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2024 PSO Updates

2024 PSO Updates
Dear PSO family,

Each year we take several full days to review wins and challenges from the past year, and plan for updates and improvements for the upcoming year. Our rules, look and feel of the event, and processes are constantly being evaluated so that we stay on top of industry changes as well as competitor, volunteer, judge, and spectator feedback. 

I would like to start by highlighting some amazing feedback that we had from the surveys that we recently sent out. Thank you to all who answered! The raffle winners are going to be contacted by email this week.

  • The top 3 reasons that you all compete are: to become a better dancer, to set a goal, and to gain performance experience.


  • Nearly all of respondents agree that their experience at events aligns with the statement " One of PSO’s core beliefs is that everyone has something to contribute and deserves to have their moment on the stage. We strive to make PSO events neutral and non-biased spaces that respect people of all backgrounds, skills, identities, and studio affiliations."


  • About 80% of respondents are already thinking about their next competition!

Let's delve into the specifics of each rule change for 2024:

  1. Holly Drop Clarification: One move that consistently generates questions is the Holly Drop. To provide clear guidance, we are officially categorizing the Holly Drop as a Level 2 move in our competition rules. This clarification should help competitors better understand its placement within their routines.

  2. Prop Rules Update: We understand that accidents can happen during performances, leading to props like hairpins, hair ties, or jewelry inadvertently detaching. In recognition of this, we are revising our prop rules to state that any such accidental detachment will not result in deductions. This adjustment aims to alleviate concerns and ensure that competitors can focus on delivering their best performances without undue worry.

  3. Age Groups for Master and Grand Master Categories: Previously, we always separated the master and grand master age groups from junior and senior categories. However, we recognize that some competitors may prefer not to compete alone in their age group. Therefore, we are introducing a new option: if you are scheduled as a master or grand master competitor and wish to be combined with the younger age group, you may submit a request before the music deadline. We will accommodate these requests whenever possible, fostering a more inclusive and accommodating competition environment.

  4. Competing Alone Option: Similarly, if you find yourself scheduled to compete alone in your division and would prefer to be grouped with others, you now have the opportunity to make such a request. By emailing us before the music and props deadline, we will endeavor to fulfill your request to the best of our ability. This change aims to empower competitors to shape their competition experience according to their preferences, promoting a sense of community and camaraderie.

 

The following are not rules updates, but they are process updates and reminders for the upcoming season:

 

  1. Medical Professional Presence: Your safety and well-being are top priorities, so I want to remind you that a qualified medical professional is present at all PSO events. Whether you're a competitor or an attendee, there is someone on our team ready to assist in case of emergencies. For events in the US and most international ones, this individual will have access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that they provide or one that is available through the venue. If you ever need assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

  2. Heels Level 5: Road to Nationals: Calling all Heels Level 5 competitors! We're excited to announce that winning in this category at regionals will automatically qualify you to compete at Nationals. This streamlined pathway offers a new opportunity for Heels performers to showcase their skills on a national stage. Get ready to bring your A-game and vie for the chance to represent your region at the highest level of competition.

  3. New Promo Items and Recognition for Judges and Volunteers: In our ongoing efforts to express gratitude to our dedicated judges and volunteers, we're introducing a range of new promotional items. From specially curated judge giveaways to brand new pole cleaner tank tops and ambassador gifts, we're excited to unveil these tokens of appreciation. Additionally, we'll be shining a spotlight on our esteemed judges through recognition on our Instagram leading up to each event. Your contributions are invaluable to us, and we want to ensure that you feel appreciated every step of the way.

  4. Expansion of Travel Team and Administrative Team: I am thrilled to welcome several new members to our Travel Team, each of whom brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to their roles. Alexis, Aliona, Alyssa, Brittany, Jax, Kirsten, and Maendy have all demonstrated their dedication to the pole community as volunteers, competitors, and judges, and we're excited to have them on board. On the administrative side, we're pleased to announce Mallory Barnes as our new Customer Service Manager. With her extensive knowledge of PSO rules from being a Judge Wrangler and a pole dance instructor, Mallory is well-equipped to provide exceptional support to you. Additionally, Samantha Rodrigues has been promoted to Director of Operations, where she will continue to lead our event planning efforts with her trademark organizational prowess and attention to detail.

  5. Access to X-Stage Backstage: We are grateful to X-Pole for providing us with an X-Stage! This will be available backstage or in the dressing room area at most US events. 

Thanks for reading my annual update! I look forward to seeing you onstage or at an event in 2024!

-Amy