Select Page

Every time I think about competing, even the thought of it brings me out in a cold sweat and makes me want to run away and live in a cave, so I don’t think the competition circuit is for me.

I would quite like to have a go at putting together a routine though. Not to compete or anything. Just for myself. 
It’d be rubbish though. I can’t dance without resorting to MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice moves.
Maybe I could do an MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice themed routine!
No. No.
What is a theme anyway? What does that mean? An epic tale of my struggle to find a parking space today told thought the medium of interpretative pole dance?

Anyway, I’m not going to compete so it’s irrelevant. Let’s just get on with these lesson plans and maybe think about hosting a choreography session or putting together a routine to teach it. Or maybe perform at a showcase? If it’s any good, of course. Which it won’t be.

There’s going to be a regional competition! Maybe some of my students would like to enter? It’s be great for them, to push themselves and show their families and friends how hard they have worked and what they have achieved.

I wouldn’t do it though. I’d be busy helping them prepare and teaching them and stuff.
Oh though. I won’t be very good at helping them will I. I know nothing about competing or performing – having, y’know, never done either.
Students’ universal response to suggestion that they compete in new regional competition is akin to response I would expect if ‘d suggested we all smother ourselves in garlic butter and lay in the sun under a giant magnifying glass.
Students suggest I enter the competition instead. This is because they think I’m quite good, largely because I’m the only pole dancer they ever see who can do something more than a basic invert, and as we all know, in pole you think everyone is brilliant who can do anything that you can’t. 
OK, maybe I’ll have a think about it.
Thinking about it is already making me panic.
Maybe that’s why I should do it! Do something every day that scares you! Overcome your fears! You have nothing to fear but fear itself! It will be a triumph of Facebook memes over human worries. Maybe you’ll discover a whole new side of yourself that you did not know existed! Maybe you’ll be awesome and amazing and the crowd will be reduced to tears, possibly throwing themselves to the ground with emotion, flogging themselves, weeping and wailing!
They probably won’t though will they, to be honest.
A more likely scenario is that the response will be “that was a bit pants, we thought she’d be better than that”
Actually, a more likely response would be “We have no idea what she’d be like as we have no idea who she is”, in which case I can be as rubbish as I like.

Right. OK. I think I’m going to have a go. I’ll apply, and put together a routine, and if I feel like it, and don’t feel like I’m going to die, I’ll go through with it.

Where do I start? A song would be good. This one is nice and slow. That’ll make it easier, right? Won’t have to dance so much and exhaust myself. Can also lay on the floor in an emotive manner a fair bit.
Oh wait. Turns out dancing slowly means holding moves longer and being more controlled.
I’m going to have a costume made too. It’ll be sparkly. Possibly in red. Or green! I can have a bejewelled bikini made, and then wear it on holiday! This is BRILLIANT! I’m going to enter loads of competitions until I have an entire wardrobe of bespoke bikinis and hotpants.
Oh good lord there’s going to be an audience of hundreds and I’m going to have to LOOK AT THEM and acknowledge them and stuff, and smile and make eye contact. 
Breathe, breathe.
How about taking on a persona, and playing a role? That way, you can cover all the anxiety in a cloak of character and it’ll neatly take care of that tricky theme dilemma too. 
OK so let’s pick a character. By which I mean, let’s go through all your favourite films and see if any have good music. 
Well whaddayaknow, here’s the perfect theme. Surely this has been done before? Best have a quick check on YouTube.
Hehehe these YouTube videos of animals with human voices dubbed over the top are HILARIOUS.

Right, better get down to some serious choreography. I have an hour after class, should be long enough to get a fair bit of it done…

I am soaked with sweat, breathing like a pensioner at the top of a mountain and think I may vomit. But that’s OK, because I have managed, over this hour of intense workout, to choreograph a whole 20 seconds of my routine. Yes folks, 20 seconds. A whole 7% of the finished piece.
I really am hopeless at choreography. But that’s OK, because I have the perfect pole combination in my head. I have a series of moves in my head all of which will obviously look amazing and be at the perfect optimum angle for the audience and judges. I’ll have a go at them another day, when I can actually breathe again. 

So yeah, may have been a little over enthusiastic with this combo. As Jameson might’ve said to Peter Parker at the Daily Bugle, let’s edit this considerably. 

Things are not going as I planned. The competition is in two weeks, I only have 50% of the routine done and what I have got worked out is very scrappy and messy. I do however have lots of support and advice from wonderful kind people from the pole community who undoubtedly are making this whole process easier, and who must be getting sick to death with my periodic rants and self-absorbed Facebook updates.

Best friend has just told me that I am not to enter any more competitions or she will kill me herself.

Long drive back from a friend’s house. Ahead is a rainbow. It’s right in front of me, right where I’m driving to. It’s a sign! A sign that everything is going to be great and positive!

Don’t be stupid woman. It’s a bit of natural phenomenon. It’s rain, mixed with sunbeams. The sky doesn’t give a toss about your competition. It doesn’t even care about big stuff like famine and world hunger. If it did, it’d go and rain in Africa instead of drizzling on the M25. Nature is a complete cow.

But still, apparently, we are surrounded by signs in the natural world all around us, and we should pay attention to them. And it’s better than moaning all the time.

It’s two days to the competition. Better actually finish the routine. God I’d kill for a vodka and orange. I’ll be pleased when all this is over. I can’t even remember why I’m doing it now.

The big day has arrived. What am I doing? These people are all amazing and talented and a lot better than I am. And they’re all eating nuts and bananas. What am I missing? Am I meant to know about this? Oh god I can’t even get the food right.

OK it’s my turn to perform. Nothing to do now but try to enjoy it and do the best I can and hope I don’t screw it up too badly. I can hear the crowd. They seem to be having a good time. I suppose I’d better just try to entertain them and… and what? Smile? Hope they don’t notice the terror? Or that I’m way out of my league? Oh well too late to do anything about it now. Here goes…

OK. OK. I’m still alive. I didn’t die. It didn’t go perfectly but it was OK, I think. God I’m glad it’s over. I am going to have such a massive vodka later. It was actually quite fun, more fun than I thought it would be. Can’t wait to see everyone. I hope they enjoyed it.

Well holy smoke balls and sweet mother of all things that are good and pure. Unbelievable. I have placed second in the professional category – a category full of incredibly talented girls, all of whom deserve to win and who have been a pleasure to hang out with backstage. I really cannot believe this. Surely this is a dream? This cannot be real. 

I genuinely was not here to win or place. In the midst of everything, the fear, the self doubt, the hard work, the pressure, the pain and the bruises and the time away from my family and friends, I pretty much forgot why I was here. Now I remember – it was to push myself, to see what I was capable of, to do something I thought I never could. To prove the voices of dissent wrong. To encourage my students to do the same. This has been an amazing journey, and not an easy one, but one I am so glad I took.

Now, where’s that vodka and orange?

And my student Ash won the beginner category!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join the UPA Club to recieve webinar info, community info and exclusive deals and information.

You have Successfully Subscribed!