Mel Grace APC 2018 Champion

by Alessandra Izzo aka Ally Cat


Not that long ago, I discovered something that made my little Victorian pole dancer heart squeal with excitement. I found out that the finals of the Australian Pole Championships alongside the Australian Pole Expo will be held in Melbourne on November 15-17th this year. This is massive news for all of us south of the border, because it’s the first time ever we’ve had anything like this on our doorstep.


I’ve travelled across the globe to do pole camps, and attended Pole Expo in Las Vegas. I have spent literally thousands over the years doing workshops in Melbourne with all the professionals as they’ve toured through my home town. But having this event within driving distance from my house makes me well up just a little. So, for the sake of all Victorians, I decided to do a little more digging to find out exactly what a Melbourne-based APE is going to look like.


Sofitel luxury hotel
Sofitel luxury hotel



The first thing I found out is that it will be held at the Sofitel, a place I’ve had the good fortune to stay at on two occasions (it’s totally lux) as well as attended several conferences there in my naturopath days (before I decided to abandon my muggle ways altogether). I can officially report in my professional opinion, this is absolutely the best possible location in Melbourne they could have chosen (and apparently they scouted over 30 venues!).


The Atrium
The Atrium

Aside from all the little extras they give you at the Sofitel (like the fruit platter in your room on arrival), a ticket to APE will be a once in a lifetime experience. You’ll get access to the Australian Pole Championships on the Friday night (which is walking distance from the hotel), as well as a cocktail party at the Atrium Bar on the Saturday night (with bottomless drinks for 2 hours) and I’ll give you the hot tip, have dinner at No. 35 on the same floor (even if you’re vego!), you won’t regret it.


Then, of course, the whole reason I’ll be going to this – to LEARN. Every attendee of APE receives TEN workshops with a mind-blowing lineup of national and international instructors catering to their personal level of pole experience – beginners all the way through to competitive polers will be grouped accordingly.


There will also be an off-the-pole selection of workshops with acro, dance, and stretching, and aside from the workshops, APE will include an array of stalls for those of you who are compulsive pole apparel, shoe and accessory shoppers (guilty – I’ve already got a piggy bank started for this), and I have been told this APE is set to be the biggest one ever.


The organiser of this event is Elizabeth Domazet, who has been producing APC and state heats (including VIC), as well as APE for the last eight years. While I’ve never made it to the Expo before, I’ve competed at VPC and APC, and have seen behind the scenes of many of her events. The workload this woman wrangles is literally impossible for me to fathom (she also owns and runs Aerial Pole Academy – a full time job in itself), but every year APE, APC and it’s many heats run so that polers across the country have an amazing opportunity to perform, gain experience, meet other polers and learn from the best of the best.


When I asked Elizabeth what made her decide to move APE/APC to Melbourne this year, she said “I’ve found Melbourne pole dancers are some of the most passionate and supportive polers we have in the country. I wanted to give Victorians the opportunity to have it in their hometown, and in a way, thank them for their continued support.” Well, Victorian polers I hope you’re excited, you’ve earned this!


The instructor lineup has been announced and includes:


Bendy Kate, instructor at APE 2019
Bendy Kate, instructor at APE 2019

Bendy Kate UK

Felix Cane AUS

Elizabeth BFit (Blanchard) US

Mel Grace AUS

Michelle PolefitDubai UAE

Natty AUS

Russian Red (Jessica Bogdanov) RU

Miss Dani AUS


This year for any of you feeling a little tight in the wallet region there is a new option to just attend one day of APE (5 workshops), which is literally just about to be released. If you haven’t checked this event out already (or shockingly, didn’t even know it was coming) you’d best keep an eye out on the Facebook event page – the March Madness sale is done but they are about to release the day passes… I don’t know if there will be an early bird sale on those but I suspect there might be so watch their socials like a hawk!


For those of you interstaters, we’ll see you down here in November then!


APE package options:

Platinum (All inclusive)

Partner (Includes accommodation, cocktail party and gold ticket to the championships)

New! One day pass (5 workshops)


Australian Pole Championships will be held on 15th November 2019 at Deakin Edge Federation Square Melbourne


Australian Pole Expo

15th to 17th November 2019

Sofitel Melbourne on Collins


APE workshop 2016
APE workshop 2016


APE Participants 2017
APE Participants 2017