I thought it would be timely to write a quick blog from a judge’s point of view to help our students that are competing focus on the finer points of their performances. Competitions will often provide training and detailed rules and guidelines for the panel. These are also usually provided to the competitors, but sometimes only a day in advance, while other competitions are very transparent with judging guidelines.

Pole fitness judge certification course.
File Photo – Deviant Optiks Photography: CPFA judging certification course that both Demetra and Monika, owners of Aradia Fitness Calgary, have attended.

Judging at CPFA competitions has given me an understanding of what you can do as a performer to stand out. We can all appreciate that technique is beyond important but what can you do to showcase that as well as add to it?

Pole Fitness Competition judge
File Photo – Deviant Optiks Photography: Demetra ready to Judge a local pole competition.

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS:  Select moves and tricks that work best for your capabilities.  If you are flexible, incorporate combinations that will highlight that.  If you are a powerhouse, select strength moves that will show that off.  Don’t add moves or tricks that you can’t actually do cleanly and consistently yet.  Maybe by the next competition you will have mastered it!

DON’T RUSH:  Complete whatever you are doing and hold it long enough for the audience and judges to see that it is controlled and effortless.

DIFFICULTY:  Are you challenging yourself enough or are you playing it safe?  Push yourself when you are training to work towards a goal.  Given you will be spending weeks and months preparing, this is the time to work on a move that you’ve wanted to achieve for so long.  Before adding it to your routine, make sure you’ve got it down consistently.

ORIGINALITY:  Are you entering or exiting in the same fashion?  Are you doing the same move repeatedly throughout your routine?  Mix it up and keep the judges attention by including different moves, combinations and tricks.  We all love seeing things in your performance that other competitors are not doing 🙂  Also don’t forget to balance your time on static as well as spin and keep in mind that what you do off the poles is just as important as what you do on them.

POINT YOUR TOES and EXTEND YOUR LINES:  Need I say more?  There is nothing more beautiful than long lines and pointed toes in a performance.  It makes a huge difference!

BE ENGAGED:  Look at the audience, the judges.  We need to feel like we are a part of it and you can make that happen!  Show your confidence by keeping eye contact and smile if your performance is lighthearted and upbeat!

ARTISTRY:  Create your theme through costume, hair, makeup, music, character and movement.  Keep your theme fresh and different from other performances you’ve seen.  If this is not your first competition, be aware that judges notice if your themes are generally the same.  Step outside of your comfort zone by doing something out of the ordinary!

Pole fitness competitor on stage
Photo of Monika from PSO 2017 by Alloy Images.

We wish all the competitors the best of luck and we are rooting for our Aradia girls!