Dirty Diana – The Weeknd

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.

USPDF Pro Competition 2017

compulsory9

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!optional9

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!

Devils Hands – Truth

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!

One Way or Another – Until the Ribbon Breaks

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.

PSO Southeast Championships 2017

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.

SEPC17-KC-7834

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…

Hazey – Glass Animals

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!