So it’s that time of the year again when next year’s competition dates get released and everyone floods in to get a spot. However, I have seen a recent change in the usual live heat or first come first served process of competition space allocation, and a shift to video entries.
The general understand that I have got about why competition organisers are taking this stance is that the typical first come first served applications they usually had meant limited spaces and therefore participation is limited, despite the interest in competiting becoming greater every year. By doing entries through a video screening process first, an unlimited amount of people can enter to win a spot in the finals, which also increases the level of talent in the finals and means the ‘cream of the crop’ can battle it out to be placed. What attracts me about this is that not only does it mean that the pressure of the video heat is lower than if you were performing in the live finals (as well as you being able to choose the best video, and repeatedly record the routine till you have got it perfect), but they also offer the chance to receive feedback. For me personally, feedback is the most useful tool in pole dancing, and helps guide your development. If you’re successful into getting into the finals, it can help you make your routine even better, and even if you are not successful you can understand and work on why you weren’t picked. And whilst we can ask our fellow polers to be honest, sometimes it can be hard to be honest with close friends or they may miss little things which you could improve on, meaning that for many this opportunity for an unbiased and constructive feedback forum is priceless.
However, despite all of the positives I feel video entries give competitors, I do love a good live heat; nothing can beat the buzz you get from being in a performance environment, giving you the drive and the excitement to perform to your maximum potential! I also love the backstage environment of competitions, particularly heats, as even though you may not be successful at getting to the next stage, you can take away a lot such as meeting new friends, gaining confidence from performing in front of strangers and learning what goes into a competition.
Unfortunately, another factor I feel makes organizers use alternative ways of applications is cost. I have been to many competitions and showcases, and have been shocked to find out how much hard work goes into organizing a venue and how much they can set people back. And even with ticket prices and sponsors, running heats can be pricey business, particularly with advertising the event! So I can certainly see why many organisers would prefer to make applications unlimited and put all their time and effort into making the finals a huge event!
I have not yet competed through a video entry, but I have seen a few competitions next year’s who have changed to their application, and it is something I am certainly willing to try. It will be a interesting difference than the usual format I have used, but I’m always up for a challenge! Till then, I will have to get finding someone with a steady hand and a decent camera!