By Manda Ritz
So, you’ve made it to pole show day! Congrats! The difficult stuff is behind you and all you need to do today is show up, relax, and enjoy the results of your hard work.
Day of prep starts a couple days in advance. Make a packing list so you’re less likely to forget things. Helpful items to bring are your costume (duh), props, grip bag, yoga mat, make up, backstage slippers or flip flops (so you don’t have dirty feel on stage or sock line indents), water bottle, and snacks. Pack two nights before to allow you to have the night before to relax. A day or two before, get in some light stretching, go for a walk or a short run to keep muscles fresh, but not tired. Run your piece one last time, if you feel like it would help. Just once though. See above regarding not tiring out muscles. Shave your legs if they need shaving. Unless you’re already used to poling with freshly shaven legs, avoid shaving them the day of. The extra leg stubble acts like little pole gripping tentacles. Well, that may not be 100% true, but you'll want to proceed with caution for shaving cream, lotion, or those little moisture strips on the razor. Eat. Drink water. Your nutrition and hydration for show day is based largely on what you’re taking in the day before. Look back on what you like to eat before practice. Similarly, did you eat anything ahead then have a horrible time poling. Basically, do what’s been working for you.
A large part of your prep is calculating what time to leave for the venue. Your best bet is to work backwards. What time are you scheduled to perform? How far in advance can the show run? Are you doing hair/makeup at the venue? Is there pole testing/rehearsal? How long will warm up take? Add all those times, then account for the worst case scenario.
Ok, we’re back to show day! Execute your plan for travel to the venue. Upon arrival, check in and scope out the place. Backstage, stage entrance, bathrooms. Are all important to be familiar with. If there are going to be performances before you, a great way to decompress and work out some nerves is to watch other performers. How are they doing with pole grip? Spin pole speed? Look for cues to help you complete your routine. Keep an eye on time and continue to plan more time than needed for hair/make up and stretching. Start light stretching and movement when needed, but don’t get fully warmed up until you need to. You don’t want to risk getting tired from too much or cold from too soon. Eat and drink water as needed. Light snacks are great to keep energy up without feeling bogged down.
As you get closer to your stage time, take one last bathroom break, check in backstage, grip up, and keep up light movements. When the person before you is up, remove warm up clothes, apply grip as needed, and take a few deep breaths. When it’s your turn, keep your head up, take the stage with confidence, and trust your hard work. You got this.
Manda is a pole dancing, running, ninja mom, and you can follow her adventures on IG at @MandaKicks