Current competitions. Is anybody getting it right?

 
Webmaster

I've seen alot going around about pole dancing's current crop of competitions.  Who's getting it right and who's getting it wrong and why?

It seems that we've got two major competitions out there.

USPDF is one and there are accusations of multiple types of malfeasance, including score mistabulation and favoritism.

The APFC is running at roughly the same time and is run by someone who has publicly bad-mouthed the pole community and has publicly attacked a major breast cancer foundation when it was her own poor planning at fault and not that of the charity.

Do you think that these major comps are salvageable or should we be looking to new competitions such as the upcoming Midwest competition run by Mary-Ellen Weissman. 

What is the answer?
Aug 20, 2012 from San Rafael, California, United States
luvlee

I do not know much about these competitions. I do know one requires you to wear very high heels. I do not think that makes much sense. There are A LOT of great dancers that just dance better without heels. It seems like a silly rule really.
Aug 20, 2012 from Dayton, Ohio, United States
lolorashel

Love this question.  Although I hope this thread doesn't get ugly.  I watched some pretty ugly stuff go down with a competition in California earlier this year.  I chatted with some pole peeps earlier this summer about this very question.  One person said that if there are bad competitions, the people will figure it out and stop entering and said bad competition will go away.  Another said that people are so hungry to compete and/or get their name out there, they will continue entering bad competitions.  So how do we, as an industry, find the good competitions and label them so competitors feel safe and can still show off their mad skills?  I too would love to know who is running the best competitions out there.  I was at PPC in LA last May.  It was based on the model set up by the Midwest competition.  I thought it was well-run.  I'm no expert, mind you.  But it felt like a good start to a new line of competitions.  

Here's another question for you.  Many people who do competitions want to achieve pro status so they can teach workshops at a higher level.  How long does that "pro status" last?  Do they have to continue entering and winning competitions?  Or, at some point, are you just so amazing and no longer need to prove yourself? 

Side note...I'm gathering a list of all of the competitions around the world.  I'd love for people to e-mail me the ones I am missing:  [https:]
Aug 20, 2012 from Walnut Creek, California, United States
PennyGirl

Personally I think it's kind of the same that happens with businesses in general, people don't want to frequent businesses who have a bad reputation for corrupt practices. This problem is usually resolved when an alternative business is offerred or when the originating buisness changes ownership and or leadership. I do believe that certain established competitions could gain their reputability if they were to take steps to remove the percieved causes of what ever agregious acts had occurred in the past, and to publicly announce a new beginning, along with steps created to prevent such acts form occurring again. I also believe that most busineses can do fine if they wait out the drama and press forward. I guess it depends on the level of disenchantment felt by their consumers.
Aug 20, 2012 from Tennessee, United States
Picklepie

@luvlee

Yes, USPDF requires you to wear heels for the compulsory round, which is only a maximum of 90 seconds long. The Optional round has no requirements.

But please also be aware that heels are not accepted at some competitions...

“We have to take some of the eroticism out of the moves and also take off the high heels,” International Pole Sports Federation President Tim Trautman said in a previously published report. “We’re going to frame it as these are athletes that you’re watching.” Yes, he was speaking about the Olypics, but I didn't see any heels at his competition either.

I personally always dance in heels when I perform, and I feel that adding an extra 6 inches on my feet does not make me any less athletic; but I also believe that we should be able to dance in whatever makes us feel beautiful and confident. I don't find barefoot dancers any less beautiful and I dance barefoot all the time in my studio, honestly I just dance better in heels.

I hesitate to even respond to this because I know how ugly this sort of thing gets. People have a need to stratify themselves and a desire to belong with like minded people. I just really wish that we could see the beauty in all types of pole dance...from erotic to vertical bar.

While we will never agree with everything that happens at every competition, please try not to devalue the hard work and stress and money and time and effort and emotion and BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS that the competitors put into these competitions. The only reason they are there is to validate all of their self discipline and sacrifice and to show their art to the community they love.

The last time this topic came up some incredibly nasty things were said, and I truly hope that no one will stoop to that point. We are a family...If you can't say anything nice...well you know the rest.

<3 Sarah
Aug 20, 2012 from Tampa, Florida, United States
Charley

Let me begin my personal thoughts by saying that I am about to compete in 5 days and that this is probably my last competition because of the kind of person I have realized I am.  Also let me commend Mary Ellyn on all of her hard work with Midwest, her generous spirit with us competitiors and dedication to building a great event - especially here in the midwest where it's much harder.

I don't think whether a competition is good or bad has any bearing on whether or not competitors and dancers will support it.  There is a big need for many dancers to compete and/or perform and competitions used to be the only way to pursue performing.  When I competed in USPDF ECR it was because I wanted to PERFORM not to compete.  Then I was crushed at how badly I did.  

Last year, I only tried out for Midwest to show my support for the event and was actually accepted which I didn't really expect.  That internal experience was actually kind of good for me.  This year I tried out for it because I felt I had to, like if I didn't people would get upset, I'd lose friends or something...

SO, I don't like competing because I realized I want to live in denial land where I can be the princess in my sandbox and I don't want to know how I stack up, I just don't - it's too hurtful for me.

BUT, if there are going to be competitions I think that there should be MORE of them with different types of rules, different aspects, different types of criteria in order to create as much oportunity for everyone.   I'd like to see competitions take something that they as organizers would like to see (say artistry?) and create their competition to find that kind of dancer, perhaps another organization likes something else and they build their criteria to find that kind of dancer - this way each style and dancer has a fair shake at participating.  Plus with more competitions it will give people an outlet so if an organization doesn't please them they can find a new one.
Aug 20, 2012 from Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
Veena

I'm not too worried about nastiness on this thread, members here are usually respectful and thoughtful with their responses.

All great thoughts and points have been made! This is something that needs to be discussed. 

I agree that there should be several "types" of competitions out there. We need options! There are some dancers who like the sporty, trick, aspect of pole, and others that fell in love with the heel wearing, sensual side of pole. I think artistry can be shown in both the sporty and sensual side. We need high quality competitions of all kinds both professional level comps and amateur! We should not expect amateur level dancers to bust out the same level of pole moves as the pro!! I think there needs to be a better definition of Pro and Amateur as well. 

*Stands on soap box* BUT, I want to remind everyone, that competing at a professional level for any sport or performing art, will be very taxing on the body and could result in chronic aches and pains later on in life. So PLEASE don't feel that you HAVE to compete in order to be a real pole dancer, or to reap the benefits of pole. Respect your bodies limits and as Charley said in chat "live to pole another day!" 
Aug 20, 2012 from San Francisco, California, United States
MelCat

Going off what Charley said, it'd be great to have competition opportunities set up similar to a lot of regular dance competitions, in that it has more of a feel of competing against yourself.  That way you get the exposure to dancing with others and getting to see what else is out there and get feedback in a comparative manner that has a focus on improving as an individual rather than getting the perfect formula of tricks, types of tricks, floorwork, etc that will result in winning a competition. 
Aug 20, 2012 from Columbia, Missouri, United States
MissHoneyrider

*sighs and takes a deep breath* I normally would just bite my tounge on this issue but honestly it hurts to see any kind of negative talk surrounding pole comps and accusations of multiple types of malfeasance, including score mistabulation and favoritism. For as long as i have been involved in the "pole community" i have watched poling grow stronger and gain more recognition WITH the help of any and all competitions. We need the diversity to keep the imagination and creativity alive in pole. If we start banning competitions then how does this solve anything? we'll only limit and stifle by having less comps to showcase pole dancing.I have dear friends that probably have a better understanding of the politics and what goes on behind close doors, it's not that i have my head in the sand i just think there has got to be a better way to resolve issues then to just ban something altogether;( 
Aug 20, 2012 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Fawnia

As a judge I feel that the Pole Sports Competition in London last month was ran very well with appropriate criteria and qualified judges. The right criteria and judges equal a great contest. [www.polesports.org  ] There are other great contests ran for less skilled athletes too, but this is just one example of who is getting it right.
Aug 20, 2012 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Charley

I also want to add that competitions are relatively new to pole dancing.  There will be growing pains with them.  I think it's important to note that no matter how you might feel about a particular competition there are others out there, there will be more coming and in the end - all of these evens promote pole dancing in a good way.

There also lies a burden on hopeful competitors to research a competition, find out what the comp is about and what they are looking for.  What is their criteria?  So, if you just don't like dancing in heels - that's okay there are comps for that, there are comps for heel lovers, there are comps for tricksters, there are comps for dancers and everything in between.  

For every one 1 thing that someone might not like about a particular competition - there is still rationale behind it and there are equally as many arguments "for or against."  

I'd also point out that personal experiences with organizations will differ which makes it even more important for there to be lots of things to choose from.  

I'd love to see more localized pole competitions too so that competitors can learn to compete - because that's something you do need to do - you can perform and dance all day long but putting on a smile and being judged feels really different.

It's also ok if competing just isn't for some people - again another great reason to have more comps ans some smaller comps :)

And I sincerely hope that none of these thoughts are offensive because it's important for us to share these types of thoughts because these events do impact our community internally.
Aug 20, 2012 from Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
chemgoddess1 Paid Member

As it has been stated before, people really need to research the competitions they are entering.  Since USPDF was the first big one out there everyone flocks to it, but there are so many comps happening now.  I just had a local girl compete in an exotic dance competition that now has a pole segment.  Pole Champ has been running legit competitions that is also aimed more at exotic dancers....do either of these comps hold any less value then say USPDF or APFC?  I know that ME worked with PDC to set the guidelines for her comp and many in the UK are doing the same.  Transparency is essential.  Got that stripper style?  APFC is probably not the comp you want to enter as they state they are looking more for the athletic style.  Don't have that stripper style?  Pole Champ is probably NOT what you want to enter.

 

We as a society have gotten so used to the easy button....we want fame and we don't want to have to research.

 
Aug 20, 2012 from Raleigh-ish, NC, United States
nymphdancer

I will be honest I don't even like that there are comps in pole. I go to mid-west to support my friends and to see people I have known on line and would like to actually meet. I competed for years on horses. Comps tend to bring out the worst in people. I got into pole not only because it was a fun way to exercise but because of the loving relationships and supportiveness of the women involved. I had never liked being around other women much until I found pole and my pole friends. I feel like comps start bringing the cattiness and pit us against one another again which make me sad.
Aug 20, 2012 from Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Mary Ellyn

Thanks Webmaster for the shout out and everyone who has made supportive comments about Midwest.

I think it's very important that we have a variety of choices within competitions as much as variety within classes and studios.

Lorashel mentioned how long does the status hold after winning a competition? I think it depends on what that person does to promote themselves. Do they stay in the public eye by touring and teaching, participating as judge, creating videos, performing at big events, etc. If they don't, the pole community will lose track of them quickly with so much new talent emerging all the time.
Aug 21, 2012 from Chicago Heights, Illinois, United States
hrhlaura

I really wanted to add:

I started the competition, EastCoastPole, in South Africa, as a local competition in order to help people get used to performing and competing. It is only open to local dancers - but we have had great support from the pole dancers around the country and judges are always from out of town (not local) in order to take the bias out of judging. The hardest part has been trying to make sure that the competition can never be seen to be biased or showing favouritism. 

Because of the difficulty with the difference between tricks and dance etc. we do not limit whether people can dance in shoes or not. We try and have 3 judges, one with a specialisation in pole tricks, the other with pole dance and transitions/spins etc and lastly an external dancer. We believe that the beauty of dance is universal and instantly recognisable to any dancer regardless of the "props" or forms of dance. This last judge focuses just on the magic of the routine.

We also have a problem trying to distinguish between intermediate, advanced and professional. Each year we can only make it better by learning from the past year.

Some of the improvements we will be making next year will be to add Junior and Masters levels. These levels will not be judged for placing (first, second, third) but rather as an exam (gold = 80% and above, silver 70-80% etc). It is felt that this will help eliminate competition between people and rather encourage individual performance. Juniors will be open to competitors between 16-18 years. Masters will be open to competitors 40 years or older.

The beginners, intermediate and advanced categories will remain. There will be a professional category as well for competitors who have competed at a national or international level (criteria still to be established). Intermediate move restrictions will remain but instead of limiting certain moves we are looking at moving towards restricting the number of advanced moves. We have found that everyone's idea of advanced moves is different. To help with this you will only be allowed to perform 2 advanced moves in your routine. (as usual the specifics still need to be discussed).

If anyone has anything to add that we might be able to benefit from please do comment as we appreciate any way to improve.
Aug 21, 2012 from Cayman Islands
PippiParnasse
I don't think people are going to stop doing crappy competitions. (And I am not really in the loop enough to know which are perceived as illegitimate, so don't take that as a jab at anyone.) The problem is that if you don't have a title, some people won't give you the time of day. Taking nth place in a bullshit comp gets you more respect than not competing. And honestly, there is some value in that. Even if the organization raises eyebrows, you've still proven that you can run with the big dogs, which counts for something.

Unfortunately that means that comps will always have business, even if they are shady. And because of the circumstances I've outlined above, I can't blame those who choose to take part. Just try not to get taken advantage of.
Aug 21, 2012 from Salem, Massachusetts, United States
upandover

I"ll be honest guys, the thread really confuses me

You compete, you win a prize and get a bit of a name for yourself, whether the comp is big, or small.  what's the problem?

I don't' really understand how a comp can be "shady", they can't force you to take off your clothes (you know unless it's the miss strip tease world cup or something )

your act can be as squeaky clean or naughty as you build it to be

so unless there's peep cameras in the dressing rooms I don't' really understand where the "shady" aspect comes from??????

please feel free to enlighten me if there's something I"m missing.....
Aug 21, 2012 from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Anonyma

thats why there is lots of showcases now, for those who like to perform for fun !
Aug 21, 2012 from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Anonyma

and there is so many wrong things in the pole fitness industry ...especially those using charity such as breast cancer to promote their  things
Aug 21, 2012 from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Charley

I just read this blog from Claire Sterret, I enjoyed her thoughts a lot.  I think it's fitting for this conversation.

[xpoleblog.com]
Aug 21, 2012 from Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
Bob Zamora

I think we can only vote with our hearts and our wallets. Does anyone remember the year two gold medals were awarded in Olympic pairs figure skating? It an organization at the level of sport has problems, what can we in the pole world expect? In my own life experience I have been involved with amateur and youth ice hockey both as a player and a coach. Never a season went by without some group trying to manipulate the U.S. governing body (USA Hockey), the governing state body (Colorado Amateur Hockey Association), the local youth club leagues, coed adult hockey leagues etc. We have players in wrong age groups, skill groups, associations stealing players, high school hockey antics, splinter groups forming their own leagues, poor game officials, home town refs, you name it. What did I do? After 22 years as a coach and 40 years as a player I quit and took up pole "dance". Now I skate in fun pickup games with guys my age who just want to have fun. Being public about my pole dancing makes me untouchable as a coach. ;)

At some point the politics just isn't worth it. I voted with my heart and wallet. I was paying big money for a spot on a beer league team every winter in addition to my coaching expenses and volunteering a lot of time.

Now to pole dance. Recently a super dancer was here in town. A lot of my friends were wondering if I was going to attend. I voted with my heart and did not attend. The studio that sponsored her visit and her personal views are not exactly welcoming to male pole dancers. I realize that studios that sponsor the exhibitions are businesses that can do as they please. I respect that. I also respect a dancer when they open and honest about their opinions on pole styles and who should be allowed to pole. Freedom of speech.

There is so much politics in the world that I cannot avoid. My vote this upcoming election and my work are examples. Do I need more politics ? I think we all have to ask ourselves this question. All I can do is support those people in pole who share my vision. Next year I'm going to Midwest with my heart and my wallet. It all comes down to ethics and money.
Aug 21, 2012 from Westminster, Colorado, United States
firebird
OMG for all the paranoia abt this convo going awry... I think it's going GREAT! Nice job kicking it off, WM! And kudos to all respondents! Oh I have SOOO many thougts & feelings in this matter, but my fingers will NOT type fast enuf... So to take another maybe briefer angle, I'll just keep on rolling w/the hi-5's:
BZ - dude u r BAD ASS! Hockey dude-turned-poler! LOVE IT! So want to meet & pole jam w/u! Love ur story, thanks for sharing, & bravo on voting w/ur heart & $$. As for men in pole, whatev... I'm all for HUMANS & pole... My 2 young SONS are already becoming amazing pole monkeys! I'm so insanely proud of them! Ironically the problem we have at the studio I teach at is we don't have ENOUGH men, as we TOTALLY welcome them! Hey the more the merrier! And the more "balance" in types of people (gender & all other traits/styles/attitudes/preferences/etc) the better, for ALL of us!
ME -- u r a legend, don't even know if u r a title holder or not, doesn't matter... Keep doing what ur doing. I'll have to make a pilgrimmage to the MW comp at some point, I've herd so much abt it, always positive & w/high regrd & respect... but dang kinda a trek from my comfy corner in San Diego... One day...

And to the person out there who touted showcases as an alternative to competing, HERE HERE!!! Amen to those!! I say rather than growing the number of comps out there, how about we just increase our performance presence?! I mean, I really almost NEVER care who wins, I almost always have my own personal favorites when I go to a competition, and apparently the judges never agree w/me, so whatev... I go to support my friends, all the awesome polers, I love & respect them ALL! And want to learn from ANY & ALL of them!!! But mostly I see any pole event (comp or show) as just a REALLY awesome form of entertainment... And I tend to think the average Joe/Jane feels similarly... Where thankfully these fantastically talented & dedicated performers don't have to be relegated to an environment wherein they have to worry about takin items of clothing off to a very intimate degree to be able to be invited to strut their skill & be shown some appreciation for what they do.
(& before anyone goes bananas on me, don't even think for a second that I'm knocking strippers or strip joints! I luv & respect 'em all! But how sad would it be for a dancer that really would like to perform for an audience & only way she is allowed to do that is by agreeing to bare her top, & she is too shy or whatever to do that? And I bet there r still places out there where that's still the only "option" right now for some practitioners of pole... That's all I'm saying... Oh no, actually, 1 more thing I'm saying re poling in a strip club as ur "only public performance" option: how often have I not heard my stripper friends talk w/disappointment abt the lack of appreciation/applause/tips/etc they were met with after rockin' out some killer moves on the pole? Sadly we well know that not every patron that frequents such venues can value the skill / strength / etc of a pole dancer on stage... VERY diff from the crowd u know u can expect at a comp or other such pole show that goes nuts over a beautifully delivered gemini, nevermind a knockout spatchcock!!!)

Ok enuf from me (for now)... :)
Aug 21, 2012 from San Diego, California, United States
Anonyma

@firebird: I just can't believe that some ladies would want to perform to the point of goin in a strip club ...the worst place a pole dancer would show their skills is a strip club, the guys just want to see your  piece of pie, it turns the guys off when a girl is too athletic on stage, they dont want a chick that could kick their ass

but yeah , showcases seems to become a trend , and i like it! No rules about shoes ( i like wearing my shoes, i feel uselesswithout them)

 

 
Aug 21, 2012 from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
minicoopergrl

As Bob already said - thats our voting power.  Thats how we make the pole idustry grow and move! 

 

As for me I like to perform and I like to compete.  Its just in my blood.  Some of us get into the comps b/c we dont have any other outlet to perform.  I think we need more performances outlets even for those who dont have the pole experience but like to put on a show. 

 

USPDF is a tough gig just to get in. Ive heard stories of women who didnt get in b/c 'they thier toe point wasnt strong enough'.  I also think they kind of look for an image when looking for finalist as well, I mean if they win they are representing US and pole dancing for the next year.  Then APFC seems like a good competition based on the people who get into it.  But then its organizer has gotten into alot of trouble by speaking her mind and seeming to omit parts to her story.  My wallet has not helped either one (mostly due to financial restrictions for me) but I do support those who do make it to the big stages. 

 

Then theres people like ME and Moses Carroll who are giving alot of women the opportunity to compete who havent before.  I was shocked I made the Ms VA Competition, I was up against alot of great talent and just happy to share a stage with them.  I know Moses and his crew work really hard to promote Pole Dance America and give women that chance.  Look at some of his past winners and how thier pole lives have changed!

 

For me, it all comes down to research.  I read all my stuff before I decide to submit, I also look at past winners and competitiors to get a feel for what they are expecting. 
Aug 22, 2012 from Hanover, Maryland, United States
AlinaPole

I find it so sad that the USPDF has so many lies, favoritism and such lack of integrity. I have had friends who have entered and been accepted and have suffered bc of the ridiculous rules and the image you have to maintain. Why is it that the titles change? and they changed conveniently when someone from the owner's studio made it to top 3...now theres 2nd and 3rd place? I wish another, better organized, REAL federation could happen maybe hosted by artists that are actually fair. I have decided to boycott this competition and many that I know have done the same bc of its lack of ethics...and insane prices

The APFA is run by someone who speaks her mind too much, is too emotional and doesnt know how to maintain a professional poker face. The competitors are amazing. I love that men are included in the competition.

Polesque is a growing competition but I feel its too biased. Everyone is from the owners studio.

What if the audience can vote but only once? would that work?
Aug 30, 2012
chemgoddess1 Paid Member

The problem with audience voting is that is is based on who you know, not necessarily having the best performance.  If you do not know the judging criteria then it is nothing more than a popularity contest; and those that live in NY have the upper hand when it comes to people in the audience.
Aug 30, 2012 from Raleigh-ish, NC, United States
AlinaPole

I agree with you. I just figured that since people's opinions change once they are anonymous, and sometimes more than one friend competes, it might work. 

but i totally agree with you.

any suggestions on how to make it work?
Aug 31, 2012
chemgoddess1 Paid Member

There has been one comp that did audience voting, USPDF that had online voting for the last contestant and one of the big comps always has a fans choice that is also done by online voting.  In each and every case it comes down to a populatiry contest, and the comp was ripped apart.  On top of this the software that would be necessary to do an audience participation type vote is peobably not cheap and I still have not found a single comp that has all sorts of extra money to spend.

 

Kind of a case in point.....Cedar Point just had a dance competition about a month ago.  There was a number to text your vote.  Not only did I get texted to vote by a friend who was competing but it was posted all over facebook.  You did not even have to be IN THE AUDIENCE to vote.  Now think of how many friends someone like Aerial Amy has on FB, and thus in her phone contacts.  How easy would it be to send a mass text to every one of her contacts?  (Amy, I am using you just as an example, not that you would actually do something like this).
Aug 31, 2012 from Raleigh-ish, NC, United States
Mary Ellyn

Judging is really tough. Part of the problem is that in the pole dance industry we aren't really large enough yet to have professional judges who do nothing else but judge  as they do in some other disciplines. Some professional judges never teach. Right now we have some people filling three roles...professional competitors, trainers/teachers, and judges. Until we grow more that some are judges and nothing else, it's going to be tough.


I am gathering feed back for my own purposes. This year Lizz Schofield did not judge within the No American Elite division because of her ties to hear instructor and quasi partner Lorinda who was a finalist in that division.

However I am concerned about how we can possible separate all judges from those who have contacts with finalists. The pole world is still too small.

For example...Lets say Alethea comes to the Midwest a lot (she does right?) and lets say every time she is in town a particular dancer takes as many privates and classes with her as she can. And every time that dancer travels anywhere they take other workshops with her too.
 

What is the difference between someone taking classes regularly at a judges studio and someone taking workshops and classes regularly with a judge at different locations?


It's become impossible to separate instructors from competitors. I think we need to make certain we have a large variety of judges from various locations and have at least a set number of maybe 4 or even more for every comp so that there is enough diversity among the judges plus more dilution of any possible favoritism.

However, I think we also have to start trusting judges to be professional and not play favoritism and if we accept them in their role as a judge we trust them to make the right call when scoring a competition.

I know my students will tell you I am brutal with them when I critique them. As the organizer of Midwest and No American I sat there and watched my own students and felt every one of them should have placed. I also know that if I was sitting in the judges seat (as I have done so in the past) I would have seen a lot more and maybe not felt the same way.
Aug 31, 2012 from Chicago Heights, Illinois, United States
Saphyre Paid Member

For the record...I think Mary Ellyn and the team of judges at the Midwest Pole Dance Convention did a spectacular job picking the winners. My husband and I sat in the audience doing our own critiquing (as pure amateurs) and the top 3 in each divison were spot on. There were some incredibly talented performers and I would not have wanted to be in the judges (awesome) shoes.
Aug 31, 2012 from Yorkville, Illinois, United States
Charley

I agree - Mary Ellyn has some excellent judging criteria - although as a competitor - I pulled my hair out a lot trying to make it all work!  hahahahaha!

Midwest is the hardest competition I have ever done because there are so many things we are being judged on - so basically in the end it's really about doing your best and focusing on your strengths as a pole dancer.  

Aside from the hair pulling with compulsories I liked the challenge of having things be required and trying to figure out how to do them without losing the integrity of the story - that part was really fun.  It was fun to be forced to be creative because otherwise I'll just dance and not do anything.

Comeptitions are complex - I'm not sure I can handle the process of doing another one - this was my swan song I think.  It's hard.  I cannot tell you how much I respect i have for  those brave enough to endure weeks of ahrd work, effort, creativity to go out on stage give your heart to the room and be judged - it's really hard.  I think that's something that organizers need to take into account and need to be as sure as possible that the judging system is FAIR and ETHICAL.  Midwest did this - props to them.  And I'm not saying it because I placed - had I not placed I'd feel the same way.  There were a lot of things expected of us and each and every performer LIVED UP to those expectations.

The thing that was good about this too, was that the judging criteria is listed right on the website.  I'm now seeing other competitions do this which is great.  Transparancy is the most important thing for competitors and audience members.

 
Aug 31, 2012 from Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
Saphyre Paid Member

Right on, Charley!
Aug 31, 2012 from Yorkville, Illinois, United States
upandover

To go along with this thread I recently receved the PFA newsletter, and they included this little blurb in regards to comp judging. 

PFA Develops Olympic Standard Judging Criteria

The PFA sanctioned the IPSF World Pole Sport Championship in London this summer.  PFA and IPSF developed a complete judging criteria for competitions.  All PFA sanctioned events are welcome to utilize it, and have as a finished result, a very fair, effective, simple judging format to be used in any competition.  This format follows the example of judging criteria used when judging Gymnastics, or Figure skating. Aspiring to match a more Olympic standard, this effort will support efforts to get Pole Fitness in the Olympics, and prepare our industry for that day.  This method is really beautiful, and we will be offering it to all PFA events to use, utilize, and perfect further while fusing with their own information and methods.

If nothing else it looks like a few of the bigger pole communities are trying to get on the ball and develop a standardized criteria.  it's a step in the right direction if nothing else. 
Sep 3, 2012 from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Webmaster

I would love to see the PFA and IPSF publish this judging criteria as all other sports organizations do.  

I actually think that transparency is one of our sport's biggest problems.  People talk loud, but they want you to get on board before they'll share anything with you.  

I would actually love to see someone issue regulations as an RFC(Request For Comment).  This is how standards in most industries and sports are handled.  Specifications and requirements are posted publicly with a time frame for commentary and suggestions.  The benefit of this is that, as the document sponsor, you don't have to accept any of the commentary but you at least have the option and are giving the community you are supporting the ability to weigh in.

So I guess my question is does this:

"This method is really beautiful, and we will be offering it to all PFA events to use,"

mean that this criteria and methodology is sequestered until you decide to become a PFA event and get on board? Or are we able to examine said criteria and decide based on its merits whether we want to be PFA organizations, studios and dancers?  In my mind there is only one right answer.
Sep 3, 2012 from San Rafael, California, United States
AngelVonSpin

One thing I would like to see happening in comps is adding a "masters" division.  As we all know pole is something that can be done by all ages and those of us who love pole will want to keep on dancing, performing, competing no matter what age we are.  Masters must be an inevitable addition to the completition schedule - imagine what a 50 year old Felix, Zoraya, Marlo, Onna etc. could do for promoting the sport to older women in persuit of fun, fitness and self empowerment through the realisationn that there is no "use by date" for this sport or the women who participate.
Sep 20, 2012
Charley

MissyMia - The Midwest Pole Dance Competition and Pacific Pole Championships already have a Masters for over 40.  :)  It's happening and it's splendid!
Sep 20, 2012 from Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
AngelVonSpin

Charley- that is fantastic, so happy, Australia still has to catch up though x
Sep 20, 2012
 
Anonyma
Veena is THE BEST to learn pole online . Period with a big P. Simple, clear and awesome!
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