Almost three years ago I was looking for a competition to participate in. I wanted to do it as a present for my wife who claimed I had some natural skills that could make me a worthy pole dancer, though it seemed like a joke to me at that time. I didn`t have any experience, I performed only once before, treating the pole more like a device to hang on and push from for break dance tricks. I searched for several weeks, but there were no competitions available. I wrote several letters, but got denied on the reason it was not my region or they didn`t have male category (the funny thing is, later I judged almost all of these competitions). The only choice I had then was the World Championship. I applied and I immediately got in, with my second performance in my life I got the third place. There are too many competitions right now.
If you jam with ten male pole dancers, you can be sure seven of them already have at least one gold medal. Therefore the value of these medals is lowering. Contestants are disoriented – where should they apply to? Which is the best competition? Which will bring recognition, fame and money? Which will help to open up and explore your talent? Which will be a challenge to yourself? The worst thing is that contestants put the same amount of health, energy, effort and money to participate in the World Championship edition 817, but the result is incomparable with what she or he would have received several years ago.
I know many people who have far more titles than me, but students do not sign up for their workshops as they just don`t know them. At the same time, many polebrities have one “old school” pole title and thousands of followers around the world. The other problem is concerning the documentation. With a lot of traveling pole dancers need to do it is getting more and more common to get visa rejection for the championship in the country where visas are required. The thing is that in the visa council office or embassy, people just google “pole world championship”, or “pole art”, or “pole sport” or whatever – and receive an answer that it was held already two weeks ago in another part of the world. Visa officers get confused. It is hard to understand why there are that many championships with the same name, aim and presentation. The same goes for regular people (yes, there are still people in the world, who don`t see difference between pole dance, pole sport, pole art and so on). They search in youtube something like “pole dance champion” and get thousands of videos of bad quality and with different styles, levels of skills and overall impression.
I do understand that doing a championship is a huge job and immense responsibility. But so is participating in them. On both sides we deal with PEOPLE. Most of the time – this are passionate people, who put their heart into it.
Dear organisers, remember: each one of your contestants comes to your championship with sincere hopes, fears and dreams. Nobody aims to humiliate you, revenge on you or find your mistakes. Sometimes one thing, which is your fault (like a spinning pole that doesn`t spin) can crash all the hopes of somebody who could have changed the industry. But won`t. Because she or he will nevr compete again. As a contestants we listen to the critiques. Sometimes we do not agree, and this is normal. You should do the same. There should be an honest competition between competitions. And let the best ones win.
If you want a piece of advise, here you go:
1. Take care of your participants. They don`t owe you anything. At all. While they are the ones who bring audience that buys tickets, that lets you earn money. I don`t mean, that you have to provide limousines and oysters in the changing rooms. All they need is a little bit of attention. Clear directions, comfortable rooms to change, put on make-up and costume, warm-up, relax and get into mood. If you come to them, just to say hi and ask how they are feeling, how was their trip, if you just gather them after (not in a fancy club, just backstage) and open a bottle of champagne, only for you and them – organisers and participants, to celebrate that all of you did it, together – be sure, they will come back, no matter the result. Plus, your school will have a good deal for the future workshops.
2. Choose your judges carefully. Do not invite a judge, just because everybody invites her or him.
3. Take care of your audience. Start with a maximum of 15 minutes delay, invite professional hosts, choose the venue that allows everybody have a good view on the stage. Do not place judges or photographers so that they close the view for the audience. If you do that, people will want to buy tickets to your event.
4. Do a good promo. Good promo is not only publishing on your facebook page.
5. Be patient and listen to peoples` opinion. Yes, some people are just sh… shallow. But if most of people (doesn`t matter who – contestants, judges, viewers) repeat the same thing, there is a very high chances they are true. Remember that most of the critique is aimed to help you improve, and only some to make you feel bad.
As for the contestants. I know that many of us are afraid to participate in championships after we receive a proper level of recognition or popularity. However, I believe that championships is something that we NEED. They are challenge to ourselves, we need to work on our level even if it is high. Otherwise it is too easy to limit your communication only to people who come to your workshops (therefore – admire you) and stay blind to the fact – there are people better than you now. And if they get their golden ticket, you will be screwed. No matter how high the level of your self discipline is, you will never make yourself train as hard as you do when you get ready for a competition.
So some advise for you:
1. There are no pole dancers at the moment who are too cool to compete. This is a young discipline, all of us, all of you are new-born stars, there is no Madonna yet, and new Justin Biebers are born every day,
2. Choose your championships carefully. Quality is much more appreciated than quantity.
3. Be honest about your experiences. Less gossip, more open talk, and there will be less broken hearts around.
4. Get ready for your championships. People put an immense effort to make it happen (do you know how much a venue costs?!) and you don`t care enough to prepare a new routine. This is plain rude.
5. Remember, in a good competition organisers are not responsible for judges` decisions. If the organiser can control judges` opinion, than the championship is corrupted. When you are disappointed with judges` decision, be sure to express your opinion calmly, with facts and direct it to the person you are disappointed with. Not trash the entire team.
With all above said, I want to welcome you to my championship www.poledancechampionship.com
You can read all about it if you follow the link.
I did talk about it with my friends, plus the rumours were around, so we do have several applications already. And I am waiting for yours)))