This would be my second amateur competition and by the time I entered the Unleashed Pole Doubles competition 2011 almost a year ago in June 2011, I was dancing for a year and a half.
I’ve decided to share my story right now – my pole journey with Jen Cheah of how we trained and what we did. It was team-effort and a lot of commitment and we finally reaped the rewards, the feeling was really good.
I had an eye for talent, I approached Jen as she was in some of my pole classes and we talked about the idea of teaming up together. Here are some steps we took leading up to the competition.
1. Select a song. We decided to dance to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I was just breathing the song day in and day out! It was a bizarre song to dance to but had a really strong theme. Instead of being similar, we decided to go for a boy-girl theme.
2. Identify both strengths and weaknesses. Jen had the strength, I had the flexibility and ended up as the “flyer”. She carried me throughout the competition, more than just physically – metaphorically too. Teaming up together meant that we had to identify each other’s skills and work off what’s best so we look like “one”.
3. Identify both physical differences. I am a little taller and broader than Jen, but since I was going to be the flyer, I had to wear ballet flats – which made sense so I could step on her thigh while climbing instead of high heels poking into her thigh!
4. Watch YouTube videos of other pole doubles’ videos. We watched competitions of doubles’ – including amateurs’ competition performances, because obviously professionals’ tricks sometimes would be over-used. We aimed to be different.
5. Setup a pole studio. I turned my living room into a pole studio and had Jen bring her second pole into my house! I also bought 6 sets of cheap $20 mirrors so we could see ourselves while practising.
6. Practise at least 4 times a week together for a few hours for three months.
7. Record your own performance and replay it to review and analyse afterwards. We kept laughing at our videos, they’re so funny – some involved me accidentally kicking her, or her accidentally slapping me.
8. Warm-up first. Every one of our pole practice sessions involved a warm-up and we would take turns to conduct the warm-up.
9. Jot down ideal pole tricks and start working on them. Out of 20 tricks we listed, we probably used only half of them – depending on suitability of our music. Also, some were not achievable based on our level back then, too strenuous or required more physical strength.
10. Go for endless pole workshops. Leading up to the competition, Pole Divas would hold many workshops to help competitors build up strength. (Ahem, good to see who else would be competing too! – especially when it’s a Doubles’ workshop).
11. Prepare outfit and make-up theme. Jen picked out this youtube video and we started copying it just for fun (we just tried out our make-up very quickly and smudged our faces all over). We bought new and put together existing clothing pieces and I sewed on diamantes and laces onto my skirt and Jen’s vest. It was really fun! I hadn’t touched the needle since… school? Hmmm….when I had to mend my hubby’s 26-inch track cycling thigh’s ripped pants.
12. Have a few mock rehearsals and invite a few good friends to review performance. Mimi, Amber and my hubby gave us their honest opinion about our timing, facial expressions etc.
We had the same outfit, make-up and went for the audition. Several days later we were informed that we got through, we were absolutely delighted! 5 pairs were selected out of 12 pairs. We were wow-ed by the standard of the competition, the level was really very high and there were pairs we had not seen before from other Pole Divas’ studios.
The Real Competition
On the day of the competition, we had our base make-up at home and had more put on later by professionals – sponsored by the make up artists. We couldn’t really see other competitors’ performances and that was it – our turn! We wished for the best and clasped our hands together while the results were being read out.
Here are some photos by beckonphotography.com.
BEGINNERS: Elissa Sly
INTERMEDIATE: Beth Feigl
AERIAL HOOP: Saffron Gallagher
DOUBLES: Kim Ong & Jen Cheah
ADVANCED: Sonida Sorn
Thank you Jen. Let’s do this again after Unleashed 2012! So the deal this year is – we’re joining in solo categories under Elite.
My no.1 supporter – my hubby! I’ll never forget friends and family members who supported me throughout.
My prize hamper involved the following – which I really loved!
Skinovate – $100 Microdermabrasion Voucher
Skinovate – $200 Laser Hair Removal Voucher
Red Bennies – double passes to shows
True Thai Indulgence Package voucher
Skin and Body Boutique Treatment Voucher
A bottle of Rebello Strawbellini sparkling wine
Intraceuticals – Rejuvenate Serum
Touch Point Remedial Massage – half hour treatment
The Lock Boutique – voucher for a cut & colour
Beckon Photography photo shoot to be shared
Lululemon gym bag, water bottle, socks & headband
So, I’ve decided to show you the video of our performance. There you go, our very first Amateur competition together! Hope you like it!