You didn’t get through to the final of a pole competition –  now what?

Shit happens and it happens to the best of us. Unless you’re a world class, elite level dancer, then chances are at some point, you will experience the rejection of not making it through to the final of a pole dance competition.

And that’s okay.

Fear not, this blog is not going to be some toxic positivity bullshit –  far from it. I am categorically not here for that nonsense and believe it’s of upmost importance to recognise emotions and give them adequate space to do their thing. There’s no denying that despite it not being the end of the world, not making it through to the final of a pole comp is a bit of a kick in the tits. You created a routine that you were proud of, worked bloody hard on and for whatever reason, this time around you didn’t make the cut. Maybe this is a me problem (and if so it’s one that I’m trying to work on), but it’s very easy to get self-critical at this point, compare yourself to others and just get a bit down in the dumps in general about not making it through to the final.

However, your auntie Eilish is here to reassure you that it’s not all doom and gloom. The world isn’t going to end, your pole pals aren’t going to disown you and ultimately, life goes on. After hearing that I didn’t make it through to the final of Eden pole competition back at the start of the month, I got my arse into gear and started to think of the positive aspects to missing out on the final this time around, and made quite a decent list if I say so myself. If you’re struggling a little (or a lot) with the bastard that is rejection, give the list below a read!

X-POLEDisclosure: The link above is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Pole comps are hella stressful

And who honestly enjoys stress? As much as the rush of performing on stage is fantastic, the whole build up to a competition can be a fucking nerve-wracking experience to say the least. Fretting over your costume, routine and having to dedicate a shitload of time to practicing can throw one’s life into disarray. Am I saying comps aren’t worth the stress? Of course not, but am I saying you need to be robust to quite a bit of stress in order to compete? I believe so. Overall, be grateful to have gained some of your life back as a result of not making it through to the final this time.

Use any feedback given as a focus for your training

I am very grateful to have received constructive feedback from Eden, so know what I need to work on in my training going forward. I know sometimes it’s easy to take feedback to heart, especially when you gave your routine a bloody solid try, however personally I would rather receive critical feedback and use it as a boot up the arse to get training, than I would positive feedback that I couldn’t really do anything with. I am well aware that there have been occasions in the wider pole industry where people have received pointless feedback, and that’s some bullshit nonsense to be honest, however if you have received decent, constructive feedback then it makes sense to make good use of it.

Maybe avoid social media while the emotional dust settles

I am going to hold my hands up here and admit that I had to lay off my pole Instagram for a little while after the Eden results were announced, and returned to watching dog training videos and hysterical at memes for a bit instead. This is not a dig at Eden nor the finalists, who are amazing dancers and more than deserving of their place on that stage. This is entirely a me problem and my self-confidence is something I am doing a lot of work on this year. Basically, the old internal monologue started chatting shit and comparing myself to others, so as an act of self-care I stepped away from the realm of pole dancing social media for a while to get some perspective and clear my head. If like mine your brain has a tendency to compare yourself to others and put you down when you’d rather it didn’t, give yourself a break and come back to it later on. Sacrificing one’s self-confidence is never worth it.

If performing is your vibe, check out local showcases or other performance outlets

If you’re not keen on competing for the foreseeable but really want to get your arse up on stage and perform (just like yours truly), check out any showcases that may be happening and sign up. After a four year break from public performances, I have signed up to perform at the Heelfire Club showcase in Gloucester in July, and I’m very bloody excited for it! So much so that I’ve been procrastinating massively whilst writing this blog, picking out bits for my costume already and listening to my song on repeat, whilst of course creating choreo which consists of moves I categorically cannot do. Meh, I’ll learn my lesson one day.

Most importantly –  you are no less of a badass pole dancer because you didn’t get through to a competition final

You may not have got the result you wanted this time, but you ought to be fucking proud of yourself for rising to the challenge and giving entering a pole competition your best shot. I read something one of my pals posted the other month which said something along the lines of “So what if you failed or it didn’t work out how you wanted? At least you tried.” As someone who is a perpetual trier in this life, this really resonated with me and was just the confidence boost I needed. Having the guts to give shit a go, no matter what it may be, is a big deal, regardless of the outcome, and is something you must always be proud of.

If you have any other cracking nuggets of wisdom to offer those of us who haven’t made it through to the final of a pole competition, please let me know in the comments below!

Photo credit for the featured image – Dan Habershon-Butcher @thedanhb

Disclosure: The link above is an affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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