Today we’ll be covering an amazing event that happened this past week: International Pole Convention 2019 in Denver, CO!
The PolePedia team packed their bags, prepped the car, and set out from the comfortably small city of Providence, Rhode Island.
1,954 miles and many nature stops later, we drove into the warm and welcoming city of Denver, Colorado.
The event was held at the Westin Westminster, a wonderful, tall hotel that looked out on the Rocky Mountains. Towering over the skyline in the distance, the snowcaps glittered in the sunlight despite the warm, 80~90-degree Fahrenheit weather on the ground.
A short drive away was the city of Boulder, filled to the brim with amazing food, street performers, and breathtaking mountain heights. No matter the weather, both cities featured a gorgeous view of the mountains; something we did not get tired of during our stay.
A wonderful restaurant called Snooze sat on the top of the hill next to the hotel. Scrumptious breakfast options and a friendly waitstaff made breakfast a treat every morning.
One thing we noted when visiting both Denver and Boulder was there was no lack of healthy options, whether you are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian – you name it, they have it.
After breakfast, grab a delicious drink from Caribou Coffee and you’re all set to enjoy the fun and excitement right next door at Pole Con 2019!
On the Floor: Vendors, Showcases, and Demos
When we first arrived on site, the convention was already alive and full of activity.
Walking into the main room was like walking into a pole paradise. The first thing you saw before moving into the showcase and vendor room is trussing with lyra hoops, poles, and silks all set up for free play time.
A couple of vendors were set up outside the main room, showcasing art, leggings, harnesses, grip, and clothes.
Once you make your way into the vendor room, there’s an overwhelming amount of noise, activity, products, demos, workshops, and showcases.
To your left, the registration desk glowed brightly, and vendors like Natasha Wang, X-Purr, and Cheeky Polewear lined the wall. Further down, a large open space was designated for demos and floorwork, where wooden floors and balance bars were set up to accommodate play and training for anyone interested.
To your right, vendors such as Glory of LA and Cleo the Hurricane had a front-row seat to the main stage, where many showcases and performances were held throughout the weekend.
In front of you, three aisles of vendors were selling grip aids, clothes, poles, silks, and much more. A total of 34 vendors took to their booths each morning to talk about the latest pole dance news, discuss product quality, and bump elbows with famous pole dancers.
Many of these businesses come to Pole Con from all over the world, and some were local to the Colorado area. Ranging from Trick Tack Grip, Dew Point Pole, Push and Pole, Pole Sport Organization, Twisted Polerina, to Body & Pole, Black Girls Pole, Grata Designs and Alethea Austin, there was no shortage of good conversation and excellent products.
We spent more than we should have on the entire weekend on the first day, but it was well worth it!
Popular Events and Workshops
Events and workshops were happening all the time. If you caught someone you knew in the halls or main room, chances are you weren’t there for long until one of you had to rush off to a workshop, or even a series of workshops.
There was a wide variety of both paid and free workshops to choose from. Paid workshops required reservation via the Mindbody app, while free workshops were available for anyone to show up to, typically with unlimited seating.
Paid workshops ranged from Inverting 101 with Roz the Diva, to Pole Flow with Marlo Fisken. Multiple bootcamps and workouts were hosted through the weekend as well.
There were even non-pole workshops that included talks, chair, lap dance, and flexibility workshops from popular pole artists.
Free workshops included Mood Movement with Rhian, Race and Cultural Appropriation in Pole panel discussion by Black Girls Pole, a Liquid Motion Certification Teaser, Pole Tarot and so much more.
If you wanted to meet your favorite pole star and book a private with them, you had the option for that as well, with many famous faces such as Nicole the Pole, Sammy Piccone, Jenyne Butterfly, Natasha Wang, Brian Wolf, Roz the Diva, and Phoenix Kazree.
There were no shortages of autographs, exciting conversations, and selfies throughout the week.
Showcases All Day, Every Day
If you didn’t feel like participating in a workshop and had gone through the vendors too recently, you still had many options to choose from.
Starting on Friday morning, showcases took over the main stage in the righthand side of the room.
From Pole Comedy Showcase to Men of Pole Showcase, Queer Pole Showcase, and Black Girls Pole Showcase, Friday was packed with beautiful performances. Several contestants from previous competitions were seen.
Saturday was no different, starting off at 9 AM and ending at 6:30 PM. Showcases this day included Up and Coming Stars Showcase, Youth Showcase, Freestyle showcase, and Creepy Showcase.
Sunday was a half-day, with many people wrapping up and checking out of their hotel rooms. a Hall of Fame Games activity was hosted at 10:30 AM after everyone had breakfast. Last on the main stage, a beautiful Lyra Showcase end-capped the performances for this year.
Let’s rewind a bit, first. We’re not done with the fun yet!
If you want to enroll in a certification course, plan to show up a little early next year. Those who pre-enrolled for certifications began their courses on Wednesday this year, a day before the convention. You could find several certification courses from the popular XPert Pole Fitness and Liquid Motion, to the favorite Cleo’s Floor Rockers and upcoming courses like Rad Roller Mobility Certification.
Lunch was served from the hotel, free to those who had a ticket, which you receive with your Pole Con registration bag.
Seating was provided both indoors and out, so at noon each day, pole dancers would filter out into the lunch hall, grab their food, and find a seat with new and old friends alike.
Several games were also held in the competition, notably the Hall of Fame Games. Winners are recorded in the PoleCon Hall of Fame Record Book and receive a prize for their prowess!
Games included Revolution Record, competing against how many times you can spin on a spin pole without touching the floor. Race to the Top is a race to the ceiling and back down, much like our Relay Race pole dancing game.
Much more difficult games included Iron X Endurance Hold and Chopstix Endurance Hold. New to this year, Shoulder Mount Deadlifts and Spinning Pencil Pull Ups made their debut.
See You There Next Year!
Did you know that next year is PoleCon’s 10th anniversary?
It’s two streets from Bourbon Street in New Orleans!
Register for your pass and keep an eye out for workshops at the International Pole Con website. This is not a year you will want to miss, so start planning for it!