Pole dancing is becoming more widely accepted as a sport and with good reason: pole dancing combines dance, flexibility, strength, and bravery into one activity. Realistically, pole dancing is an art form and a competitive sport.

Not everyone who starts pole dancing will want to take part in a competition and that is great, because pole dancing can be exactly what you want it to be.  If you decide at some point that entering a competition is something you would like to consider, there is mostly likely a competition out there that has a division that is perfect for you.

When you are considering a competition there are some things that competitors need to look out for, especially if it is your first one.

  • Make sure the competition is sanctioned by a reputable pole organization.  As pole dancing becomes more popular there are more competitions becoming available – so many of them are brand new.
  • Find out if what your goals are match the competition’s goals.  If you are a sexy slinky dancer, entering a competition that is targeted at acrobatic/gymnastics type people may not be a good fit.
  • Enter the right division.  If you are not super comfortable with inverting, stick to a division that is targeted at what you are good at.
  • Follow the costume guidelines.  Call or email whoever is in charge of the costume guidelines with any questions.  It is so frustrating to work tirelessly on a routine to get points off or disqualified for costume issues.
  • Follow the music rules.  Are only covers allowed? Radio edits?  These are all things that you as a competitor you need to know about.  Again, by not following these rules it can cause you to be fined or disqualified.
  • Verify the trick list.  When you are planning and choreographing your routine make sure you hit all of the compulsory moves.
  • Familiarize yourself with the type of pole being used.  If you are used to working with a different size or finish pole, practice with the type of pole being used at the competition to make sure all of your skills will work.  5mm may not seem like a lot but in pole diameter it can be huge.
  • Find out the type of poles.  Are they mounted poles or stage poles? Make sure you’ll have enough height to work with your tricks and combos.  If they are stage poles, make sure you have enough room to work with your floor work.  Reworking your whole routine 15 minutes before show time will not end well.

These are some basic tips to help your first competition go smoothly.  These are elementary things but they are often overlooked.  Some extra time preparing and double checking can save a lot of headaches and disappointments.  This is even truer when and/or if you begin competing in elite level competitions.  You may decide that competitions are exactly what you want out of pole dancing or you may elect for art shows and exhibitions or none of the above.  That is the best part of pole dancing; it can be exactly what you need.


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