You probably noticed from your Insta that a new account has been teasing pole dancers about an upcoming London competition. That’s right: there’s a new pole dance competition on the block, and it’s going to be bloody sexy. This post will tell you all about the new Eden Pole Competition – and here, the founders will exclusively spill the tea on what to expect from their new comp.
*Disclaimer: this post announced Eden Pole Competition in September 2019, before the Covid-19 Pandemic. Eden and its founders have since then “gone public” and the competition has been moved due to restrictions to contain the virus. This version of this post is updated with the latest news about Eden, including changes in dates and categories.
What’s Eden Pole Competition?
When I first saw posts advertising it, I noticed Eden Pole Competition had some unique points that attracted me to it and made it unlike any other comps I have seen in the UK – namely, its focus on dancing instead of tricks, and its inclusion of a showcase category. Because of these points, they had my interest, and rightly so: Eden has been created to fill a gap within the community for a competition that celebrates and embraces dance, movement and the artistry behind sexy pole.
Happening on May 1st, 2022, Eden Pole Competition will make sure artistry is valued more than tricks. The organisers say: “The competition actively promotes diversity, inclusivity and creativity; we welcome people of all genders, races and religions,” and encourage those who enter to explore personal sexy, sensual, authentic movement.
Its organisers are comp veterans. They found from their personal competition experiences that the dance and artistry aspect of pole dancing is always secondary to tricks. Feedback from many students, professional performers and instructors, too, confirmed trick-heavy competitions are the main trend in the pole world, so much so that pole â€˜danceâ€™ is no longer prioritised. The team behind Eden Pole Competition decided to do something about this gap in the market, so that our showgirl cravings can finally be satisfied.
Eden Pole Competition’s Organisers
Not gonna lie, Exotic Generation UK (version one) scarred me for life and made me fear about new comps and giving space on this blog to organisers I don’t know and trust. This is why, when I first spotted Eden Pole Competition’s Instagram account *without* any info about its organisers, I was like, nope. Maybe next year. I was intrigued and liked what they were saying, but I thought: let’s see what it’s like first.
Then I spoke to the founders and found out that they are some of the most experienced, well-respected pole dancers and performers I know. I immediately changed my mind, and I am going to send in my entry because I trust they will do a fantastic job – and so should you. So without further ado, here is the team behind Eden Pole Competition.
Lauren Elise is a pole dance instructor and performer based in London. She has been pole dancing for 11 years and teaching for six, and has competed in many UK and international competitions. She has organised and been involved in several pole shows and events, and has experience in events and project management.
Dominique Stagg has been pole dancing for eight years with a background in ballet and contemporary dance and has competed in a variety of UK pole and floorwork competitions. Her style has been described as elegant sensual flow. She is the co-owner of The Warehouse Dance Studios in London. Known for her flow, she currently teaches pole flow & floorwork classes as well as choreo classes at The Warehouse. Outside of dance, Dominique is a Marketing & Events Manager who has worked in the marketing and live events industry across the UK for 15 years.
Dominique and Lauren say:
We chose not to announce our involvement straight away as we wanted people to judge the competition initially on its own merits before making assumptions (whether theyâ€™re good or bad) about it based on who the organisers are. Our view is that a quality event should be able to have legs by itself without relying solely on the weight of the organisers behind it to make people take notice and want to be involved.
Additionally, weâ€™d also like to make the point that this isn’t just â€œanother exotic comp.” We wanted to create a diverse competition and that means diverse in people, in style and how a routine is judged.
As stated in our ethos, we have watched dance and artistry become secondary to tricks for a while now and we want to change thatâ€¦Eden focuses on quality of movement rather than difficulty. The actual â€œdanceâ€ and performance aspect takes priority over how difficult tricks are.Dominique and Lauren – Eden Pole Competition founders
Eden Pole Competition’s venue is The Tabernacle Theatre, 34-35 Powis Square, London W11 2AY.
I knew that after EG 1.0 this was going to be a sensitive issue so before you even panic, here’s info about the poles: the poles will be fixed 45mm attached to a truss provided by Pammie Cameron, a veteran competition organiser behind comps such as Floorplay Scotland, Miss and Mister Pole Essex and The Authentics Scotland. There will be two 45mm fixed poles which can be set to static or spin.
Audience seating will be tiered, and more socially distanced options will be provided if possible. The venue has a bar and cafe onsite with a range of options for various dietary requirements.â€‹
Eden Pole Competition Categories
The competition will consist of five categories, with six finalists in each category.
- HYPNOTIC FLOW has a focus on technical elements combined with effortless fluidity, like effortless pointe work and refined, stylised movement, creative transitions and deceptively tricky flows;
- SHOWSTOPPER – Think pole classique, Aussie style, or burlesque inspired. Showgirl is sexy and entertaining, a perfect blend of tricks, flexibility and show, an exhibition of beautiful shapes and tantalising theatre;
- BASEWORK – Low flow only, competitors cannot do anything higher up the pole than they would reach for a chair spin. This is all about fluid dance and transitions around the bottom third of the pole. Style can be of your choice but only basework is allowed;
- OLD SCHOOL – Super sexy stripper style, OG pole, club vibes, inspired by the creators of our community to bring some nostalgia to the stage and show us your Old School flow. This category is to showcase your sensuality and engage the crowd;
- SHOWCASE – Not keen on competing but love to perform? Showcase allows you to dance the way you want to. There are no winners in this category, but judges will still give you constructive feedback. This category is for those who would like to perform but hate competing, and can be entered with any dance style.
If you’re wondering whether you should enter amateur or pro, Lauren and Dominique say strength or difficulty aren’t what Eden Pole Competition is about:
Because this competition is not about the difficulty we have chosen not to separate categories out by level, you could be a beginner with amazing musicality or a pro with great stage presence – weâ€™re looking for style over strength.Eden Pole Competition Organisers
Who are Eden’s Judges?
Eden Pole Competition isn’t playing when it comes to its judges. Competitions on May 1st can expect to be scored by a star-studded panel, including:
- Annakia, a dynamic, sensual movement artist based out of Los Angeles. For the last 7 years she has been cultivating her craft to inspire a multitude of people with different backgrounds and experience, bridging a connection to their personal movement quality. She has placed highly in competitions such as PPC, Dance Filthy and Pole Theatre. Annakia strives to connect the pole community through movement, encouragement and laughter.
- Sarah Blackmilk known for her fluid, slinky style, and her sexy, flexy floor shapes. She continues to develop and showcase her unique style of movement, through performances, competitions, and across social media. She teaches creative, sexy flow, floorwork and choreography in workshops and guest instructor classes around the UK and internationally.
- Robin De Meyere, a pole performer, judge, competitor, and instructor. Robin fell in love with pole in 2013 and has been teaching since 2014 – with focus on the charisma, the flow, the artistry, intricate transitions, and the movement quality of a dancer. Robin is the current Exotic Generation UK professional flow champion and has also competed at Exotic Generation France and Mr. Pole Fitness UK Semi-Pro. Outside of pole, Robin finished his PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Oxford where he founded the pole club, and is currently working as a lawyer.
When Can You Enter?
Eden Pole Competition entries – which cost Â£20 – will open on 10 January 2022 to those who haven’t entered in 2020. Previous entrants will be transferred with no further action needed. All entrants will receive constructive feedback from the judges.
I feel incredibly humbled that Dominique and Lauren – two dancers I really admire – have chosen my blog for the big Eden Pole Competition reveal. As part of our partnership for this post, they have waived the entry fee for me… but my entry will still be judged, so no worries, no unfair advantage there.