Last Saturday I competed again at Floorplay, the competition I won last year as an amateur, this time in the semi pro category. This post is about how I felt on the day, a chance to showcase the thinking behind my performance – and an excuse to show off my amazing outfit again cause I’m just vain like that.
Floorplay is everything about pole dancing – minus the pole. It’s floorwork, transitions, dancing, rolling around the floor in different styles and showcasing different concepts. It’s also a competition that’s very close to my heart, because it was my first ever solo performance and competition win last year.
Organised by star Aussie pole dancers Daisy Bastwick and Amber Ray, Floorplay London its in its third year. This time, it was bigger than ever. Nearly 30 contestants took to the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club to showcase their skills. For the first time, I competed in the semi-professional category, against some of my pole idols.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t win. But I brought to the stage a fantasy I’d been wanting to live for a whole year – that of dancing to RuPaul and Todrick Hall’s Low, from Todrick’s Straight Outta Oz album, in my own style, doing a ‘RuVeal’. Here’s a video of my performance, filmed by Maria Evrenos:
If you read me/follow me you probably know I am obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race. Despite its problems and controversies, the show is terribly entertaining, it’s a much needed anxiety calmer for me, and the drag queens’ talents and spectacular lipsyncs have always inspired me in my dancing.
Considering I have written an academic chapter on Drag Race then, it was only natural I’d do a Drag Race inspired routine. My RuVeal – when drag queens have a wig under a wig – might not have been of Brooke Lynn Hytes’ or Yvie Oddly’s level, but I am so proud of having pu lled it off… and of having managed headstands, shoulderstands and handstands keeping my second wig on!
Floorplay 2019: Get The Look
At the cost of sounding like the iNfLuEnCeR going on about her clothes/beauty routine/ stretch routine when nobody asked, here is some insight into my outfit and why I’ve chosen it – ’cause people did ask, Susan!
Considering Low is Todrick Hall’s take on The Wizard of Oz, for my routine I wanted to wear something green. However, I didn’t want to wear something too draggy because, even if my performance was drag-inspired, I am not a drag queen, I don’t have the skills to be a drag queen, I can’t vogue for shit even if I am what? SICKENING.
I found out about Raven Black UK through Instagram, where I found this lovely bodysuit that looked perfect for my performance.
Raven Black UK are an inclusive brand catering for a variety of different styles, and we’ve begun collaborating on a gifting basis – they were kind enough to gift me my Floorplay bodysuit as well as the amazing briefs below.
The bodysuit was probably the skimpiest I’ve ever worn but I loved every bit of it. I was initially afraid it wouldn’t hold everything in – quite a bit of taping had to happen ‘down under’ just to make sure – but it was super flattering for the twerk moves I was going to do. Can’t recommend it – or Raven Black UK’s lingerie – enough either for performances or just to feel sexy, damn it.
For my shoes, I wanted high, campy heels that I could do heel clacks and headstands in, without them being too heavy to lift up. So for this performance I teamed up with Flamingo’s Footwear, a UK-based company started by the amazing Lucy (another Floorplay competitor) who makes pole dance shoes for reasonable prices.
Flamingo gave me their sparkly black 8 inch Tropic boots for a media rate and I couldn’t have been happier with them. Because their platforms are clear, the boots are incredibly light to dance with, and they could take all my upside down shenanigans without weighing me down. Plus, they gave my chunky yet funky legs a legs-for-days type of look, so I’m super pleased.
If you’re over paying hundreds of pounds for Pleasers that don’t last a couple of heel bangs, Flamingo’s is exactly the type of independent brand you should be supporting. Lucy will be with you every step of the way – she helped me pick my shoe, my size, my look, my life, everything. Give them a follow on Insta, too!
Because I wanted to do a ‘RuVeal’, wigs were essential. This was a huge challenge because 1) I had never performed with a wig before 2) I wanted to do headstands and handstands and other upside down shiz so I was terrified to have a Monique Heart wig loss thing happen to me.
‘RuVeals’ are always interesting. There’s that moment immediately after they happen when you’re like: “OMG awks – queen’s lost her wig!” and then you go “OMG she’s got another one!” Aside from being one of Drag Race‘s most iconic and tearful moments, the Roxxy Andrews vs Alyssa Edwards lipsync is a brilliant example of how cool ‘RuVeals’ can be. Tissues at the ready, this one always makes me cry.
I’ll never be as good as Roxxy, but I made my ‘RuVeal’ work and I’m extremely proud of it. Keeping with the Straight Outta Oz theme, I wanted a black and green wig to match my bodysuit and a shorter wig below. I didn’t know what colour this would be, but after picking the bodysuit I picked the purple wig I wore on the day.
Top tip for choosing wigs for dumb ass girls like me who have never dealt with wigs before and haven’t mastered hair art: try a motherfucking wig on before you buy one. I went wig-testing with my mum and let me tell you: the majority of short wigs made me look like your old auntie Mildred, while long wigs made me look like bloody Samara from The Ring. Exhibit A -won’t inflict you Samara cause I scared myself and don’t wanna scare you.
It took me a while to find partings and styles that would fit my rounded, chubby face. Just like with my own hair, a side parting did the trick. Both wigs I found on Amazon were cheaper than £15 – one was £12, the other one £7. They both came with a lace at the front that enabled me to secure them for them not to fly off during head rolls or upside down moves. What I recommend doing is to browse Amazon for a style that works for you – you can buy wigs on Amazon with my affiliate link below:Blogger On Pole Wigs
So here’s how I made the ‘RuVeal’ work. I am 100% sure there are people who have done this before better than me, who will be rolling their eyes at this, but this is how I made it work from the height of my total inexperience with wigs.
- Step 1): I used a pair of old tights as a wig cap, putting them over my braided and pinned hair to reduce its volume. I secured the cap by using the legs and tying them up behind my head. Then I pinned the cap as well.
- Step 2): I put the shorter wig on, securing it with its lace.
- Step 3) I put the long-hair wig on top of the shorter wig without securing it with the lace, so that when I head-rolled during my performance my wig would fly out. Depending on where I head-rolled, the wig would either fall to the floor by itself or I’d have to catch it if it got caught somewhere (as it happened during my performance on stage). The top wig – the black and green one – did look a bit messy placed above the shorter one, so I had to brush it out quite a bit. Yet, considering it didn’t stay on for too long, I was happy with the result.
If I ever took part in Drag Race, I’d be the queen that gets told she can’t sew, do her make-up or proportionise. Hence why I didn’t do my own make-up for Floorplay, but hired the fantastic Dree Simone (also a pole dancer) to do mine, drag style but in a way that matched my features and my hair. Pictures below, plus Dree’s Insta profile so you can follow her and hit her up for your competition make-up.
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Flying into #SundayBumday like…. Feeling happy and grateful to be spending time with friends and family 😊. Hope you guys are having a good one! 📸 @fotocad Shot from @dancefilthyuk 😁 #poledancing #poleperformer #aerialnation #datbootydoe #poledancersofig #polefitness #poledance #exoticpole #swaypolewear #pleasershoes #thickthighssavelives #thickthighsmatter #girlswithmuscles #unitedbypole #polecompetition #dancefilthyuk
How I Felt Throughout Floorplay 2019
I somehow managed to panic less about Floorplay 2019 in the lead up to the competition day a bit less than I’m panicking about competing in Exotic Generation in June. Floorwork is my specialty and I feel quite confident with it, I told myself. Yet, on the day, the panic resurfaced.
I became very worried once I did my run-through, because I had forgotten the stage was a bit slippery and was worried I’d fall. Most likely however, I felt the pressure of competing in a higher category with some of my pole idols.
Last year – with Floorplay being my first ever competition – I was nervous, but I managed to relax straight after I went off stage. The opposite happened this time. The stress and panic switched themselves on when I first went on stage, and when I finished performing, even if I did everything I could do and got the choreography near to 100% of what I had planned, I felt horrible. I couldn’t really talk, and I went off stage and told all my friends who’d come to support me that it was all horrible, that I fucked everything up.
When I saw the videos shortly after, I realised it wasn’t the case and that I had brought my fantasy to life as best as I could. I find it really interesting however how, the more I perform, the more anxious I become about what I do. I feel impostor syndrome take over my head so much that I think I’m not worthy of being on that stage.
Luckily, after catching up with some of my instructors who compete frequently right after Floorplay, I realised this happens to many performers. The higher the level, the higher the stakes, and now that I have even a tiny bit of following I feel like I don’t want to let myself or people who know me down.
I’ve just finished a 12-week cycle of CBT where I’ve worked on dealing with uncertainty and finding positive qualities in myself, not just in others. So, even though normally before a performance I panic that it’s shite and ask someone to give me feedback on my routine, this time I decided not to show my routine to anyone. This is because I felt I needed to take a risk to show myself that I could handle it: I could design a whole routine, a vision, and deliver it without relying on others’ validation, despite what the anxiety in my head keeps telling me. And it turned out to be true.
I pulled it off, and I hope it was fun for people to watch and that it was something memorable. I would say the crowd’s screams and cheers prove it was, right? Or maybe my London Dance Academy troupe of supporters managed to scream over the rest of the audience…
The key learning from this experience is to have more fun. I dance, I perform, for fun: because I love it. Getting so worked up that you’re not able to enjoy the whole evening because you’re deep in your own head isn’t worth it. Luckily my friends were there to not only cheer me on, but also to hug me, and to tell me to get my head out of my ass. So thank you all for that – you know who you are!
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Had a long night of celebrations and legit just left my bed, so here’s the full video from my @floorplaycompetition performance filmed by the lovely @misez_baby 💕 I had been obsessed with @rupaulofficial and @todrick’s “Low” for a year and I really wanted to do a “RuVeal” in my own way. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to bring this to life. I didn’t win, but I’m so proud of having been able to compete in the semi-pro category for the first time. You’d think my stage anxiety would be better by now, but if anything it was worse – I felt so bad after I went offstage but I’m actually quite happy now 🙂 the main goal with this performance was to come up with something myself without seeking reassurance from others – so to take risks and start believing in myself as CBT and all that jazz taught me. Thank you so much @ravenblackuk for #gifting me my gorgeous bodysuit and @flamingofootwear for the lovely shoes, and thank you @dreesimone for your fantastic make-up. Last but not least, thanks to my gorgeous friends who helped me with my nerves and came to cheer! Thank you in particular to my fellow amazing finalists @unicornpower, @wemwom and @imyourelectricgirl, to the uber hot @lookah_me who literally kept me sane all day and to my friends and teachers @nushy1984 @slvsrpn @nagginwyfe and @ayeshaagogopole for coming and cheering me on. I love you all 💕 congrats to the fantastic winners and competitors and thanks @daisyadellebastick and @amber_ray for organising this lovely comp! Feeling very loved 🥰🥰🥰