Don’t pull your costume out of your bum – and other lessons from a first-time pole competitor

I have never been great at competing… I suffer badly from performance anxiety in competition and test environments. I remember back at school deliberately missing days we had to do presentations or orals, and I developed some serious ninja skills to get out of doing them at all. So it comes as no surprise, to me, that I have avoided competing in pole dancing for as many years as I possibly could.

This may seem unexpected to those who know me now considering my Burlesque stage persona and willingness to be on stage as Scar-lit Hearts… but performing always seemed worlds apart from competing to me.

Then they announced The Pole Factor.  

The Pole Factor promised to be a competition judged more on performance and showmanship than just big tricks… And being based in Cape town seemed like a perfect opportunity to start my Pole competition journey.

So my mind was made up and all I needed was the entry video… And boy, did I underestimate how difficult that would be. After many tears, about 13 takes on two separate occasions and many Magnum Almonds (irritated pole dancers like chocolate & food), mostly supplied by my fiancé to calm me down, I finally sent in my video for the amateur provocateur division.

It took a lot of training and focus to get to competition day – and no Magnums, which definitely was challenging. Once I arrived I was blown away with how supportive all the competitors were of one another. This may come from most being teachers and more inclined to build people up, and it was incredible to be around some of South Africa’s top professional pole dancers.

I went out, started my routine, got to my skirt peel, and…

nothing

… I blanked the whole beginning of my routine. Somehow I managed to perform it, didn’t stop, and I was able to improvise. I was pretty devastated at the end, but I learnt a lot more than I would have had I won.

So what were these great lessons..?

No1. Don’t pull your costume out of your bum… No matter how far it’s wedged itself.

No2. My bum eats all shorts/panties. All of them.

No3. Don’t sing along to your track… No matter how nervous you are.

No4. Even if you mess up, walk off stage like you owned it.

No5. Enter to win it… because otherwise when you realise you actually want to win, it will be too late.

No6. The pole community absolutely and unequivocally ROCKS

Next year I’m entering again… Probably in a g-string…. 😉

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