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Prepare for success! How to Train for a Pole Dance Competition

Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail…
… just kidding! You have already achieved so much by even considering entering a competition, and if you are one of the lucky ones who made it to the finals of Pole Theater Ireland or any other competition then massive congratulations! Let us help you from here to your moment in the spotlight.

At IPDA we have a lot of experience entering competitions as professionals and mentoring others through the process. I’m Leanne Cummins, current All Ireland Pole Dance Champion, working for Arlene Caffrey, many times the All Ireland Pole Dance Champion! We have also both won Professional categories at Pole Theater Ireland: Pro Drama 2015 and Pro Classique 2014. And we want to help you to achieve your competition potential! I would love to take the time to share with you some hints and tips for preparing for your competition. My first tip is… start now!!

Leanne Cummins All Ireland Pole Dance Champion 2015
Leanne Cummins All Ireland Pole Dance Champion 2015
Arlene Caffrey Winner Professional Classique Pole Theater 2014
Arlene Caffrey Winner Professional Classique Pole Theatre Ireland 2014

Planning and Preparation
Make lists of the moves, floor work, poses and combos that you know you can do. Don’t feel pressured into creating something brand new for the night, or attempting a crazy trick for the sake of it – you may have done your Inside Leg Hang or your Jamilla into Butterfly a thousand times but the judges don’t know that! Strategically choosing pole elements that you are confident with will help your routine look polished and effortless. Have a look at your training notes, re-watch our helpful YouTube videos, browse our pole move guides in studio or ask your friendly IPDA instructors for some old favourites so you can begin constructing your routine.

Group Training and Private Lessons
I’ve trained and choreographed a lot of my acts alone, and honestly it is tough. I much prefer the atmosphere at Sunday Pole Play, in classes or one-on-one – other people will be able to help you and motivate you in ways you won’t expect! During our private lessons we can guide you at every stage of your competition journey – from planning to choreography to fine tuning. We can even do Skype privates if you can’t make it to the studio! Call us on 083 187 3603 or watch this video for more info!

The perfect way to plan a training session!
The perfect way to plan a training session!

Structure your Training
Make each session count by having an outline for your training, whether it is at home or at our Sunday Pole Play. We have even created this handy planner for you to follow! Available in our studio, this will help you avoid those sessions where nothing seems to be happening, because you can tick things off your list and rest assured you have done a good job. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down! You could even use your competition music as your warm-up song.

Music to my Ears
As well as warming up to your music, try to listen to it while doing everything and anything else! I personally love running with my music on repeat – your body gets used to moving to the music, and associates exercise with the song. Let your mind wander and you will find little nuances in there that you wouldn’t have normally – draw these out with your choreography to wow the audience! Olga can pop your song on our studio playlist for Sunday Pole Play if you send it to us 

Money Money Money
Competing at any level can be expensive! There are the obvious costs such as costume, classes and privates, hair and makeup, travel etc., but there are hidden costs too, like buying tickets for your make-up artist to be backstage with you, any props you might need, extra grip, a massage for when you start feeling stiff. Eliminate unnecessary stress and spread these costs over the next few months so you aren’t stuck when it comes to comp month. And begin your rehearsal process now! We will all be very busy in the two weeks leading up Pole Theater, so avoid disappointment by scheduling any lessons you need now.

The Creative Process
Everyone’s process is different. In fact my process has varied for every competition and performance I have ever done! I have a lot to say on this, but the main things would be: focus on yourself and not the competition, know your unique category requirements and exactly what the judges will be looking for (this is not a secret and will have been sent to you!), research your character and your music. But the best advice I can give you is try not to be frustrated if what you have visualized and imagined for your routine doesn’t become a reality – your end result might be different but it will be what is right for you! This is a time to experiment, create and explore – with our help you can build something you can truly be proud of!

Myself, Arlene and the rest of the team would love to help you more with your exciting pole journey. Contact us on 083 187 3603 or info@irishpoledanceacademy.com to speak to us about how we can help you achieve your goals and get competition ready! Our awesome weekly classes and private lessons are designed to help you to become the best poler that you can be. Call us now and we’ll get you started!

Leanne and Arlene, All Ireland Champions
Leanne and Arlene, All Ireland Champions