Monday, December 17, 2012

That Vie and Vault Experience

My knees and shins are bruised and my arms and back feel sore. But I still am on cloud nine as for the first time in my life, I performed a solo dance number in front of a lot of people. The Big Shift Vie and Vault Amateur Pole Dance Competition was truly an experience I will never forget.

Our grand finals was definitely an experience that I'd be glad to live over and over again. It's the first ever in the Philippines and I was happy to take part of it. This is from a girl who spent most of her formative years hunched up in schoolbooks rather than dancing, in the gymnastics mat, or school gym practicing sports after school. I never started out as that girl who's been dancing since she was little (baby ballet and dance PE doesn't count with even half of how these awesome professional dancers were training when they were much younger) but I love performing and being onstage. This night was just like that. It was absolute enjoyment with the lights and everything, while trying to give a jaw-dropping performance, of course. Big Shift Creativ Centrale was packed that night, and I couldn't be happier.

photo by Bert Aricheta

I danced to Garbage's #1 Crush, which was from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack. It was clearly a dark and quite sexy number so the moves had to be different and exude this haunting creepy stalker spurned lover vibe. Dark makeup (like a snake-y reptilian black swan) and slithery costume inspired by reptile skin. Even if I started with no dance background, I can't make that as an excuse not to give an awesome performance. As my teacher CD would say, "Do it!!!!"

I did my own hair and makeup, which I designed on the spot. No face charts or sketches. It's funny how on others I'm very OC taking notes and face charts when given a peg but for me I just wing the HMU department.

photo by Bert Aricheta

For my costume, I knew exactly who to ask to do my costume, Dennis Celestial, who produces amazing things that wow and shock. He made the most perfect costume for me, by just listening to the song I sent him, showed him the specs of usual pole dance outfits, rules and regulations of the competition, and of course, my own body measurements. I fell in love with the costume the minute I saw it. I looked like I was dressed in liquid diamonds and leather. I loved it!

I was glad too meeting a lot of new other people from other pole dance schools here in the Philippines, who are really talented and passionate about their newfound skill. The competition also brought me and my classmates closer as we helped each other during rehearsals. We were seeing each other almost everyday so we're practically together all the time and bonding through lunch, dinner, Facebook chats, and all.

The Polecats were there from the beginning to end, helping us at rehearsals, checking our costumes (no wardrobe malfunctions), reminding us to lock our knees and point our toes, and despite their packed schedule, were there that night supporting and cheering for all of us. I couldn't pick a better audience than all of them. They were the reason why we joined in the first place.

We hope we made you proud that night! Polecats Family <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">

photo by Bert Aricheta

Aside from the grand finalists, the organizers of the competition (and also teachers at Big Shift) Lance Santiago and Jamaica Jornacion performed a very beautiful contemporary number. Thank you Lance and Jamaica for giving all of us this opportunity.

The grand finalists lining up.

photo by Bert Aricheta
I'm very proud of  Miguel and Kyla, two of my classmates who bagged first and second runner up respectively. Kristel from Dance Station was the champion. She truly is an amazing dancer. Can't believe she started pole just four months ago.

Kim is a bellydance teacher and now pole dancer who performed at an intermission number. She's a good friend that I met in a photoshoot and we've both shared our love for dance.

My pole batchmates Hannah and RJ. Hannah bagged the people's choice award! RJ is just the sweetest supporting us and driving all the way to Makati to watch.

I was happy doing something I love, which I worked hard for. I couldn't be happier spending it too with people who understand and share the same passion as I do. During my introduction, it was mentioned that I wanted to give the message that it's never too late to start dancing. And I can say I have proven that. I started out as very shy on the pole and couldn't spin and couldn't climb and took almost forever for my first invert. Now here I am, a grand finalist in a pole competition. This whole experience actually inspired me to keep on dancing, seeing that those who supported me were there and watched me perform the number which I worked hard for.

I hope I made you all proud. Here's to twelve million years of dancing and pole love. For those who want to see my competition piece, you may watch here:

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