On Friday 26th February we travelled down to York to compete in the first annual IUPDC competition since Covid, and our first competition since becoming an official sports club at Newcastle University! We were nervous but also incredibly excited and spent the evening in York preparing for the competition, including some much-needed TLC and the odd facemask thrown in for luck.
The competition itself is huge across the UK for all universities with an interest in pole dancing; organised by the National University Pole Association, it is a chance for all universities to demonstrate their skill and passion for this incredibly fun sport, and not only are the judges hugely influential in the pole world, but some of the biggest brands in the industry sponsor the competition every year. Whilst the winning university gets the bragging rights (which is of course the best part), it also has the honour of hosting the competition the following year.
As first-time competitors in the regional qualifier up against six other Northern Universities, we started the day with some nervous giggles and high spirits. The beginner category kicked off the competition, with our very own Eira Bassett performing a beautifully flawless routine to ‘Slip’ by Elliot Moss. This was followed by our intermediate performer Charlotte Stepney, who is also the Club president, demonstrating her pole skills with some incredibly eye-catching stunts to Beyonce and Shakira’s ‘Beautiful Liar.’ With a quick break in between for lunch and guest performances by the judges, our advanced competitor Mia Crawford was up next, bringing energy to the competition with her masterful pole moves and fun interpretation of ‘Gun in my Hand’ by Dorothy. To finish was our group performance, where backed by Christina Aguilera’s ‘Dirty,’ six of our amazing committee members took to the stage to wow the audience and the judges. Shannon Jamieson, Charlotte Stepney, Emily Anderson, Mia Crawford, Abby Collins, and Rachael Crompton delivered a wonderful performance which had the spectators in awe and our supporters from the University practically screaming with excitement.
Waiting for the results of each category was nerve wracking but worth it once we heard the results; not only did we place first in group and beginner, and second in intermediate, but out of seven universities we qualified second over all in the Northern regional qualifier.
Having never before competed this is an absolutely amazing achievement for our club
Having never before competed this is an absolutely amazing achievement for our club and means that we will be taking part in the national competition hosted by UCL next month. We are incredibly proud of our competitors who all worked so hard for this competition, and we wish them all the best for the next step in hopefully winning the championship; I would say ‘break a leg’ but in the pole dancing world that isn’t exactly helpful so instead I will say, good luck everyone!