One week on from the final of the competition and we have all had some time to polish our trophies, watch all the videos, see the photos and attend the hospital appointments... Wait... What??? Read on for the dramatic conclusion of our 12 week buildup!
Wowsers....it's all over so quickly. Can't believe all the prep, hard work and nerves are over in literally minutes and this year I loved it! I also came 2nd which I am made up with! The atmosphere back stage was amazing. Everybody on my category was so friendly and we were even giving each other tips! The back stage work to making Solent happen is commendable and it made the day more memorable. I am literally still buzzing and felt a million dollars grabbing a cuddle off of Julie as soon as I had finished. I am a bit sad that we won't be jamming as much anymore as I am feeling very much at home in my SAAS family. Well next year, you never know....maybe I'll be on to bigger and better moves! I will also be encouraging a couple of others to enter....they know who they are!!! I want to finish with saying thank you to everyone for their support and some more amazing memories. You all did great and should be very proud!!!
So, the final wrap up. It’s all over. I came away Sunday with a 2nd place in doubles with Emily and a 3rd place in advanced hoop. Which I’m really happy with. J What I thought I would do for the final blog, I would take you through my thoughts and feelings of the day. So waking up on comp day I felt raring and ready to go. Emily had stayed at mine the night before so that I could make sure she didn’t bail and not turn up. Arriving at the venue, we signed in and went to take our place in the changing rooms. As people slowly started to arrive it began to feel more real that this was the competition we had been training for and not just a performance for a studio family and friends show. The nerves started to kick in after we had done the initial stage practices and everyone started to get in costume and do their makeup, hair etc. The first category I competed in was Professional Pole and seeing how good everyone had been in the categories running up to mine increased the pressure a lot. I knew this would probably be my weakest of the three categories as this was my first time competing as a pro. I came off stage feeling relieved that I’d managed to complete the routine, it was I little unnerving as whilst I was performing, it felt like the whole audience was silence, they weren’t, but, I think I was concentrating that hard that I didn’t hear then cheering. Next almost immediately came doubles. I didn’t really have chance to think about my pole routine too much, I came off stage and straight away ran to changing rooms to get ready for doubles and then ran backstage. Doubles was as usual fun and for some strange reason I enjoy sharing the stage with Emily. After doubles it was time for lunch and to get changed for hoop. Both pole routines went as best to plan as I think they could have with only a couple of changes I would have liked. Hoop was going well until I misjudged my landing on my Tombe and when I went into my next move, fell out of the hoop. Luckily I managed to save the fall and continue on with my routine. I felt that even with this unplanned change in my routine, all in all it went quite well. Once backstage the fun happened. I started to get pins and needles down my arm and slowly was losing feeling in my hand. I spoke to Julie who thought I may have trapped a nerve so took me to see one of the judges who was an osteopath, to which she took one look and said “I’m not touching that” and called for an ambulance. After that I can’t really remember much, but photos and what people have told me have painted a rather lovely picture. Is turns out I did dislocate my shoulder at some point, of which I’m not 100% sure. The lovely first response paramedic put it back in (with the help of some entanox) and after a trip to A&E and some scans I am now in a sling. Because of this I didn’t really get to see/take part in the awards and find out how everyone had done and congratulate everyone. This week has been a struggle as I can’t drive, and things are quite sore but have been seen by orthopaedics who are referring me to have an MRI to see whether or not I have done any damage, if so then I may have to have surgery, if not it’ll be a lot of physio before I can train again.
So to round things up I just want to say a massive thank you to Zorena and Julie for a fantastic, friendly and awesome competition, thank you and well done to my fellow SAAS competitors and most importantly a huge thank you to my friends and family who sorted me out, sat with me in A&E, picked me up, wished me get well soon and everything. Have really felt the love and appreciate the help and offers of help I’ve been given! Lots of love x
So...that's it all over and done with now all that waiting and building up and it's all done! I was full of nerves and excitement on the day as I was the last to perform of the whole day, the nerves doubled as I went on to perform my mind went blank and I went into panic, but I picked it up, and although my routine didn't go to plan I still managed to keep going, and ended up with a nice graze and cut up hip...but thankfully no more injuries! Overall all the training was worth it, even though I thought I could have done better I can't change the performance, I am thankful to have such lovely family, friends and teachers supporting me, without any of you I wouldn't have even been writing these blogs and performing!
And it’s all over! The build up to the final was intense, I think that the blogging every week helped to increase the nerves but also the good feelings and the adrenaline for the day! I have never been so prepared for anything! I think that being a naturally negative person I had in my mind that I was going to mess all three routines up and it was all going to be a disaster! I am happy to report that it was the absolute opposite of a disaster (injuries aside). I successfully performed all three routines with just a couple of minor slip ups and placed in all three categories (first in intermediate hoop, second in doubles and third in EXPERT pole!).
So as this is a blog post about the final I’ll try and describe how I was feeling on the day! Well first of all I was really nervous as we all are, but the atmosphere backstage at Solent is just lovely! Everyone is so nice no matter what pole school you come from and even though each of the schools set up little mini bases backstage everyone was chatting to each other, lending makeup and hair products, helping keep the positivity up and watching everyone on the screens.
When the time came for my first performance I’m not going to lie I was absolutely bricking it! Walking out and standing with Sarah and Julie I was surrounded by friends which helped to ease the nerves a lot and hearing Amy say from the stage “Someone thinks she drinks too much wine!” made me laugh so much because it was at that point I realised I forgot to write a bio for pole where I had only been in the comp for a couple of days! Sorry! I think having that little bit of fun before I went out doubled my confidence and I just went for it because I was already out there having fun! Once the first performance was out the way I think I just kept my energy up by being generally hyper! I didn’t really come down from that and I think that made the other performances easier to do. Being on stage with Lauren dressed as Robin with her not picking up a ringing phone was probably one of the highlights of my year and after that we had so much fun with our routine! You can see from the pictures and the videos that we are having a good time! Then came hoop, probably the scariest of the three routines because even though I had practised it most and I was at the right level for me I really wanted to do well and that put pressure on! Luckily it all went well apart from one move that I missed but I think I covered it quickly enough!
I then went round to cheer for the others, it was only after the others had performed that we realised Lauren was hurt. I was in the room with her for a while but I had to get out of the way of the people who knew what they were doing and Z told me to go and be there for the results so I went to go up on the stage like a bit of a zombie! Going up to hear the results is a complete blur to me because I was worried and tired and excited and I was just stood completely numb I was so shocked by the whole event and the results and it was so bright and loud!
Overall, this year has been really love-hate for competitions! After screwing up at IPAAT I literally thought that I wouldn’t get back on stage and I never thought that I would compete in solo pole again. The opportunity presented itself at the right time for me to give it another try and I am absolutely thrilled with the results! As for the future... well, I had planned to make this comp my last because I’m just a nightmare for the weeks before but I do love the challenge and the memories that we have made in this competition are so positive... So... Watch this space haha!
So last Sunday we had the competition, and it was both amazing and absolutely terrifying! I'd done the workshops with Sam King the day before and ripped a load of skin off my hand so I was slightly concerned about my performance but thankfully I didn't really grip the hoop with that bit of my hand so it was all good! I enjoyed watching the pole performances and alternated between being excited and wanting to run away! I was grateful going on stage that I couldn't actually see most of the audience and having my wonderful wifey Lexi backstage with me definitely calmed me somewhat! Performing was awesome but super scary but I was really pleased that I got through it and managed not to fall out of the hoop! Despite all the freaking out I will definitely be entering again next year, and the experience backstage was awesome, I met some really cool people and the support from the SAAS girls was absolutely amazing! Team SAAS always!
So the Solent competition has now been and gone. It's feels really strange that it's over after so long preparing for it. The day was so much fun. I met so many lovely people backstage and, only being in one category, was able to watch so many amazing performances from the auditorium.
I found the actual performance a lot more nerve-wracking than I thought I would. I'm normally ok before going on stage and when I'm on it but I think, as this was my first competition and therefore first time being judged, that I was far more nervous! It meant I wasn't as happy with my routine as I had been in practice, I felt I rushed it a bit and it wasn't as tidy as usual. It was still a lot of fun to perform though and I loved having so many friends and family in the audience cheering and clapping along. Despite my reservations about my performance I came second in Beginners’ Hoop so I'm really pleased
The best thing about the day was seeing Team SAAS performing so brilliantly Well done everyone! I didn't get to see Sami's performance but I hear she was fantastic, especially after entering the competition at the last minute!
Huge thanks to Zorena for putting in so much work to organise a fantastic and professional competition, everyone doing setup and music, Shelley for amazing hair skills, Amy for fabulous makeup skills and everyone who came to support us all.
Now is time for us all to get back to lessons and learning new things so that we can come back next year better than ever!
Staff and students of Julie's Dance Studio, based in Sholing, Southampton.