My dear readers as I type this blog it is 8:25pm on Monday evening I am in an entire fucking world of pain. No, this isn’t the standard tail end of a hangover pain that I’m usually soldiering through on a Monday, nor is it the general existential crisis pain that I’m also usually suffering through at this time on a Monday. These are doms like I have never felt before after being put through my paces (and having the time of my life in the process) by some of the biggest names in Pole dance at this years’ once again fucking badass Pole World festival.
For those of you who have not attended a Pole World fest yet, firstly what the hell have you been doing with your time and secondly for the love of Felix Cane have about nine hours sleep the night before, and all the caffeine, protein bars (if eating those chewy cunts is your thing), bananas and all the energy inducing food in general you can get your hands on before you embark on your Pole World quest, because you’re sure as fuck going to need it!
To briefly summarise, Pole world is an epic, two day long festival of all things pole related. This includes killer workshops from some absolute legends in the industry, this years’ cohort consisted of Dimitry Politov, Jordan Kensley, Tiff Finney, Heidi Hildersley-Lyle, Alex Shchukin, Bianca Bi, Kitty Velour and Terri Fierce just to name a few (have a nosey here for the full list of legends at Pole World 2k19), a Give it a Go Area, where festival goers can try their hand at all manner of activities from twerking to shoulder-stands and also talks from industry experts on everything from crafting a routine to how to practice the essential art of self-care. There were also showcases from Spin City Bristol and Maya Dance and Fitness (the latter featuring yours truly), a freestyle competition and performances from the pros on the schedule for the weekend too. Finally, there was an enviable array of stalls selling all the pole swag, from clothes and shoes right through to pole equipment and everything in between!
Now, the reason this wally right here is currently broken, and why I advise you all to stock up on the energy drinks before embarking on your Pole World mission, is because I decided to firmly jump into the festival with both feet like a maniac and attempt everything on offer and by 4:30pm on the Sunday, I was definitely ready for bed.
My mission began on Saturday at 11:30am with the absolute freaking goddess that is Jordan Kensley’s “F**k me Floorwork” hour and half long workshop. Being carpet burnt to hell and back was 10/10 worth it, as Jordan put us through our paces with some ace partner moves, shoulder stands and super speedy, twizzly floorwork combos that I’m determined to add to my next routine. In the spirit of getting the most out of the weekend, I even attempted a bloody fish flop and lived to tell the tale! Yes Jordan practically put me into my fish flop, but I have some great pointers to go away and work on.
The amazing Jordan and a very star struck me!
After Jordan’s fun workshop, it was time for lunch whilst spectating the brave competitors who entered the Bring your Freestyle competition, which they all bloody smashed! As someone who likes to be as organised as humanly possible, the thought of hopping up on stage for an entire minute to a random song fills my pants with shite rapidly- so fair play to all the competitors, especially my homie Andre who placed second!
After all the fun and frolics of the freestyle happened, it was time to embark on a solid afternoon of pole learning. My buddies Kim, Emma and I went to Lucy Croppers informative self-care seminar, followed by Tiff Finney’s empowering talk on owning your own sexuality topped off by a fascinating talk from Azaria Frost on how to to craft a captivating routine.
After an afternoon of all the pole learning, it was time to get our dance on at Tiff’s 30 minute floor work Give it a Go. Tiff’s larger than life personality and bubbly, positive attitude made the taster all the fun, thank fuck I bought knee pads earlier on in the day to protect the old knees, as they took an enjoyable battering during Tiff’s mini-class!
As the day drew to a close, it was time for the evening’s performances, compèred by the living, breathing fucking legend that is Tiff Finney. After a fabulous, disco themed, glittery opening (giggity) choreographed by the freestyle queen herself Lauren Elise King and featuring Anna Frost, Rhiannon White and Sarah Blackmilk, us lucky audience members were treated to several awe-inspiring routines. We had Shane Godliman putting on a flipping good show (see what I did there hurhurhur) Hannah Rose Keynes and Alex Shchukin bought some serious strength game to the stage and Bianca Bi’s exotic routine was cracking too. For me though, the real show stopper for the night was the incredible Jordan Kensley. I have never seen such a sexy performance in all my damn life and this was the first time my nipples were as stiff as my hip flexors whilst watching a dance. Shit the bed it was honestly insane.
As day one finished I drove home, trying not to crash on route as all I could think about was Jordan fucking Kensley. Miraculously I made it home and got my chill and recovery mode firmly on so I could be in beast mode for day two.
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The Sunday of Pole World festival was legit my busiest day and despite not actually having any full workshops planned, boy was I exhausted come the end of it! The day began with an adrenaline fuelled bang, as I was performing with my pole studio Maya Dance and Fitness in our Alice in Wonderland showcase, which was a bit bloody spectacular if I say so myself. Despite my favourite style of pole being all things sexy and exotic, my pole sister Dana and I took a gigantic leap out of our comfort zone and busted out a Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum pole comedy routine, which was unsurprisingly quite a laugh! Overall, I was dead proud of all of us in the Maya gang and our lovely teacher Anna, for putting together a cracking showcase and performing on the Pole World stage – that’s one to tick off the bucket list!
The Maya gang fresh from the stage!
After we were all buzzing off our tits from our performances, my pals and I decided to wisely burn off our energy by hitting as many of the 30 minute activities taking place in the Give it a Go area as possible. First up was my homie Patricia the Tease’s Twerkshop, which was a complete and utter booty shaking extravaganza from start to finish. Having a bit of an arse on me, I am quite partial to a tasty bit of twerking, but bloody hell breaking down the techniques to each specific move required a hell of a lot of coordination- fuck me some of the moves were pretty much solid squats for over a minute! Still, I am determined to have a butt as coordinated and gifted at twerking as our Patricia’s so I’ll get practising all the badass (or should that be good-ass?) moves she gave us to work on.
After another lunchtime spent watching five brave souls battle it out to be crowned Sunday’s freestyle champion, it was time for me to firmly pull up my big girl pants, as my pole sister and bendiest of Wendys Dana (aka Tweedle Dee) took me to Sam Kings active flexibility Give it a Go session. Shit the absolute bed that was an entire world of bendy pain! Sam’s session focused on active flexing for splits, which was ace for me as I think by now the world and her husband know about my splits mission. Dana the eager beaver noted down all the stretches ready practise whilst I on the other hand tried my hardest to avoid being sick. That heinous description is by no means a reflection of Sam’s ability as an instructor, more a reflection of me as I’m the biggest wimp when it comes to flexy pain as we all know.
Last but by no means least I had managed to muster up the last shreds of my energy to join my buddy Andre at Lauren Elise King’s Freestyle Flow Give it a Go. We all know how important the art of freestyle is, and Lauren taught us some ace tips about dancing to certain beats in the music and playing a funky game of twenty questions in your mind when you dance, which taught me a shitload about how my body wants to naturally move- which is an invaluable piece of knowledge for any dancer.
I hereby declare that at the embarrassingly early time of 4:30pm on Sunday, my dead old self had to call it a day. After being slightly broken by the day’s activities, I headed home, absolutely knackered but buzzing after a wonderfully satisfying weekend of pole. Last year’s Pole World was fucking ace, but 2019 blew it out of the park completely. Roll on Pole World 2020 that’s all I can say, and yes I will be doubling up on the cans of Monster Kyle style for next year!