Interview with Sonia Alcock
Sonia reveals her behind-the-scenes story of winning the North Wales Pole Competition 2010!
How long have you been doing pole?
I started in 2006 and I started teaching a year after that. So this year I am going into my 4th year of teaching and my 5th of dancing and learning.
And how did you get into it?
I have always enjoyed doing any kind of dancing (but it doesn't mean I'm any good at it!) at the time my friend who I went to street dancing class with me mentioned she had been to a pole dancing class, I wanted to try it straight away and so I made her take me to the next class where I started learning with Harmony Pixie Rose.
What's your favourite pole move?
Its so hard to pick just one move! I love them all!
At the moment I am loving anything different and unique, especially the last move that I did in my routine at the competition that I called the Kate because she made me do it at the last pole jam I went to! I have since found out it is called the noodle.
My all time fave is the handspring, but like I said I like all the moves.
What was the hardest part of preparing for the competition?
Winter training! Its very difficult to stick to the pole during the cold weather, never mind keep focused and motivated! plus with all the snow we had this year it also made it very difficult to travel to practice. Dancing on a cold slippy pole was hard work! I also found it very difficult to choose my music because I like different genres.
How long did your preparations take?
I started when Tracy had let us know the website was live and we were able to enter! I think that was the beginning of December 2009 so approx 3 months. I had my students entering too so we all trained together and helped each other out, the more preparation you can do the better really.
Do you have any tips for people preparing for a pole competition?
Yes! HAVE FUN! rest is as important as training, make sure you know your music and routine as well as possible.
Take something positive from the experience and enjoy yourself, don't forget to ask for feedback after the competition to know how to move forward.
How did you feel before competing on the day?
REALLY EXCITED! I could feel the nerves creeping up on me the day and night before the competition, my students were feeling the same but on the day we seemed to keep it together. Everyone feels the same before any performance, for some of us the nerves can be a good thing.
What did you think of the other competitors?
Everyone was very nice, most people were friendly and it wasn't long before we were having a good chinwag backstage when we were getting ready. We had already made some friends on facebook so getting to meet those people in real life was really cool. There was a nice friendly atmosphere in our dressing room, I'd like to say that we mainly had competitors from Pagan's Pole with us in our dressing room and they are all fab ladies, it was a pleasure having your company during the whole competition. I hope they are planning on entering next year so we can get to see them again.
And the level of pole at the competition in general?
It was brilliant to see the other schools had entered and made maximum effort. Some schools had pervious competition experience, so when everyone was performing it was clear to see we had all maintained a good balance in every aspect of the competition. Personally I would like to see more of the other schools join in and compete next time, but the actual level of pole dancing was fantastic in every category & I loved everyone's performance so much.
What was the best part of the competition (other than winning:-)?
The different styles of dancing included in performances spaced out during the competition after and in between the different catagories - Zara was on the aerial hoop to open the show, along with the street dancers. A young lady called Polly also performed -she was exceptional. Next we were treated to a performance from Sally-Ann and Karen Chaundy & true to form they were flawless. Watching my students perform for the first time, all of the fun and laughs we all had together during training and of course at the competition. What felt really good was being part of the first competition ever held in North Wales (thanks Tracy!)
What advice would you give to anybody else thinking of entering a pole competition?
Well I could write an essay here!..........
Check the rules and ask as many questions as you need to before you start doing anything, this is because it is harder to make changes to a routine or costume AFTER you have put it together - in your training and in your mind. But if you are clear about everything to begin with you shouldn't break any rules and keep in the guidelines.
Practice makes perfect so do it as much as possible, have a dress reversal too - this is to check everything out before the day the last thing you want to have to do is spend the few precious hours before you go on stage sewing your outfit.
Don't waste your energy on what everyone else is doing, we are all different! It doesn't matter wat you can't do..... focus on wat you can do. HAVE FUN! Take something positive from the experience and enjoy yourself, don't forget to ask for feedback after the competition to know how to move forward.
What are your next movements? Have you entered or will you be entering any other pole competitions this year?
From the NWPC I won a place to enter the British Isles Pole Dancing competition so I will be entering that competition, I am going to try and enter more competitions this year but I do have other performance work booked in already, so if you want to know where to see me please check the info below.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Yes -thank you to Tracy for all her hard work, and the judges for their time. All the other competitors and my students were amazing -here's to next year!
Here is the NWPC website for anyone who wants more info www.northwalespolecompetition.co.uk - come on ladies get signing up for next year now!
For all pole dancers who are looking to enter a National competition this year I highly recommend PoleDivas Championships here is the link www.poledivaschampionships.com
If you want to book a class with me please take a look on my website -
www.sharp-shooters.co.uk/poledancing.htm or www.learnpoledancing.co.uk
Sharp Shooters was formed in 2004 as a tequila shooter girl company covering bars and events throughout London, Sharp-Shooters soon expanded & moved. We are now based in North Wales and cover all of North Wales, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester and are prepared to travel anywhere to liven up a party. We are still doing our fantastic Tequila Shots but now have a Pole Dancing School which was set up between Zara and Harmony. Harmony has now moved away from the area so now Zara runs the school with the help of her excellent instructors.
We are the area's original & longest running pole dancing school, over the years we have taught many students. Sharp Shooters have performed at various festivals & events including Pole Unity 2007 & 2008, Glastonbury 2009, Wakestock 2007, '08 & '09, The Hacienda Tour, & Soma Sonic in Liverpool to name but a few!
In 2006 we were selected out of many schools to be on the board of the IPDF. The International Pole Dancing Federation was the first ever pole dancing federation originally set up by KT Coates.
With Zara's fitness background plus 15 years of teaching experience, and Harmony's unique teaching style, vast pole dancing knowledge & together with many years of working within the industry - it's no wonder that Sharp Shooters Pole Dancing school has become such a success. We thank our fantastic students for their support and in return we make a special effort to ensure they enjoy pole dancing as much as we do!
We all love performing, teaching, and enjoying our dancing, but the best part of all is the friendships we have formed & the hours of fun that we have on the pole!