The National University Pole Association was formed in 2016 to oversee and develop the Inter-University Pole Dancing Competition (IUPDC).
The first IUPDC competition was held in 2011 but with limited places it was difficult to make the event inclusive for all the universities that wanted to enter. The 2011 format also meant that solo performers had to perform alongside other solo acts with limited music choice and frustrations for the judges. To allow more inclusivity the NUPA have created regional heats to allow all universities wanting to compete the chance to own the stage.
Since 2016 the NUPA board have offered their services for free to create massive improvements to the IUPDC competition and strict guidelines to create consistency across the regional heats.
PDC Approved 3 star pole dancing instructor Suzanne Robson was nominated for the Gemma Dear Award by Tempest Pole Dance studio owner Mandy Williams.
Mandy submitted the following nomination:
"I would like to nominate one of my instructors Suzanne Robson for this award.
Suzy has been a Pole Instructor at Tempest Dance for just over a year and she has full body eczema.
This has become progressively worse over the last year and has left her in a lot of pain and constant scratching. This skin condition has also rendered her whole body red, dry and scaley. In all of this time never has she cancelled a class or let me or her students down.
Kirstin McKenzie joined the Pole Dance Community as an instructor in 2017. Kirstin commenced pole dancing in 2010 and has completed her Vertical Dance Instructor Training. We spoke to Kirstin to find out what she loves about pole and why she chose to become an instructor.
"Having taken advantage of a Groupon deal taster session with Pole Pursuits, I fell in love with the classes and kept going back. Each new bruise was shown to my other half with pride, along with a detailed explanation of where it came from and why being covered (I mean COVERED) in bruises was a good thing. It didn't even phase me when on our first cruise to the Caribbean they were displayed in their multi-coloured glory to about 2000 people (although my partner felt a little uncomfortable with the stares he received).
Patricia joined the Pole Dance Community in November 2017. She commenced pole in 2015 and quickly fell in love with her art. We spoke to Patricia to find out more about her passion for pole and her aspirations for teaching at Studio 11 Pole Fitness in Bristol.
"I was in love with pole-dancing before I even started taking classes. Although when I started, just over two years ago, my initial goal was to become an exotic dancer, I realised it's not as easy as all those amazing girls make it look.
I have tried many different sports and taken various dance classes from breakdancing to bellydancing - I pretty much tried it all - but none of them seemed to suit me quite like pole-dancing does. I am now at a stage where I can't imagine my life without classes, workshops and of course my pole family!
Each year the Gemma Dear Courage Award honours an individual or group who show extreme courage and determination within the pole dancing industry.
The individual or group is nominated by PDC members (aap dancers and instructors) who explain why they think the individual or group deserves the award.
The award can be given to any pole dancer, instructor or group of pole dancers who demonstrate the qualities required to win the The Gemma Dear Courage Award.
The Gemma Dear Courage Award recipient symbolizes professionalism, strength, courage and dedication.
After an extremely busy year for both our online grading assessors, and our in house assessors, selecting our finalists for grading assessor of the year has been extremely hard. We finally reached our decision based on the number of aap memberships sold by each grader, the number of gradings conducted or submitted by each assessor and how proactive they were in promoting the aap membership to their students.
A massive congratulations to our overall grading assessor of the year award 2017 which goes to Mandy Williams from Tempest Dance in Durham, UK.
We would also like to congratulate our youth pole dance grading assessor of the year, Lesley Jackson from Pole Guns in Newcastle, UK. Lesley was just one grading behind Mandy in the overall awards.
When you submit your online grading assessment it will be assessed by one of our fabulous grading assessors. We thought you might like to find out a bit more about each of the assessors and to see the wealth of pole experience they share. Wherever you are based you can have your pole skills assessed by some of the world's top pole dance judges. Your assessment is in good hands :)
PDC Pioneer Mary-Ellyn Weissmann:
With no prior dance experience of any type, Mary Ellyn Weissman started pole dancing in 2002 at the age of 42. She opened Empowerment Through Exotic Dance, Ltd in July of 2005 in the south suburbs of Chicago. She has trained at various locations internationally after starting out as primarily a self-taught pole dancer and has completed several pole dance teacher training programs and also holds several athletic and pole-based certifications.
In 2009 she hosted the first international pole camp, Dance Wicked For A Week, in Jamaica, which now is the venue for the Erotic Pole Dance World Championships and she has been hosting the North American Pole Dance Championships in Chicago since 2011.
Lisa Henderson is joint owner at Studio 11 Pole Fitness in Bristol, UK. Lisa is a passionate poler who been a great ambassador for the pole dance community as well as raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity via various pole showcases and events. Lisa commenced her pole instuctor journey in 2007.
PDC Approved 3 star pole dancing instructor Vania Vitillo gave the following reference to support Lisa's 4 star application - "Lisa is such a passionate, positive ambassador of pole dance and pole fitness. In the time I have known her she embodies such a caring and supportive attitude always looking at helping her students achieve their fitness and pole goals and also being a superb role model in her way of helping students to be body positive about themselves through encouragement and inspiration. Lisa is a consummate professional having owned her own businesses before she has a wealth of experience and has been part of the pole industry for fifteen years, twelve years teaching. On a personal note she really helped me regain my pole passion and after a long illness last year and beginning of this, was always there for me, offering her support and reassurance.
Welcome to the winner of our PDC inspiration competition 2017, Angela Fowler. We invited polers from across the globe to submit their pole stories and to share their passion for pole with us. Our winner was selected by our fabulous online grading assessors who loved Angela's story. Let's find out more about Angela and her pole journey.
My pole story started 3 years ago in 2014. Then in my early 40's I found myself divorced and a single mum. My ex husband had left me for another woman and I had no confidence. A friend convinced me to go to a pole dance studio, at first I was a bit...no I'm to old, no I'm not fit enough....but I went. From that first lesson I was hooked, it gave me confidence and fitness but most of all pole friends in all sizes and ages.
On Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September, Stages Pole Fitness (SPF) opened its doors for its third annual showcase and awards evening.
Stages Pole Fitness was founded by PDC Approved 3 star pole dancing instructor Alex Copley in 2013 – on 23rd September – so this year’s annual event was also a celebration of the school’s exact four-year anniversary. SPF has seen some big changes this year, taking on four extra instructors: Claire, Emma, Ashleigh & Deniz – all of whom have been a huge help, co-teaching the ever-expanding classes and assisting Alex with SPF’s extra-curricular events, such as professional photoshoots, seasonal fancy dress fun sessions and socials.
Following 2016’s successful two-night show, SPF decided once again to run its showcase for two nights, and invited over 140 guests to watch.
This marvellous book was written by PDC Approved 4 star pole dancing instructor Kate Edwards. This is your chance to share Kate's substantial knowledge of both pole and aerial skills combined with her experience of pregnancy. This book is a must have for all aerial instructors and aerial artists who are going through pregnancy or merely thinking about how pregnancy might affect them.