Pole Championship Weekend! 40 hours in Singapore, 20 hours in Kuala Lumpur

21 Jun

Pole Championship Weekend!
40 hours in Singapore, 20 hours in Kuala Lumpur
by Christina Dy

This dizzying, exciting, wonderful trip started when Polecat Margaret, during one of our daily execom conferences last May, says, “Hey there’s this competition in SG, what do you think?”

Of course, you never ask me things like that, because I will say YES.

The timing wasn’t so great though as we were busy planning and rehearsing for Stellar– our company’s first student summer show. In any case, Tomcat AJ and Margaret decided to join. The other Polecats chose to focus on Stellar.

Then while uploading entry videos, I realized, hey Polecat Kris has a great video from last year’s Philippine pole championships, and without really asking her, I entered her video anyway. (I love you Kris!)

Videos were uploaded, votes were cast, and on May 30, we got the e-mail — we’re in!

Of course that week was hell week for us. Stellar was fast approaching– when will we have time to conceptualize and choreograph? But who cares? If you love something, you do what you have to do to make it work.

After Stellar on June 4, a whirlwind of activity ensued. The whole Polecats family pitched in to help–Polecat Mara helped choreograph, Polecat Donna helped with costumes. The rest came for moral support during nightly rehearsals. Police Lester looked for the cheapest flights. Police James offered to drive us to the airport. Police Chot helped us with the exchange rate. Even Pole Kitten Bambi lent us makeup. It really is a team effort 🙂

Thursday night, June 9, 1030pm. Margaret, Kris and AJ had just finished the last run of rehearsals at the studio. We were all psyched! Good lucks were exchanged before Margaret and Kris went home, while AJ and I were adopted by Polecat Kayleen and James.

Last minute packing and buying of supplies. Passport– check. Tickets– check. Copies of the competitors’ music– check. Costumes– check. Polecats hoodies–check. And then it was time.

June 10, 2011, Friday 230 am
James, who lives beside the airport, brings us to NAIA 1. Margaret and Kris are there, eating. We all didn’t have any sleep, but we are up and noisy, everyone is just so excited!

At the baggage x-ray, they confiscate our can of corned beef– our gift for our SG host Pia Echauz Chua. (Oh no, sorry Pia!)

430 am We board our Jet Air flight. Margaret is ready with her neck pillow and eye mask. ZZZ. The rest of us try to sleep, but we are just too excited.

8 am Hello Singapore! Changi airport is amazing. We drop by one of the internet kiosks to say hello to our Polecats family. People are very helpful in directing us to the cheapest and most efficient way to get to our host’s house.

1030 am Hello Pia! Our beautiful host welcomes us with her daughter Kara. And because Pia is awesome, she has also prepared food for us, noodles with pork. It was so yummy!

Pia is the best. She has beds for us. Towels. Food. Chocolates (yes these deserve their own mention). And a ready smile 🙂

Rehearsals at the Acropolates Studio are at 630. Since we have time, we decide to take a nap first.

530 pm We are early for rehearsals! We meet Ms. Pearly, a fellow Filipina who helps run Acropolates. We also meet Ming who is the Acropolates founder. She is a tiny girl with loads of muscles! I regularly watch her youtube posts– she gives great tutorials!

*A little background: The competition has two categories: In House– for Acropolates students, and Open– for professional and international competitors. We were of course competing in the Open Category. These prizes were at stake: Ultimate champion (for an SG resident only), In House and Open category overall champion, Best Choreography, Best Tricks, Best Showmanship, Best Costume, and Most Popular.

We also meet competitors from the In House category– Trina, and Gwen (who would eventually win the In House category).

8pm Rehearsals done, we head over to Makansutra Glutton’s Bay to have dinner. And what a dinner it is! We meet up with Wilson Ong, one of our favorite choreographers, who now teaches at a performance academy in SG. We also meet up with my old friend JD, who brought his friend Trixie. What a long dinner– of chicken, liempo, chili stingray, satay, and all things spicy and good. We are a happy bunch 🙂

11pm Back home with a stash of chocolates and flavored Yakult. Time for a good night’s sleep.

June 11 2011 Saturday

12nn Pia’s husband Ken has just arrived from the US and takees us to lunch at Wee Nam Kee! The chicken is delicious, and the cereal prawns are heavenly (I eat the cereal bits for dessert!). And we meet Mr. Wee himself, who asks us about our food, and talks about opening another branch here in the Philippines. We love you Mr. Wee!

3pm We are at the competition venue: Se7en in Iluma. Two x-stages– one static and one spinny– are set up. Also set up are aerial silks and a trapeze. The air is heavy with excitement! Competition order is drawn through cards– Kris is up at 2, AJ is 5th, Margaret 6th.

After final rehearsals, we are off in a frenzy of costumes, splits, sequins, and glitters.

7pm Friends start to arrive! JD, Pia and Ken are there. Kaity, Kris’ best friend was there too! And surprise! Derek from our brother group Parkour Philippines (PKPH). We say hello to IPDFA founder Ania Przeplasko, Viva Vertical head V Lea. And we meet our crushes for the night, aerialists Suzy Q and Toby J. These two are awesome!!!

After warm up, costumes, and makeup, Team Polecats gather around for a prayer, and big group hug. This is it!

7:40pm And then, the competition starts. Ming opens the night with a group number with some Acropolates members. They are beautiful as gothic angels.

The night goes by fast with competitor after competitor. I am at the audience area to document our performances. I wish I had two bodies so that one can stay backstage and give pre-competition hugs.

All the competitors are good! Each one has his/her own style. There’s Evelyn, who fuses her Chinese dance discipline with pole– she is beautiful. There is Eunice who is super strong. There is Marla who is very theatrical. The judges include Ania, V, Suzy Q and Toby J. Must be tough being a judge.

The competitors are done. Suzy Q and Toby J do a duo pole and duo trapeze act while we wait for results. They are amazing. No words to describe their performance! Except that we all probably fell in love with them that night.

While they perform, Team Polecats share chocolates, drinks, and granola bars to celebrate great performances.

And then, the results!


AJ wins Best Choreography, Margaret wins Best Tricks, and AJ is overall Open Cateogory champion! WOOHOO!!!
Hugs kisses congratulations cheers photos all over!

We are so proud of AJ, Margaret, and Kris for giving such great performances!

Albert Job

Margaret Jade

11pm Right after awarding, Margaret and I rush with V to the station to catch a bus to KL. We are going there to watch the Malaysia PoleStars. Margaret takes off her makeup in the bus.

June 12, 2011 Sunday

330am We arrive in KL, and promptly fall asleep.

4pm Margaret, V, Ania and I go to Blackbox, the venue of this year’s PoleStars. Blackbox is a theater– the first time the Malaysian pole championships is going to be in a theater, as opposed to a club. It’s a very artsy place, located in a complex full of cafes and galleries. Even the bathroom’s artsy. Good choice for a venue.

5pm While waiting for the competition to start, magician Johnny Ong entertains us with a few tricks!

And then the competition starts. There’s the amateur categories– FitPole, Exotic Pole. There’s a new category called DuoPole! We are quite excited to see that one. And then the Pro category which is Ultimate Pole. Crowd favorite Adam Tan wins Ultimate Pole, in a tie with super amazing Xu Yuen.

It’s great being able to see all these wonderful pole performers live. The energy is amazing! Everyone is such an inspiration. We leave the competition with renewed passion for performing, for teaching, for sharing this wonderful thing called pole.

9pm Right after competition, Margaret and I rush again to the bus station, in our dresses and heels! Thank you Shiva for driving us!

11pm Margaret and I are crying at the airport while looking at photos of the Polecats giving AJ a surprise welcome home. We feel truly blessed with the best family ever.


June 13, 2011 Monday

130 am Our flight is slightly delayed, but it’s ok. We’re going home.

6 am Hello Manila 🙂


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