This 50-minute documentary, Blood Sweat Sequins written and directed by Lou Quill in 2013 follows the journey of three pole dancers who are competing for the spot of Miss Pole Dance Australia 2012 now that the legendary Felix Cane has retired from competing for that title. The three women that are competing for that championship are Chelle, Miss Philly and Cleo, also known as “Cleo the Hurricane”. The film shares with us what types of misconceptions and challenges they face in their lives during this time of preparation for the competition. One loses her father; another struggles with her father accepting her choice to pole dance; another comes up against preconceived ideas about pole dancing.
Blood Sweat Sequins opens with Felix Cane, world champion pole dancer and winner of Miss Pole Dance Australia several times starting in 2006. The opening of the documentary showcases her 2011 Miss Pole Dance Australia performance and Cane sharing her thoughts on pole dancing being in the Olympics.
Bobbi, owner of Bobbi’s Pole Studio with several locations and the founder of Miss Pole Dance Australia also appears in Blood, Sweat and Sequins and shares her thoughts on Cane and what it will mean for the winner in terms of success in the world of pole dancing.
The cinematics of the film are beautiful – from feeling as if I am there on stage with the performers to seeing the tears in their eyes up close and feeling those moments of longing, sadness, uncertainty, hope and nervousness. The life choices they make that are centered around their pole dance careers are highlighted as well, whether it is moving closer to a studio or letting go of a significant other that hinders their choice of dance. I liked that part – where the whole topic of love relationships and choosing to pole dance is explored…I won’t ruin it for you though!
What I loved about Blood, Sweat & Sequins was not only that it was such a fun film to watch but it gave me an up-close and personal look at top pole dance competitors and allowed me to see that they too face insecurities, fears, challenges with how the world views them and family issues around the topic of pole dancing.
It gave me the thought that no matter where you are at in your pole journey, the issues are sometimes the same, maybe not for everyone, but facing personal fears, facing other pole dancers that are stronger, more flexible and more developed is the same if you are taking your first pole class or getting ready to step out and perform with the world watching you. That was a little comforting to me because I struggle with body issues, old injuries that creep up and losing my drive to stay consistent with pole at times.
Overall, I recommend watching this film whether you are new to pole, are a pole veteran, are considering trying it, are getting ready for your first performance, first competition or have friends or family that don’t quite understand “what you do”.
I watched it on Netflix since I have a monthly subscription to the service but you can also purchase or rent it here at www.bloodsweatsequins.com.
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