Getting into your first pole dance competition

By 20 mars 2017 novembre 13th, 2017 Chronicles, Motivation

The doubts that don’t let us to move forward…

I often hear: “I would really like to run a pole dance competition but …”

It’s easy to find tons of reasons not to start or to postpone this project (I don’t have the level, or the time …)

And what if you just decide to challenge yourself?

So yes, it is normal that one has doubts and asks many questions before starting … but is there any competitor that has never doubted?

I tried to enumerate here some of the problems that pole dancers meet frequently whether they are amateur or advanced, I hope that my answers will enlighten you and help you to advance!

The competition is for everyone?

What I loved immediately in the pole dance competitions is that there is choice for every taste and level. Everyone can try, yes everyone, regardless of age or level …

You just have to target the competition that suits you the best, your level and your desire:

  • You are a fanatic of tricks, you are on the lookout for the latest trend tricks and you are passionate about the technical side of the pole? Look at the Pole Sports competitions that focus on the gymnastics side of the discipline.
  • You love the dance, the “flow” and the artistic side of the pole? So it’s more about Pole Art.
  • Want to tell a story, express an emotion, play comedy or even combine a dance style with pole? Look what happens next to the Pole Theater competitions
  • Or, you want to highlight the sexy side of the pole and dance with high heels, there are various international competitions (including once again the Pole Theater with its classical category).

I do not have the level …

So yes if you are at your second pole class, you may still have some basics to learn before you set up your first routine. I started preparing my first amateur competition with an inter 1/2 level. At this level, we know how to reverse and we can make some nice little combos! You should just read the rules of pole dance competitions, they may differ slightly between them but we find globally the same rules concerning the levels I enumerate here (note that I’ve voluntarily been generalist to define the conditions of access to the categories) :

  • Amateur: practitioner with less than two years of pole, having little experience of the stage and not teaching pole dance.
  • Semi-Pro: In general, a person practicing pole since more than two years and / or teaching pole less than two years.
  • Pro / Elite: stage and / or pole professional and experienced teachers.
Pole dancer : Elodie Nebra (Semi-pro category) / Pole dance competition : Pole Art Cyprus 2016

Pole dancer : Elodie Nebra (Semi-pro category) / Pole dance competition & photo credits : Pole Art Cyprus 2016

I do not have time

Obviously, this is one of the first things to take into account. Our availability. And the question should be asked for both amateur or professional pole dancers. We have to organise our activities between our professional obligations and regular trainings. It’s easy for nobody: whether you have an office life, or you’re performing and / or giving pole classes on a daily basis, it’s a challenge for everyone.

Personally, I had to sacrifice holidays and weekends and I don’t even count all the evening trainings. But even if takes a lot of energy, it’s extremely stimulating!

It costs money …

I can not say the opposite even if it is possible to minimise the costs. A pole dance competition can quickly cost a lot depending on what you choose to try and do:

  • The registration fees can cost between twenty and one hundred euros depending on the competition.
  • The airline tickets and hotels if you’ve opted for a competition abroad.
  • Coaching if you choose to be accompanied by a professional (I really recommend it, even if you take only a few classes) which can represent between 50 and 100 euros per lesson.
  • The costume design: if you call a professional, the costume can also represent a budget (50 – 200 euros) but you can also use your imagination and your talents (or those of your friends and you family).

I have nothing to gain

It depends on what you are aiming for. If it is a podium then yes you may be disappointed because you never know what to expect. But if it is an experience, then you have everything to win: the satisfaction of having gone through the project, progress, new people and an unforgettable experience.

Juan Francisco Rodriguez / Pole Theatre Paris

Pole dancer : Juan Francisco Rodriguez / Pole Theatre Paris / Photo credit : Petits Diables Productions

I have no ideas…

Believe me, everybody goes through it and through the doubts that go with it. In short, we will have to dig our brains and get started!

  • Theme and music

Finding a theme and music is a delicate step. Sometimes the music brings the theme, sometimes we have the theme and we look for good music …

This step is very important, especially for the artistic competitions (Pole Art and Pole Theater) because it can really make a difference! Take the time to think carefully about what you want to tell and choose a music that you like, that pushes you to express yourself. If it’s a Pole Sport competition, choose a music that makes you fly and inspires you!

In general you should avoid to select too “commercial” music but it is not a rule! If the music is well used and the competitor assumes it totally with a real stage presence, it can work very well (I think for example of the superb performance of Marina Bogomolova (Kira Noire) at Pole Art Cyprus 2014) . It’s up to you to see what risks you are ready to take.

  • The choregraphy

Great. You have your theme and your music. Perfect. And now ? Now you have to create.

And create … is dare.

It will be necessary to go through the frequent step of “I feel like rubbish” which can be completely associated with the syndrome of the blank page for a writer … Go, try something! A small combo set in music, a passage on the floor, an intro … find something, even if it is very small and that it seems insignificant or bad it does not matter, it is a first draft! The beginning is always very difficult so don’t give up! Your routine will be built up little by little and take shape. Be patient and persevering: you will be surprised!

Do not hesitate to call on a teacher or a coach who will be able to unblock difficult situations, bring an external look and allow you to sublimate your creation. A good coach will put your strengths forward, help you overcome your weaknesses and push your limits.

Pole dancer : Olga Trifonova / Pole dance competition : Pole Art Italy 2016

Pole dancer : Olga Trifonova / Pole dance competition : Pole Art Italy 2016 / Photo credits : Pole & Me

I do not have the cardio

The first time I tried to dance one half of my routine (yes only half) I was out of breath, arms tetanized, impossible to sue. I really thought it was impossible to go through the complete choreo and I started to doubt! And once more no panic, at each training, we go further and further: we find the moments where to place breaths, we make the movements more fluid and thus we recover energy. Finally, on D-Day, you can go through your entire routine.

I do not have the mindset

The mind can also be trained. It is necessary to manage your moments of doubt and also know how to recover when it is needed.

I made the mistake to train too much before the deadline (and I even hurt myself). It taught me to manage my last trainings differently. Now I save myself, I think that the dice are thrown and I think of one essential thing: to get pleasure from the stage. I think of the moment that I will live on stage, the people I will meet … In short, when the mind decreases, let it go for a few minutes … think about all the way you’ve done, think about the chance you give yourself (And the one is given to you as you are selected for a competition), think about your initial motivation and imagine yourself mentally on the stage perfectly executing your routine!

So what are you waiting for?

Here are some useful links to inspire you (France and international):

Pole Art France

Pole Art Cyprus

Pole Theater Paris

International Pole Sport Federation

Pole dancer : Juan Francisco Rodriguez / Pole Theatre Paris

Pole dancer : Juan Francisco Rodriguez / Pole Theatre Paris / Photo credit : ChArt Photography

Elodie Nebra

Author Elodie Nebra

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