Cambridge University Pole Society brings home medals

On Sunday 4th February, 4 CUPS performers set off to Birmingham for the Inter-University Pole Dance Competition 2018 regional heat. Somewhat confusingly, Cambridge had been entered into the ‘midlands’ regional; next year we might suggest that the organisers look at a map.

Upon arrival, it was impossible not to be intimidated by the other competitors’ flawless makeup and impossibly bendy warmups, but we did our best to stay calm and soon the show was underway. We were extremely lucky to see performances by each of the guest judges: Jade Marissa Tinkler (World Pole Sport and Fitness Doubles Champion 2016) and Rachel Tolzman (Miss Pole Dance UK pro 1st). Both performances were spectacular, with incredibly difficult moves linked together with beautiful flow.

After the judges’ performances, it was time for the competitors. First up from Cambridge was the group routine, somewhat subverting pole’s sexy reputation by dancing to Lets Get Down to Business from Mulan, complete with moustaches and beards. Given that we all agreed that the 3 most appropriate words to describe our routine were “last minute chaos”, I think it went as well as could be expected. At least no one was dropped on their head.

Arabella, Liat, Jemima and Ruby. Not entirely sure how we thought this would help us defeat the Hun.

Next was Arabella Barwick in the beginners category, dancing to Disturbia by Rihanna. She was one of the few performers at the event to brave wearing heels, and she absolutely killed it. Unfortunately in the face of strong competition, she didn’t make the podium – but watch this space for next year.

Arabella slaying

Soon after lunch, it was my turn to perform. I was competing in the intermediate category, and had chosen Chandelier by Sia – a song which I now never want to hear again. I was relieved when my routine passed without a hitch, and very pleased at the end to be awarded 3rd place in the category!

Me, hanging around

Poor Liat Adler was the last soloist in the entire competition to perform, and whilst the rest of us could relax and enjoy the other performances, she was on edge all day. However this didn’t hold her back when she came to dance to Cry Me a River by Michael Buble. She executed her advanced routine flawlessly, and unlike lots of the other advanced competitors, her form stayed really good right until the end of the routine. Her whole family came along to support. We were all pretty sure that she had won, but when it was finally announced we still screamed the roof off. Her sister was in floods of tears, and I think her Dad might have shed one or two as well.

Liat smiling cheerfully whilst holding an Iron X – what a beast

We didn’t get through to finals (probably a good thing given that they’re in Newcastle), but we did have a whole lot of fun, and we’re all feeling inspired to train hard after seeing everyone else’s routines. Altogether it was a fantastic day, and I’m very proud of the whole team.

Jemima Churchhouse

All photo credit to Lane and Grey Photography