Well known Pole Dance competitions have been around since 2005 and possibly even earlier. In the USA, one of the first Pole Dance Competitions was the PoleStar Invitational in 2008 organized by AnneMarie Davies and it took place in Los Angeles. Then in 2009 a National Competition by the name of Pole SuperStar took place in NYC and included competitors such as Marlo Fisken, Alethea Austin, Sarah Cretul, Mina Mechanic and a few others . According to research from UPA, the earlier recorded competitions were in 2005 and include Miss Pole Dance UK, Miss Pole Dance Australia, and the World Pole Championships in the Netherlands. Along with the growth and spread of pole championships comes, of course, the pole champions. These men and women quickly become your inspiration, your muses, your pole gods and goddesses.
There are many different pole competitions around the globe, but we decided to focus on a few well known comps and their champions over the years. We want to know which event is your favorite and which of the champions have been your inspiration.
World Pole Dance Championships
The World Pole Dance Championships were established in 2005, and the first event took place in Australia. The winner of the professional category was Felix Cane (who repeated first place the following year, representing Australia). The male category was created in 2011 and the first champion to hold the title was Evgeny Greshilov (Russia). That same year the doubles category was founded, resulting in Ilka Martina Bardoczy and Barbara Palmaffy (Hungary) as winners.
Through the years there has been an annual event, and some of the other champions have been: Natalia Tatarintseva from Ukraine; Lisette Krol and Terri Walsh from Ireland and others from all over the world.
Pole Sport Organization
This is a pole dance competition that takes place in the United States and Europe. Unlike other events who require rounds of judging prior to the competition, if you want to participate in a PSO comp all you have to do is sign up. They don’t ask for a submission video or other special requirements.
From their website:
“Choose your own adventure! You can pick from 5 skill levels, 5 age groups, and competition across the variety of styles found within the pole community: drama, entertainment, exotic, fitness, and freestyle”.
The first U.S. National Pole Champion was Bad Kitty® Brand Ambassador Sergia Louise Anderson in 2013.
The Pole Sport Organization championship has had a national event every year since their first one in 2013 and their winners have been: Shaina Cruea and Seanmichal Rau in 2014; Irmingard Mayer, Brandon Grimm and Maggie Ann in 2015; and Pan Taqo, Melvin Sanchez and Carly Child in 2016.
U.S. Pole Dance Federation
“United States Pole Dance Federation (USPDF), founded in 2008, was the first organization in the US to host professional pole dancing competitions. USPDF helped launch the careers of pole superstars Michelle Stanek, Alethea Austin, Karol Helms, Sergia Louise Anderson, Natasha Wang, Jenyne Butterfly and others.
International Pole Sports Federation
The IPSF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist in the development of the of pole dance as a competitive sport. This is why they hold numerous competitions all over the world (to this day, there are 21 federations in different countries that organize an annual IPSF competition). Also, they annually produce events such as the World Sport Ultra Pole, World Pole Sports, World Artistic Pole, and World Para Pole.
To participate in their championships you need to previously qualify at a national open competition. All of the athletes that win in their category (Senior Men 18 – 39; Senior Women 18 – 39; Doubles; Masters 40+; Masters 50+; Junior 15 – 17; Novice 10 – 14) enter the world ranking. Some of the record holders today are Rafaela Montanaro from USA; Felipe Mendoza from Chile; Maria E. Plaza & Sergio Chan from Mexico; and Benita Bouwer from South Africa.
South American Pole Championship
This championship is the largest held so far in South America. It has had nine editions so far (the first in 2008) and it’s an event that athletes all over the region look forward to participating in. It’s help in Argentina and promoted by one of the largest studios in this continent.
Their champions include Julia Aguiar from Argentina; Ricardo Bustos from Chile; Florencia Bustos from Argentina; Felipe Mendoza from Chile; Belén Serra from Argentina; Rafaela Montanaro representing Brazil; María Luz Escalante from Argentina; Gregoris García from Venezuela; Carlos Franca from Brazil; and many more.
Australian Pole Championships
This very famous event is a national competition that takes place in Australia. The winner of its professional division gains automatic entry into the semi finals of the IPC (International Pole Championships).
The Australian Pole Championships have three divisions: Professional, Amateur, Groups (2 or 3 people), and Battle. Also, they award Best Performer, Best Musical Interpretation and Best Trickster.
This competition has taken place annually since 2011 and some of the Professional Division winners have been Carlie Hunter (Bad Kitty Brand Ambassador) in 2011 and 2012; Joanna Littlewood-Johnson in 2013; Andrea Ryff in 2014; Lisa D in 2015; and finally Bethany Finlay in 2016.
Asia Pole Championship
The Asia Pole Championships state they are “a fitness competition to showcase pole dance extraordinaires”. With two editions so far, this competition has established itself as a great event in the region with high level participants. The 2016 champion was Olga Studenikina, and this year’s winner was Haruna Matsunami.
Asia Pole Championship is an international venue organized by SLAP Dance Studio to celebrate and promote pole dance as an athletic performance art. The competitors perform live in Singapore and if you go, you might see Natasha Wang, Carlie Hunter and other pole stars sitting in the judges’ seat.
Miss Pole Dance America
This is a competition that features some of the best pole dancers in the United States as a theatrical show. It’s had two editions so far (since 2015) with professional participants whose names you would likely recognize. The 2015 winner was Pink Puma (awarded a $5,000 cash prize, a spot to perform at Nashville Ink N’ Iron, a finalist spot to compete in the 3rd annual PCS Championship the following year, and others). Last year’s first place was awarded to Sarah Jade, who is the current Miss Pole Dance America title holder and a Bad Kitty Ambassador.
This event also created a category called Pole Troupes, where groups from 2 to 7 people (male and female) perform together. “Miss Pole Dance America is the combination of a modern-day showgirl and a legendary pole dancer, demonstrating superior physical athleticism alongside exquisite technique and femininity”, they explain on their website.
Pole Championship Series
Another well-known pole competition is the Pole Championship Series (PCS), created for professionals and beginners alike. The female winner of the professional category advances to the annual PCS Championship at the Arnold Sports Festival. Created in 2013, they’ve held 49 official championships so far, not only in North America, but also in South America, Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa. And there are more to come!
Because the competitions have been so prolific, there are many champions as well. From the Bad Kitty Ambassador team you probably know Samantha Star (Pole Expo’s Pole Classic Champion 2013); and Charlee Wagner (National Aerial Pole Art Champion 2013).
International Pole Dance Fitness Association
The IPDFA was created in 2007 to promote pole dancing as a legitimate fitness program, act as a supervisory body due to the fast growth of the practice, assist and advice studios, train and accredit instructors to the highest standards, and organise the International Pole Championships (IPC) annually.
Today, there are 11 affiliated competitions, and some of the awards they give out are: The IPDFA Instructor of the year; The IPDFA Studio of the year; The Pole Industry Award; The IPDFA Performer of the year; and The IPDFA Choreographer of the Year. “The nominations come from you: students, supporters, fans and instructors. IPDFA has been awarding these titles since 2009 based on public nominations received through the IPDFA website”, they explain on their website.
Miss Pole Dance Australia
Today, Miss Pole Dance Australia is one of the most important pole dance competitions of the region. They’ve held 12 selling out shows so far, having begun in 2005 (which makes it one of the oldest pole competitions in the world). Our Ambassador Carlie Hunter was this competition’s 2016 champion. Others have been Jamilla Deville (2005); Felix Cane (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011); Allegra (2010), Cleo The Hurricane (2012, 2014), and Miss Filly (2015, 2017).
Among the first place prizes are a crown, a sash, a trophy, and of course, the title of Miss Pole Dance Australia.
Aerial All Stars
“Aerial All Stars is professional Pole & Circus Art competition that invites the most successful, prolific and talented artists to compete as well as featuring national and international pole and circus stars as guest performers and judges”, they explain on their website. The available divisions are Pole Art Solos, Circus Art Solos and Aerial Art Duo’s.
Some of the pole dance winners are Phoebe (2013), Gracie Buntine (2014), Megan Blyszak (205), Amy Hazel (2015), and Eggy (2017). They have amazing prizes that include $1,000 cash, poles, and products from their sponsors.
This is a worldwide competition that started in Sydney in 2013 and today exists in over 20 countries. They encourage competitors to share a story through their pole performances and anyone can participate: women, men, singles, doubles, and groups.
Their current locations are Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Ireland, France, Greece, Iceland, Hungary, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Mexico, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Israel, Egypt, and Poland.
Due to the sheer number of competitions they have held, there are a number of champions from this competition as well. You might know Sarah Scott (winner of the Professional division in 2016) and Amy Hazel (winner of the Classique division in Hong Kong 2015) from our BK Ambassador team.
Other pole dance competitions that have become very famous are the South American Amateur Pole Championship (for beginners only), and Pole Stars (a European pole art competition).
What other competitions do you know and who are your favorite champions?
Pole Dance Venezuela (www.poledancevenezuela.org)
This post first appeared on Bad Kitty Blog | Pole Dancing Fitness Lifestyle Ne, please read the originial post: here