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Where did that name come from? A historical perspective on PoleCon showcases

Prior to 2015, (2010-2013) there were no consistent showcases at PoleCon.

Some years, there was a “Showcase of Stars” and in other years, performances were sprinkled onto the main stage without specific organization.

From 2015 to today, PoleCon showcases on the main stage were organized in various thematic showcases to highlight the different types of people who pole dance and the different styles of pole dancing.

Performers self-select/identify into showcases and apply using a free form (from 2019 forward). In a few cases, PoleCon may email an applicant and ask if they would like to be featured into a different showcase based on their application video.

Find videos from all showcases from all years listed below on the PoleCon YouTube Channel.

Additionally, PoleCon was livestreamed in:

  • 2015, 2016, and 2017 livestreamed by UPA.
  • PoleCon was not livestreamed in 2018 or 2019 due to costs.
  • 2020 all PoleCon was virtual.
  • 2021, 2022, and 2023 were livestreamed by PoleCon on the PoleCon YouTube Channel
  • 2024 is scheduled to be livestreamed on the PoleCon YouTube Channel

2015 Showcases

  • Black Girls Pole: is a brand. For more information about their name and ethos, visit their website.
  • Dangerous Curves: is a brand. It was the first plus-size pole competition started by Roz the Diva.
  • Men of Pole: created by PoleCon to highlight those that identify as men in an often woman-dominated environment.
  • Lyra: created by PoleCon to recognize that many pole studios also had lyra programs.
  • PSO Champions: is a brand. It is the largest pro-am pole competition in the world.
  • PowerFlow: created by PoleCon to highlight the intersection of tricks and flow/dance.
  • Troupes and Groups: created by PoleCon to highlight more than one performer performing together.
  • Australian Invasion: created by PoleCon to recognize the Australian contribution to pole dancing.
  • Sexy: created by PoleCon to highlight the many ways polers demonstrate “sexy”
  • Up and Coming Stars: created by PoleCon to highlight performers who were not also paid workshop leaders.
  • IPSF Champions: this year, the IPSF hosted their first US competition on the PoleCon stage as a separately ticketed event. This showcase highlighted those and other winners.

2016 Showcases

  • Black Girls Pole
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Men of Pole
  • Lyra
  • PowerFlow
  • Troupes and Groups
  • Sexy
  • Up and Coming Stars
  • Pole Comedy: created by PoleCon to highlight people performing in a comedic way.
  • Pole Masters: created by PoleCon to highlight people 40 years old or older performing and competition pole. The term was borrowed from PSO.
  • Contemporary/Artistic: created by PoleCon to highlight the contemporary/artistic/lyrical pole style.

2017 Showcases

  • Black Girls Pole
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Men of Pole
  • Lyra
  • PowerFlow
  • Troupes and Groups
  • Sexy
  • Up and Coming Stars
  • Pole Comedy
  • Pole Masters
  • Contemporary/Artistic
  • Youth: created by PoleCon to highlight those under 18 who poled
  • 123 Poling: a sponsored showcase of 123Poling teachers

2018 Showcases

  • Black Girls Pole
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Men of Pole
  • Lyra
  • PowerFlow
  • Troupes and Groups
  • Sexy
  • Up and Coming Stars
  • Pole Comedy
  • Pole Masters
  • Contemporary/Artistic
  • Youth
  • Queer: showcase was requested by Liz Kinnmark based on conversations in the Queer community at the time. Read about some of that here.

2019 Showcases

  • Black Girls Pole
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Men of Pole
  • Lyra
  • PowerFlow
  • Troupes and Groups
  • Sexy
  • Up and Coming Stars
  • Pole Comedy
  • Pole Masters
  • Contemporary/Artistic
  • Youth (temporarily canceled this year due to low signups)
  • Queer
  • Low Flow: created by PoleCon in partnership with Liquid Motion to represent the increased presence of basework and low flow polers.
  • Para Pole: created by PoleCon to showcase polers with apparent and non-apparent disabilities. The term “para” is borrowed from the Paralympics.
  • Creepy: created by PoleCon to reflect a growing population of dark/creepy/sinister/goth/horror performances in the showcase applicant pool. This showcase was available to apply directly to in 2020.
  • Freestyle: created by Nia of Butter+Filth to replace the canceled Youth showcase. PoleCon asked for help to find a new showcase concept last minute and Nia responded.

2020 Was Not Held in Person, Virtual PoleCon was held with representatives from the following showcase:

  • Black Girls Pole
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Men of Pole
  • Lyra
  • PowerFlow
  • Troupes and Groups
  • Sexy
  • Up and Coming Stars
  • Pole Comedy
  • Pole Masters
  • Contemporary/Artistic
  • Youth
  • Queer
  • Para Pole
  • Creepy
  • Freestyle
  • Low Flow
  • Experimental: was added in 2020 on the request of Finding Your Freestyle and Inanimate Dance organizations to recognize unusual or experimental movement, props, music, and other ways of interacting with pole. This is the first virtual performance.

2021 Was Held but on a truncated schedule due to a natural disaster.

  • Black Girls Pole
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Men of Pole
  • Lyra*renamed to Aerial this year to better represent the diversity of apparatus brough to PoleCon to perform.
  • PowerFlow
  • Troupes and Groups
  • Sexy
  • Up and Coming Stars
  • Pole Comedy
  • Pole Masters
  • Contemporary/Artistic
  • Youth
  • Queer
  • Para Pole
  • Creepy
  • Freestyle
  • Low Flow
  • Experimental: was added in 2020 on the request of Finding Your Freestyle and Inanimate Dance organizations to recognize unusual or experimental movement, props, music, and other ways of interacting with pole. This is the first live performance.

2022 Showcases

  • Black Girls Pole
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Men of Pole
  • Aerial
  • PowerFlow
  • Troupes and Groups
  • Sexy
  • Up and Coming Stars
  • Pole Comedy
  • Pole Masters
  • Contemporary/Artistic
  • Youth
  • Queer
  • Para Pole
  • Creepy
  • Freestyle
  • Low Flow
  • Experimental
  • Sport: created by PoleCon to represent a growing population of sport focused polers and organizations This showcase was available to apply directly to in 2023.

2023 Showcases

  • Black Girls Pole
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Men of Pole
  • Aerial
  • PowerFlow
  • Troupes and Groups
  • Sexy
  • Up and Coming Stars
  • Pole Comedy
  • Pole Masters
  • Contemporary/Artistic
  • Youth
  • Queer
  • Para Pole
  • Creepy
  • Freestyle
  • Low Flow
  • Experimental
  • Sport
  • Latin Heritage: debuted this year and was available to apply to in 2023. Showcase was created by PoleCon and named by a group of Spanish speakers from around the world lead by Jolene the “Polerican” to represent the diversity of their population after PoleCon noticed an increased attendance in native Spanish speakers to the 2022 event and asked for help reaching out to that demographic.

2024 Showcases (scheduled)

  • Black Girls Pole
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Men of Pole
  • Aerial
  • PowerFlow
  • Troupes and Groups
  • Sexy
  • Up and Coming Stars
  • Pole Comedy
  • Pole Masters*Renamed Pole Masters and Grandmasters (50+)
  • Contemporary/Artistic
  • Youth
  • Queer
  • Para Pole
  • Creepy
  • Freestyle
  • Low Flow*Renamed Low Flow and Floorwork
  • Experimental
  • Sport
  • Latin Heritage

 

Over the years PoleCon has also hosted the Hall of Fame Games, other games/ice breakers (like the Aerial EDG Freestyle competition or the Body and Pole “Thunder Pole” event), and various Fashion Shows hosted by pole apparel brands on the main stage. The first PoleCon panel was held on the main stage in 2015, read more about PoleCon panels at this link.

PoleCon will continue to evolve and to adjust names of showcases as relevant to represent the pole community more accurately. Showcases may additionally change over the years depending on number of applicants showing interest to a particular showcase. Historically, the Sexy showcase always garners the most applications year over year.

Got more questions about PoleCon? Just ask!

Colleen
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