This weekend was the most amazing pole dancing experience of my life! I am absolutely aching today and I still have loads sleep to catch up on but matched with a big smile on my face!
The weekend for me started on Friday; after a long journey in and out of London I arrived in Grays and took a taxi to Civics Hall, where as soon as I arrived through the door I was surrounded by pole idols, pole and industry friends and stalls galore! I felt like a little kid in a sweet shop! In the changing rooms I was greeted by other contestants for both the pole2pole amateur and professional cup, and there was just such a lovely friendly atmosphere, with everyone sharing stories about their heats and their plans for their routines. Sometimes being back stage at a competition can be really daunting but there was a real togetherness about the evening, and everyone was showing each other great support and advice. Whilst we were all busy with hair and make up, outside in the main hall the seats began to fill with all our friends and family and a buzz for the event started in the air, I even spotted some of the world famous workshop instructors taking their seat ready for the event to start! I was lucky enough to have time to watch some of the amateurs, who competed before the professional category, and I was amazed at the confidence, variety in moves and themes that they had. It was this time last year that I was in their place and competiting in the amateur category, and I feel like the bar had really been raised by them this year.
The evening soon flew by and before I knew it it was my time to get on that stage! My routine was to Temper Trap’s ‘Sweet disposition’, which was quite a different choice of music for me as I usually go for slow tempo and moody songs, but every time I hear that song it makes me smile (and I’m not usually a smiley faced person) and I enjoyed the challenge of going outside of my comfort area. To complement the song I hand glued over 500 gems to my shorts and crop top, and even though I was dreaming about gems for a few days after making it, I was really happy with the way it came out and sparkled on stage! As far as the performance went I was really pleased, and actually enjoyed it, especially in comparison to other competitions where I’m almost passing out standing behind the curtain ready to come out. I did miss a few moves, got my legs a bit muddled and my lines weren’t always as straight as I’d had liked them to be watching back, but for my first professional category competition I am proud of my performance and impressed that I managed to smile for once! Unfortunately I didn’t place, but watching the other competitors performances back online when I got home, I can see why! The competition was so good and I was against many full time instructors, so in respects I felt absolutely fine about it and so happy for the other contestants!
Here is my performance:
On Saturday morning, after not much sleep due to drinking an excessive amount of energy drinks the night before, I hopped in the car back to Civics hall for my 10am workshop with Marion Crampe! I find her style of performing beautiful, I love her lines, her grace and her fluidity, and it was a pleasure to meet her. The warm up and stretch just about killed me, but I found it and Marion’s advice really inspiring to push myself with body conditioning and flexibility! We learnt some of her signature moves such as Janerio and Allegra box splits, and I really took a lot way to work on, especially balancing that Janerio! With 3 hours till my next workshop it was time for a cheeky drink at the pub and a catch up with my lovely friends, before a look around the convention stalls and going back to the workshop room for our 2 hour lesson with Pantera Blacksmith.
Pantera is one of the first pole dancers that I discovered as a beginner, and quickly became memorised by her strength, confidence and tricks, so as soon as I saw her name on the bill for workshops I had to get my name down! I was really impressed that as soon as we arrived she sat us down and asked us what we wanted to learn, and whilst I was happy to do whatever it was nice that some of the others got to have their say it what she would work on. She had a strong focus on doing things right, perfecting moves and avoiding the twisted grip at all costs (which was a challenge for me as I struggle with the other grips) but it was really beneficial to push my abilities and I even managed to get a better grasp on using cup grip which I had never managed before! The two hours flew by, but I have a great list of new moves and tricks to be working on, and it really gave me that buzz for pushing myself into working on things that I don’t usually feel comfortable doing. It was an absolute pleasure and amazing experience to meet Pantera, and was by far my favourite workshop I have ever attended.
On the way back home I was looking through my videos, photos and notes, and I really felt like I had taken away so much from the experience which will help me in my pole journey which I wasn’t expecting. Despite my arms being stupid sore and my hands red raw from all the pole, I am so excited to get back on the pole tonight and work on all the things I learnt this weekend and to generally push my pole training to the next level. It was an perfect pole weekend, and I am truly inspired by all the competitors, instructors and everyone involved in the event. Roll on the pole2pole 2013 pole convention!