Colorado Pole Championship 2016

As if May wasn’t a busy enough month, the fourth annual Colorado Pole Championship was last weekend. It was at least a small part of the reason why I was going so crazy with the home improvement business.

I had endless lists of things to get done before the judges and the emcee arrived but I had to remind myself that this house has never looked better. Like never, ever, in the 130+ years it has been in existence, it has never been in better shape. I decided that when the first judge arrived, I would put down the list and enjoy myself.

The COPC is Nina’s show and I’ve been a supporter since day one. I do it because I believe in her, I do it because she is worth investing in, and I do it because it’s really fun.

This year I hosted judges Samantha Star Cuomo, Maggie Ann and Heidi Coker. Torwa Joe (AKA Vertical Joe) emceed the show and stayed with me as well.

I’ll let their work speak for itself.

Samantha Star Cuomo is known for her floor work, hand balancing, and ninja style. I was more than a little psyched to get some handstand tips from her.

This is the piece that propelled her career towards where it is now.


Maggie Ann set social media on fire with this performance at Pole Expo last year. Incidentally it is Sam Star who murders her on stage.

Heidi Coker is the 2013 Pole Art championship winner and Sam Star’s spirit animal.

Joe is the owner of Vertical Joe’s pole studio in Atlanta, an expert twerker who toured with L’il Wayne, is an African Dancer, pole champion and instructor.

With the championship on Saturday, I had a few days with the ladies to show them around  Boulder and get to know them.

Hanging out at the house was the best part for me. Everyone was relaxed and I got to see a little of what they are like off stage and as always, my animals are the stars of the experience.

Pole dancers are a gas to hang out with because they are always doing amazing human tricks. I was the little kid who would ask the ballet dancer to do the splits for me over and over again so this was heaven.

While playing with movement, Sam made Maggie do this crazy thing that Maggie didn’t even know she could do.

Pole dancers are interesting eaters. They usually eat a lot and often have very specific needs. I’ve become an ace at feeding them.


This is what Sam does before each meal. Just kidding.

For instance, Sam had to have eggs with corn chips in the morning and doesn’t drink alcohol or flavored seltzers. Maggie Ann has celiac but will go to town on peanut butter cups first thing in the morning. Heidi eats everything and likes to drink (which is another reason I like her) and Joe has never tasted rhubarb.

Here she is trying the strawberry rhubarb fool I made from the garden.

One thing they all had in common was the love of cookies and ice cream. We would eat full meals with dessert and then finish it off with a field trip to Boulder Baked for cookies.

Feeling hungry? Let’s visit the Glacier cart on the mall. It was the best. I mean, hanging out with them gave me a body complex but at least they didn’t give me a food complex, too.


Joe is one of the most entertaining people to listen to which made her a perfect emcee. She channels that 2 Dope Queens goodness that makes me want to follow her around with a recorder.


The night of the show was a smash. Nina sold a record number of tickets and is the largest amateur competition in the US. Clearly she is doing something right.

As an aside, we stopped off at Zeal to get snacks for the judges prior to the show. A man brushed by me and said, “Excuse me darlin,” and Maggie was like, “That’s Shia Lebeouf!”


I didn’t get a good look at him but an article in the paper confirmed that he was working on a museum installation just a few blocks away. I STILL GOT IT!

Or maybe he likes being nice to old people.

I love housing the judges, I get to know the people from the videos and many of their quirks. I find that they are often nerdy and introverted, not at all what one would expect from their public personas.

Case in point, Heidi’s phone dinged and she said, “Oh yay! My library book is in!” or when Maggie Ann informed me that she is “a freak for Christmas music.” So nerdy.

Except for Joe. She’s not nerdy at all.

I nicknamed her Sideboob because of this cute romper she was rocking all weekend. I wish I had half her wit and confidence.


The show itself was fantastic.


This year the men’s division really brought their A game. The winner moved everyone to tears with his beautiful and emotional performance.

Laina came out of nowhere to win the women’s division. She’s competed before but this performance was incredibly next level for her, it was a delight.

I know her from my days at Vertical Fusion. I wasn’t at all surprised at how technically difficult and clean her performance was, she’s always been a very strong poler and her figure skating background makes her a beast on spin, but she’s this sweet thing. She’s goofy and fun, what you would expect from a young, tomboyish, college student and dorm RA. I’ve never seen her dance so confidently.

So when she came out with this powerful character, full of impish malice and confidence … holy wow. She owned the performance from start to finish.

You can see the rest of the videos by liking the COPC Facebook page.

It was a long night of great performances and after stopping for cookies and ice cream, everyone dragged back home.

So that’s the exciting stuff but I value quiet time alone with my guests.

I loved waking up early and doing planks with Sam, or stretching with Maggie, or talking about relationships with Heidi while hiking, or sitting on the bed while Sam packed and getting a sense for what her life is like. She was generous in what she chose to share with me.

It’s those bleary early morning and late night conversations that are rewarding and memorable. When the eyelashes are off and the hair is in a ponytail is when I get to see the complex individual behind the carefully crafted public persona.

I loved Sam for her honesty and straightforward way of communicating, Heidi for her quiet soulfulness, Maggie Ann for her sweet warmth, and Joe for her candor and humor.

I have a great life but it would be easy to get stuck in a routine with the same old (but wonderful) friends. My association with Nina and her shows pulls me out of my mom world and throws me into one of travel, performance and movement and gives me the opportunity to make new friends.

Lucky me.

FYI, my dad and stepmom are taking the family on an Alaskan cruise (THANKS GUYS!) so I’ll be out of it for a while. I’ll come back ten pounds heavier and with lots of cruise stories.

2 thoughts on “Colorado Pole Championship 2016

  1. “I’ll come back ten pounds heavier and with lots of cruise stories.”

    … snd here I was expecting you to “save me from myself,” i.e., a well-deserved breakfast margarita!

Leave a Reply