Preparing for a Pole Competition

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Why Compete in a Pole Dance Competition?

Questions to ask yourself before preparing for a pole competition:

  • Ask yourself: Why do I want to compete? Are you just wanting to be better than everyone else? Or do you need to be noticed? Are you looking for attention? Are you doing it because you love the dance and want to share it with the rest of the world? Or do you feel you have something beautiful to bring to the stage and feel you have the level of skill to perform alongside other talented dancers? Go deep and think about your why because it will carry you through the tough parts on this journey to competition.
  • Preparing for a competition means the demand of extra finances, lots of time to dedicate to your training, stress, high emotions and a very high level of dedication to take you through. Are you ready to commit yourself to the extra time, money and stress? Do you have a way to make extra time to work on your training?
  • Assess your capabilities. What is your level of strength? Flexibility? Are you able to hold the poses for the competition’s required amount of time? Do you have the stamina to perform the routine with the required number of tricks, inverts, spins and poses?
  • What is your dance style? Not all competitions focus on athletic grace and strength and not all focus on sensual and creative aspects of pole dance. Decide what type of competition is best suited to your style. Don’t try and re-make your style to fit a competition.
pole dancing competition

(Polish Pole Dancing Championship)

Training and Rehearsing Time

How often will I need to train and rehearse in preparing for a pole competition? What do I need to do different than normal training?

  • Every competitor that has trained has a different individualized answer, but the most common thread is 5-7 days a week anywhere from 2-6 hours. They also include cross training such as running, yoga, and weight training.
  • You’ll spend time learning new moves and perfecting ones you already know as well as learning the routine.
  • Clean up your diet to fuel your body and keep it running at optimal levels. You can’t run of off bad food such as refined sugars, bad fats or lots of salt at this point. This will only run you down.
  • Take care of your body with massages, reflexology and warm, relaxing baths or spa days. 
  • Don’t forget to rest. You HAVE to rest to recover from all of this intense training and to prevent overtraining, getting too tired and injuring yourself or over using certain muscles and getting injured that way…and you don’t want to fall ill either.

Tips for Preparing for a Pole Competition

  • Choose your music and choreography right away so that you can get started on training. Advice from competitors: Finalize that choreography as-soon-as-possible so you can learn it inside and out! Learn it so good you know it in your sleep.
  • Make sure your music selection follows the competition’s rules. Check with the agency holding the competition before you put a lot of hard work into a routine just to find out you can’t use that edition of the song. Also, there may be music length restrictions.
  • Check the competition rules about your choice of costume. There are rules on what coverage (or non-coverage!) is allowed.
  • Get your costume as soon as possible as well so that you can rehearse in it and work out any issues that may arise beforehand.
  • Some competitions have an outline of moves that are required such as spins, holds, poses and inverts. Make sure your choreo includes what is required.
  • When choosing the tricks you want to perform, choose ones that you know really, really well. Don’t choose tricks that you can only nail some of the time.
  • Also, are the tricks you have chosen in compliance with the level of competition that you are entering?
  • Video record your rehearsal when preparing for a pole competition so you can view your own self and also show it to others for critiquing.
  • Learn your routine well before you start adding in the expressions of emotions on your face or storytelling parts.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse! You want to be able to do this in your sleep. Go over the routine in your mind just as much as you do with your body. There is much power in the mind connecting to the muscles and the same neurons will fire when you think about it as they will when you actually perform it.

There's lots to preparing for a pole competition...the sooner you get started, the better prepared you will be!

For a list of major pole dance competitions, click here and for more of a look at what to expect on your first pole dance competition day, click here.

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