In early April 2019, we surveyed pole dance contestants around the world to understand key challenges they face during competition preparation process. We also asked contestants about important factors they considered when choosing a competition as well as their evaluation of poles used in the competition.
42 people took part in the study. Many participants stated in the survey that overcoming emotional and psychological challenges such as stress, nervousness or anxiety was the most difficult part. Other top challenges included creating flow, floor work and choreography as well as building enough strength, flexibility and endurance for the competition.
Participants were asked to rank the challenges they faced in preparing for pole dance competitions from most challenging (score = 5.0) to least challenge (score = 1.0). Overcoming emotional and psychological challenges received a weighted score of 3.3 and 24% of the participants even rated it as the most challenging factor.
The explanation for the emotional and psychological factors may be because participants did not realize how much time it would require to prepare for a competition, as well as how long a competition day could be and how much time one needed to wait for his or her turn to perform.
Below are direct quotes from participants regarding things they wish they knew before entering a competition:
Majority of participants prepared for competition 3-6 months in advance. Around 17% started practicing 6-9 months ahead of competition. Nobody from the survey spent more than 9 months in advance for preparation.
47% of participants trained 2-3 per week specifically to prepare pole dance competition. This does not include regular classes, which means the actual total training time per week could be much higher.
Participants also spent a lot of money on competition, from fees, costume to other costs. 41% paid more than 50 USD for application fee per competition. 36% spent between 50-80 USD per competition costume and 29% paid over 80 USD for a pole dance costume on average.
Despite all the challenges and costs, all participants stated they competed because of the rewarding experience and the opportunity to perform and challenge oneself that competitions provided.
Have you competed before? What were your biggest challenges? Why did you choose to compete? Share with us in the comments below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your feedback will help us develop our Pole Dance Competition Prep Guide to be launched in 2019. The guide will provide you with useful tips for your next competition, including music, choreography and flow, training program, overcoming stress and anxiety, injury prevention and much more. Pre-order by 30th April 2019 to receive a discount on the guide.
Are you interested in the full survey results? Contact us for more information: email@example.com.
Survey and report by Mai Phan
Mai Phan is the owner of Pole in Style, an online store providing apparel and training tools for pole dance (www.poleinstyle.com). She also works as a personal trainer in Oslo, Norway and is a certified pole fitness instructor, IPSF judge and President of the Norwegian Pole Sport Federation. Mai has been doing pole dance since 2012 and loves how it has given her self confidence and belief in herself. Follow her personal page here.