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I survived… The Edinburgh Pole Dance Championship

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Four categories in one night and I survived.

The Edinburgh Pole Dance Competition was the first one I’d entered that had different ability levels and I was in the intermediate category which was a bit weird since I still see myself as a beginner.

This time round the competition felt like a real test. First I was holding 3 routines in my head and had improvisation too. Second this was the first time I was competing against people with ability similar to mine, before I’ve gone to open comps and known I’m just there for the experience.

Learning the set dance was a blast because the song was really dark and suited my style of dancing. Choreographing the freestyle was a real challenge. It was a tango piece so integrated the dance moves with the tricks required to compete at intermediate level with that dance style. It turns out that was really difficult and I needed help with it. In spite of being well prepared for our doubles routine, my partner and I were finishing it off the afternoon of the show.

Once again I was so impressed with how friendly everyone is. Not an ounce of cattiness backstage, people supporting each other and was also nice to catch up with a couple of people I’d met at other competitions. There were some truly spectacular costumes and really memorable routines.

Heidi Hildersley got everyone buzzing with a routine including shuffling, the winner of the instructor did a disco routine that just made me giggle with glee and in the advanced category there was a competitor doing a routine to Katy Perry’s ET which was just striking. The judges all got up and did a show piece which combined some completely insane tricks with the pure presence and performance that comes from being truly comfortable with what you do.

For me the competition was a very full on experience. I arrived at the venue with my doubles partner around 2pm for a practice, then we went for a spot of lunch. First up was the set dance which went off without a hitch. The running order meant that I did the set dance and then had one song (about 3 ½ minutes) to run down to the toilets to get changed, fix my hair and change my makeup. Needless to say I arrived for my tango more than a little flustered.

So trying desperately to pull myself together I took to the stage. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I didn’t land my handstand at first go so was deep breath, kick back up and keep going. Luckily I really do love the piece and get a buzz out of performing it so I just relaxed and enjoyed. Then there was a bit of break for the improvisation category. This was the one I was really worried about. The music didn’t suit me at all but I managed to keep going for the whole minute and a half so was really chuffed with that. Doubles was the last category up. The routine started as we’d planned and then I blanked and was doing improvisation again (my poor partner).

Results time was slightly different this time round. I picked up 2 second places and a first which I was so pleased about, it was very gratifying to walk round with my medals clanking together. We didn’t place in the doubles but I still enjoyed doing it. People were so kind in what they said about my performance and one judge said I was ‘fierce’ which made me very happy.

The other huge breakthrough for me was my costume. In the freestyle and the improvisation, I competed in a 2 piece. That seems like quite a non event but for formerly big girl with raging body image issues to be up on stage with abs on display – HUGE.

Next competition is back to Glasgow to face the podium again – can’t wait!!!!!

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