UK Professional Pole Championship 2012 preview

Posted: Nov 23 2012

With the second edition of the UK Professional Pole Championships only a week away, we catch up with event founder Varie Anderson (pictured right below) to find out more...


1.We are all very excited about the second edition of the UKPPC in December.  How is the event shaping up compared to last year?  
The main difference about this year compared to last is that we decided not to hold a semi-final, and just focus on making the final bigger and better. This year we are holding the final at the International Centre in Telford, which is huge so more people will be able to come and watch. We are also making the final a whole day event - we are running masterclasses with Oona Kivela in the morning, and have our sponsors' marketplace where people will be able to buy products and network with other members of the pole community

2.What was the standard of entries like this year?
The standard of entries has been amazing in both years actually - what made the judging harder this year was the huge increase in the number of entries. Now that UKPPC is in its second year, more pole dancers are seeing what a great opportunity it is to get really constructive feedback on their work.

3.Tell us about the competitors.  Who are the Instructor and Professional category finalists? 

Kirsty Marsden
Kassia Portas
Amy Williams
Christina Xin
Becky Montague
Kirsty Collins
Heather Walker
Ruth Mills
Sam Cowie
Vicky Peacock
Miranda Goldring

Lucy Cork
Emily Helen Gray
Penny Howarth
Kirsty Griffiths
Sam Ames
Dan Rosen
Hannah Capocci
Rebecca Little
Emily Smith
Bella Lanci
Dawid Skowronek
Jo Dandridge

4.What us about this years Elite competitors and how they chosen?
The Elite category is entry by invitation only and is open to pole dancers to have won, or been runner-up in, a national or international professional competition. At the moment we are still keeping the full line-up of Elites under our hats so keep a lookout on the UKPPC Facebook and Twitter (@UKPPC) pages for updates!

5.Remind us of last years amazing winners?  Any interesting stories of what any of them have gone on to do in the year after they won?

UKPPC 2011 winners were:
Instructor - Kristina Walker
Professional - Bendy Kate
Elite - Annie Norris (pictured above)

All of our winners have just got better and better over the past year, but I think the most unusual thing that one of the winners went on to do was when Bendy Kate got to the Semi-Final of Got to Dance! It was really amazing to see pole dancing hit mainstream TV in such a big way!

6.As well as all the amazing competitors you also have a panel of top judges. Tell us about your judges and how the competitors will be marked.
Our judges for the Grand Final this year are Sam Remmer, Donna Gant, Robyn Rooke, Justine McLucas, Pippa Caesar, and Karry Summers. What the judges will be looking for is a good all-round routine - something that has a nice balance of everything (i.e. spins, tricks, transitions, floor work, dance etc). 

The judging is broken down into 3 elements, which each make up a percentage of the total score; Technical (40%), Presentation (40%), and Composition (30%). Each judge awards a mark for each element and then the total score from that judge is calculated based on the weighting of each element. Then the highest and lowest scores are disgarded, in a similar way to how scoring works in gymnastics, and the average of the remaining scores is calculated. This aims to eliminate make the judging as fair as possible.

7.What makes your event an important date in this years pole dancing calendar.
We feel that the UKPPC raises the bar for professional competitions as we aim to be completely transparent, fair, and ethical. We have worked hard to make sure that our judging criteria reflects what we represent, while enabling people to be free and creating with their routines. Having both competed ourselves, we strive to ensure that all of our competitors feel that they have had a good competing experience, and that audience feel that they have attended a well-organised and high quality event.

8.How do you think pole dancing has evolved over the past few years?
Well firstly the standard of difficulty of moves has increased massively - when I started pole, the hardest move was a cartwheel handspring! I think the most prominent change in pole is how many different styles there are now - people are really developing their own style of moment and trying to create routines that are interesting and innovative. Pole routines are no longer just a procession of trick after trick, but have become proper works of art!

9. Where would you like to see pole dancing in the future?
I would really like to see pole accepted more within the circus community. Chinese pole has obviously been part of the circus world for a long time, but pole dancing is taking time to infiltrate.

10.What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
When I started pole dancing in 2007 I never believed that I would be able to do the things I can do now. The feeling of achieving something that you have worked so hard for is incomparable to anything else - I certainly never got that feeling being able to leg press an extra 5kg at the gym! I also love being an instructor! Its an incredible feeling watching people grow and become more confident as they start to improve. I know that pole dancing changed my life for the better, and its great to watch that happen for my students.

11.What are your 3 favourite pole moves and why? 
At the moment my 3 favourite moves are Aerial Shoulder Roll to Invert, Chinese grip cartwheel, and Reverse Grab (because its a classic and after all this time I still love it).

For more information about the UKPPC click here

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  • Posted by Spinny on November 27, 2012

    Great interview. Pole Motion always manages to find the most interesting people and points of view. See you on Sunday!

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