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Pole Theatre Recap 2017

By on September 27, 2017

Pole Theatre USA has moved back to Denver after a brief year in Boulder, Colorado and into the Oriental Theatre for its third and final installment. The event is run by accomplished photographer and event organizer Nina Reed. Held during one action packed day and night this cycle, the Semi-Pros kicked off the competition in the afternoon followed by the Pros later in the evening. Every seat was a great seat in this cute little theatre.

Shimmy, Wren, and Nina.

Pole Theatre was founded by pole star Aussie sisters Michelle Shimmy and Maddie Sparkle in Sydney, Australia and is now held in 18 countries along with a worldwide competition, aptly named Pole Theatre World. The worldwide competition is made up of the overall winners in individual countries and eligible division winners and will be held this cycle in Mallorca, Spain. Each country has a different organizer and Nina Reed has expertly managed Pole Theatre USA from 2015-2017. Nina is also the photographer behind Nina Reed Photography and she graciously provided all of the photos and videos for the event and this blog (unless otherwise noted). Shimmy and Sparkle will be looking for a new USA organizer – watch their social media for more info this fall on how to apply.

Pole Theatre USA kicked off with competitors vying for titles in four unique divisions: Pole Art, Pole Drama, Pole Comedy, and Pole Classique as well as the overall champion title. Competitors came not only from Colorado but also from all over the United States and other countries competing as solo acts, duets, and a troupe!

Shimmy, Carly, Charlee, and Nina.

The tagline of Pole Theatre is to “tell your story” and competitors absolutely delivered. While this is a pole competition, the rules are slightly different because tricks are only one element of the scoring criteria. Each division has it’s own unique requirements, such as in Pole Classique, which requires competitors remove at least one item of clothing and wear heels for at least part of their performance. Pole Art requires competitors to integrate another dance style into their performance whereas Pole Drama must tell a clear story. Pole Comedy, as you can imagine, must make people laugh. All competitors are judged on their costume and props, movement around the stage and audience engagement, in addition to their division specific rules.

Pole Theatre hopefuls applied with a video submission and a full stage concept including prop and costume notes in the winter and were notified of acceptance early spring. Most competitors took full advantage of the human prop allowance, telling detailed stories and many had costume changes or inanimate props that helped to move their stories forward. Divisions are purposefully small with three to five competitors each, which provided a highly curated showcase to attendees and a tight competition environment amongst the extraordinarily talented and creative competitors.

The overall semi-pro winner and winner of the Classique division was Wren Amelia . She wowed the crowd with a raven themed costume that shed feathers as she executed clean and dynamic static rotations.

Chrome Cabaret

Chrome Cabaret, winners of the Pole Art division in semi-pro, brought an entire club scene on stage and delivered a sassy performance that managed to showcase the entire troupe’s strengths even fitting three polers per pole! (video by Tausha Ostrander)

The Professional divisions were filled with well known pole dancers and returning Pole Theatre veterans as well as some new competitors including (but not limited to – seriously, everyone is a decorated and amazing dancer) Carly Child, Charlee Wagner, Magnus Labbe, AnnaKia (new to Pole Theatre and winner of Classique!), and ME returning to Pole Comedy with a giant, inflatable penis and dancing to Lonely Island’s “I Just Had Sex” (I’m not kidding – just look at the photo!).

Colleen and her penis.

Pole Drama, in which performers need to tell a story featured an extremely diverse set of storylines including Jamie Wagner, overall winner of semi-pro last year and winner at World’s in 2016 who performance an extremely creepy exorcist performance and Daniel Rosan with his 12-year old prodigy Mimi performing a touching piece on a daughter losing her father too soon.

Carly and Charlee, the dynamic dueo from Utah explored the dual nature of (wo)man in this extraordinary piece of bendy epicness which won Pole Drama AND took overall champion title.

Two former Pole Theatre winners – Renee Wu and Meri Burgess – returned to Pole Theatre in new divisions showing just how versatile these dancers are.

The evening capped off with a “50 Shades” themed guest performance by Steven Retchless who continues to prove over and over again why he is the King of Sexy. Seriously – if you’ve never seen him perform live, you are missing out!

Daniel and Mimi

The international panel of judges, Marlo Fisken, Maddie Sparkle, Marion Crampe, Steven Retchless, and Michelle Stanek had an extremely hard time picking the winners out of the qualified and talented competitors. They additionally offered several workshops before and after the competitions at local Colorado (Denver and Boulder) studios during their stay.

Full Results Professional:

Pole Art: Joana Silva
Pole Classique: AnnaKia
Pole Comedy: Holly Harlow
Pole Drama: Carly and Charlee
Overall Champions: Carly and Charlee!

Full Results Semi-Pro:

Pole Art: Chrome Cabaret
Pole Classique: Wren Amelia
Pole Comedy: Granny Pam T
Pole Drama: Venus Manuel
Overall Champion: Wren Amelia

Colleen Jolly
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Colleen Jolly

is AFAA and elevatED certified pole dance enthusiast and entrepreneur. She has been poling for six years, runs and owns the International Pole Convention (PoleCon), teaches pole and lyra in the DC metro area at FIT4Polers and MyBodyShop, and is a partner and instructor with She loves performing, regularly competes, and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two kitties.
Colleen Jolly
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