Here is a little about some of the lovely ladies who competed in the Minnesota Pole Completion! I was not able to speak with them all as I believe Aerial Dance had over 10 competitors last weekend! These ladies made us so proud! Please enjoy reading these amazing ladies journeys!
Nikita Barbeau has been a member with Aerial Dance for about a year and a half. She started out on pole, but had an unlimited membership. She waited a few weeks to try all of the other apparatuses and quickly found that hoop was her second love. She is currently in advanced pole, and her first invert was at the beginning of last year. She started pole with the drive to be on the Competition Team and wanted to be in every show that Aerial Dance had to offer. This was the one fitness regimen that has actually worked for Nikita and something she’s been able to stick to. Pole is something that challenges her every time she walks into the studio. Nikita says, “I never stop learning!”
Minnesota 2020 was her first competition, and she was extremely excited. She wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was still a thrill for her to perform in front of new people and expand her friend/knowledge base. Nikita’s number one goal for this competition was to have fun. She says she has to remember that she was competing against several other talented individuals, and should not be discouraged if she didn’t place.
Nikita feels she is always hard on herself when she knows her full potential, but falls short. Nikita is super competitive with herself. She gives herself reminders that she has worked super hard and everyone’s journey is so different. Also, when the going gets tough for Nikita, the studio has always been there for her. Supportive instructors, owners, friends, and community… the studio is like a second home to Nikita. Nikita took third place this past weekend in intermediate artistic category!
This was Molly’s third competition! She competed in the Intermediate Performance Theatre category. Her goal was to push herself further and further out of her comfort zone with each performance. Molly’s routine this year was more difficult compared to last years, since her song is fast and upbeat with more difficult tricks, faster transitions, and lots of kick-ass dance moves thanks to Instructor Kelly! She also challenged herself to be more comfortable getting into character on stage and she believes this routine really shows the progress she has made. Molly used to be scared and timid on stage, but with this routine she really learned to let loose and completely transformed into a different person when performing.
When things get tough for Molly, when preparing for competition, she reminds herself why she is doing it. She does it to share her love of pole with others. Placing was not a major concern for Molly. What matters to her was knowing that she gave it her all and had fun on stage!
The biggest reason she competes is for herself. Sometimes all she needs to do is step back and realize that she is performing in a pole competition! Something she never imagined she would be doing! How awesome is that!?! Molly feels that everyone should compete at least once. It’s an opportunity learn so much about yourself and have a blast! Competing can be nerve-wracking, but it is worth it! It’s amazing having a wonderful audience who cheers you on no matter what. The pole community is amazing. It’s awesome how complete strangers can feel like family and support you. Molly took second place in her category, and won best costume!
This was Kayla’s fourth routine and 3rd competition. As she looks back it is crazy how much she has grown from her first competition in May of 2017. Kayla didn’t want to compete at first, she thought she didn’t have the right body type or wasn’t good enough (what HORRIBLE things to think) but Instructor Chrissy and Sarah P talked her into it and it has been the best thing since, almost an addiction (the very good kind). Kayla’s body can do amazing things just like everyone can do amazing things which should be shown off.
For Kayla’s first competition her goal was to win….. She decided that was the WRONG goal for her to have. Kayla was heart broken when she ended up coming in 2nd to last place. Then she realized her goals needed to change. For Kayla’s Castle routine her goal was to just get back on stage after she had shattered my ankle and to have fun!
Kayla’s Jump routine was to challenge herself and wear heels for the first time on stage. For Kayla’s Pony routine her goal was to get on stage in a sexy outfit and not doubt how sexy she looked in it! She wanted to be remembered. Even though they are competitions Kayla feels she performs better if SHE JUST HAS FUN (key point)-because everyone should just have fun. Not only does she have a blast performing but the bonds she builds with her pole sisters at competition weekends are priceless. Kayla took second place the Classique (exotic ) category this past weekend!
Zandalee is 26, recently got married, and she currently works for a bank. Zandalee is only 26 and has personally struggled with self love and self esteem. When she first joined Aerial Dance in December 2018 she had one goal: to lose pounds off the scale for my wedding. That didn’t happen. Instead she found herself gaining strength, self confidence, love for myself, a hobby (and workout) that she loves, and friends.
The Minnesota Pole Competition was Zandalee’s first comp! She felt that preparing for the competition was so much work, but so WORTH the 3 minutes you’re up on stage. Zandalee’s goals right now to just better herself. She wants to build her strength, so that she can transition into advance pole. When things get rough Zanalee cries, vents, talks it out.. and then she gets back to doing what needs to be done and never gives up!
Since Zandalee was the only novice performance performer, she wasn’t able to be ranked, or given best costume, she was still given a metal! You looked like a ROCK STAR!
Bailey joined Aerial Dance one year ago. It was a total impulse decision, jumping right into pole without an intro class, but it’s one of the best decisions she’s ever made. It has built Bailey’s confidence, helped her make new friends, and has presented her with many goals! Bailey decided to sign up for her first competition because she wanted to challenge herself. Bailey doesn’t usually like to be the center of attention, so it definitely got her out of her comfort zone. Bailey says that performing was a lot of fun and a great learning experience! Watching everyone else was so inspiring. She hopes to improve her flow and stage presence so that she can come back even stronger for her next competition!
Ana is orchestra teacher. She had to learn how to play string instruments for her job. Her main instrument is harp! Ana’s favorite apparatus at the studio is pole. Her close second is silks and she loves to play on all the things! The Minnesota Pole Competition was Ana’s 2nd competition. Her general goals for competing were to keep a nice flow from move to move and engage with the audience!
Eye contact is challenging let alone showing emotion on your face that works with your song! Ana was very grateful to Olivia for working with her on that! When the going gets tough, Ana always tries to remember tomorrow is a new day. Where the grip may be different, the move that isn’t working may just click, and she might have new ideas for a transition.
The other is that mastering a routine takes time! Even if a practice feels like you got nothing accomplished, you showed up and put in the time and effort! All of those practices, run-throughs, and even performances matter. They all add up to your growth as a pole dancer. So the next time you do that routine or start a brand new one, you’re farther along than where you started! Ana did an amazing job at the MNPC and look fabulous while doing it!
Hayley is an energetic, outgoing, and incredibly talkative person. She loves spending time with her dog and her horses in her free time. This was her second competition but she has been on stage a handful of times. Her goals are to continue her journey with aerial and to become a more well rounded person. When the going gets tough Hayley snuggles her best friend AKA Mya Ann her Australian Cattle dog
Hayley placed third in Intermediate Pole Sport this past weekend in MN! NICE WORK!