John F. Kennedy once said “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Three men arrived in Florida with uncertain futures. We can only imagine how everyone involved in this endeavor felt leading up to the magic moment when Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the moon.
This weekend, the Luna Aerial Dance Team had their magic moment at the Atlantic Pole Championships by Pole Sport Organization. Four girls arrived in Herndon, VA, with anxiety in their hearts about what their future held. Hundreds of women and men arrived from up and down the Atlantic coast vying for a few choice spots on the winners’ podium.
Devin, a trapeze artist who decided on a whim to start taking pole classes and compete, entered the Entertainment Level 3 category. Entertainment is a category that requires zest combined with a command of the audiences’ attention. Devin reached deep within herself to find the energy and sassiness of Marilyn Monroe and Nicole Kidman to perform to ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’. Apparently, Silver is also a close friend of Devin’s as she took her spot in second place within a group of six, signifying not only a victory for her first competition and pole performance but also a graduation up to Level 4!
Alexandra came for pole a little over a year ago and stayed at Luna because she found a community of strong women that accepted her for her rare fortitude and resilience. She decided to use this inspiration for a piece in Dramatic Level 2 with a song about acceptance in a community of misfits, ‘Lost Boy’ by Ruth B. Her Wendy Darling costume and graceful, floating moves gave the judges chills. Personally, one of my favorite moments of the competition was seeing Luna’s own Wendy Darling in a superman in front of PSO’s dark starry background. In that moment, Alex soared above everyone who never understood her as if she really were flying. Alex soared past her competition to join Devin in the winners’ circle with a second place medal in a group of 8, also graduating to the next level of PSO.
Ingrid is an aerialist that fell in love with pole as a challenge. An entertainer by nature, Ingrid had a story to tell to the Dramatic Level 4 judges: a story about violent domestic abuse and unconditional love to ‘I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’ by Ingrid Michaelson. Her ability to tell a story through dance and her daring pole tricks displayed the heartbreak and torn emotions that a victim goes through, loving their abuser. The audience cheered when she abandoned her abusive lover by discarding his shirt and revealing the bloody bruises he gave her. After a stunning nosebreaker drop from the top of the pole as she spiraled out of control, she returned to his shirt and hugged it close as she accepted him back into her life. The judges saw her leave the stage in tears and collapse backstage still reeling from the wave of emotion and recognized the story. They awarded a gold medal, allowing Ingrid to join her pole sisters in the winners’ circle.
Brenna performed last and the pressure was on. Her three pole sisters had performed well and all had medals and it was time for her to bring it home. Brenna is a veteran of pole competitions and had fallen in love with the dramatic category, but for APC, Brenna’s friends all told her to try Championship Level 4 instead. Brenna always had a story to tell, so why championship? Between her sturdy ayeshas and stunning spatchcocks, everyone said she needed to be in a category that placed emphasis on tricks. The day of Brenna’s performance, the judges had seen routine after routine of amazing tricks, but were starving for a story. Brenna delivered to them a story of a girl possessed by a demon and sent chills down everyone’s spines with her flexibility, strength, and her dramatization of the demon audio pumping through the speakers. The judges ate it up and awarded her a second place medal, guaranteeing her graduation to the Professional category as Luna’s biggest victory of the weekend.
Luna Aerial’s women have never been the type of women that let life just happen to them. We are the women who will change the world whether it accepts us or not. We believe pole is more than just a sport, it is an art form that requires resilience, strength, and meticulous planning. That is why we do this sport. We do this and the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Luna women shoot for the moon and this weekend at APC, the Luna women got their magic moment stepping onto the surface of the moon together as pole sisters led by their very our own Neil Armstrong, Tina Moran.