After spending the past four days laid up on the sofa battling a nasty case of Bubonic Plague, by some miracle I was cured (thank you Day and Night Nurse!) in time for a rather monumental event in the pole calendar, Pole World Festival!
Anyone who attended the festival knows that it’s a fucking impossible task to summarise the vagina wetting awesomeness that was Pole World, but here goes! Held in my home city Bristol, Pole world is a badass, day long festival of all things pole related. This includes killer workshops from some absolute legends in the industry, such as Tiff Finney, Shane Godliman, Dan Rosen, Heidi Hildersley, Sarah Blackmilk, Doris Arnold, Kira Noire, Crystal Gibson etc (click here for the full list of pole maestros who appeared at Pole World 2018), a Have a Go Area, where festival goers can try their hand at all manner of activities from twerking to handstands and finally talks from industry experts on everything from what supplements to take to how to unleash you sexy side when dancing. Boom, summary written! Now on to the juicy bits…
Plenty of eager workshop attendees ready to start the day!
The festival marked my pole squad and I collectively losing our pole festival virginity, and fuck me we were gagging for it! We had each booked in for two workshops, had seen plenty of badass activities going down in the Have a Go area to try out and were buzzing to see what stalls were there for us to increase our ever growing collection of pole wear.
Being the eager beavers that we are (and one squad member having a 9:30am workshop) we arrived as the doors opened at 9am. After swiftly getting into the festival and collecting the wristbands for the workshops we were attending (this already got the day off to a good start, as I for one cannot abide fucking queuing, and the whole entry process (giggity) was meticulously well organised) two of us went for a cheeky little potter around before jumping straight into our first half hour Have a Go activity- Active Flexibility with Sam King.
Holy shiteballs that was a beautifully brutal wake up! As previously mentioned plenty of times, being a bendy Wendy ain’t my forte, especially when it comes to my back and shoulders, which is what this mini workshop focused on. Working in pairs, my pole sister (whose idea it was to subject ourselves to 30 minutes of active pain) and I stretched our decrepit backs as best as we could, including attempting some rather effective rotate-y activity to loosen up the old back. Well, I think that’s what that one was attempting to do, here is a video of me attempting it looking like a pissed salmon/Magikarp.
Sam King about to put us through our paces!
After an intense back flexibility session, we then had a pleasant little rest before some gentle yoga to ease us into the day. LOL FUCK NO. It was time for our 90 minute workshop “Signature Strength Tricks” with the absolute Scottish powerhouse that is Heidi Hildersley-Lyle! To say that Heidi beasted us was an understatement. It is now 8:30pm on Monday evening as I type and my upper arms are still aching! Heidi put us through our paces with an array of bicep-busting lifts, tricks and combos and yours truly over here even put on her brave girl pants and attempted her first (heavily spotted) flip.
With the warrior queen Heidi!
After that hour and a half of hench fucking lifting, it was thankfully time for a little gap in our schedules, which came as a gargantuan relief as otherwise we may well have imploded. After grabbing lunch, we then then had a mooch around the many stalls in the shopping area. Pole World had so much high quality swag to offer, that the fact that I walked away with just a pair of lush Off the Pole leggings and don’t have Bailiff’s knocking on my door this evening is a solid achievement. Whether you fancied some new pole gear, stretching equipment or some comprehensive guides on handstands and everything in between, Pole World and it’s many vendors had something for you.
One of the more unique and fascinating elements to the day were the many talks and seminars that were on offer to us as well as workshops. Being a bit of a fan girl on all things that sexy, classique pole has to offer, I naturally attended Anna Frost’s fascinating talk on the psychology behind creating a sexy persona when dancing. I’ve hit a bit of a slump at the moment in terms my body confidence, and feel quite akin to a mouldy old spud, so hearing what useful tips and tricks one can apply to put the filth and pazazz back into your dancing was definitely needed. Anna provided us with six simple to try tips and moves to add to routines that will boost the sex appeal of a dance and the clever, boffin psychology elements behind them as to why they work, all very interesting stuff!
Anna Frost giving us the 411 on how to charm your audience!
Equipped with some stellar new found knowledge on all things sexy, I trotted off eagerly to put the theory into practice at Sarah Blackmilk’s badass flow work shop Slinkography. As someone who flow, floorwork and coordination in general doesn’t come naturally to, I was shocked at how well I managed to keep up with the routine we learned! Sarah’s unique, slinky style was a treat to both watch and learn, as she really broke down the moves brilliantly, making an intricate, twirly flow combo seem not so scary after all! Thanks to Sarah’s encouraging teaching style, and having the patience to deal with my uncoordinated ass, I finally felt confident enough to join my pole pals and upload a flow video of my own to Instagram. Sarah, if you’re reading this thank you so much, I was wondering when that day would happen!
As the evening drew in and the day’s workshops finished up, there were still plenty of entertaining events taking place in the evening to keep our bums firmly in our seats. One brave member of our pole squad completely SLAYED it in the Freestyle competition (seriously I wish my choreographed pieces were that good) and the finale of the night was an epic, two hours of prize giving and inspiring performances from the pros. I am so glad we decided to stay right until the bitter end, as it’s always so cool as an amateur dancer to watch the professionals strut their stuff in their own, fabulous styles.
I’m well aware that the former 1,100 words sound like a soppy as shit love letter to the organisers of Pole World, and that’s because it sure as hell is. Fair play, they played an absolute blinder! The day was organised and planned perfectly down to a T, and a previously very grumpy and irritable Eilish, who was up uncharacteristically early on a Saturday and fighting off the last remnants of a plague, left feeling buzzing, inspired and motivated to get herself into the studio and practicing! Thanks a million Pole World, you sexy motherfucker, same again next year please!