November 10, 2016
By Candace Williams
Laissez le bon temps rouler! Pole dance and fitness enthusiasts are preparing to let the good times roll as they head to the International Pole Convention, taking place this year in “The Big Easy,” New Orleans, Louisiana! What an opportunity to see many pole stars under one roof!
Cleo the Hurricane. Phoenix Kazree. Natasha Wang. Nicole the Pole. Samantha Star. Derick Pierson. Suwasit. Kenneth Kao. These artists are among the dozens of pole athletes scheduled to attend PoleCon, taking place from Thursday, June 4 through Sunday, June 7 at the Hyatt Regency.
There will be “non-stop” showcases as well as “just amazing performances throughout the whole weekend,” said PoleCon CEO Colleen Jolly, in describing what to expect. Among the highlights, an opening party scheduled for that Thursday, hosted by Cleo the Hurricane.
“We’re certainly looking forward to that,” said Jolly. “You know Cleo can certainly host an awesome party, and she’s doing all kinds of crazy giveaways and concepts and fun things during her opening party.”
Come Friday, a performance by Black Girls Pole will kick off the showcase events.
“Black Girls Pole will be our first showcase. We’ve got all sorts of different organized showcases along different themes,” said Jolly, noting other showcases will include Dangerous Curves, along with a Lyra performance and an event featuring “the Men of Pole since there are so many amazing fellows now taking up pole.” Other planned showcases include what Jolly has termed “the champions of the big competition series,” in addition to “Powerflow,” featuring prominent pole athletes including Wang and Star. Jolly also said attendees can expect what’s being termed “a sexy pole showcase,” which will feature Jeni Janover, Karol Helms, AnneMarie Davies and Pantera, among others.
Neesheta Patram and Aerial Toni will be among pole’s “up and coming stars” slated to showcase their talents before the convention wraps up on Sunday.
Jolly explained the variety of PoleCon performances this way:
“For me, it’s really important to showcase and embrace all aspects of pole,” saying there is room for everyone. “That’s why we’ve made sure we had a sexy pole showcase, really, kind of highlighting the more traditional origins of Western pole dancing. And then we also have a competition that is going to be on the PoleCon stage. It is a separately ticketed event from folks looking to get pole in the Olympics. We want everybody to find their niche in pole, whatever it is. Come to PoleCon and talk it out. See what all the options are and find the one that speaks to you.”
A panel discussion on the future of pole fitness is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Other talks at PoleCon will cover nutrition for pole athletes, pole studio marketing, coaching plus size pole athletes, the physics of pole dancing and how to teach a safe pole dance class. Non-pole workshops are also planned, including ones on chair dance, lap dance, twerking, contortion techniques, hand balancing, handstands and yoga. Additionally, workshops geared toward fitness and instructor certifications will begin ahead of PoleCon’s formal opening. Kelly Yvonne’s choreography curriculum “The Method” is among them.
As many as 1,000 people are expected to descend upon the Hyatt near the French Quarter for PoleCon, which will be filled with dozens of paid and free workshops, seminars, showcase performances, competitions and parties. Some attendees will travel to the Crescent City from as far away as Australia, Europe and Japan to join studio instructors, students, vendors and exhibitors, volunteers and other pole enthusiasts for the activity-filled event.
Jolly, who has spent months organizing PoleCon, takes the complexities of organizing this large an event in stride. “Go big or go home,” as she put it.
*For more information, go to www.poleconvention.com.