"Honestly speaking, we have felt we were left in the dark as a society in different aspects" - Lea Bird
InQuire has once again sat down with Kent Pole Fitness after the previous interview from ‘This Kent Girl Can’ edition. This time, the two members of the committee have told us more about the sport, their first ever Varsity preparation, and the anticipation for the upcoming matches and events. Our opinion editor Maisie Lee interviewed Lea Bird (PR and Comms) and Josh Glanville (Equipment Manager).
"We consider ourselves as a sports society. We try to get people engaged especially for those who are looking for something different other than the traditional kinds of sports. Us as a society is also attempting to break down the stigmatisation regarding ‘pole dancing’, as it is often perceived as something ‘sexual’, whilst the fitness and sporty aspects of it is often overlooked. We promote not only fitness but building confidence and people feeling happy about themselves through pole fitness. Having competed in Varsity for the first time feels like we’re finally being treated as a reputable society. We feel like we’re given more chances to promote pole fitness, spread our influences, and get publicity on all levels.
We’ve participated in the nationals and that was a huge experience for all of us. Although we didn’t get to win, it was a huge, nationwide competition where all our dancers got to compete with extremely powerful and talented professionals. Despite how tough the competition was, the fact that our members got to participate in national tournaments was simply amazing.
Indeed, and one of the things the current committee has been working on is branching out within and beyond the University. And because there has been stigma surrounding the sport and our reputation as a society was not strong enough when we were at different competitions, there has been a sentiment among the members that we were treated in a less serious manner. So those were the challenging sides of running the society but we are expecting Varsity could bring changes in those regards.
We wanted to organise somewhat ‘crazy’ dance-off like competitions, like what we see in ‘camp rock’ (haha). But they weren’t really sure about the idea so it’s likely to remain friendly. We are going through rehearsals and performances check-ups in the next couple of days. We’ve only recently learned about the dates and deadlines, so we are in the midst of organising everything.
Everyone preparing for the varsity are extremely committed and passionate about what they do. It is like having some kind of cushion to fall on- meaning even if we fail to bring back good results, we can still rely on how everyone has done their best and all the members are loving and supportive of one another.
There is this spirit in sports that blossoms from simply watching the sports, especially when it comes to sports like pole fitness, because you almost get this feeling that you are one of the dancers. The audience is such a big part of the sports in general, as much as the actual dancers are. If pole fitness is something you are not aware of or you haven’t seen before, come and enjoy our performances and it could be a good experience for anyone. Just come along and enjoy."
"Our society is like a family. There’s definitely more than just exercising- it’s like a community that provides you with different activities and socialising experience. It’s exciting to compete in Varsity for the first time because we were not usually considered a sports society. We now feel more involved. Honestly speaking, we have felt we were left in the dark as a society in different aspects. Because we are a society with relatively short history and less publicity, some of the event we planned were not delivered in the clearest manner. I feel like us participating in Varsity will bring positive changes in that sense.
We’re really close with the CCCU pole fitness. Both societies have been putting great efforts in organising events and socials together, so ‘engaging competition’ is probably the way it is going to be.
I think the dancers are pretty chilled and excited about it. It’s more exciting than we’re feeling pressured from the competition, because it’s the chance where we can show off what we’ve been practicing. It’s a good excitement so far. We also have a lot of drive this year, we have tried to boost things up and become more engaging. More socials were also really helpful in terms of bonding and socialising, so we’re more motivated than ever in every aspect.
Once you come and watch our performances, you will get to see what we are capable of doing. Then there will be chances for them to come join our society and find out what they are also capable of doing."
"All we can say is we hope so, but we think we have got good chances of winning."
One word to sum up Varsity:
Lea: Hot scolding.. tea?
Josh: I’d say, euphoria.