Joel Kolenchuk and Jenny Phillips show off one of their signature moves.

Hanging around the top

Joel Kolenchuk and Jenny Phillips of Vile Pole Arts earned second in the Doubles Division at the Canadian Pole Fitness Championships

They did it!

Joel Kolenchuk and Jenny Phillips of Vile Pole Arts earned the title of ‘First Runners Up’ in the Doubles Division at the Canadian Pole Fitness Championships, Oct. 5, Mississauga Ontario.

That’s second place, and it was a close second at that, being only three points behind the first place winners.

Using their unique blend of self-choreographed pole moves, acrobatics and teetering balancing tricks, the Quesnel duo again wowed the audience.

After their performance, the lady beside me exclaimed, “That was totally insane. She actually hung from his head.”

Here, she was referring to a one of a kind pole move invented by Jenny and Joel themselves, where Joel hangs upside down, clinging to the pole with one knee and one hand, while Jenny lifts off the ground, hanging around Joel’s neck, twisted in a pretzel-like configuration.

This was just one of the many self-invented moves that earned Vile Pole Arts their second place win in this Canada wide competition.

“We are ecstatic,” exclaimed Phillips.

“We had to place within the top two spots of our division to qualify for the next stage and we did it.”

What is the next stage, you ask? That would be the World Pole Sports Championships (WPSC) to be held July 2014, in York Hall, London England.

“That is literally unbelievable,” exclaimed Kolenchuk, “now we’ve really got our work cut out for us.”

Having only preformed on poles together for a little over four years, this Quesnel duo is understandably feeling a little overwhelmed with the prospect of the world stage, but at least the two are in good home-grown company, having qualified alongside of the first place winners of the doubles division, Veronica Solimano and Diana Pietroianu of Vancouver B.C., first place Men’s Division winner Ricky Pang of Vancouver B.C. and first place pro division winner, Nadyne Moldowan of Victoria B.C.

All in all, B.C. athletes placed in four of the available 8 qualifying WPSC 2014 spots that were being competed for in Ontario.

So what exactly is Pole Fitness?  Jenny cracks up when Joel counters with his story of being asked, “There’s competitions for pole? How in the world do they judge that kind of thing? Do you get more points the more (clothes) you take off?”

Although having derived from the more familiar, erotic, bar room dance; Pole Fitness is a very different animal indeed.

Competitions have very strict guidelines and rules directing it as an athletic, artistic sport.

Explicit rules state such things as, “It is forbidden to remove any items of clothing between the neck and knees even if there is clothing underneath; the art of pole dancing is the centre point. Focus is on fitness and presentation, not on sensuality. Any sexual suggestion will result in immediate disqualification.”

Think of it more along the lines of figure skating, but instead of a sheet of ice, picture the athletes dancing on a vertical pole – artistic, creative, lots of lifts, spins and flashy costumes, along with a humongous dose of determination, strength, flexibility, grace and agility.

Unfortunately, pole fitness will probably retain the well-ingrained reputation of the bar room variety for many more years to come, but audacious individuals like Jenny and Joel are working hard to help overcome that.

If you are the least bit curious, somewhat adventurous, or in need of a change from the same old ‘gym’ routine, give Vile Pole Arts a call or visit their Quesnel studio at the top of Dragon Lake hill, during one of their open houses.

Competitions aside, Pole Fitness can benefit anyone, young or old, man or woman and after a twirl or two this challenging, empowering and surprisingly fun work-out can easily become a healthy addiction.

To follow the antics of Vile Pole Arts you can find their postings on facebook or go to their website www.vilepolearts.com. To learn more about the Competitive side of Pole Fitness visit the Canadian Pole Fitness Association website: www.canadianpolefitnessassociation.com – where Vile’s second place performance, along with all the others, is posted via YouTube) or the International Pole Sports Federation website, www.polesports.org.

–Submitted by Sandra Pelletier

 

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