by Kym and Sarah
All images by Vertigo Photography
Back in 2012 there were so few opportunities for polers to get on stage, and almost zero chances outside of competition or studio walls. We had both produced pole events together previously and we saw the need for a platform where pole dancers of all skill levels, dance styles and genders could perform. To perform for the sheer fun of it, for the experience, for creativity’s sake! On top of that, we wanted to set the standard and provide paid performance opportunities.
The Encore! Sydney Pole Show was born to unite the spectrum of pole dancing, where pole dancers could express their individuality and creativity. This was a show for males and females, solo, double and group performances to get on the same stage side-by-side without judging criteria. We put the call out for submissions, and from the very first Encore! the diversity we have seen on our stage has never failed to delight us!
In 2012 when we ran our first show it was incredible to see first-time pole performers making their stage debut and getting hooked. Encore! was the start of their pole careers and many of them went on to become title holders and professionals.
The first year lineup also included professionals such as Travis Scott, Kristy Sellars, Lisa D, Deb Roach, Karry Summers, Bendy Kate from the UK and David Aeon Helman. Travis Scott was there performing in heels before boys wearing heels in pole was a thing, and his video is still one of the most popular on our YouTube channel.
David’s “Dancing for Diversity” routine was a moving and creative piece in response to the topical issue of discrimination. Set to a cinematic backdrop, this was the first of many Encore performances that introduced the use of multimedia to accompany pole dance.
Since then we’ve had so many great memories. Pole performances have been melded so creatively with other skill sets and we’ve had people perform ballet barre, acro balance, lyra, burlesque, ballroom dancing, tap dancing, fire eating, cage dancing, magic tricks, Broadway numbers, roller-skating pole, musical instruments, with live singers and with live animals.
Last year our MC Amber Ray had to babysit a carpet python side-stage after its cameo in the previous act! Never work with children or animals? No way! We had our first junior poler, 7 year old Chilli, performing that same year and it was a dream!
Encore has given amateurs and professionals alike a creative outlet and very supportive environment. One of the biggest compliments we get each year is from the performers who experience so much support back stage and develop new friendships with other performers. It’s a completely different vibe to a pole comp, on stage and off stage. On stage, performers aren’t restricted to the latest tricks or the pressure to perform for anyone other than themselves. As an audience we get to enjoy a new level of creativity.
Every Encore! seems better than the previous one, and it’s heartwarming and awe-inspiring for us to see the performances on stage, after having only read the performance concept at the audition stage. We see so much growth between auditions and the show! This year is bound to be no exception with some old favourites lined up to knock our socks off… Deb Roach, An Dre and Andrea James Lui to name a few.
Sarah and I have worked together on pole events for over 10 years, and Encore! has been our most satisfying and successful event. As co-producers of the show we work seamlessly together, even though we’re located in different states. We both bring different personalities and skills to the partnership and that’s been the perfect blend for us, enabling us to experience a fun and smooth process each year.
This Saturday the 19thJanuary will be our 9thand final show. While we still love what Encore! brings, both of us have families now and want to put more time back into them. So please, come and experience what Encore! has to offer, and be part of it one last time!
Kym and Sarah
Tickets still available: http://www.factorytheatre.com.au/events/2019/01/19/encore-sydney-pole-show-2019