University Pole Stars 2015 Review
Article by PDC Reporter Sophie Eminson.
University Pole Stars is an inter-university pole dancing competition held by Nottingham Trent University at The Forum nightclub in Nottingham. It has been running for two years now, and the event is well-attended and is continuing to grow in awareness in the pole community. The event was set up and run by two of Nottingham Trent's pole dancers, Shell Ashton and Molly Redmond, with lots of assistance from the other members in their society. Unfortunately for them, the event did not run as smoothly this year as it did last year due to the club not being able to move the DJ box from the stage. This meant some very last-minute rearranging, however once this kerfuffle was dealt with, everybody pretty much forgot it had ever happened.
Arriving at the venue, the other competitors and I were ushered to a backstage area where we would be able to change and warm up before performing. We got together for a pre-competition photograph and then the day began. The event was hosted by an extremely camp host, who wore various different robes and gowns throughout the day. He made a lot of jokes, and contributed to the audience enjoying the competition greatly. The X-Stages were set up with an added square platform over the top of them, and the judges, Kat Bailey, Danielle Hayes and Ian Matthews were sat in front of the poles in order to see our routines fully.
The first group to compete were beginner, which started off with a very entertaining performance from Amy Cawthrow, followed by some lovely dreamy pieces with gorgeous dance elements. Charlie Griffiths, who helped set up the last competition at Derby University also competed beginner and performed wonderfully also. The girls who placed, Gemma Trott the runner up, and Rosie Wilson the winner both performed spectacularly. Rosie's performance in particular was very dramatic, using mature choreography and a great sense of musicality for a beginner routine!
After this came the intermediate girls of course, who began with Becca Chadwick, who also competed in Crown of the Chrome in January. Shirlie Leung who came all the way from Newcastle for this competition also competed in intermediate, performing a rather sassy, dance-based routine with some fabulous hair-flicking choreography. The runner-up Janice Yip performed a graceful routine, which showed off her amazing technicality, and the winning intermediate routine by Amelia Tilley really showed how much effort had gone into it, as she effortlessly transitioned from move to move.
Finally came the advanced category where we had our first male competitor of the day, Robin Boyce from Derby University. His routine took into account strength and grip, as he performed many a hold under his armpit, which is a struggle for most pole dancers. In terms of notable performances, Imani Delain had incredible technique and held her moves beautifully and extended them fully in her beautiful routine, and Charli Sweet's routine was full of emotional connection and drama, with her pole moves and dance elements connecting with the song. The runner-up Rachel Britton performed a very impressive routine to One by Ed Sheeran, in which she performed a lovely Russian Split and handsprings. Performing to Stay the Night by Zedd, the advanced winner, Sophie Eminson really performed, flirting with the audience and judges throughout her routine while performing moves such as Phoenix spin, Allegra box split and devil's elbow. Both these girls deserved their placements.
Sponsors for this event included X-Pole and Everything Pole Dancing, from which prizes were donated. The beginner prize was a pole warmer, intermediate an x-pole sport and advanced a photoshoot at the X-Pole Development Centre. Quite a few of the competitors went for drinks after the competition where we joined with the judges for a nice chat about pole and all things related to it.