Dancer poles third place

Saniya Thompson trains at South Pole Dance studio.

ARTISTRY perfectly defines her skill and grace on the pole and it was artistry which earned Invercargill pole dancer Saniya Thompson third place in Pole Artistry Grand Masters in Nelson two weeks ago.

“I was amazed. I could not believe it,” she said.

“[The other competitors] were absolutely incredible. I thought there was no way I would win, so it came as a big surprise.”

Her bullfighter-inspired routine had been more sensual in style than the others, she said.

“It is nice that sort of dance is appreciated as much as the athletic-based performances.”

Saniya Thompson performs at Pole Artistry Grand Masters 2019. Photo: Kalli-Ann Photography

Pole Artistry Grand Masters is a competition for amateur and semi-professional pole dancers in New Zealand.

Thompson was the only Southlander among the eight competitors in the semi professional division.

Thompson said the Grand Masters was a stepping stone between New Zealand Amateur Pole Performer (NZAPP), a competition for amateur pole dancers, and Miss Pole Dance New Zealand, aimed at professionals.

Pole Artistry Grand Masters organiser Sarah Dodds said the goal of the competition was to give competitors a “grand experience” and raise the standard for other competitions. Performers were selected to compete in the Grand Masters via a video submission.

Thompson said she was notified in December she had been selected, so she only had a matter of weeks in which to put a routine together.

Thompson and her business partner Morina Colyer opened South Pole Dance studio in

Saniya Thompson trains at South Pole

Invercargill four years ago, offering classes in pole dance, hoop, stretch and sexy flow.

Thompson thanked the students at South Pole Dance for their support.

“From the moment I found out I got in, they have been so encouraging and supportive, and they were absolutely incredible when I told them the news [I had placed third]. It was very special.”

Thompson and Colyer have been selected to compete in Miss Pole Queen NZ in Nelson on April 13. They are the only Southlanders competing in the professional division of the competition.

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