by Ebony Bandini

Images from Vertigo Photography



Let’s be honest, there are some pole shows you need to experience live, especially an event that attracts the highest calibre of performers such as Pole Theatre. This year Pole Theatre Sydney blew the lid off every pole dancing cliché and convention and turned everything inside out and outside in.


PT competitors


Held for the first time at the incredibly prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), the marathon five-hour event took the packed audience on a rollercoaster ride of sex, seduction, artistic freedom, and rebellion. One minute you were gripped in the emotion of a heartfelt story, next you were waking up as Lorna Shadow. Cute animals became the stuff of nightmares and the dad bod defied the definition of sexy. Pole mummas-to-be made an appearance along with endless showers of gold dust and the odd penis or two popping up as a joke/prop/wardrobe malfunction.


PT Mario TurcoMario Turco from Italy opened the show with a spectacular Inca-gold performance worthy of the NIDA gods. Every seat in the house offered a visual feast as Mario cracked his whips and dancers oozed their way across the enormous stage.

Jaclyn from Clique Styling (who dressed Shimmy and other stars on the night) was beside herself and said Mario’s show was the best opening act she had seen. Ever.


After Mario’s performance it was straight onto the competition, and kudos to the entire Pole Theatre team for running a tight ship with no fewer than 33 competitors across four categories (Art, Drama, Comedy, Classique) in two divisions (Semi-Pro and Pro). Here’s just a tiny little taste of the evening’s standout shows and shenanigans.



PT ArizonaArizona and Yungie brought ‘exotic horror’ to the stage, winning Semi-Pro and Pro Classique respectively. Arizona used candles and visual projections to illuminate a very erotic blood bath, while Yungie became a vampire queen lusting for blood with two super-slinky back-up dancers.



PT Jen Squire

‘Just look at what you made me do!’ could well be the anthem of animal themes this year. Le Chatelier won Semi-Pro Comedy and Overall Semi-Pro Champion with her hilarious rendition of a horny dairy cow with attitude. Mink & JJ from Japan gave a disturbing performance of an evil, murderous bunny, while Tessa from Hong Kong played a tiger escaping from a circus, only to tear the arm off her trainer and using it to pleasure herself. Emma Louise was absolutely adorable as a fox outsmarting other animals’ jealously of her fluffy booty-tail.



PT Lorna Shadow


Imagine waking up one morning as Lorna Shadow and doing all the cool shit Lorna Shadow can do.  This very twisted ‘Freaky Friday’ performance was wildly entertaining in its highly creative delivery and lyrics which won Sponsor’s Choice.



PT Chocobox


Sexy schoolgirl strippers show up to 80th birthday party, Coco does a flying kick and knocks Chill unconscious, Chilli meets sexy Jesus, Chilli recovers and manages to keep up with Coco including a doubles jade-cock before riding off on a giant chocolate-coated penis ejaculating money. Just another ordinary day in the life of Chocobox, really!



PT DjaniExpectant pole-mummas Felicity and Djani took to take to the stage in beautiful shows that warmly embraced the power of femininity. Felicity performed a part 2 ‘Goddess of Gold’ guest show with a very special and tender moment towards the end, while Djani was looking stronger and more flexible than ever in Pro Classique.





PT camomillePole Drama is always a hard category to pull together without giving the entire plot away in the introduction. However, Kim M in Semi-Pro and Camomille in Pro won their divisions with their excellent pole and storytelling skills. Kim M played a familiar scenario of leaving the office at lunchtime to go to ‘yoga’ (i.e. pole classes), while Camomille showed the alarming epidemic of plastic bag pollution. Camomille also won Overall Pro Champion.



PT Jenn & SheaPole Art winners were Jenn & Shea in Semi-Pro and Miss Sang in Pro. Jennifer Grace (a former winner of Semi-Pro Comedy) and newcomer Shea McOnie gave a romantic and uplifting show reminiscent of Hollywood musicals, while Miss Sang paid tribute to her inspiration, Yanis Marshall, in a strongly choreographed piece.


Finally, a special shout out to Maddie, Shimmy and the entire Pole Dance Academy family, judges and crew for putting on yet another highly successful world class Pole Theatre event. It’s a gift to the entire world, combining the talents and passions of many, many people working solidly behind the scenes to seamlessly coordinate this event! Huge congratulations to everyone involved, we can’t wait to see what will unfold in future Pole Theatre events!


About the Author

Ebony Bandini

Ebony picEbony is a Sydney based pole performer known for her love of flexibility and unique routines. A passionate student, performer and writer, Ebony has been learning pole for over a decade with some of the most renowned pole studios in Sydney. She currently teaches at Pole Athletica in Surry Hills where she loves sharing her tips for nailing hardcore tricks and splits.

Before pole dancing, Ebony worked for 3 years as a life model in Sydney and France and studied theatre acting for 1 year at the Actors Centre in Surry Hills.

When Ebony is not poling, she likes to experiment with making her own costumes and enjoys the adventurous side of freelance work.

You can find out more about Ebony at

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