Last Sunday I was lucky enough to compete in my first ever pole dancing competition: Pole Addiction. This is an in-house competition put on by the individual Pole Divas studios to showcase their incredible student talent - trust me, Divas is full of stars.
I didn't win a sashie, but I can honestly say that winning would have really only been a nice bonus for me. The thrill of getting up on stage, of dancing in front of a crowd and showing off everything I have learned (including some tricks I only mastered in the week or so before competing) was more than enough for me.
Even more exciting was that I got to share it with two of my best friends and biggest fans: Pat and Hilal from Evolving Physiques.
I know I keep saying this time and time again, but these two people have been such huge, positive influences in my life, and EP was the springboard from which I leapt out and broadened my comfort zone, discovering pole dancing, weight lifting, and the confidence to plan my first ever overseas holiday. If it hadn't been for EP, my life would have looked very different.
But Pole Addiction Caroline Springs was incredible! I had struggled with putting together my routine, before I eventually managed to fix up my music so that I was dancing to the parts of the song that had lyrics and beats that I liked, without long instrumental breaks. I only really finalised it in the week prior to Pole Addiction and will confess to feeling hideously unprepared in the days leading up to Sunday. I did four nights of practice, including a run-through on Friday night, and class on Saturday went swimmingly before the bag day on Sunday.
I danced to Lightning by Little Mix, and my theme was electricity, so I spent time creating a costume that included 'wires' running down my arms and legs, and the fabulous Jen from Jen Oliver Beauty did my hair and make-up for the event, turning me into an electrifying beauty for the day.
Then I danced.
These are professional images taken by the photographer on the day, EMC Photography, who PDCS get for every event they do. These are just a selection of the best ones from my routine, and I will say I am particularly proud of my standing back bend and the arch in my anchored diva pose. I will also say that I really felt these on Monday and was ever so glad to have access to a foam roller, spikey ball and deep heat. #backbendproblems
There was a professional videographer there on the day as well, but I'm still waiting for the video. Once I get it, I'll post it up here for you all to see.
Before I sign off, there one more thing I want to say. I've had a few people say to me 'I would love to do that, but I'm not flexible/pretty/thin/strong/brave enough!' You don't have to be flexible/pretty/thin (what the hell does that word even mean, anyway?!)/strong/brave or anything else to pole dance! If you're a human being who would like to pole dance, that's the only requirement. Pole is for everyone and every body. Anyone who wants to give it a go should jump onto the Pole Divas website and find their nearest studio. Ladies, there are courses and casual classes for all levels, and gents, you're not barred from learning this amazing sport, but you will need to contact the studio directly about your options.
See you at Divas!
If you're afraid to fall it means you're prepared to brave the heights from which you might fly.
Me With No Apologies.