USPSF 2016 Championships Thoughts

Almost exactly one month ago, on February 26th, I competed in the United States Pole Sports Federation Women’s Professional Division. I actually started writing a post a while ago about my process preparing for this competition because it was grueling – and not just physically – but I was so busy with life that I never finished it. The rules are extremely complicated and it took me several hours just to fill out the compulsory move and technical bonus sheets. Part of the requirement is music without any lyrics, and while I liked my music well enough, I wasn’t super excited by it so I was never particularly motivated to practice. I had many required moves to include in my routine, and while some guidance is definitely extremely helpful, I felt like all I was doing was trying to fit puzzle pieces of moves together, not create a performance. This competition is PERFECT for people like former gymnasts or ice skaters who like having points assigned to particular moves though!

Just 4 weeks before the competition, I couldn’t make it past 1:30 of my 3:56 routine. I could do the first part (which was all static), take a break, and then run my spin pass, but I couldn’t put the two of them together or add the last static pass on until just 2 weeks before the competition. While I know my cardio abilities aren’t great, I’d never had this much trouble just making it through a routine! I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through the performance, especially since I was almost never hitting one of my compulsory moves (I didn’t during the competition, either), and another one was happening maybe 25% of the time (I nailed that one!)

This no-handed cradle was iffy the entire time I was practicing, but I got it!

For me, the training process for this competition wasn’t as enjoyable as it has been for others. There was a LOT of studying involved, and math, and figuring out how exactly to follow all the rules, and I just really didn’t care about it that much to put forth the effort. However, I did end up winning my division! I have some thoughts about the level of competition – namely, that most of the competitors did NOT do a very good job of self-selecting their level – but I don’t want to focus on that. I had a gorgeous costume created by Carolina Elaine Grundstrum and my hair was done by one of my students at Bittersweet Studios Palm Coast: she incorporated the gold tinsel into the crown braid beautifully!

This was also the first time my mom had ever seen me pole. I’d shown her some videos of me in the past, but since my parents live in a different state, she’d never seen me pole in person before. It was so awesome having her there when I won! She didn’t have much to say about the whole experience: I think she was still processing a completely new-to-her way of thought and life, but she was definitely proud of me and appreciated the art and athleticism that pole can exemplify, particularly Dmitri Politov and Pink Puma’s stunning doubles routine.

Anyway, here’s my video! I am currently working on my routine for the Florida Pole Fitness Championship at the end of April and beginning to dream up some ideas for Pole Sport Organization‘s Southern Pole Championship in June. Always something to look forward to!

3 thoughts on “USPSF 2016 Championships Thoughts”

  1. Awesome routine! I definitely agree with you on the required tricks, music with no singing and all that … I don’t find competitions like that very interesting because it feels so dry and rigid, like everyone needs to fit the same box … and everyone ends up doing a lot of the same tricks because those are the ones that give maximum points!
    That’s why I love pole theater, where the performance is the main goal :) but congratulations on your win and good luck in your next competitions!

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