UEA Pole Fitness presented their ‘Focus’ Showcase last week to a packed LCR.
Over 150 tickets were sold for the event, which was hosted by SU Activities and Opportunities officer Oli Gray and UEA Pole Fitness president Oksana Shlonimskaya.
The evening saw performances from a number of club members at beginner, intermediate and advanced level which were all warmly received by the audience. Often incorporating elements of gymnastics and other dance styles, and sometimes using props, the routines were all superbly executed, personal to each dancer, at times thought-provoking and fun.
The work on the poles from each performer was breathtaking, and the club was quick to thank the pole-cleaners from the committee who prepared them between each performance.
Starting with a performance from the club’s coach Holly Munson, a PDC approved instructor who teaches six hours of lessons to UEA students on Sundays, performers took to the stage each side of an interval where the bar was open and cakes were also on sale.
Shlonimskaya was second to perform, followed by the pairing of Emma Gadsdon and Gov Thethi, then Eleanor Ferra, Holly Ballam, Ben Lammy-Steele, Rhianna-Lily Smith, Naji Athar, Sophie Twyford, Mia Morgan, Ayeshah Lalloo, Katherine Seton, Kayley Loo, Bryony Tosh, the advanced duo of Dani Davis with Ferra and finally Ciara Bright who closed the evening.
There were also performances from UEA’s African Caribbean society, Belly Dance society and UEA Angels Cheer Dance show squad.
Athar, who charmed the audience with a solo routine to Piaf’s La Vie en Rose before returning to perform a fun duet to a song from the Moana soundtrack with Lammy-Steele reflected: ‘I was very proud of everyone who performed. We worked hard and became closer by practising almost every day two weeks prior to showcase. It was great to see the creative performances from our diverse members, and for it to be celebrated by everyone.
‘There was so much energy and everyone exuded with confidence on the stage. Adrenaline took over and we gave it our all! It was a great show.
‘Diversity and creativity was the focus of our show and that shone through in the empowering performances.
‘After speaking to the people in the audience, they said they loved how different everyone’s routines were and how they fit so well with the music. They were amazed by how much strength it must take to hold ourselves in perfect form and keep the energy going throughout. It is a true pairing of athleticism and aesthetic.’
It has been a busy time for UEA Pole Fitness. Last month they travelled to the University of Sussex, who this year hosted the South East Regional heats of the Inter-University Pole Dancing Competition. Ballam placed second in the beginner category, with UEA’s other participants being Shlonimskaya in the intermediate category, Twyford in the advanced category and the pairing of Davis and Ferra in the groups category. They all performed their routines from Sussex at the showcase.
Also last month, the 24-hour Pole-a-thon saw UEA Pole Fitness members perform non-stop for 24 hours in the Hive to raise money for eating disorder charity BEAT.
UEA Pole Fitness has existed for over ten years, and currently has six weekly classes catering for beginner, intermediate and advanced level. The club will run taster sessions and have a new membership intake in September.
Pole Fitness are now looking forward to Derby Day, where they will be competing in all three categories and hope to add to UEA’s points total.