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PoleCon 2018 Recap – A Weekend of Superheroes

By on July 3, 2018

Tamika Tuggle at PoleCon 2018

Super ladies and fellas near and far flew and/or drove to participate in a superhero-like event. Who were these superheroes clad in spandex, flying around on poles and doing tricks from head to toe? The attendees, performers and workshop leaders of the 2018 International Pole Convention of course! These men and women gathered in Orlando May 31st thru June 3rd and participated in what was said to be by some, an event like none other AND the highlight of the year.

 

Since its inception in 2010, PoleCon has offered a diverse number of showcases, performances, workshops, and free seminars to the international pole community. While some attendees live in the city where the event takes place, others travel from places like South Korea and Australia just to attend. And it’s not just limited to folks who pole either. The convention also offers performances and workshops for lyra, silks, chair, and more. Plus, there is education on nutrition, competition training, certifications and how to find pole gigs in the entertainment industry.

PoleCon Leader Colleen Jolly

For those attending PoleCon for the first time, it can seem a little overwhelming as there is much to see and do. Colleen Jolly, CEO and fearless PoleCon leader, however, does an amazing job, along with her professional staff, to make sure everyone feels comfortable and welcome. Colleen and her staff are the first people attendees see when they check in to the event and they always have smiles on their faces. Once checked in, attendees can then either explore the vendor area, which had tons of vendors this year, see one of many free showcases, or participate in a free seminar. The amount of things offered and options to choose from is remarkable.

 

With almost a thousand people in attendance, over two hundred performers, eighty plus workshops, dozens of vendors, and many amazing free seminars and workshops, the weekend was definitely a success. It was great to see some of our favorite pole idols who were there conversing with those newbies or still relatively unknown in the pole world. Some of these stars include Roz Mays (former America’s Got Talent contestant), Heidi Coker (international pole champion), the Vertical Joes crew, Pink Puma (Miss Pole Dance America 2015, among other titles), Nicole the Pole (who has appeared on numerous TV shows and performed with A-list celebs), Jeni Janover (creator of Liquid Motion), Nadia Sharif (creator of Twisted Movement), and Elizabeth Carmine Black just to name a few!

Vertical Joes crew

 

Some new additions to PoleCon this year included a Queer showcase, a cultural appropriation seminar, and a seminar on pole in the entertainment industry. Providing a platform for diversity and what can be uncomfortable topics of conversation has always been at the forefront of PoleCon’s agenda. Colleen has been great at making it a priority the past few years. Creating safe spaces and addressing hot button issues was certainly highlighted this year, given that it was the first year/time a convention has had a Queer showcase. Not only that, but the cultural appropriation seminar allowed attendees to freely speak their minds on issues surrounding race, religion and sexual preferences within the pole world. Those who attended the seminar thought it was a great sounding board to share their opinions on a variety of relevant and related issues, especially how leadership in the community can continue to work towards improving inclusivity for pole dancers of all backgrounds and political views.

BGP Ambassadors

Queer showcase linup

 

Additional highlights included a Strip and Stroke paint class and ‘entertainMENt’ show sponsored by Vertical Joes. Additionally, there were amazing group performances that made you feel as though you were at an acrobatic variety show, pole attire and shoes galore for purchase, a pole to play on, a silks and lyra playground, delicious FREE meals on a daily basis, and schmoozing with some of our fave pole idols and pals. Oh and being in a magnificent and magical city was also pretty sweet. Several attendees took advantage of going to Disney and/or Universal Studios and visiting other nearby attractions for a day.

Strip n Stroke participants

Local Orlando attractions


All in all, this super packed event was supremely successful at carrying out and executing its mission: to bring together pole and aerial dancers from all over the world in one city for an amazing weekend of fun, entertainment and learning. Though we might be temporarily hanging up our newly purchased Pleasers and bodysuits, we cherish the memories, new friends made, and tips and tricks acquired. These acquisitions will help further all those who attended in their quest for true pole dance success, leadership and performance. As we all know, a superhero’s work is never truly done. Thus, Colleen and crew prepare for next year’s adventures in Denver, Colorado. Until then, mighty friends, pole on.

 

 

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