I love performing and being in front of an audience. I am so excited to be able to help our women prepare for competition. I have competed and judged several competitions, and I love being able to share that aspect of our sport with others.

This year’s competitions are of course going to be a bit different. Many of our women are preparing for virtual competitions. What this means is that they are still putting in the hours of preparation and hard work, but won’t get to perform on stage in front of a live audience. Instead, most will be recording their routine and submitting the video to be judged.

There are pro’s and con’s to competing this way of course. First – it means that competitors can record as many takes as they want to get it right! However, we are our own worst critics, and having a flawless run of a routine NEVER happens. It requires competitors to make the call when they’ve done the best they can, and submit what they have. For me, performing is fun and exciting because I play off of the energy from the audience. Without an audience I have a really hard time getting into character and feeling my routine. For some of the women I’m working with for this year, the only reason they are willing to compete is because it is a video submission, and they DON’T have to be in front of an audience. They are using this year to write and submit a routine to build courage in their skills so maybe in the future they’ll be willing to get up on that stage by themselves.

The way the pole and aerial world has adapted to still be able to compete has been amazing to me. Some are hoping to be in-person by fall, but most are still offering virtual options. Competitions may not look the same right now, but I am so grateful that they are still happening.

Photo by KBevPhoto from NAPDC 2017