Lunalae's Exclusive Interview with Miss Pole Dance Australia 2020 @mischkapoledancer

At Lunalae, we love to get to know the names behind the faces (or Instagram profiles 📷, 8” heels 👠, sparkly sets ✨ , or muscles 💪!) of our pole icons. 

 

With pole competitions resurfacing (can we get a HELL YEAH! 😍) we know that many of you will be considering entering some comps and are probably wondering what goes on behind the scenes 🤔😏
Well, what better way to prepare for a comp than like MISS POLE DANCE AUSTRALIA 2020 herself, @mischkapoledancer! https://www.mischkapoledancer.com/
(Mischka is wearing the Paris Set in Crystal Blue
Just in case you need a catch up on her achievements, Mischka has placed: 
  • 1st place Miss Pole Dance Australia 2020
  • 'Best Trickster' award Australian Pole Championships 2019
  • Sponsors Choice award Australian Pole Championships 2018
  • 2nd Runner Up Victorian Pole Championships 2018
  • 2nd Runner Up Pole Championship Series 2018
  • 1st Runner Up Miss Pole Dance Victoria 2017 and 2019
  • Finalist Miss Pole Dance Australia 2016, 2017
  • 1st Runner Up Vortex Melbourne 2017
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    @misspoledanceaustralia 📷

     

     

    HOW DOES SHE DO IT?!
    We caught up with Mischka to find out her secret tips, hints, and how she copes with pre-show nerves. Grab your pen and paper folks 📝
           

    L: How and when did you first get interested in pole dancing?

    M: My interest in pole began when my best friend started pole and showed me all of her mad skills! She took me to a Miss Pole Dance Victoria and I remember being amazed at an extended butterfly to Ayesha. I wanted to be able to do those moves, so I started a beginner course on my own and never looked back. Other than one beginner pole trick that almost made me stop pole forever because of the thigh burn!

    L: What was your first pole dancing competition, and how did you feel going into it? Were you really nervous? 

    M: My first pole comp was Unleashed, a Pole Divas comp. I had no idea at all about audience connection, put in a whole lot of hard tricks that I couldn’t execute on the night, and ended up very disappointed in myself. I remember looking out at the audience when I first walked out on stage, and then directing my gaze to the floor for the rest of the routine because I couldn’t deal with seeing the audience! But every pole comp is an amazing lesson, and I took the experience and grew from it. While pole comps still make me nervous, I can harness the nerves and direct them into a different kind of energy now.

    L: What made you decide to compete in Miss Pole Dance Australia?

    M: The first time I competed at Miss Pole Dance Australia I was absolutely not ready for a professional comp, but there weren’t heaps of amateur comps around at the time. Prior to pole I was also an elite level triathlete, so I’ve always enjoyed some sort of competitive goal to work towards. 

    L: How can someone who has never competed before best-prepare themselves physically for a pole comp?

    M: My preparation journey for a pole comp will usually start 8-12 weeks out, with experimenting with movement and combos. From there, I like to be running the routine in 2 chunks by 6 weeks out, and then by 4 weeks out, full runs. It doesn’t always work out like that, but it’s ideal if it does! If I know what comps I’ll be entering throughout the year, I can also cater my gym program to the comp. Several months prior to the comp I’ll be laying down good strength foundations and lifting heavier weights, and then closer to the comp, I’ll back off the high loads and it will become more of a maintenance program. I know gym isn’t for everyone, but some sort of prehab is absolutely essential. I need to cross train with gym work to keep an old back injury strong, but it absolutely keeps the rest of me together as well. And finally, don’t overtrain! As much as you feel like you should be in the studio day in day out, sometimes you have to take a few days off. You’ll come back feeling more refreshed and motivated for a better session! 

    L: How can someone who has never competed before best-prepare themselves mentally for a pole comp?

    M: The mental side of comp prep is crazy hard to manage! But my best advice is to stay in your lane. If you concern yourself too much with comparing yourself to what everyone else is doing, you’ll turn into a ball of stress and negativity. Just do you. You’re competing against yourself to be better than your last run through or your last comp, not anyone else; because you can’t control what anyone else is doing. But you can control you. I also find visualising to be very helpful. I can’t physically do the amount of run throughs that I’d like to be able to do, so visualising myself performing the movements to music is immensely helpful. 

    L: How would you describe your dancing style?

    M: I feel like I have a few dance styles up my sleeve. Most people see my heels style which is usually dynamic and powerful, but my absolute favourite way to dance is to flow barefoot, closely followed by heels flow. I love slowing my movement down and being gooey and fluid, it makes me feel like a flowy seaweed.  

    L: What are your top 3 crowd pleaser moves?

    M: Oooh, tough one. I feel like the crowd always loves a good static dynamic movement like a punchfront or flying phoenix. Iguana drop. Maybe dragon’s tail fang. But I’ve refined the bird of paradise since my last comp, so maybe that’s the new crowd pleaser! 

    L: Leading up to a competition, what does a day in the life look like for you?

    M: If the comp isn’t interstate, I’ll usually still teach in the morning before arriving at the venue. If it’s interstate, I just try to keep my brain chill by hanging with mates. I want to avoid sitting in the high stress zone because it’s such a big energy drain. Driving or walking to the venue is when the nerves start pumping, but they settle after the tech run. I sometimes have a little backstage nap before visualising the routine again, multiple times. Just prior to walking out onto the stage, I’m gripping up and thinking about how no matter what happens out there, I need to be a good example for my students, and that always makes me super keen to get out there and make a show of it. 

    L: How long do you warm-up and stretch before the comp performance? Usually they're for 6pm onwards, how do you keep yourself energised throughout the day for such a demanding night?

    M: As I mentioned before, I’ll sometimes take a little nap time, zone out and watch animal Instagram vids, have a few light snacks, chat to my mum and my partner (those chats sometimes involve a few breakdowns, I’m not going to lie!). If my partner is attending the show, it’s a ritual to go out in the interval or before the show starts and get myself a big squishy comfort hug. He always makes me feel like I can do the thing. The “pump up” phase for me, should only start about 30min out, otherwise it’s too much energy wasted and I start getting sleepy side of stage. Not ideal! 

    L: What is the most important thing in a pole dance performance in your opinion?

    M: There are so many factors to bring it all together, but I feel like the most important thing is confidence in yourself. Look up and out at your audience, give them face and emotion, drag them into your show, and OWN that damn stage!

     

    You heard her! We couldn’t have said it better ourselves so ala Mischka go on and OWN that damn stage! 💃

     (Mischka is wearing the Paris Set in Midnight Shine


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