My First Competition Experience

Regardless of ambivalence in performing, I took the plunge and decided to compete in a Pole Classique competition. I took private lessons once a week that began in April 2022 to prepare me for the big day in September. (Previous post: Competition Training Begins)
Five months of training pushed me to the edge both physically and mentally. I felt like I had to search my soul for strength often. I put my heart into training. With support from my coach, husband, friends and the studio, I did everything I possibly could to prepare.
Rehearsal was chaotic. To say it went bad, would be an understatement. My anxiety was off the charts the week before the completion.
Finally, competition day arrived.

Counting down days to the competition

Five months of training was long while also short. I wished I had more experience in performing in general. I wished I could do more advanced tricks or at least execute them better, but I was doing my best at that time. We had my whole routine finalized about a month before the competition and it started to become realistic. My heart raced when I thought about my performance on the stage. I was nervous just thinking about it. The anticipation was astronomic. About two weeks before the competition, I just wanted to get over with it.

Studio rehearsal

There was a studio rehearsal a week before the competition and that was the first time I performed in front of multiple people. I was feeling butterflies in my stomach ever since I woke up that day. It was just a rehearsal, but my anxiety was off the charts. Once the rehearsal started, my heart was beating so fast from watching others perform. It was impossible to calm myself down. When I started my routine, my mind instantly went blank. I knew I would go faster under the pressure, and I did go faster. I couldn’t perform like practice, but that was reality. It was a great opportunity to experience the pressure. I just hoped I would do better on stage. All the support from the instructors and friends was heartwarming and I had so much fun seeing everyone’s performance.

Stage rehearsal

Stage rehearsal was held a day before the competition. That was the first time I touched the official competition pole. I had been using the same material pole for practice, but the pole on the stage felt different. It felt slippery and I was shocked how it felt different. I think every factor made it feel different. I was nervous, it was a different setting (of course, it’s on stage!), maybe I put my grips on a little sooner than usual, the music sounded different on stage, and I couldn’t do a full warm up like in studio. I wanted the rehearsal to be perfect, but it actually went horrible.
It was worse than the studio rehearsal. The feel of the competition pole was completely foreign to me and threw me off. My mind went blank again and I landed on the wrong side of the pole after one of my pole combos. I didn’t realize it right away and I went the wrong way during my floor work. I don’t remember how I made it to another pole for the next pole tricks. Thankfully I knew the timing of my moves with the music and I could get back on track.

I was so glad it was just a rehearsal. I got a taste of how it feels on stage, which was a disaster. 

Here goes nothing!

Rehearsal did not go as I wanted to, but I learned a lot. I had to calm myself down and listen to the music and make sure to look around where I am on the stage. I practiced until the point where I gained complete muscle memory and my body knows what to do without even thinking.
All I needed to do is practice and enjoy the time on stage. I told myself the stage rehearsal was the worst it could be. All I wanted was to have fun on stage.
At the studio rehearsal, the owner told us to take time to show appreciation at the end. Looking back at the past five months have been a miracle. I had support from my coach, pole mates, the studio, friends and my husband. Nothing stopped me from training. I describe it as a miracle because sometimes life throws you something unexpected and it may not go as planned. Well, there was some unexpected home damage that occurred in August, but it didn’t affect my daily training life so much. I also appreciated that the competition was held in person this year.
We all learned unprecedented things could happen from the pandemic and I was truly grateful for the opportunity. I told myself that however my performance turns out, I would take my time to thank everyone on the stage after my performance.

The outcome

I wish I could say I did my best on the stage and I had a blast, but unfortunately it left me with some regrets.
The biggest thing was a lack of pointing my toes. I could not point my toes as much as I wanted to. It is because I forgot to do so in some part, also I felt I was slipping and I had to focus more on holding on to the pole.

During the first half of my routine, I was nervous and I went too fast. I forgot to enjoy the performance and listen to the music, as a result, my tricks were sloppier. I realized I was going faster about half way and was able to listen to the music more in latter half.
Everything is hard to do under pressure, but I am glad that I could execute all the tricks and did the whole routine. At least it went better than the stage rehearsal.

One thing I think I did well was stay in character (the assassin!). I tried to look fearless the whole time and I received a ton of positive feedback.

I am so glad that I remembered to take my time to thank everyone on stage. I am truly thankful for everyone who made this competition a success.

First place

I ended up placing 1st in my category. I am humbled and honored.

Even though I could not perform as well as I wanted to, I am proud that I challenged myself and put my heart into this whole process.
This medal will be a reminder of my challenge and all the amazing people in my life.

My first competition completed

Huge Thanks!

I can’t thank my coach Marta enough. She encouraged me to compete when I was doubting myself and also choreographed an amazing routine. She made all my pole wishes come true. I really appreciate her dedication to train me for five months.
All the instructors at the studio, as well as my husband and friends, made this experience so special. I really appreciate everyone’s warm support.

Self growth

Although my performance left me with some bitterness, achieving self growth was a big part of the whole competition process and I am so glad I challenged myself. I never liked my appearance before but I started to accept myself while going through the competition. It feels weird, but I can say I like myself more than ever before. I proved to myself that I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it. I live my life for myself and anything is possible. I still get nervous in front of people, but I feel better about performing.

The competition training made me so much stronger and it enabled me to do some tricks that I thought it would take ages.
No plans for the next competition yet, but I would love to compete again. My next goal will be improve controlling my nervousness which will help me perform my best on stage.  

After competition: my pole journey continues

I took a week break from pole after the competition and then started taking pole classes again.

I paused taking regular pole classes to learn new tricks a month before the competition and I am enjoying learning and practicing new tricks now. I feel like a chapter of my pole journey concluded with the competition, but I am extremely excited for the next chapter of my pole journey. I will write again when I’ve reached that next chapter of my pole journey.  

Thank you for reading!

投稿を作成しました 17


検索語を上に入力し、 Enter キーを押して検索します。キャンセルするには ESC を押してください。