November 10, 2016
February 20, 2015 is a date to remember, as students and instructors from Pole Pressure’s Downtown DC studio will come together for the annual Mr. and Miss Pole Pressure regional competition.
Mr. and Miss Pole Pressure is the studio’s first major event of 2015 and if this year’s show is anything like the ones from the past, the audience can expect a fun-filled, high energy, action-packed program. The pole dancers will showcase their athleticism and artistic skills as they compete for the opportunity to perform at the Pole Pressure finals, scheduled for May 9 at the Sidney Harman Hall in Washington. Women and men will be judged in separate categories.
Forty percent of the judges’ score will cover areas such as theme, personality, costume and expression. The remaining 60 percent will be based on pole ability, namely strength and flow. Three judges will be on hand taking note of how well each person performs, marking their score sheets accordingly. The judges will come from the world of dance and fitness, drawing on their expertise to evaluate the contestants.
The Downtown DC first place winners will take home a trophy and flowers and get a year of free classes. Those in second and third place will receive a trophy and flowers as well. The Downtown DC studio is one of 11 Pole Pressures in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Each will have its own candidate selection process. Some will take a vote to select their representatives to the May championship, while others will have a competition like the Downtown DC location in February.
On competition night, audience members will be in for a treat. They will see competitors posing and getting into and out of handstands or headstands and back flips, climbing up and down static and spinning poles, and leaping and inverting from the ground or air with pointed toes. They will contort themselves into all kinds of positions, some of which entail supporting themselves on the pole with just one limb. Some may even crawl or strut across the floor to the beat of the music during their routines.
The dancers can expect to hear the audience cheer as they land on their feet after getting into and out of intricate, gravity-defying moves like handsprings, ayeshas, figure 4s, inside leg hangs, outside leg hangs, flags, the butterfly, the caterpillar and the shoulder mount with strength and control. Spins on the pole and transitional moves are sure to excite and entertain as the adrenaline kicks in and people applaud and yell out a particular dancer’s name. Some dancers may receive “high fives” from the audience and loud cheers if they put on a particularly good show. The dancers are responsible for their own choreography. No two performances will look the same. Some people will create their own choreography while others will enlist the help of instructors or other professionals.
The performances, three to five minutes in length, promise to showcase the dramatic and the whimsical. Performers may wear high heeled shoes or go barefooted. Costumes will vary. Some will have embellishments that glitter when the light hits them; others may be more somber depending on the theme being depicted. Some will portray humor. Last year, one performer in the instructor category wore a bright pink wig as part of a costume that included heels; one student dressed as a cat, with a costume that included a tail. She performed to Katy Perry’s Roar. All outfits will be in compliance with a dress code to avoid disqualification or point deductions. Last year, one of the top performers danced to the tune Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus. Performers can dance to whatever song they choose as long as the selection is free of profanity.
I will be among the participants at the Downtown DC studio competition, which starts at 8:00 p.m. This will be my third time competing. In the past, the number of performers has ranged from at least a dozen to 26. I hope each person competing has fun in the process and as they say in the world of show business, “Break a leg!”