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Pole Con 2017: Family Reunion Y’all!

By on June 26, 2017

Colleen Jolly simply has a way about her, doesn’t she? I’ve attended every Pole Con she has run from New Orleans to Ft. Worth, and this year, Atlanta. Each year it seems as though she and her staff of magicians invent new and exciting ways to say “you belong here.” I’ve heard Pole Con described as a summer camp for adult women, as a big family reunion, and as the most diverse pole event in the world. Yes. In. The. World.

 

Photo Credit @Poler_eclipse

Pole Con 2017 set out to do precisely what it has done for the last three years running: To be the most inclusive, relaxed, and friendly pole event in the industry, a true testament to the diversity and inclusion that pole is supposed to be. This year’s workshops ranged from some of the communities most well known athletic veteran pole stars to the largest volume of beginner and all levels friendly workshops I’ve seen yet. Pole Con has billed itself as being for everyone, and year after year Colleen Jolly outdoes herself.

Photo Credit @twistedkhristen

Thursday night kicked off with the Sexy Showcase. Vibes were positive, and the all of the pieces represented a diverse interpretation of sexy, from precision to improv group choreography, aggressive angry stripper style, classic showgirl, and everything in between – though no one could ever follow the beautiful and legendary AnneMarie Davies performance of 2015!

The Black Girls Pole showcase performers exhibited an incredibly diverse genre of works. Amy Henderson, “The Human Snapchat filter” (as declared by the lovely Torwa Joe) stole the show with her grace and form while Elizabeth Carmine Black left the room silent wondering what had just happened to them. The VJ’s crew impressed us all, as they tend to do year after year and Bunni’s hair flips deserve their own book in the Bible.

Rhine DuBois brought the sex and magic at the Dangerous Curves Showcase, while Miss Vegas maintained her spot as a Pole Con staple with her brazen commitment to stylistic exploration. 

The Up and Coming Showcase performers, particularly Juic3, brought a fresh approach to pole performance and highlighted an amazing group of people who are paving the way for how pole is viewed and what constitutes a “pole star”.

Power Flow, Men of Pole, Youth, Troupes and Groups all had pole’s household names and a few wonderful newbies. Suwasit’s gestural throwback to his 2015 New Orleans truss hanging antics was perfectly timed and completely sweet.

I saw more people taking workshops than in years past, and the vendors seemed happy and friendly. I particularly appreciated the representation of small businesses among the vendors. Most of the booths were comprised of women trying to live their dream. This is evidence that we are all working to build a community together, where we achieve our dreams with our friends by our side.

Photo Credit @artistaapparel

This is perhaps the most notable aspect of Pole Con besides its unwavering commitment to being a welcoming space for everyone. Pole Con is not made up of business professionals trying to make a buck. Its made by and for the community. Every vendor is an artist or creative looking to make a living for themselves by providing a service to their community. Almost every person at every booth began as a member of the pole community with a dream to make it better somehow. Every artist hosting a paid workshop is someone with a skill set that they want to share. All of the free workshop leaders are community members who aim to connect with you somehow via discussion or physical instruction. The patrons and the professionals are us. We are one in the same. This approach  changes the model often used in industry/consumer dynamics. There is usually a much stronger separation between the two. Through Polecon Colleen is eliminating that line. Bravo, once again. Orlando should be spectacular!

All photos by Lakin Jones unless otherwise specified.
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