As the pole community continues to grow, so do your options if you'd like to compete. A short time ago, in the United States, your competition options were essentially limited to USPDF and APFC. The Midwest competition popped up two years ago and, in 2012, the Pacific Pole Championship was born in California. The brainchild of Amy Guion and Bayleigh Pettigrew, this family of competitions has grown into much more. Known as the Pole Sport Organization, they now host competitions around the United States.
The Sourthern Pole Championships were held in Houston, Texas in November 2012. The second annual Pacific Pole Championships will be held March 15-16, 2013. The deadline to enter the competition has already passed. The Atlantic Pole Championships will be held in Herndon, Virginia on May 11 and 12, 2013. April 11 is the final deadline for dancers to register. The Central Pole Championships will be held in Chicago, Illinois on May 25, 2013. April 25 is the deadline to enter. The Nationals event will be held in September 2013, at a location still to be determined.
The competitions are designed to allow any level of dancer to perform and receive feedback on their routine. They offer four levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced and pro) with the categories: championship, artistic entertainment and artistic dramatic. In certain circumstances, they also break down into age groups (juniors, seniors and masters).
According to their website, their judges are looking for a well-balanced performance:
A well-balanced performance contains the following attributes:
- Elements spread-out throughout the performance. It should not be “trick-heavy” at the beginning or end, but instead the elements should thoughtfully be incorporated throughout the performance.
- Transitions should appear effortless and smooth. Flow shouldn’t be interrupted by awkward positions that stand out from the tone and choreography of the performance.
- Performance choreography should be thoughfully edited. Elements included in the program should be ones that dancers have confidence in being able to perform properly under pressure and should also maintain the integrity of the artistic tone of the performance.
- Performances should include a mix of strength and flexibility elements both on and off the poles.
- Musicality is important. Judges will consider whether elements were intentional and whether the placement of the element fit the attributes of the music. For example, some pieces may purposely incorporate flexed feet where it fits the music and tone, while the choreography, tone and music of another piece may require pointed toes.
In the Artistic Events, the judges will place less emphasis on the difficulty of the elements. In these events, the judges’ primary focus will be on the interpretation of the music, whether the elements performed were consistent with this interpretation, and on the musicality, editing and flow of the elements.
We are excited that this industry is continuing to grow. What type of performances are your favorite to watch? Heavily trick-based routines? Or do you love the dance?
We also appreicate that those who want more than just an outlet to dance have that platform. Have you ever considered entering a competition? If so, what do you look for when choosing? As always, we love your comments!