There is no question that the pole dancing industry is exploding. Studios are popping up all over the world and competitions are following suit. Many of us have heard which competitions are amazing and which are having issues. Check out THIS StudioVeena.com thread, where people discuss which competitions are getting it right.
One of our blog contributors also writes Confessions of a Twirly Girl. She has been trying to compile a list of competitions and showcases around the world. As of today, her list for 2012-2013 is already eight pages long. Please check out her list HERE and let her know if you have any additions or changes.
Let's start by saying, we understand that competitions aren't for everyone. Some of us dance for fun and/or fitness. Some may enjoy performing in a showcase. Competitions are a completely different animal. Today we aren't debating whether or not competitions are healthy for the industry. But if you choose to compete, whether you are trying to build a name for yourself or you just enjoy being competitive, you want to make sure you choose the right competition for you.
Many hope that rumors about the "bad" competitions will keep people from entering. However, many are hungry to compete, so the "bad" competitions have lingered. With all of the different options popping up, how do you pick the right competition?
If you would like to compete, do a little research. Some larger competitions have been around a little longer than others, so other pole dancers or industry leaders may have some insight on whether it is a competition that you should try. If it is a "first annual" competition, perhaps do some research on the studio, company or pole dancers backing the competition to make sure they have a good reputation.
If you are new to competing, make sure you enter a competition that is correct for your style (check out our previous post about types of pole dancing). If you love wearing six inch heels, then some fitness-based pole competitions may not be for you if they don't allow shoes. Also make sure the competition has the correct level for you (some will break down levels with additional categories for disabilities or age). If you are a first-year pole student, you will most likely not be competing at Level 3. Likewise, if you own a pole studio and teach advanced students, you should not compete at Level 1. Some competitions will even have rules about how much skin can be shown.
Each competition will have it's own rules and regulations. Make sure you read the rules to help determine that you have found the right competition for you. We celebrate all pole dancers and their quest to share their artistic expression. If competitions are the way for you to do that, then we would love to hear your stories. Have any of you entered a competition? How did you choose it and what was your experience like?
Photo credit: Diana Kottke from Twirly Girls Pole Fitness, wearing her costume from Pacific Pole Championships (Los Angeles, California; May 2012) (photo by Liquidpulp Photography)