Inter University championship 2013 preview

Posted: Mar 10 2013

With the Inter University championship just around the corner, we talk to Sophie Logan from the Essex University Pole Society who are organising this years competition...

1.The third edition of the Inter University championship will take place next week. How is the event shaping up compared to last year? 
The event has been very hard to organize this year, as we have struggled a lot with venue and their requirements. They have found hosting a pole dancing a very hard challenge, as their rules, regulations and usual processes have had to be changed as they are used to hosting football and basketball tournaments, so we have had to do a lot of things from scratch. The hard work has paid off and everything is ready for next week, and we have also taught the sports centre a thing or two about pole dancing! There have been changes with the judging system to try and make it fairer, which was also a difficult task to do, and we have tried to give the competitors a larger range of songs to choose from as this is one problem we found many Universities had last year. 

2.Tell us about the competitors.  How many universities are entering?  list them here.
We have Universities from all over the UK competing!

They are:

3.As well as all the amazing competitors you also have a panel judges. Tell us about your judges and how the competitors will be marked.
We have some AMAZING judges this year, and we are looking forward to them being a part of the competition. We have:
Sam Remmer
Stacey Snedden
Sandrea Simons
Pippa Caeser
Kate Johnson
Kate Whitely
Robyn Rooke
Sophie Hermann
Nico Modestine

The judging system has changed. As previously 3 competitors will perform the same song at the same time on three separate poles (this allows for adequate timing of the event) and each will have a table of three judges in front of their pole. However, this year each pole will be designated to one category, so a competitor for beginner, intermediate and advanced will perform at the same time to their judges table. This means that each category would be judged by the same set of judges and each judge would be judging the whole performance, leading to better consistency of the judging for each of the categories and also meaning that the song list will now be one for everyone and not separated into categories. All judges will then judge the group category. This means that we have over 120 students competiting, so it is going to be a very busy day!

4.How has the standard of university pole dancing improved since you started?
When I set up the pole dancing club we faced a lot of negativity from the University in general, and some of the other clubs were quick to question our motives. We have had to work hard to show that we are a serious club, and to show to everyone that we are a sports club and should be treated the same as any other more traditional activity. However, we are now the 3rd biggest club on campus and are well respected by all! We are even running for sports club of the year.  

5.How did you first get interested in Pol dancing, what made you try it?
I have always found it interesting, but never got round to trying it. However, one day my friend had been going to for a while and asked me if I wanted to go. I managed to pick it up quite quickly, and I was just hooked! After a few months I began to only go every now, but in the past 2 1/2 years I have really stepped it up and have becoming even more addicted to pole  

6.What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
I like the way it has changed every aspect of my life. From encouraging me to eat more healthy, train more at the gym and work on my flexibility, but also to broadening my friendship group, introducing me to new places and making me feel more dedicated in all that I do.  

7.What are your 3 favourite pole moves and why?
Iron x: It is not a move I can do, but I am training to do it. I love how beautiful it looks and just how much hard work it takes to be able to do it. My aim for the end of the year is to get to hold it for 5 seconds. -

Ballerina: Again it is a move I can not do, but I think it is visually one of the most stunning moves on the pole. However, it is also how I managed to crack my rib just before Christmas, so its a love hate relationship! 

Death lay: When I first managed this I couldn't believe it! It has taken many years practice, especially as shoulder mounting is not my favourate, but it is definitely one, which gets peoples mouths dropping. 

8.What are your favourite strength training moves on the pole and why?
I like to do a lot of core work on the pole, and just recently have been doing so with weights on my ankles. Wow, the difference I feel from using them is immense, and my abs are definitely working harder. I like to do aerial inverts and force myself to keep straight legs, but I do also like to use spinning pole to work on my strength, as I have to work harder to try and control my moves.  

9.What pole dancers do you admire or inspire you?
I think Sarah Scott is amazing. I love how she did not come from a gymnastics or dance background, like myself, and is now Miss Pole Dance UK. It is very inspiring, particularly when you see the pole dancers who have a strong background in dance or gymnastics, to see that you do not need that experience to become an amazing pole dancer. I also find the members of the club very inspiring. I love how they come from all different fitness backgrounds, and that it seems just over night they have developed to beautiful pole dancers. Many started in October and are already going to be competing. I have been watching their routines recently, and just couldn't believe how far they have come in such a short time. I will definitely have the tissues ready at the competition!  

10.How do you think pole dancing has evolved over the past few years?
I think it is becoming more sports based, with many gymnasts and a like becoming involved. The moves are becoming harder and harder, I remember when a butterfly was my dream move! I like this as it keeps it interesting, and means that pole dancing has endless possibilities. However, I do not think that people will ever forget where pole dancing originates from, and the sexy side will always remain. You can deny where it came from, and I would never resent its background, pole dancing is evolving for some but it does not mean that it has to for everyone. 

11.Three words that mean pole dancing to you.
Friends. Passion. Life.


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