Great White North Pole Competition – August 2017

I did it! I competed! I competed in Verticlove’s Great White North Pole Competition. It was my first competition so I entered the amateur division. The song I choose was the acoustic version of TLC’s “Unpretty.” My costume was white lace top and bottoms with a sheer robe and 8 inch Pleaser heels. I wrote body shaming words on my body which was shown when I opened my robe at the beginning of the song. As the song goes on, I find my confidence through pole dancing and shed the robe at the end showing the words Beautiful and Strong on my biceps.

I loved my concept for the performance and kept my choreography to tricks I knew really well. Where it went wrong was not practicing it enough to really make it flow, clean up my inverts and lines in poses. I also didn’t practice writing the words on my body. I accidentally ended up buying permanent paint to write the words. My concept was to smear the body shaming words as I dance so show that I’m wiping the negativity away. But since the paint was permanent, it did not wipe off, and it was not dark enough for the audience to see it clearly.

After I performed, I was too nervous to watch the other competitors. I walked around the Hamilton harbour during a thunderstorm and reflected on my performance.

I didn’t end up placing but I felt a winner just getting up on stage to compete. It was an amazing experience and learnt a lot for future performances.  It was good to get the first one under my belt as now I have a better understanding of what the judges are looking for.

When Things Don’t Go As Planned – April 2017

I had signed up for Verticalove’s Something Wicked right after the Girlie Show.  I wanted to challenge myself with something new.  So, I decided I would teach myself how to dance in ballet pointe shoes to the hip-hop song Ballerina by Belly.  My concept was fusing the pointe shoes and elements of a ballerina costume with pole. I bought the shoes at the end of November and started breaking them in.

I had a great training plan set up for the New Year, unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.  I got hand, mouth and foot disease which prevented me from training for a bit.  After that, I was sick for a week.  And then shortly after that I pulled a tendon in my bicep.  I got hit with one thing after another, making it difficult to consistently train.  I suffered with my arm injury for a month and I then finally went to physio for treatment. I took time off completely while my arm was getting treated.  Right when my arm was better, I had to go in for surgery on my breast implant…a week before I was to perform.

I managed to put a routine together in between all of that, but it was no where near perfected.  I wish I had the opportunity to tweak the routine and clean it up.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to before the surgery so I would have to go with what I had.  I put in tricks in that I knew well as I knew I would still be recovering.  A week after my surgery, I practiced the routine twice and to see if I as going to have to make any changes.  It went ok, so decided to stick with what I had.  The next day though, my stitches really hurt and I was nervous that I pushed myself too hard.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to perform in 3 days.

I felt better after a few days of rest. The day of the show, I went to practice on the stage during rehearsals to map it out. After that, I went home to work on a few transitions and then rested until I had to get ready.

I wasn’t as nervous as I was at the Girlie Show before going on stage.  The first half of the routine went as well, until my mask moved out of place.  I decided to take it off, but didn’t realize it was double knotted so it not slip off easily.  The top the the mask pulled my hair out of place right before my ending combo.  I was disappointed that had happened.

The following few days, I was pretty bummed about the whole thing.  I wasn’t thrilled with the pictures as I have taken time off training and not eating very well.  I felt fat.  I was being quite hard  on myself.  But then a friend reminded me that most people wouldn’t have even been able to do that at all.  Let alone, recovering from injury and surgery.  Despite feeling unprepared, I had pulled it off.

Things don’t always work out the way you want but the important thing is how you handle it, learn from it, and move on.

Training for My First Professional Pole Showcase – November 2016

I spent most of October and November training preparing for my first professional pole performance. I did a flexibility workshop at Paradisaea with Deflying Fitness. It was 4 hours of stretching and contortion, or better named contorture. I trained hard at both Paradisaea and SASS, working on my stamina, endurance and of course strength.

I pole kittened and VerticaLove’s Great White North Pole Competition. While I was there, me and one of my instructors got to take the stage during intermission and dance with our Aura heels on. A 360 video captured our impromptu freestyle on stage. I got a chance to feel what it was like dancing on stage with an audience and it was so much fun!

Coming Out of My Shell – April 2016

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I heard about a pole showcase called Something Wicked by Verticalove in Hamilton. They were looking for pole cleaners, or pole kittens, so I volunteered. I got to watch the performances, then went on stage and climbed the poles to clean them between performances. Dancers from across Ontario, including a few from my own studio SASS, and the States come to perform and they were all incredible!

I had a chance to feel what it was like to be onstage in heels and booty shorts. By the end of the second night, I met so many amazing new people and decided that I wanted to be a performer next time.

A few weeks later, I joined a few girls from SASS at the bar Southsides in Fort Erie promoting the studio. A girl set up her stage pole in the bar and we took turns doing tricks. I got really sick after Verticalove, so performing was very challenging but I toughed it out.

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It was actually a bit of a dream come true. When I was in the beginners class, my instructor Shanyn told my class one night that she and her SASS girls were performing at a bar that night. That night, as I was learning basic spins, I dreamt of the day I would be good enough to do something like that. There I was, 2 years later living out something I thought only was a dream. That night I felt like my hard work was starting to pay off.

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