GWN Pole Competition: My First Competition


Exactly one week ago today I hit the stage at my very first pole dancing competition, the Vertical Love Great White North Pole Competition (GWN). Myself, along with 16 others from Studio Chic, performed and placed in a variety of categories from pole, to chair and groups. I think I speak for most of us when I say that the main inspiration for signing up for this competition came from SC Instructor Suzy and I think a quick thank you is in order for that! Thanks for pushing us all to sign up, it was a great learning experience and so much fun!

My motivation for signing up mainly comes from the fact that I love performing. Though I do not have a dance background, I love putting together my own pieces and executing my vision on stage. My main goal was to make it through my entire routine without forgetting any of my choreography. This is something I have always struggled with and I am happy to report that I accomplished that goal at GWN!


Competition preparation started for me around four months ago when I began narrowing down my songs. I listened to my choices intently and created themes/storylines for all of them. Once I finally decided which one I loved the most, I started to think about which tricks I wanted to feature in my routine. When I started doing this I began to realize that I had not learned any new tricks in a long time and wanted to challenge myself further by adding a few new ones to my repertoire. I proceeded to book a few private lessons to clean up old tricks and learn a few more. By doing this, I was able to add a few tricks such as the Shooting Star, Thigh Hold, and Knee Hang, and put new combos together that I’d never done before such as Bow & Arrow to Butterfly. If you can spare the extra cash or catch a Studio Chic Sale, I would highly recommend signing up for a few private lessons every now and then. The special attention and corrections you get are so helpful in furthering you in your pole journey and giving you lots of things to work on during practices whether you are preparing for a performance or not.

Two months out from the big day, I sort of fell off the competition train and became highly un-motivated to continue training and finish my choreography. August’s SC Blog post covered that exact topic and discusses some of the tactics I used to get myself back on track. What really helped was a concerned phone call from a friend to get me to finish that choreography and I was off to the races. Due to my lack of motivation, I had lost a little strength and flexibility, as well as time, for the competition. I refocused on my main goal of completing and memorizing my choreography and spent the majority of my effort focussing on that. I work best using choreography sheets such as the ones I made for this competition. Lyrics, time markers, spin/static pole marks and trick notes all help keep my vision on track along with video recording my choreography over and over. I would recommend choreo sheets to anyone who is an organization snob like me. 




Tuesday before the competition I did my final run through so that I could rest in the days leading up to the competition and finish my preparation on a high note. I tried my best to eat well, stretch and go to bed early for the rest of the week. On competition day, I packed my bag with essentials like my costume, dry hands, headphones and a few extras like safety pins, a snack and double sided tape. My hubby and I hopped in the car to head to the early rehearsals at the venue Bay City Music Hall in Hamilton, ON. The organizer of the competition, Fran, allowed time for each performer to run their routine on stage before the show to get a feel for the poles and the size of the stage. To save my energy (and my best performance for last!) I opted to just mark my choreography out, instead of performing each trick. I would recommend this going forward to anyone who performs in the future as I really think it makes a difference. We spent the rest of the day applying makeup in our cars and killing time until stage time!



For the record, I competed in the Entry/Amateur category at GWN and there was a three points of contact minimum requirement for everyone in our category. I learned that there would be five judges critiquing our performances who came from a variety of different backgrounds ranging from ballet to pole. Scoring would be done based on the Benchmark System meaning the first person to perform in each category would be the “benchmark” and each performer thereafter would have points added or deducted based on the benchmark score.

Being the second category on stage, I chose to stay in the green room until my stage time. I tried to stay warm, stretch a little and not freak out. The time seemed to drag on forever! I listened to my song, “Human (Acoustic)” by Jon Bellion over and over, running the choreography in my head. I tried to stay hydrated, but not too hydrated (haha!) and before I knew it, it was my turn to hit the stage. Here's a picture of my beautiful costume on stage!




I learned a lot from my performance. Firstly, my mom makes great costumes.  I came to her with a vision for a Monarch and she made it come to life. You do not have to pay hundreds for a costume with a little imagination and some time. I paid around $75 for everything to make my costume

As for my scoresheets, I learned that Theme + Musicality are my strong points, the biggest thing I need to work on is my Flexibility. Though I did not place, I am so proud of myself for remembering all of my choreography and delivering a performance that was truly me. I learned that keeping myself motivated is really important when preparing for a competition and that practicing by myself is not always the best solution. Most importantly, it may be a competition, but I am really only competing against myself. As for what’s next? I will definitely be performing again and I have a lot to improve on in my pole journey.

Over the weekend, our Studio took home a number of awards. Not surprisingly, every single winner from SC is an Instructor!


First Place - Christie
2nd Place - Kelly

2nd Place - Suzy

1st Place - Sam

1st Place - Suzy

3rd Place - Heather

Heather - Essentials
Sam - Group Division

I wanted to say congratulations to the entire pole family on a fantastic competition! To all those that performed, won, attended, and cheered us on from a far, I am so thankful to have a support system like Studio Chic. I think I can confidently say that our Studio Chic #polefamily won the Spirit Award over the weekend! A special shout out to our pole mamas, Andrea and Tracey, who brought a stemmed rose for every single performer. We all felt so much love <3 Congratulations to all!




Pole Expo 2016: A Review

Hi there #PoleFamily!

Recently I had the opportunity to go to sunny (and hot!) Las Vegas, Nevada to photograph my first wedding for Studio Chic Instructor Suzy! (shameless self promotion) When I was booking my ticket I discovered that the annual Pole Expo would be taking place the same weekend and I decided the universe was sending me a message. I had to take this opportunity! For September's blog post, I am going to share my experience and thoughts about the Pole Expo with you all.

If I had more $$$, there would have been many pole idols I would have loved to have learned from such as Amy Hazel, Zoraya Judd, Dakota Fox, Lux ATL, Natasha Wang, Pink Puma, and those are just names that I recognized! Click here if you want to know who else was in attendance. After looking through the workshop schedule, I had decided to take two Michelle Shimmy workshops on the first day of the Expo. I chose them for two reasons. The timing was the most convenient for me as the workshops were back to back, and I ADORE Michelle Shimmy.

A little more about Shimmy from her website, "Shimmy is a Sydney-based pole dancer and pole instructor. Along with her sister Maddie Sparkle, Shimmy is a co-owner of the Pole Dance Academy, in Bondi, Australia [...] Shimmy is passionate about teaching pole. She loves to guide and see the improvement in her students from week to week. For Shimmy, the true magic of pole dance is the transformative effect it has on people, in the way that it increases confidence and body awareness." 
Jump to September 8th, when I trekked through the blistering heat to get to the beautiful Hardrock Hotel and Casino located just off the Vegas strip. 


When I arrived I got myself registered and had planned to kill time until my workshops shopping in the vendors alley. Sadly, when I arrived most booths had not even been set up yet and many were not planning to sell merchandise until the next day. This was a bummer for me, who only had a Day Pass to the weekend long event. I didn't read anything online warning me it would be closed or day one of the expo was essentially paid workshops only.  This was my only real complaint about my experience. 
What I loved about the pole expo was seeing the uniqueness of our community (and how much I clearly had in common with so many!). Everywhere I looked there was confident people with huge smiles on their faces. Coloured hair, sparkly shoes, pole outfits, people of all shapes and sizes, everything was truly a beautiful sight to see. The positive energy was undeniable and I knew I was going to have a good time.


"Dirty, Sexy, Floorwork."
The time for my first workshop came around and I quickly realized I was vastly un-prepared. With only my pole clothes in hand, I realized I would be doing Michelle Shimmy's "Dirty, Sexy Floorwork" Workshop on a beautiful, velvety carpet. (OUCH!) With no leg warmers, kneepads or socks, I decided I had to tough it out. By the end of the workshop, my feet and knees were covered in rug burn. Learn from me.

Michelle entered the room with her pole/real sister Maddie Sparkles and with their beautiful Australian accents explained to us how the class was going to go, put the music on and immediately began teaching us our choreography. Here's a short clip: 

Even though I do not pick up on choreography as quickly as I would like, (I am the one in the polka dot crop top!) Michelle was an excellent teacher and I was surprised at the number of moves I already knew from my classes at Studio Chic. I was also pleased to add a few more moves to my repertoire. Everyone in the class was really friendly; we all laughed together and applauded each other. This was a very fun and supportive class that I would highly recommend to any poler/dancer of any experience level. 


" Signature Tricks and Combos"
For my second workshop, I was pretty tired from the first to be honest. I was also worried about this one because I wasn't sure if I had the skill level required. I couldn't find any pre-requisite lists or detailed class descriptions on the website, so I was going in blind. Michelle entered and once again got started right away, wasting no minute of our time together. She began by teaching us what she called the "Baby Valentine" which begins with an outside leg hang (or Gemini). Here's a clip of me doing it on my dominant side. Pretty good if I do say so myself! 

Next, Michelle taught us two extensions of the "Baby Valentine" which I definitely could not do...I can't even post a video because my attempt did not resemble the moves at all. To be fair, Michelle stated that only a handful in the room would be able to pull the second off. So here is a clip of Michelle doing it instead.


Michelle also demonstrated a split combo for us, which, you guessed it, I couldn't do. It was such a cool move and I hope I can pull it off one day.


Finally, Michelle by request demonstrated her signature move that she INVENTED named the Seahorse. It's a beautiful move that starts from the Genie and Side Saddle Superman. Again, I cannot do this move yet but it is one I will definitely be working towards. Here's what it looks like from Michelle:


Needless to say, I was pretty tired and sore after my workshops. I learned a lot and really enjoyed my time with Michelle. She is a serious poler and an effective teacher, while still allowing for fun during the workshop. I approached her after the class to thank her and let her know I was only doing one day at the Expo, she then offered to take a picture with me (after telling everyone else no, haha). Aren't we cute?


All in all, I had a fabulous time at the Pole Expo. I would definitely consider going again in the future, but next time with friends and I would stay the whole weekend. By only going on Thursday, I missed out on a lot of performances, free workshops, meet and greets, fabulous merchandise, as well as getting to hangout with all my favourite polers during expo down times by the pool. I would recommend going if you love pole as much as I do, plus, Vegas is pretty fun on it's own.

So you wanna go to the Expo?

Things to note:
• Website/class bookings are not that user friendly.
• You must pay for an expo pass to attend the workshops, no discount. 
• No pre-requisite lists or detailed class descriptions online.
• Bring all your pole stuff! 
• It seems more worth it to stay the whole weekend, not just one day.
• Consider going with other polers, but you'll still have fun if you go solo.

Thanks for reading!

- Emily

"How do I get out of this pole dancing funk?"

ledancing funk

Whatever the reason, most pole dancers will encounter a plateau at some point in their journey. It's this big scary monster staring you in the face saying "you're not goo enough!" or "you'll never be able to do that!" or "I'll just go to class next week instead."

At this point some pole dancers may decide the sport is no longer for them and that the motivation is gone for good. For the rest of us, we long to be at the studio every night of the week and stretching five nights at home, but for some reason, we just cannot bring ourselves to. Whether it be returning after an injury, lack of progress or self-esteem inspired, getting into a pole funk can be a seriously discouraging experience. But not all hope is lost!

For this month's blog post, we asked the Studio Chic Instructors and Staff for some advice for how they keep their pole journey in line with their goals.


"This speaks directly to myself right now. I think for me the biggest thing is accepting that your pole journey is not always going up in one direction - life gets in the way and it's ok to go backwards a few steps, re-learn moves, build up strength you may have lost, etc. to get back on the right track. Also - setting goals (example: competing) forces you to get your butt moving!" - Jasmine

"Lord knows I have had many sets backs... health, injury, life... We are all on our own path and journey. We are not all rock stars climbing to the top as fast as we can. We need to pause sometimes and do what is right for us. We need allow our bodies to rest, but we must also push them. It is all about balance. With diet, life and pole. All I ever want out of my pole journey is to be the best version of me I can be. Even if that means taking a few steps back or sideways." - Kelly

"I am the Queen of Pole Funks. This is something I struggle with on a regular basis. To stay motivated, I let someone else know I am having trouble, for some encouragement and accountability. Start by finding a stretching buddy and hold one another accountable! My biggest piece of advice? Don't forget to keep dancing for fun. Attend an open practice at the studio, put on your favourite song and just let go. You might surprise yourself with how good you'll feel after!" - Emily

"After being in Inter 2 for a little bit, I felt a major plateau in my skills and was feeling really discouraged to continue. I kept looking on Instagram and seeing all the amazing moves people could do and I could do none of them, which was super discouraging. I found what got me our of my slump was getting back to the basics - working on my straight leg, pointed toe invert, my stamina, my pretty climbs, etc. And eventually when i went back to try some of those hard moves I had became stronger. Take home message: Instagram does not always help." - Kayla 

"It used to be you were inspired by your instructors and fellow class mates but with the invention of Instagram and YouTube, it's hard not to feel like you aren't "keeping up". Remember why you fell in love with pole from the beginning; Before the big tricks... It was spins, climbs, challenge, hanging with great women, Moving, and dancing. Sometimes you have to concede to the fact that you may never do a certain "trick". "I'm never going to be able to touch my butt to my head!" But I can do other moves! Strive for progress not perfection." - Christie 

What tactics do you use to stay motivated? Let us know in the comments!


*NEW* Studio Chic Loyalty Rewards Program

Today is the beginning of our new and improved Studio Chic Loyalty Rewards Program and we are so excited to start rewarding our amazing students!

We want to thank you for continuously choosing and supporting Studio Chic by giving back to you. With our new points system, we hope you will accumulate points quicker and be able to spend them on prizes you're excited about. We have made our new system easier to understand and we are ready to help you every step of the way. 

You could earn incredible prizes such as boutique discounts, or a 1-month membership free just for attending your classes or sharing with us on Facebook!



Studio Chic  has partnered with Perkville to offer our students and members our improved Studio Chic Loyalty Rewards Program.  It's a fun and easy way to earn some amazing perks just from attending classes, workshops, referring friends and talking about us on Facebook and Twitter! You'll automatically receive and opt-in email from Perkville after attending your first class.  Sign up and start earning points right away! 

How does it work?
Perkville integrates directly with Studio Chic using your email so each time you attend a class or workshop, you’ll automatically earn points. You can track your points online at Once you earn enough points for FREE Studio Chic memberships or other great prizes, you’ll need to redeem your points on Perkville and bring in a printed voucher to use as payment at the studio.

Perkville is a trusted partner of Studio Chic. Perkville will never share or use any Studio Chic student information.
How do I get started?
Create an account at Make sure to use the same email account that you signed up with at our studio. You’ll earn 500 points just for joining!

How do I earn points for referring a friend?
You’ll need to sign in to your Perkville account and enter your friend’s email address to send them a referral email. When they come in for their first class, we’ll ask them for their email address. If the address they give us matches the address you entered into your Perkville account, you’ll automatically earn points for referring them when they make their first purchase.

How can I get my friends to come to Studio Chic with me?
Perkville makes it easy to refer your friends to us. Let them know what classes you attend, so you can go together. And mention $79 New Student 1 month Unlimited Class Membership—it’s our most affordable option for new students!

What do I say when I post on Facebook/Twitter?
Share your experience! Tell your friends how fabulous your class was, how you felt afterwards and why they should try it. To earn points, be sure to post through the Perkville website, not from your Facebook page.

Day at the Beach (July 2016)

For this month's blog post, we wanted to share some great shots and photo highlights from our recent trip to the beach with our pole family! We had a fantastic day in Port Stanley, ON with the sun shining bright. We partnered with our friends at Sport in Port and spent the day poling, hooping, paddle boarding and having fun!

Enjoy a few of our favourite shots from the day!




canada day sale




Promo Code: canadaday20

An Open Letter to my First Pole Instructor <3

open letter

Hey you,

Look at how fabulous you are! You're even more fabulous than the first time I walked into the studio and you greeted me with a big "Hello!" (And trust me, you were pretty fabulous back then) On that first day, you were so beautiful and strong, I was afraid to even talk to you. 

Back then, you made the simple look impossible. You had a dance and gymnastics background and I definitely did not. When I saw you demonstrate the a spin for the first time in real-life I thought to myself, "yeah, okay." Then when you showed us climbing and inverting, I actually laughed out loud. "I can't do that...I'll never get there." 

But you wouldn't let us think like that. From that day forward, negative thoughts were not welcome in your classroom. No body shaming. No self doubt. No comparing yourself to others. Nope, not in your classroom. If we failed, you told us to take a breath and try again. 

Instead you taught us to support each other and laugh at ourselves. You taught us that pole bruises hurt but they fade, but mostly they are worth it. You taught us to point our toes and that making grunting noises during practice was okay. 

Every week I attended your class and I hung on your every word. I studied every move you made and how you made it all look so effortless. You made us laugh and learn to let go. You pushed us to strive for better and you helped us fall in love with pole more and more every class. But most of all, you taught us to believe in ourselves and the important lesson of never giving up.

There have been times where all I have wanted to do is quit pole; life gets in the way, laziness takes over and you question your love for it when you reach a plateau. Although, we have moved on to different points in our lives since that first class, I often think of you when I am hanging upside down, "________ would be so proud of me, look how far I have come."  And because of you I don't give up. Years later, here I am accomplishing goals I never knew possible, all because of you, my first pole instructor. 

So, thank you for welcoming me into our little pole family here at Studio Chic. Thank you for teaching me about hard work and dedication. Thank you for the constant reminders that I am on my own pole journey. Thank you for helping me believe in myself. Thank you for teaching me that ANYBODY can pole. Thank you for helping me fall in love with this sport. Thank you for being my cheerleader. And thank you for, well, being you.

Forever your student <3

May Open House

SC_OpenHouse_May2016_TV copy

5 FABULOUS Pole Wear companies you've probably never heard of.

If you're like me, many late nights have been spent perusing the internet for new pole clothes and shoes. My collection of beautiful prints and styles is quickly growing and I am always looking for new companies who make quality pole apparel. Besides the usuals such as Bad Kitty, Mika, Titika and Lululemon, there are wonderful and unique pole wear companies popping up all the time! 

Polers need special attention when it comes to their workout apparel, not any old item can do. Quality is one of the premiere concerns for a poler, as well as coverage. All of the companies we will be talking about today have specific pole apparel lines. 


Shoe Freaks (Canadian) - Website
With FREE Shipping what's not to love about Canadian shoe retailers With many brands to choose from including Pleaser shoes, you're sure to find something you love. The only downside would be the inability to try shoes on before delivery, however you have 60 Days to return your pair of shoes for a different size of the same style. 

Indi Pole Wear (Australian) - Website
Indie Pole Wear's collections are all ethically made by hand in Australia, by "dressmakers with expert skill & a wealth of knowledge." They release new collections periodically that are meant to work with your existing pieces to update your wardrobe. IPW's styles are designed for "real bodies with muscles & curves, with a focus on comfort, perfect fit & beauty." Their minimum for free shipping is rather steep, but the rate for international shipping is reasonable at $15 USD and they also have a 365 days return policy to sweeten the deal, just in case something doesn't fit 

Vekker LA (American) - Website
VEKKER brand activewear is made in Los Angeles, California and they work exclusively with local vendors and support small businesses. Their shorts are cut to flatter all figures and balances skin exposure to enhance performance while still incorporating fun patterns and fabrics. Their signature item the Ruffle Short adds the perfect amount of girly flair to any pole outfit. 

Hey Hey & Co (Canadian) - Website
If you're looking for one of a kind pieces and custom made pole wear, Hey Hey & Co has you covered. Specializing in competition wear and fun fabrics, everyone is sure to find something they like. Shipping costs are a little on the expensive side, however, Hey Hey & Co often sets up at various competitions and showcases where you can buy your pole wear directly at the event. 

Superflyhoney (Australian) - Website
New to the pole scene this past October, Superflyhoney has a modern and minimalistic style. Their first collection of beautiful monochrome sets with mesh windows make them classic and flattering on all shapes and sizes. With only a $9 flat shipping rate from Australia, this new company is surely worth trying. 

Studio Chic Boutique 

From Mika + Bad Kitty to Studio Chic Branded items the Boutique has everything you need to get your wardrobe started. We also carry Grip Aids, Yoga Blocks, accessories, and of course, our very popular "Point Your F***ing Toes" shirts. Don't see any item you're looking for? Just ask! We are always looking for ways to keep the Boutique fresh. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on all our latest sales and promotions. 

Are there any we missed? Let us know what brands you swear by or if you've tried any of these! 

Instructor Spotlight - Kelly

We are so excited to share our first Instructor Spotlight with you all, featuring SC Instructor Kelly! Kelly teaches pole, chair fit and cardio hoop at Studio Chic and has been pole dancing for over eight years. Watch our video to learn more about the FABULOUS Kelly!


Studio Chic Logo 366 Richmond Street 2nd Floor | London, ON N6A 3C3 | 519 902-7653
Studio Chic © Copyright 2014

Join our Mailing List