Pole Dance Competition Weekend
The Girl Spot took part in Pole Sport Organization’s Northeast Aerial Arts Competition this past weekend. We had 8 pole dancers compete in dramatic and entertainment categories, at multiple levels, as well as 1 Lyra competitor in her appropriate level. Our dancers earned 2 First Place titles, 1 Second Place, 2 Third, 2 Fourth, a Fifth and an Eighth. The competition was pretty fierce.
Here are five things I observed, from the perspective of a Mama Pole studio owner:
- Competition, depending on the folks running it, can be a disaster or can run like clockwork. Pole Sport Organization is a seasoned group of dedicated people who run a nice event. So if you’ve been shy about getting involved, this would be a great place to start.
- Judging can be realllly hard! Especially when the field of talent is high. And, different things will carry more or less weight with different judges. I had lively conversation with 2 fellow judges on one of the panels on which I sat; one gave higher marks to a dancer who had a good “story”, the second was looking for innovation from the dancers and had very definite preferences about starting and ending poses. In my case, strong clean technique is a big influencer. See? Three different people, three different perspectives!
- Competitors need good, if not great, coaches. There were many pole dancers whose trick choices were unfortunate in two ways. One, the dancer’s technique in the given trick was either unsafe or incorrect. Two, the dancer assumed that because they’ve worked on a (pick the popular inversion here) trick that they qualified for a particular level, which in reality was too advanced for their current skill set. A sound coach won’t put his or her pole dancer in that situation, and will instead focus on ways to work with and highlight the dancer’s strengths. This coach will also know the appropriate competition level for the dancer.
- Competitors also need good, if not great, choreographers! There’s a GIANT world of movement out there, and many skilled choreographers. If you’re serious about competing, or just generally pole dancing in public, take advantage of those resources. In some cases, the pole dance itself didn’t really seem to match the song choice, and/or the movement wasn’t in keeping with the emotion of the song. Good choreography takes these elements and weaves them seamlessly together for a cohesive performance piece. If you can’t afford to hire a choreographer, study study study videos of all kinds of dance. And video yourself to learn what looks great on YOU!
- Competitors need to be trained in good, if not great, technique! An effective trainer knows how to help pole dancers develop clean artistic lines, which has to do with effectively training the muscle groups needed to achieve those lines. Training should also incorporated elements of strength and flexibility to give the dancer his or her best shot at having a good performance.
Come visit us sometime. We’d love to share our training methods with you!