Pole history has roots going back many years, but as a sport and an art form it is extremely young. Australia only opened it’s first pole studio in 2003! So in our fifteenth year, APDM has decided to do a series chronicling Australian pole history – as told by those who were there to see it.
Our first story comes from Daisy, who went to see the very first Miss Pole Dance Australia competition in 2005 as an intermediate student at Bobbi’s Pole Studio…
The Very First Miss Pole Dance Australia
by Daisy Adelle Bastick
I was living in Bondi at the time, and had not long started pole dancing lessons at Bobbi’s Pole Studio. Candice was my teacher and she said there was a competition and show on we should all come to watch.
In those days, the only place you saw your teacher perform was at the end of the week 8 course. So for this reason, I jumped at any chance to see these spectacular women perform. I always wanted to know more about the sparkly seductive and secretive stripping world they lived in.
I dragged my sister along to the competition at The Bourbon and Beefsteak at the Cross. It was packed to the brim with the air of excitement. We ended up climbing on a table at the back to get a good view. I was absolutely in awe of all of the competitors!
They were from all different states, and you could see that the style was different from school to school (or performer to performer, as there probably weren’t a lot of schools then). Some of the teachers from Bobbi’s were competing, Sassy and Isabella along with Candice and Suzie Q. I remember Isabella did an army themed show. The whole experience was so new to me at the time it was hard to truly comprehend everything I was seeing!
There was a mix of styles from showgirl, to self-taught, to freestyle, to strip club or table dancer. Some of the performers were unpolished compared to that of today’s standard (and a bit messy), some more dynamic, and some more flowy. It was evident the girls who worked or trained at Bobbi’s and how different their style was at the time. There was a lot of freestyle, and a lot of self-taught moves.
Jamilla DeVille was the winner that night and I remember her executing the Jade Split, which was something no one had ever seen before. Before we knew what was happening, everyone’s minds were blown! How was she even holding on like that with no hands!? In a split!? The crowd went wild! It was one of the moves that awarded her the title. It is also the reason why we now call it the Jade, from the first two letters of Jamilla’s first and last name.
The thing I remember clearly was how it felt like a night out. We weren’t just there to support our teachers, we had dinner beforehand, drinks throughout the shows, and more drinks and dancing afterward. The atmosphere was electric because it was in a nightclub in the Cross. The Cross was a great place to go out to in those years!
I left feeling completely wowed. Very inspired to get back to class – not so that I could become that good, but so that I could know more about their lives, see their performances and be a part of that underground world. I did end up competing the following year, but that’s another story!
About the Author
Daisy is an ex-Corporate Marketer with a background in Jazz and Aerobic Dancing. She has been training, teaching and performing pole dancing for over 11 years; and has an extensive knowledge of choreography, technique, strength, flexibility training, costuming and show girl style after working and training with the biggest and the best pole schools in Australia. She is well known and followed in the industry and her vision is to keep pole dancing sexy, where it all began.