Midlands Pole Championships 2013 Preview
Posted: Mar 31 2013
With the Midlands Pole Championships just around the corner we talk to event organisers Laura & Hannah to find out more...
1.The Midlands Pole Championships will take place in Nottingham next week. How is the event shaping up? What can we expect?
L & H: The event is shaping up nicely :) we are busily preparing the last few bits and bobs for the competition.
The day is going to be action packed! We have 32 competitors, 4 amazingly talented judges who are renowned in the pole world, 3 special guest performances, a variety of stalls where spectators can have a wander round in the breaks and have a look at some lovely items, from home made cake pops to pole dancing clothing.
Festival Hall has a licensed bar and is providing hot food for the day, so anyone who is interested in coming along you really will have everything you need in one place from amazing talent and entertainment to hot food and a drink. What more could you want on a Sunday afternoon?!
2.Tell us about the categories and competitors.
L & H: We have 4 categories, Amateur, Intermediate, Advanced and Professional. Each of the categories has certain guidelines that the competitors must follow in order to compete in that category. For example in the Amateur category routines must be no longer than 3.5 minutes long, and entrants in this level must have had a maximum of 3 years’ experience. The emphasis for their routine is on spins, floor work and dance and certain moves are not allowed to be used during their routine as this will make their routine too advanced for the amateur category.
In the professional and advanced categories anything goes. Routines must be no longer than 4.5 minutes and the entrant must not have placed 1st or 2nd in a National/International competition. The professional category is for both instructors and performers.
We have 32 competitors, eager to 'pole' it out to become the Midlands Pole Champion!
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?
L & H: We have 4 amazing judges, that we are so excited about!
Lauren Red is our first judge, owner and instructor at Flight Fitness in Leicester. Lauren is a multi award winning performer and qualified Gym Instructor, she is also our official poster girl!
Our second judge is Pippa Caeser director and instructor of Polenastics Dance & Fitness Studio in Milton Keynes. She has a wealth of experience with judging competitions and we're so pleased to have her on board.
Our third judge is Donna Gant. she has been twirling round a pole now for 13 years, as is known as the Spin Queen of the UK. Donna is the Owner of 1st Class Pole Fitness Melton Mowbray Leicestershire.
Our fourth and final judge is Justine McLucas, owner of Ecole de Pole London Pole Studios and Performance Company 'La Plume Noire,' founder of the Barcelona Urban Summer Pole Retreat and now travels the world teaching workshops, judging and performing. Hot off her Australia tour we're so lucky to have her with us!
We can't express how happy we are to have these four judges at out competition! The experience they will bring to judging our competitors will ensure that that the best really does win! They will be judging the competitors on three different sections, Technical ability, Composition such as how well the routine goes to the music and Presentation: pointed toes, good lines etc... A well rounded routine should tick all of these things, and it is something our competitors know the judges will be looking for.
4.How did you first get interested in pole dancing, what made you try it?
L: I actually got into pole through organising my friends Hen party. She's from Poland so we used the 'Pole' pun and decided to go pole dancing. This actually is where I met Hannah at Twisted Pole Nottingham as she was the lady who taught us :) Two things came from that party, my love of pole dancing and meeting my best friend! 20 months later and Hannah is still my instructor and best mate and my love of pole dancing has grown deeper!
H: I saw my first pole dancing video on youtube and was absolutely blown away! I though it was amazing that anyone could do anything like this. I knew I had to try it so I bought my own pole in 2007 and started to teach myself. I started up the University of Nottingham Pole Dancing Society in 2008 as I wanted to learn more moves and bring pole to other people in the university. I was soon addicted and poling loads. Just before I finished my MSc in Oct 2010 I decided to start up my pole dancing school Twisted Pole!
5.What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
L: The feeling of nailing that move that you have been trying to master for ages! I have struggled so much with my reverse climb, after practicing every week for what seems like years lol i have finally be able to do it!! I also enjoy the social side of it as i have met so many lovely people through pole who i probably wouldn't have ever met before. My strength and flexibility have also improved which makes me really happy, as i didn't even notice it improving!
H: I love the feeling you get when you are listening to a song and you think "i could pole to this" and the inspiration that follows when you are writing a routine or freestyling. I LOVE transitions and drops, they are my favourite thing to do!!!
6. What are your 3 favourite pole moves and why?
L: I absolutely love the monkey spin!! I love going fast and really throwing myself into it! I also love the Twisted Grip Handspring as I have always thought it looked awesome, and it was one of my goals when I first started. I recently discovered the floor sweeper, I can't stop doing it!! I guess i just love to spin!
H: That's such a difficult question to answer as I love so many! My favourite spin is the phoenix! It took me ages to get it and when I did I was so happy! It made all the practice worth the while. I love the shoulder mount because you can get into it and out of it from so many different moves, it is so varied. I also love the knee hold. It was my ultimate goal when I first started out and it hurt so much when I first got it but now It is definitely in my favourites!
7. What are your favourite strength training moves on the pole and why?
L: My friend and i started a challenge of how many inverts can you do without touching the floor, i have got up to 7 and i have found by doing this every week really helps to improve my upper body strength. I am also trying to master the Iron X, this is again something i attempt every week at Twisted Pole Nottingham. I feel my core strength is improving and every week i get a little bit closer to nailing that move.
H: Deadlifts! Every kind of deadlift, from regular inverts to twisted grips. I find that practicing them really helps with my strength. Not only do they help with strength but moves look so much nicer if you pull into them rather than kick.
8.What pole dancers do you admire or inspire you?
L: I haven't really got just one pole dancer that i admire or inspires me. I guess when i first started the first person I really noticed was Jenyne Butterfly, It was a routine to Florence and the Machine and I was just blown away by it! I think it was from then on i really appreciated what could be done on a pole and how music can really affect the routine. I think i actually had goosebumps at the end of that routine! I'm lucky to have 2 awesome instructors at Twisted Pole who really inspire me to go for my goals and are so supportive.
H: So many pole dancers inspire me. I think i find inspiration in every pole dancer I meet. I would definitely say that Hanka Venselaar is one of my favourite pole dancers as she always has such awesome new moves. Also Rebecca Butcher as I love her style and her drops. Zoraya Judd as well as she is so strong! I am also really inspired by Lauren Red, I could watch her dance for hours, she is so graceful and strong.
9. How do you think pole dancing has evolved over the past few years?
L: It has definitely swung more towards the fitness side of things, more and more people are embracing pole dancing and acknowledging that it is a great form of fitness!
H: I think it has evolved a lot, but in a good way. People are beginning to realize how amazing it is as a form of dance and a form of fitness. More people are giving it a go and I feel like there is less of a negative view of it in general especially with it being featured on television shows such as on Got to Dance and the Got Talent shows.
10.Three words that mean pole dancing to you?
L: Challenging, Inspiring, Fun
H: Strong, Varied, Artistic