written by Louise Keegz
Halloween evokes thoughts of the supernatural, the afterlife, the misfits and the lost souls. A place beyond reality, in the realms of the underworld and the deep unknown. Add in a bunch of performers yearning to express their darkest desires, the side of them that isn’t acceptable to society, a stage set fit for a horror film, a sprinkle of Chilli and you’ve got yourself a Halloween Heaven Competition. This is a show that entertains and transports the audience to the dark side. Now in its fourth year running and with much anticipation, it certainly didn’t disappoint.
With a judging panel made up of pole and lyra royalty including Miss Suzie Q and her partner Toby J (aka the ‘Pole Doctor’), Andrea Ryff and Donna Mitchell, supported by the one and only Chilli Rox as mistress of ceremonies, the stage was set for what was to be a knockout of a night.
As with any pole or lyra competition it’s all about the opening act. With the Miss Fit teachers as well as Suzie Q and Toby J performing, the number was sure to be a spectacle. A Harley Quinn themed act featuring contortion, partner acro, pole doubles, twerking and baseball bats – it was punchy, captivating and brought attitude a’plenty. It’s safe to say they nailed it and set the scene for what was to come.
Each performance throughout the night had its own take on Halloween, ranging from sharks, Santa and bad elves, possessed dolls, zombies and ghouls to burlesque, 1950’s housewife and The Lion King inspired numbers. The amateur divisions of both pole and lyra were anything but amateur, with great displays of showmanship, strength, flexibility and creativity in performances. The semi-pro performances were dynamic, entertaining and death defying with the difficulty level of tricks performed at a cringe worthy ‘oh hell no’ level. The partner lyra performances showed great trust and commitment, uniqueness and a strong connection between partners, many of whom were performing on stage together for the first time.
Across the board, the costumes and make-up were outstanding, with all of the performers embodying their characters and putting on a true Halloween show, fit for the sadistic and the obscure. Being Sydney’s richest pole and lyra competition, with $3000 prize money to be won, the competitors were fired up!
The amateur pole solo category was taken out by Stove, representing Sydney Pole and Miss Fit, who gave a performance reminiscent of a Hannibal Lecter cannibalistic serial killer. Stove delivered an intense performance, displaying strength and athleticism, never wavering from character, even when collecting his sash. The extra point for ‘penis component’ awarded to him by Chilli may have been what gave him the slight edge over Charlotte, representing Vertica, who placed runner up in this category embracing the devil horns, quite literally having them come out of her forehead in her fierce and fiery performance.
The semi-pro pole soloist division presented quite the array of performers, each bringing their A-game to the stage. Ultimately Grey Ace from Miss Fit, took out the crown for her shark themed performance to Blood in the Water, complete with a shark fin which remained on her back the whole performance. Superbly executed, she certainly lived up to her name and aced her performance. Ebony Bandini claimed the runner up title with a theatrical Edward Scissorhands inspired number, supported by a beautiful young ballerina and talented budding young pole performer. Ebony encapsulated the art of great story telling in her performance with a strong commitment to her character and a mighty fine set of scissor hands, sharp enough to trim any hedge or stray pubic hair backstage.
While the stage was being set up for the first lyra division, the audience was kept busy with a brain teasing trivia quiz, there were certainly some smart cookies in the crowd! The Lyra doubles division was won by Magnets, a guy/girl duo representing Miss Fit. Magnets displayed great chemistry and delivered a sensual and emotive performance to Darkside. There were no shortage of tricks to entertain and delight the audience, which left ‘darkside jizz’ on the stage according to Chilli. Claramel, also representing Miss Fit, as well as Integral, delivered a polished and mesmerising performance in matching sparkling outfits reminiscent of Romanian gymnasts. They were perfectly in sync and on pointe which saw them deservingly take out the runner up title.
The second half opening act, Zero Gravity, was an energizing and truly unique routine combining the best of bungee flying and lyra to operatic hymns. Sarah Thompson, owner of Miss Fit and Sea Byrd did the flying, while contortionist Natasha Usmar avoided flying limbs, all the while embodying an elegant, spinning, twirling pretzel on the lyra.
The amateur solo lyra division was opened by Yum Yum from The Movement Academy, spinning around at lightning speed, demonstrating flexibility and poise, the bar was set high. A strong line up followed but none could match the utterly captivating Hayley from Avion Aerial Arts & Circus School, who performed to Zombie. This zombie was sharp as a tack with possessed eyes that pierced through the audience, she could have been mistaken for an extra from the Walking Dead. Though, being a mum of three, this could have also been her well-rehearsed, ‘I’ve had three hours sleep don’t mess with me’ look! Her outstanding performance earnt her not only the division winner crown but also the audience choice award for ‘Most Entertaining Performance’. Yum Yum was awarded the runner up sash whilst being told to ‘put your bloody costume on Yum Yum’ by Chilli after breaking the stage code and changing into something more comfortable for the presentations. YUM YUM!
The final and most highly contested division of the night was the semi-pro lyra solo division. All of these performances were of the highest calibre. From the tricks, to the costumes, to the theatrics, they certainly saved the best to last. The runner up crown went to Luna from the Movement Academy, who definitely was the best sport of the night exhibiting true showmanship when she performed the second half of her routine (not missing a beat) without music after the sound guy’s laptop blew up. Luna’s performance was a sexy, seductive routine, complete with sirens, and an 80’s style high cut number with all of the bells and whistles (and fringing and fishnet stockings) one would hope to see in a costume. Not to mention legs for days that left some of my fellow audience members panting.
It was Gemma from Avion Aerial Arts & Circus School who took out the ultimate spot though, claiming the crown of winner in the semi-pro lyra solo division, with a flawless, dynamic, athletic, entertaining, unique and creative performance to INXS’s ‘Suicide Blonde’. Anyone would be forgiven for thinking this blonde was suicidal with some of the tricks she pulled off. This little firecracker left the audience wanting for nothing and was truly deserving of her crown and sash.
I have to give a special mention to KittyHawk, who delivered a captivating glow-in-the-dark performance, with avatar like movements which transcended the audience to a place that could well have been Halloween Heaven.
The audience had a chance to get in on the action with a prize for best dressed audience member. The competition was strong with giant crowns, horns and metallic breasts. Maleficent took out the prize, winning herself a free term of classes. It would be a term of bungee classes at Miss Fit if Chilli had her choice.
The ultimate star of the night however was the age and gravity defying Chilli Rox. She kept the audience entertained between stage resets, she even lent her vocals when the music cut out in the middle of Luna’s performance before proceeding to thank the ‘bastards’ in the audience for ‘leaving a bitch out to dry’ when they failed to provide back-up vocals. When unable to tap dance in her 8 inch Pleasers, she did what any self-respecting emcee would do when there is a time delay between performances due to a technical glitch: she stripped down to her leotard and gave us a shimmy. Chilli is an absolute professional, all round legend and has become a regular member of the Halloween Heaven dream team.
This is the pole and lyra comp that goes from strength to strength and I’m sure next year will be scarier, funnier and more competitive than ever. Well done Miss Fit Dance Studio.
About the Author
Louise is a corporate professional by day and a pole dancer by night with a particular taste for twerking and dirty, sexy floor work. Louise started her pole life at Pole Body and Soul and now dances at Pole Plus. Her two fur children, Sampson and Molly are the apple of her eye. She also has an interest and is actively engaged in politics. Louise is a freelance writer, animal rights and welfare activist and food enthusiast.
Follow her on Insta @Lou_Dance_Diva or contact her at email@example.com