“I hate you. A lot.”
My computer continued to sit there with its cheerfully bright screen and did not deign to answer me.
I gave it one of my infamous Level 10 death glares. I really hate being ignored by my electronics. If my laptop wasn’t, you know, an expensive piece of equipment that I need to write this quirky blog and my (hopefully) award winning novels, I would chuck it at the fuc—, um, flippin’ wall.
Why is it so hard to find THE song? Something not overdone and boring? Something that speaks to me and whispers in a sexy accent, “Choose me, and we will go far!” Or even a little-known variation of a more popular song?
Humanity has been creating music since they discovered beating two rocks together sounded nice, yet I still can’t find something in the thousands of songs available at my first-world-technology fingertips.
I mean, I’m not asking for much. All I want is a song that when it starts playing the world stops, birds go quiet, crickets stop cricket-ing and someone decides to give me a million bucks because my performance was awesome. Okay, that may be asking a lot (although if someone wants to give me a million bucks, I’m not going to turn it down. FYI. I’m ready and waiting. I’ll even let the person call me their Dancing Princess.)
Instead of this yet-to-be-found perfect melody, I have the country song “Riding With Private Malone” stuck in my head.
This, if anyone is curious, is not a song I want to dance to, but it sure is catchy. (Did I mention DAYS????)
Confused? Let’s go back in time several weeks before I found myself hip deep in YouTube-land and songs about soldiers, ghosts, and corvettes.
xxxxxx funky going-back-in-time musical montage xxxxxxx
“Wait,” I asked my inner Diva in sheer disbelief as I stared at the Triangle Pole Competition website. “I thought you were joking when you said you were thinking about it. You want us to actually COMPETE? Like … on stage? In our KNICKERS? In front of PEOPLE whose job it is to judge us? Diva, you are batshit crazy.”
“Don’t be boring, Khara. It’s an experience! A Bucket List Adventure!” my inner Diva replied on a sugar-high. (She is responsible for a lot of the more questionable life choices I have made in my life. Trying to fly as a child, multiple times, being one of them. I can’t hold flying as an adult against her since, technically, I will have wings strapped to my back a lá hang gliding.)
“Bat. Shit. Crazy.”
“Janine and Xenia said it’s fun …” my inner Diva sulked.
I snorted, deeply unimpressed with that logic. “JANINE can bend herself into pretzel shapes. JANINE has long legs and the ability to levitate up a pole using only a single eyelash and the tip of a pinkie finger. XENIA has some sort of personal multi-phase-dimensional twerk-on-a-pole ability mere mortals do not possess. WE still have issues with sliding down the pole like a greased noodle during the summer months.”
After a few minutes of angsty pouting, I finally relent to at least look at the competition rules and guidelines.
Then … something happened. I may have been possessed by a Dancing Demon or influenced by an alien mind-control device because suddenly I found myself actually going to do this.
My inner Diva was amazingly smug while I just shook my head, completely baffled by the turn of events.
“Now,” she chirped happily, “we just have to find a song. The perfect song!”
Have I mentioned yet the hell of having “Riding With Private Malone” stuck in your head? For DAYS?
Okay, so you signed up for your first pole dancing competition. Or maybe it’s your second, your third, or your seventy-eighth. No matter which it is, you got up the nerve to go on stage and do your thing.
Good job! Congratulations! I fist bump you in (nervously on my part) celebration!
Now comes the fun, especially since the only time I was ever on stage performing as a kid I think I might have been a tree in a school play. I now have to actually create a performance using moves I feel like I most likely won’t screw up while under the bright lights of the stage. Let the nail biting begin!
Why is it that putting together a 2+ minute performance is more intimidating and stressful than cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal, or being the lead strategy planner behind what I like to call ‘The Christmas Cake War’ at work?
Janine’s info session was informative, and Theresa The Designer Extraordinaire from Booty Candy Polewear showed some interesting and fun ways to gussy up items in your own closet to better match your routine. They were things that anyone could do, no sewing, mad fabric skills, or lottery winning amounts of money required.
(Does anybody want to join me for a bracing margarita to calm your nerves?)
All joking aside, I am really excited about competing. So, Step 1 in this adventure was figuring out what style I want for my performance. I laughed like a loon when I looked over the different genres of pole dancing. Genres? Sub-types? Categories? Whatever you want to call them, some were an immediate no, nope, and ‘oh HELL no’.
Doubles/Groups? Yeah … not only would I be in danger of somehow causing a rip in the space-time reality barrier by some esoteric correlation between spin speed, obscene amount of grip slathered on my body, and friction but I might accidentally cause my partner to be sucked into said space rip and disappear forever.
Or, ya know, accidentally kick them in the face and create a geyser of blood. Either way, it would be bad. I distinctly remember in the rules that anything not attached to your body becomes a ‘prop’ and you have to get it pre-approved. Geyser blood would then be a prop, right? In the rules it also states that liquids (along with dildos and lower body genitalia- real or otherwise- are not permitted. Am I alone in really wishing I could have seen the performances that created those exemptions?) are a no-no, so not only would blood violate the not getting pre-approval rule, but it’s also on the banned list. Plus, it’s gross.
The Exotic category? Yeah, that’s also world of NO from me. I’ve seen the insanely talented Aida at Metal Pole Mayhem and in Krunky K classes. I have no clue how she does it, but sultry dancing sort of oozes (sultrily, ofc!) out of her as she does her thing. With my luck, even though we would be in massively different levels, I would somehow accidentally get put on the stage right after her and I would look like that YouTube video where the cat sort of just hops awkwardly up and down around the pole. Plus, I’m still searching for my ‘exotic pole dancer extraordinaire’ persona and I think she’s out for an extended lunch. I may have to put her face on a milk carton, soon. To be honest, if I tried to be sultry right now, I would probably burst out laughing at myself in the middle of the song, and fall off the pole.
Dramatic? Well, it may surprise everyone, but I AM a wee bit on the dramatic side of life. However, I doubt my ability to present a ‘serious, emotional artistic interpretation of a piece of music.’ When done well it can be a really beautiful and impressive performance, but at this stage in the game, it’s not for me. It’s like those really awesome pants that while you can button them, you can’t breathe and sort of muffin top because they don’t really fit. In another few weeks of hard work, they’ll look great, but you’re not there yet. So, Dramatic may be a next year sort of deal.
Championship, Floorwork, and Qualifier were equally a no. As for Showcase/Plus, while it IS cool that they add that category, if I’m getting up in what is basically my underwear in front of people with recording abilities at their disposal, I’m going to go for the full enchilada and get judged while doing it. It’s a personal choice, and there is no shame in not wanting to be judged. Getting up on the big stage is an accomplishment all in itself.
So, alas, what is a girl to do? Luckily, there is one more category that seems like a perfect fit. Entertainment. I may have done a happy dance when I saw, ‘interpret a piece of music to provide a comical or upbeat performance.’
Comical? Upbeat? Ha! Is my name ‘Khara?’
In the words of our Mysterious Maestro of Twerking Mayhem Xenia, “Yaaaaaaaaaaas.”
Okay, so my category is figured out, now I just have to decide on the skill Level. To be honest, this is a hard one as it can be a battle between ego and actually being realistic about my current comfort level. I would love going in at a high level, but I am completely aware that I would fall flat on my face. Badly. I would also freak out for the next few months and I have enough going on in my life that I don’t need to put out the Welcome mat and fancy hors d’oeuvres for more stress. Plus I don’t want to end up hating this entire process so much that I would never compete again. Janine made a great point at the meeting about picking the level you can comfortably do now, and that it is possible to change it later. Less stress about having to perfect something when you’re already trying to figure out a routine that won’t get rotten produce thrown at you from the peanut gallery.
Seriously, though, there is no shame in choosing a Level 1. I’m starting at a Level 1, and I’m not embarrassed by that. I could do a semi-weak Level 2 right now, but I hope through hard work to be at a solid Level 2 by competition time and up my rating. Yet even if I stay at a Level 1, I plan on enjoying myself and putting on a fun and happy performance. It’s not always about the crazy tricks (although they are cool), but about both yourself and everyone else enjoying themselves.
So, Step 1 with figuring out the Category is done. Step 2: Determine your Level is checked off. That leaves … *ominous music* … Step 3: Picking out the song and theme.
Ugh. This song choice is going to drive me batty, and my inner Diva is just merrily humming to herself.
Wait a second …
Is that …?
Ugh! Great. She’s humming ’Riding with Private Malone’ and it’s once more stuck in my head.
Have I mentioned that it’s been in my head for DAYS?
The Triangle Pole Championships will be February 17 in Cary, North Carolina. The local studio coordinator of the event is Aradia Fitness Cary. To find out more information about this event or other Pole Sport Organization competitions, please visit the PSO website here.
Article Written by Khara Johnson, Student at Aradia Fitness Cary in Cary, North Carolina.
September 18, 2017