Sunday the 19th of February saw Solent Fitness & Aerial Arts hosting our 4th annual Youth Aerial Hoop Competition. We've been running this competition to provide some of the local young people who take aerial hoop classes with the opportunity to meet some of their peers and perform to a small audience in a friendly environment!
Zorena, Julie, Emily & Lauren had been organising this competition for a few months - there's quite a bit that goes into running an event like this including; creating the rules, advertising, finding entrants, judges and guest performers, selling tickets, sourcing raffle prizes, buying trophies/sashes, liaising with instructors/parents, checking and buying any new equipment needed, collecting in music, organising the venue, the food, as well as helping our own students create their routines for the competition too!!!
Holding the event at our home venue of JD Studio made it a lot easier than in previous years, as all of our equipment is already stored there, and it is already a familiar venue for us to use! We had a lot of jobs and helpers to do them; Julie was one of the judges, Zorena compéred, Lauren chaperoned the youths, Emily guest performed and was in charge of the music, Darren opened the bar, Paula organised and sold the food and raffle tickets, Frances photographed the event and Ben worked in the office on the scores! We also had two other judges, Fenella from Paradise Fitness and Marzena from M&K. We are VERY lucky to have so many helpers! (So a quick shoutout to all our volunteers!)
This year we had 3 categories: ages 8-10, 11-13 and 14-17, as well as special prizes overall for Best Tricks, Costume, Hair & Makeup and Entertainer. We had 20 competitors entered - two of whom had to drop out before the day. The 18 competitors that competed, performed BEAUTIFULLY! The standard of the competitors just keeps going up every year and this year was no exception!
Running this competition is SO worth it - it is lovely seeing all of the children and teens putting lots of effort and hard work into making up their routines and performing them on the day, as well as watching them support each other, both during their lessons as well as on the day. It gives them a target to work towards and makes a bit more sense as to where the lessons are going!
Our students from SFAA all did a fantastic job! We had a lot of entries - Mia, Maisie, Daisy, Willow, Alisha, Anna Maria, Talulah, Jess, Chloe, Georgia. They ALL did their instructor Zorena EXTREMELY PROUD! Their routines went brilliantly, they put on a really good show and showed very good sportsmanship on the day! For a few of them it was their first competition, hopefully their first of many!! :) Some of them were in their 4th year of competing, and we've seen them grow from year to year in this event! This makes the weeks of rehearsals and stress beforehand all worth it!
There are some downsides for us as organisers, with organising an event like this - for example the deadlines!! Getting people to get their forms, fees and music in on time seems to be impossible!! Especially the music!! We like to check all the songs before the day and make sure there's no swearing, that it all works and sounds good on our music system, but if we don't get the music in on time, there's no way we can do that!! Another drawback is the stress on the day, and worry that one of them is going to forget their costume/routine/how to do a move... This unfortunately can't be helped, no matter how prepared someone is, something unforeseen can still happen on the day! However, these are minor issues compared with the positives of running the competition!
Next up: the youths are working on their next grading level for now, so learning and working on new moves and how to put them all together to make a routine! Hopefully we can get one or two levels done each before we start thinking about the next competition entry! Some of the youths will probably also be performing in our summer show on the 11th of June (blog post coming up soon about that!) so they will be working on their routines for that, and maybe some entries for the Solent Pole & Aerial Hoop Competition 2017 too!!
Our next blog post will be a little more on this event, from Julie's perspective as a judge!!! This one will be posted later today!
Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!