The photos and videos from the Colorado Pole Championship that happened last weekend finally got uploaded. I could hardly wait to share my favorite performances of the evening, many of which also happened to also be the judges’ favorites.
What I loved about the judging criteria is that the entire performance was taken into consideration. The person who threw the most tricks was not guaranteed a win. Story telling, staying in character and connecting with the audience were among the judging points that factored in with technical ability, fluidity and difficulty. In other words. being a dancer, a true performer, counted.
THE EVENING’S WINNERS
From left to right: Holly “Honey” Meili (Championship Division Runner Up and Most Athletic), Waeli Wang (Winner of the Championship Division and Most Artistic), Melanie Piek (Winner of Master’s Division), Keri Twirlgirl (Master’s Division Runner Up). Not pictured: Linda “Lashes” Crane (Third Place Championship Division), Jen West (Third Place Master’s Division)
Waeli Wang’s performance tickled me the most. It was full of attitude and both played on and mocked Asian stereotypes. Every move looked as effortless as breathing and she never broke character. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She deserved her win.
I know the sacrifices that Melanie Piek made for this championship, her first competition ever. I also know some of the sacrifices she made to become a dancer, to own her studios, and to stand up for what she loves. This evening was a huge leap of faith for her and all the pieces fell beautifully into place. Her performance was emotional, soulful, and totally Lemony. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
I’ve been a fan of David C. Owen from the moment I met him. He was a judge and performed with the other judges at the closing of the evening. His work is challenging, strange, in-your-face and not afraid to expose difficult emotions. It’s avant-garde art. Above all of that, he is heart-stoppingly beautiful to watch.
I had been looking forward to seeing Keri Twirlgirl’s performance from the moment I found out she entered the competition. Back from when we practiced side-by-side and I dodged her stilettos, I have been in awe of her. She’s a mother of two, a doctor, and former military officer, she’s got it all. I couldn’t wait to see what sexy outfit she pulled together and what hard rock dream of a performance she created.
Holly “Honey” Miely is a new friend and I don’t know her story. But seeing her performance gave me a good idea that she’s been through a lot and has become stronger for it. She laid her soul bare in her performance and dared to share a painful experience and the rebirth that came from it.
Holly said it best, “This was the most emotional dance I have ever performed publicly and training for it was more emotional than the performance itself – I was relieved to finally be able to set it free – my most rewarding moments were from the feedback I received from so many in attendance from people who cried, or got chills, or have me a standing ovation, or were uncomfortable or were touched in a place they had hidden deep inside themselves – all I can ever hope for as an artist is to touch people however that touch is perceived by each individual – this face was cathartic for me and apparently others – thank you to all that have been there for me on my journey.”
I don’t know anything about Kira Nguyen but she was pure joy to watch. She didn’t win anything that night but she left a lasting impression on me. She was beautiful.
I was delighted that Kenneth Kao warmed the crowd up as a guest performer with a reprisal of his Pole Expo 2013 performance. I only saw his 2nd Place and People’s Choice winning performance on youtube so I was thrilled to see it in person. He added a little twist, mixing in Jack Black’s Kung Fu Fighting to lighten the tone and to remind us all that he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
He looked relaxed, happy and joyful and was a delight to watch. Now if I could only screw up the nerve to take his acro pole class at Vertical Fusion.
I’m going to post one picture of crap today, but it’s a doozy. Thank you Lonny for getting all this stuff out for me.
And thank you for being so supportive of my love of pole dance and being so welcoming to the guest artists that stay in our house. Thank you for snapping to attention when it comes time to manically get the house ready when I decide to have 20 people from the studio over for dinner. Thank you for letting me disappear for a weekend to do workshops. You are totally, completely, wonderfully amazing.