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Competing? Tips to Make your Performance Stand Out!

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!




Student Spotlight – Kristine

At Aradia Fitness Calgary, we celebrate our students’ success.  Every month, we feature a student who we feel exemplifies our Aradia family spirit, and the joy of our pole community.

For the month of August, 2018, we are featuring Kristine McLean.  Kristine brings so much positivity with her to the studio.  She works hard in class, all the while encouraging and applauding other students.  She has  had an impact on all our instructors as well as her fellow students.  Well done, Kristine!  You have come so far and we can’t wait to see how far you will go in your aerial and pole journey!

pole butterfly, Aradia fitness Calgary, pole dance classes Calgary, pole fitness classes Calgary

Kristine in her Pole 4 Butterfly

1.  Where are you from?  Hometown?

Hometown is Edmonton, though I have lived here so long Calgary feels like my hometown.

2.  Favourite pastime (outside of pole), including any other dancing, aerial you do…..I love the Static Trapeze!  It is my favorite thing to do outside of pole.

3.  What do you love most about pole?What I love the most about pole is the sense of strength and flexibility it gives me.  I am not someone you would call flexible, however pole has made me more flexible now, as I approach 50, than I ever have been before. In the 10 months that I have been doing pole, my core strength has tripled and my overall strength has improved.  It is crazy how quickly it develops with pole.

4.  What is your favourite pole/aerial move? 

I love being inverted.  So any move that is inverted is a favorite.

5.  What keeps you motivated to come to your classes consistently?I keep coming back to class because it is fun…and hard…and a lot of fun…and challenging…and hard…and really fun.

6.  Why should someone join Aradia Fitness Calgary and start pole today?

If you are thinking of working out, try Aradia.  I love it for all the above reasons but the best part of Aradia is all the wonderful friends I have met.  The environment of the studio is so friendly and encouraging.  I thought it might be a body concious environment but it absolutely isn’t.  EveryBody is welcome at Aradia.

Student Spotlight – Jillene

At Aradia Fitness Calgary, we celebrate the success of our students.  Every month, we feature the student who has shown extraordinary improvement, commitment, and superstar attitude.  This month, we are proud to show off Jillene.

Jillene attends classes regularly and lights up the studio with her smile and fiery red hair!  She sets a wonderful example for all the students in class with her determination to succeed and the joy she clearly finds in dance.

Thank you for joining our Aradia family, Jillene!

1.  Where are you from?  Hometown?
 I am originally from Lillooet, British Columbia. I do not have a specific place I consider my home town as I have never lived in a place for more than two years until I moved to Calgary.
2.  Favourite pastime (outside of pole), including any other dancing you do…..
My favourite pasttime is my burlesque. There are so many creative elements to building a burlesque dance, like building a story, choosing music, creating coreography, and designing and making a costume. I love seeing how an idea progresses into a stage production. Burlesque is so beautiful and versatile, and it is something I feel my soul resonates with.
3.  What do you love most about pole?
I love that pole is constantly challenging me to connect with my body. I love that it pushes my mind and body to work together. I still take level one classes and realize I have more to learn. I also carry trauma in my body that has disconnected me from fully moving within myself. Pole and aerials have helped me engage my muscles and body in such a healing way.
4.  What is your favourite pole/aerial move? What is your favourite class at Aradia? 
My favourite pole and aerial move are actually the same!! The fallen angel! My favourite class is definitely the 2/3 splits on Tuesday mornings with Robin. I actually build my work schedule around being able to go to that class. I always laugh a lot in that class.
5.  What keeps you motivated to come to your classes consistently?
I have moved through a lot of different fitness classes and spaces. Aradia fitness is different because I feel like I am apart of a fitness family. The teachers are amazing and I have met incredible people in the classes as well. I look forward to seeing everyone at the studio. I also love that it is easy to see your own progress. I always learn a new move and struggle with it, and then after consistent work I can do it. It is empowering to see your own growth. Pole and aerials both feel like their own language. The more I learn of them the more I feel I can speak through them, so I am anxious to learn as much as I can!
6.  What surprised you about pole and aerial dance and fitness?
I think what surprised me the most was how painful both are. I am sure almost everyone has seen me on the floor at some point or another, clutching some part of my body. But in many ways it has taught me resilience. The more you let it hurt and work that area, it hurts less over time. I was surprised as well to learn the versatility of pole. I had a very stereotypical view of pole as mainly a sensual type of dance, which I have always loved about it, but I have learned how pole can be used to express so many emotions. That really hit me when I did Robin’s pole fluidity class. The movement was expressively sad and heavy. I loved it.
7.  Why should someone join Aradia Fitness Calgary and start pole today?
I would join for either of two reasons. First, Aradia has such supportive and engaging teachers. I always feel so encouraged, challenged and celebrated every single class. It is easy to see the instructors value your growth as a student. Second, pole and aerials are absolutely badass and empowering. You can do both of them at Aradia! As a burlesque performer, taking classes at Aradia has expanded my dance vocabulary and improved my strength. As a human, taking dance here has improved my physical and mental health. I think everyone should take classes here.



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