Thursday, 8 October 2009
MISS POLE DANCE UK 2009 championships ~ Scala London 25th October 2009
Interview with Kay Penney - creator of Miss Pole Dance UK founder of Pole Passion
1. Pole Passion runs several different pole dance competitions. How did it
all begin, and which competitions are coming up?
The ideas of the Miss Pole Dance UK concept came from the ideas in 2004. I have a performance and acting back ground and was quite new to pole competitions then (as there were not many around ) I was let down by the organising company who ran the very first competition I entered 'Pole Idol' back in 2004 - bad management, bad communication, unprofessionally run! I felt I could do better. I only wanted to create an opportunity for ladies like me to shine on stage without the fear of being wrongly judged, never dreaming they would be so popular as they are today.
We have just ran the first Mr Pole Fitness UK competition 4th October
Our next competition is the big one - Miss Pole Dance UK 2009 professional category running since 2005 and is probably the largest and most established and prestigious pole competition in the UK - 25th October 2009
2. Can you give us the details on how one becomes a contestant?
The competition is open to all, professional and amateurs, it was always my aim not to prevent anyone from entering who had the passion and skill of course. All ladies who reside in the UK, who are over the age of 18 on the day of the competition. A pre audition selection process takes place whereby all applicants must submit a 3-4 minute routine either in person or via video clip to the selection committee where the performances are assessed.
3. What are the judging criteria and who are the judges?
Quite a complicated judging criteria with very strict rulings and procedures creating and maintain professionalism and I believe by continually adapting as the industry has adapted and maintaining this process this has been very influential in the success of the competitions.
The judges are well respected individuals within the fitness and pole dance domain. This year we are pushing the boundaries yet again by introducing one of the UK top osteopaths and chartered physiotherapist as our concentration is on health and safety on and around the pole from a musculo skeletal point of view. Apparently we have created a bit of a stir with in the osteopaths' association.
4. How do people get tickets to watch the competitions?
We are promoting the ticket sales via
firstname.lastname@example.org + 44 (0) 1293 888 200
www.seetickets.com 24hr hotline 0871 2200260
and www.ticketweb.co.uk 08700 600100
5. What got you, personally, into pole dancing?
A drive to do something different that would challenge me mentally and physically and at the time of beginning pole dance and fitness, as a fitness professional I was in a stage of my life where I needed an unconventional challenge, something that would help reinstate my self esteem and boost my inner confidence, which incidentally I was lacking hugely. I was searching for a new found fun, something I could do for myself. I had a desire to explore my sensuality which I felt I had lost after the birth of my third child.
6. Favorite makeup tip:
Hummm as a qualified beauty therapist my favourite makeup tip has to be eyeliner and lip gloss I tend not to leave the house without it. As a busy working mum I unfortunately don’t have huge amounts of time to do the full makeup routine. I leave that for special occasions.
7. Barefoot, sneakers, or platform heels?
Ohhh can I choose all three - I believe in multi tasking :) and promote that a modern women has the ability to wear several hats (or even shoes!!)
8. Favorite grip enhancer:
I must admit I haven’t had the opportunity to try them all so if all the grip enhancers out there would like to send me a sample I would be willing to do an analysis on them all. However the ones I have tried:- Mighty Grip, Gorilla Gold, Sur Grip - no longer in production, Dry hands, Itac, I have them all in my instructor bag as there are pros and cons on them all (was that answer diplomatic enough?) it depends on my mood, the poles mood and the weather of course!!
9. Pole dance move that made you proudest to learn:
It has to be my first ankle release the first invert move I did within 4 weeks of learning the pole (I was on an intensive crash course for a TV show at the time) the thrill of going upside down and not falling was amazing
10. Pole dance pet peeves:
Nope sorry I don’t have any
11. Favorite treatment for bruises and sore muscles:
For bruising it has to be good old arnica and a reassessment of pole technique and for sore muscles - work harder oh sorry I mean rest and relaxation and a wonderful deep tissue massage
12. Who would you most like to have in the audience at your competitions?
For me when I developed the competitions it was always with women in mind for the audience (at the time of innovation I felt the men had their shows and events in the gentlemen clubs) Miss Pole Dance was always about women. For me success was having 50/50 men and women in the audience Miss Pole Dance now I feel has 80/20% women in the audience so I feel I have succeeded. It was never about volume incidentally that was just a bonus (900 - sell out, in the audience last year at Miss Pole Dance UK)
Who would you most like to have compete?
Competitors come from all backgrounds - for me anyone who is so passionate about the art of pole they shine on stage, obviously acrobatics, ballet dancers and gymnasts inspire me the most due to their amazing flexibility, grace and poise but honestly anyone has the capabilities to compete - variety and originality is the spice of competing.
Actually one day I would love to think that my daughter will compete (she's 15 and still very much influenced by her piers) she is quietly inspired by both Felix and Pantera
13. Who is your hero or role model?
My mum ( who died a year and a half ago through an awful illness of cancer of the liver ) she has taught me so much in my life.
Jacqueline Gold of Ann Summers who faced challenges as I did in the early days of promoting pole dance and fitness
14. What are your favorite words of encouragement?
Empowerment, confidence, fitness & FUN! Fun in caps as that is my main focus in life
15. Favorite pizza toppings:
Prawns and fresh herbs
16. Cupcakes or ice cream?
Home made cupcakes AND ice cream
17. Anything else you'd like to share:
I would like to thank everyone who supports me especially my family and friends who sacrifice a lot for my full time passion and to all those people who send me lovely wishes and to say I am so privileged to work in an industry with such lovely people
Below I attach my competition experience and background - wow I never realised until I typed them all down
Kay Penney Competition judging, involvement and experience
2004 - Pole Idol Competitor - Regional winner
2005 - The Inaugural Miss Pole Dance UK Professional Finals - creator
- World Pole Dance Finals - Amsterdam – invited judge
2006 - Miss Pole Dance UK Professional regional heats x 8 in Newquay
Miss Pole Dance UK Professional finals – head judge
Miss Pole Dance UK fitness category introduced
Local Pole competition – invited judge
2007 - Miss Pole Dance UK Professional – head judge
Miss Pole Dance synchronised doubles category introduced
2008 - Miss Pole Dance UK Professional – head judge
Miss Pole Dance UK Amateur championships introduced
Miss Pole Dance Japan – invited judge
2009 - World Pole Sport & Fitness championships – head judge
Invited to Cirque du Soleil Pole Dance casting research team
Miss Pole Dance Hungry – invited judge
Miss Pole Dance Russia – invited judge
German Pole Dance Competition – invited judge
Miss Pole Dance UK Amateur – head judge
Mr Pole Fitness UK championship Inaugural event – head judge
Miss Pole Dance UK Professional – head judge