It would be nice to travel to another country like Italy, which is where Worlds was held in 2016, but it’s MUCH cheaper and more convenient to have it right in my own backyard.
Since last week was such a pop-py routine with some hard hits and somewhat faster movements, I wanted to do something a little slower and slinkier this week before we take a few weeks’ break to work on a group routine for an upcoming showcase (that routine is also super fast and hard-hitting!). I didn’t like this song when it first came out, but then I heard it again in a TV show and immediately shazamed it… sometimes you need to hear a song in a different context for it to jump out at you! There’s nothing too hard in here, but I always want to put in something a little challenging and/or new for my students to learn: this week was the little spin around from the ankle/pole sandwich at 1:00. Everyone really liked it, which was great! Sometimes I don’t get positive feedback from the class, but more often (and worse) is when I get no feedback at all. Then I just wonder if everyone hated it and didn’t want to hurt my feelings. This routine got some positive reactions, except I got some complaints about not wearing kneepads. I knew it might be hard on some knees, but with the spins it was impossible to wear kneepads and I tried not to make it too knee-intensive.
I’m waiting on my video from the US Pole Sports Federation competition back in March so as soon as I get it, I’ll write a post!
I only have one more class of a new routine before we take a 4 week break to work on our group routine for the studio showcase on June 10th! I’ve had this song in my iTunes for years now, but recently rediscovered it; when I was looking for a song for this week, I knew I wanted something fun, so this fit the bill perfectly! I don’t have a song in mind for next week, so I’d love any suggestions anyone might have.
This routine had a couple of tricky things in it: the backward shoulder roll has no momentum going into it, so it’s really an ab workout, and the full turns over our right knees on the floor took a little time to figure out, but everyone got them! I definitely enjoyed this routine and its upbeat pop-py-ness, but I think I want to do something a little more slinky next week… I’ll see what I can come up with. 😉
I first heard this music in PSO’s Triangle Pole Championships when Rachele Ribera absolutely killed a freestyle in the Exotic Level 5 division. I shazamed it and haven’t stopped listening to it since then! It has such great swoops and circles and hits and it’s just amazing. We were originally going to have a showcase on May 13th so we were working on one routine for several weeks in a row, but it had to be moved so now we get to do a few new routines until we buckle back down to practice for the showcase again. I think this was a great song to come back to new choreography with!