Sarah Rehrer - Lincolnshire Pole Championship Organiser
Posted: Feb 09 2012
We're excited about the Lincoln Pole Championships this weekend as we'll be there with our stall selling all things pole and Justine McLucas will be judging and performing. We can wait to watch all the amazing performances and cheer the competitors on. We talk to event organiser Sarah Rehrer to find out more about the event.
1. Tell us more about the Lincoln Pole championship? How and
why did you start the event and what makes it different from other competitions?
We come together for a yearly event that promotes unity within the local pole community. We wanted to give entrants the opportunity to perform for their peers as well as the public in a competition designed to help them build confidence in their abilities without the pressure of being on the national stage. I wish I could say there was some huge elaborate explanation for why we put it together, but ultimately it was just something we really wanted to do.
What oddly makes LPC different is that we’ve structured it on how other competitions worldwide are structured. The first month of planning I literally spent researching other competitions and seeing what matched up as far as rules, performance criteria, and scoring were concerned. If there was something I, or my colleagues wanted to include, I tried to find if others were doing something similar. Being totally unique was never an option, as ultimately that would have gone against the idea of unity. Our rules are also available publicly, which seems to be a common trend in the US and Australia in particular.
2. What are your judging criteria? What will the judges be
looking for from the competitors?
Our judging criteria differ across four categories, with each category increasing in difficulty and required elements than the one previous. As such, the Novice category is scored solely on performance (costume, dance element, etc.) while the Professional category is scored based on performance, technical ability, and difficulty with points deducted for mistakes. The judges have been given a specific set of things to look for, but are also able to include anything they feel is important within the guidelines.
3. How has the standard improved since you first started the
As this is the first year we are putting on LPC, we will see come competition day what kind of standard our entrants can create. There are a lot of great pole dancers in Lincolnshire, so I reckon they set the bar high!
4. How did you first get interested in pole dancing and what
made you become an instructor/performer?
I first got into pole dancing after an old acquaintance suggested starting lessons with her at the The Alturnative Studio (now NBSR) in Lincoln. I loved it from the start (as you do!) and stuck with it even when it felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. About six months in, the owner, Nuala Barczak, asked if I would be interested in teaching and managing the studio as she was getting ready to go on maternity leave. We’ve been partners in pole ever since, even when things have been pretty hopeless. I discovered through her that I’m a good teacher even if not the best performer, though I’m slowly working my way into doing that, too.
5. What are your 3
favourite pole moves and why? (It can be your current 3 or all time favourite
1.Hummingbird/Cupid – This is my all-time favorite move simply because I just love the way it looks!
2.Aysha – I love this move because it is so versatile. There are a so many variations with the move itself and it seemingly transitions into nearly everything.
3.Brass Monkey – Right now I’m working on a bunch of different ways to get into and out of this move. It’s probably the most fun I’ve had doing pole and has helped me create some really cool combinations.
6.What are the main fitness benefits of pole dancing and how
has pole dancing improved your fitness, strength or bodyshape?
Pole is all about the full-body workout. It utilizes every muscle, gets your heart rate up, then strengthens and stretches everything. I have definition I never had before in places I didn’t know I had!
7.What’s your favourite move for strength training on the
I really love pole pullups as they are easy enough to teach to beginners yet are still effective with advanced students. You can also utilize different grips, different ways to lift your legs, and they never stop being a challenge because there is always something more to add to them.
8.What pole performers do you admire or inspire you?
Right now I really love Rafaela Montenaro and Oona Kivela. They are both really expressive dancers that are amazingly creative. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else move as smoothly and perfectly as Oona. Zoraya Judd is my all-time favourite. I’m a huge fan of slow, controlled movement and she is the master! She is also one of a few performers out there who started without a background in anything (dance, gymnastics, etc.) and who is now at the top of the game. That is a real motivator for students who feel like they can’t compete if they don’t have that kind of experience.
9.What’s next for you in the coming year?
This year I think will see a lot of changes for me. I’m starting to get more into performing and am getting ready for my first competition as an entrant. I would also like to take a few additional months planning next year’s LPC as we would like to expand it to include more and different categories and make it into a larger production. NBSR has also opened a brand new studio in Lincoln where we plan to expand on our current pole courses and expand upon our current community projects.