July 21st, 2014


I'm on a pole!

Actually, I'm not. But on Saturday night I went to the Wellington heats for the NZ Amateur Pole Performers competition.

As you're probably aware, these days pole is a gymnastic dance sport instead of something you only see in strip clubs, and there are studios springing up everywhere. This comp has been running for 5 years, and has categories for everyone from Fairly New through to Been At It Forever. There were about thirty competitors, three of whom were men. One of the men was Dr Wheel's brother, and he was my main reason for going along.

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That having been said, I enjoyed myself a great deal. There were a couple of standout performances, and it was very cool to walk in knowing almost nothing about pole as a sport, and then watch a large number of talented people giving it heaps. I learned about fundamental moves, how they can be strung together, what constitutes difficult in the world of pole, and a lot of interpretations of moving up and down and around a solid object 4m high. I can see the appeal for performers, and the packed room suggests an appeal for a wider audience too.

Oddly enough, for me who is usually all I WANT TO DO THAT whenever I see something cool, pole is not on my list, even after seeing it done well. Put simply, I prefer climbing on people. There is something about the interaction, the trust, the constantly renegotiated sharing of space, and the slightly unpredictable way that people move, that makes acro so much more interesting, for me, than any static apparatus. Also, people are warm.

No, I am not referring to my base as an apparatus. OK, maybe just a little bit...

* More on this later, maybe. I've been thinking a lot about it lately.