On Friday, two days before SHOWCASE 2018, I wrote this post. I wasn't feeling great about SHOWCASE on Friday, in fact I hadn't really been feeling good about it for several weeks. You can read the whole post if you want to know more, but I was basically dreading SHOWCASE and hating pole, although (I must be stronger than I think because) I didn't quit.
I performed all my five dances in SHOWCASE 2018 two weeks ago: Intermediate Spin, Exotica Chair, Intermediate Static, Booty and Showtime, and then my Showtime Solo routine last Wednesday.
So, given how I was feeling before SHOWCASE, how do I feel now that it's over for another year and I've had some time to breathe?
My primary emotion immediately after SHOWCASE was relief, but not just a 'phew, I made it', more of a 'thank FUCK that's over!' kind of relief. I will confess however that the week of pole prior to SHOWCASE was not as stressful as it could have been: freestyle and tricks came back and I was gently reminded that, if I don't tell my instructors that I miss freestyle and tricks then they don't know and they can't ensure that class is the right mix of SHOWCASE practice, course content and freestyle. I felt much better in class the week before SHOWCASE than I had at any point in Term 6 - I was finally happy to be in pole class again.
I handled the 'during' part of SHOWCASE well too. Last year both my dances were at the very end of the evening and I had to kill about two hours before I went on stage. This year, with more dances, I was on stage more often and didn't have as long to wait backstage at any point.
I did some amateur theatre in my younger years and the worst part about any play or performance was the waiting! I have been lucky that, when it comes to performing, I have never suffered from any kind of stage fright and, in fact, I really enjoy the rush that comes from being up in front of an audience. Believe it or not, one of my favourite things to do is public speaking and I entered many speaking competitions over my high school years - being on stage or in front of an audience has never bothered me, but the waiting is the absolute worst and SHOWCASE (or any pole performance/competition I've done) has been no different.
Although I won't pretend I didn't have some fun backstage with my pole sistas. Backstage SHOWCASE is certainly anything but formal and stuffy, and we all let a little loose and have a good time before, after and inbetween all our dances.
SHOWCASE 2018 Backstage Antics!
So, now that you know what I got up to backstage, how did my dances go? Given all the stress I was under previously, was I OK when I started dancing?
The answer: I did pretty well.
Strangely enough, my deeply personal and honest blog post from the week before SHOWCASE helped lift some of the pressure off my shoulders, and the multitude of supportive comments and messages from my friends made me feel less alone, so I was actually in a better headspace than I had been previously.
Comments from my friends on my pre-SHOWCASE blog post, reminding me that I'm not alone.
Getting up on stage for my first dance - Inter Spin - was not as challenging as I thought it might have been. Something Kristy always says at the beginning of every SHOWCASE came back to me as I was waiting behind my pole to begin my first dance: 'The audience don't know how to pole dance, so whatever you do will look amazing, and the ones that do know how to pole dance weren't brave enough to get up here today, so you are awesome!'
I don't know if I was 'awesome', but I certainly enjoyed myself once I got up on stage and had fun dancing. After Inter Spin I did Exotic Chair; I was actually unexpectedly up on the stage for this routine, almost nose-to-nose with the audience, and panicked a little, moving slightly too fast and then having to hold a pose to let the others catch up. According to those watching, however, I did a great job so I'll take their word for it.
From Exotic Chair I then did my Inter Static dance. Inter Static is my favourite course and the dance was probably my second favourite of the evening. I really felt confident in this one and could pull off all the tricks and transitions. Score One for me!
After Inter Static I had a costume change and it was into Booty. Booty was a workshop I did earlier this term, learning a full 2.5 minute routine in 1.5 hours and then watching the video over and over and over again before SHOWCASE to try and cement it in my head. I was petrified of doing this dance and it was the one I most seriously considered pulling out of. Am I glad I didn't? Well, if the cheering from the crowd was anything to go by it was a great dance, and I certainly remembered more of it than I thought I would, but it wasn't my favourite one of the evening. I think, however, that if I had pulled out I would have regretted it when the other girls went on stage, so, on the whole, I'm glad I put myself out there and did it.
Then, after Booty, it was time for a bit of a break and then into the most anticipated dance of SHOWCASE: Showtime! As mentioned in previous posts, Showtime was the dance I most enjoyed learning and I had so much fun in this special course during Term 6. Unfortunately, due to bad luck and my various positions during this dance, there is not a single photo of me during the Showtime dance to share with you, so please enjoy this wonderful picture of the Showtime Class of 2018 and our amazing instructor. We danced to 'Glamorous' by Fergie feat. Ludacris and our costume theme was gold, silver or white. I think we all look amazing!
So, there you have it. I had fun, as I knew I would, but I'm glad it's over for another year. As mentioned above, I did preform a solo the Wednesday after SHOWCASE as part of my Showtime course, but I'm still waiting for photos from that to come through, so will post when I get those.
As pole is over for the year now, it will be a little quiet on this front, although I will be attending some Summer Sessions at Pole Divas Caroline Springs and (hint, hint) watch this space, because something exciting is happening at Pole Divas Caroline Springs and Barbell Dancer is excited to give it a try!
If you're afraid to fall it means you're prepared to brave the heights from which you might fly.
Me With No Apologies.