Pole dance is several times more popular in Australia, than it is in Europe or, of course, in Ukraine. In every city, every 10 blocks, there is a school. Mostly Australians choose schools, that are simply closer to their home. But, certainly, if in the school one of the coaches is a champion or just a real sweetie, they will drive several extra kilometers to get to his or her classes. Mostly schools are big - several studios in one, with many poles. Poles, by the way, are also different from ours - the most popular ones are 38 mm brass. Sometimes, there are 45 mm or 50 mm stainless steel. I haven't seen even one school with a shower or a changing room, we are used to. Very rarely there is a receptionist or cleaning stuff. Owners of the school silently with a smile on their face, clean their own school, answer the phone, teach the classes and deal with bills. It is not because they can’t afford to hire someone, but because they just love their schools. And people do appreciate it. It is considered to be a respect for the client. Usually girls don’t care about their stuff and leave the bags with phones and money just on the open shelves, or don’t close the doors. In Australia people are used to trust other people.
Classes are divided to levels. Rules are pretty strict, teachers do have respect for their own time and effort. There is pre-payment, missed classes can’t be compensated. To go from one level to another you have to be able to do certain elements. Each school has its own rating of difficulty. Usually girls start to learn upper tricks on the third-fourth week. Of course, you can have casual classes. But it will be more expansive, and the time might be not that convenient.
I was pleasantly shocked by the culture of relationships between students and teachers. Very rarely girls drift among different schools, “stealing” of elements is considered almost criminal.
And by the way, striptease is not considered something shameful. Many teachers don’t make a secret of their past, if they did work in a club, when they were young. Or still do. A lot of girls students dance there, too, and invite their friends and teachers to performances. Australians clearly see the difference between striptease and prostitution. They live in harmony with their sexuality, are open to the world and respectful towards private life of other people. Later I will tell you more about Bobbi’s studio. I think, a lot of people in Ukraine and Russia will be surprised ;)
In Australia there are many championships. One better than the other. The oldest one is, of course - Miss Pole Dance Australia. It is organized by legendary Bobbi, it was won twice by Felix, and was never ever one by representative of any other school, except for Bobbi's. In Australia there are many discussions on this matter, if it’s fair or not, but whatever they say more and more girls each year desperately try to get in. Miss Pole Dance is not a sport championship. It is massive stunning show. Tickets are sold out weeks before, the winner gets beautiful prizes and gorgeous crown, amazing stage light, sold out DVDs, and very, I mean, very sexy performances. Show or not show, but level of participants is mind-blowing. Crazy splits, effortless power, and the main feature - easiness in the performance of the most difficult elements. All the world is waiting for the video of next winner. Russian split on 15 sm heels, hah? By the way, all the girl perform on high heels. Among the winners - Cleo, Porsche and Felix.
Australian Pole Dance Championship. It is the most thought through system I have ever seen in any national pole dance championship. The qualifications carry on for one year in every Australian state. In all nationals finals get only the winners, and also one representative from each category, who was the runner up, but got the most points among all the runners up from other states.
In championship there are several divisions - the main one- females, groups (including doubles) and battles. There s no men’s division yet, but guys can participate in groups and battles. If I was Australian, I would LOVED to participate in battles! Participants get only one minute, and they've got to show everything, they can do. It looks absolutely awesome! Among the winners of the championship there are adored by Australians - Chelle Heffner and Kylie Hunter. The championship is organized by Elizabeth - owner of gorgeous pole dance studio in the Australian capital - Canberra. She is strict and extremely organized, the championship is has extremely high level of demands and even higher quality of organization. It is held in prestigious theatre, with huge stage, gorgeous videos and prizes worth 10 000 $.
And of course, my APFC – Australian Pole Fitness Championship. I've wrote a lot about it in my previous post. It is organized by beautiful couple - Lisa and Rohan. Those kind of people, who really live each other and spread their love into everything they do and everybody they deal with. The championship had the warmest atmosphere, you could imagine. Rohan checked all the poles and constructions himself, and Lisa took care of each participant as if he or she was her own child. By the way, their child - Justice - is only nine years old. But she already does the craziest tricks - Marchenko rainbow, handsprings, drops into Russian splits etc. He even teaches classes to other children in Lisa’s and Rohan’s studio in Melbourne. The organizers take excellent care of everything important for participants - quality of stages and poles, level of participants, their comfort, level of judges and openness of the scores, video and photo footage. The main feature of championship is it’s sport direction. No shoes, minimum of show, maximum of trucks. Also there are uh divisions as Chinese pole and hoop. And who would dare to tell it’s not a sport?
Besides these championships in Australia there are a lot of others - city, school, state championships. Around ten of them -before amateurs. Note that in order to get into professional championship you HAVE TO in amateurs championship. In order to get into international - you have to win the national one. No exceptions. That is why when Australians finally get into the international competitions, they have already the huge experience of performances and competitions.
That’s it, by now. Are you jealous? Cuz I am