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Interviews and Advise on Winning a National Competition

Posted by Sarah McCylmont on

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to win a national competition? Or if you are already a title winner are you curious to know how it has affected others? Cheryl Teagann and Sam King recently won MPD UK and were crowned the new Miss Pole Dance UK and Mr Pole Dance UK. Wink decided to interview them to find out more about their pole journey before winning MPD, how winning has made them feel, and what their plans are for the future. Get their advise on competing, battling nerves and how coffee has helped Sam King win MPD!

 

Sam King – Mr Pole Dance UK 2016

Sam King wearing Wink Men's Meryl Pole Shorts

1/ How long have you been pole dancing and what got you into it?

I have been poling for 6 years after a friend persuaded me to put my Nintendo down, open my curtains, and leave my bedroom. Apparently, at that time, I needed a hobby (and a life) so we went to a pole fitness class at my university and I loved it. 

 

2/ Congratulations on winning Mr Pole Dance UK, you are now the UK champion! How did you feel when you won?

I was absolutely over the moon and still in shock now. There were so many talented performers on that stage that I couldn't believe it when they called my name. Especially as I was very close to dropping out with a broken foot, but so glad I didn't. 


3/ What do you feel helped to create your wining performance.

Coffee. Coffee helped a lot. As did the stress of leaving things to the last minute. But, for me, creating a routine is a very organic process. I found a song which I loved and had so many crazy ideas of what to do and when, and when they inevitably didn't work because I can't completely defy gravity, I change it slightly to better fit the song and my physical capabilities. 

 
4/ What do you enjoy the most about competing?

I love the social aspect. Of seeing lots of people that I don't get to see outside of the competition environment. Me and the boys in the dressing room had such a laugh. Plus I enjoy the process of creating a piece so much that it's fantastic to show that off. 


5/ Many people feel too nervous to start competing, or feel they are not good enough.  What do you feel is the best advise for someone thinking about applying for their first competition?

I think everyone should give it a go. It helps hone your pole skills and gives your training purpose. There are so many competitions out there for different levels that there will always be one for everybody. Yes you get nervous and sometimes can feel crap but in the long run the pros outweigh the cons. 


6/ Competing can be very stressful, and I’m sure we all get our down days. What has kept you motivated?

Coffee. And the support of my close friends. The week before MPD I had a day that will forever be known as black Sunday. I had a terrible meltdown after some poor run throughs (we are talking stamping, crying, swearing, the lot) and was seconds away from dropping out. But it was my friends who sat down next to me (once I was approachable again) and talked me into carrying on. They then gave me some bubblewrap to play with to placate myself. 

 

7/ Do you get nervous when you compete and how has this changed over time?

 Always. I am the most nervous person in the dressing room and it's actually something I'm really trying hard to overcome with serious hardcore therapy. But two little tricks that help me are practicing origami (to help me find my inner zen...) and talking gibberish for hours to anyone who will listen to take my mind off it. 


8/ Who has been your biggest support?

All of my friends and family, especially those at my pole school ‘Pole Fit London’. They watch my routines, cheer me up, bring me coffee (can you see a theme). And I love them to pieces. I have the best team. 

 

9/ How has winning MPD UK changed your life?

It's been a boost that I needed to say: "actually, I am quite good at this pole malarkey". 


10/ What upcoming competitions and plans do you have for the next 6 months?

Competition wise; I'm having a little break to allow my foot to heal then aiming for some more international comps. Other than that I'm hopefully expanding my awesome pole school as well as teaching in several international pole camps. All on top of my UK workshops which I teach all over the country.  It's an exciting year ahead.   

Sam King wearing Wink Men's Side Panel Shorts

Please click on the links to follow Sam’s journey:

https://www.instagram.com/samkingpole/

www.facebook.com/samkingpole

 

Cheryl Teagann – Miss Pole Dance UK 2016

Cheryl Teagann wearing Wink Empress Top and Shorts

1/ How long have you been pole dancing and what got you into it?

Around 2 years but only seriously since last year. I saw that Gymbox had open pole play and thought I'd give it a try.

 

2/ Congratulations on winning Miss Pole Dance UK, you are now the UK champion! How did you feel when you won?

It still doesn't feel like me 🙈


3/ What do you feel helped to create your wining performance.

Honestly just performing it, I try to turn into a different person when I'm stage a bit of mental preparation is key for me.

 

4/ What do you enjoy the most about competing?
The nerves. That adrenaline that kicks in just before you go on :)

 

5/ Many people feel too nervous to start competing, or feel they are not good enough.  What do you feel is the best advise for someone thinking about applying for their first competition?

Research the comps out in the industry. Try to find a coach/role model who you aspire too and learn from them. Life is too short just do it!

 

6/ Competing can be very stressful, and I’m sure we all get our down days. What has kept you motivated?

Omg yes don't even start me in down days. Julian my friend, instructor and competitor kept me going through all of my prep we trained everyday together.  Also my pole friends Jade and Alana, we all supported each other through our down moments!

 

7/ Do you get nervous when you compete and how has this changed over time?

Yes!!! I would worry if I was not nervous! It hasn't changed I always get nervous but I can relax easier now when I'm on stage :)


8/ Who has been your biggest support?
Julian for sure! !


9/ How has winning MPD UK changed your life?
Emm honestly it hasn't I'm still the same old Teagz maybe it will open up opportunities in 2017.


10/ What upcoming competitions and plans do you have for the next 6 months?
Mmmm at the moment I'm concentrating on making acts to perform and want to enter a Pole Art Competition, but I may just enter the World Championships if I can find funding :)

 

Cheryl Teagann wearing Wink Asymmetric Monokini with Starburst Crystals

Please click on the links to follow Cheryl’s journey:

https://www.instagram.com/cteagz

https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.teagz

Cheryl Teagann wearing Wink Empress Top and Shorts


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