tiff bgt

I decided to go for it and audition a pole routine for Britain’s Got Talent this year. Now its been on BGMT, I want to share my experience, rather than the edited version, and my reasons for entering with anyone that wants to hear about it.

Here is the video clip:

 

I posted my actual rehearsal for the audition on my Facebook page “Tiff Finney” so you can see the actual song and routine.

I don’t regret it one iota. If I was in charge of the post production, it’d probably be a bit different but there’s no point in worrying about the ifs and buts really.

I sent in my application, got a date to perform in the preliminary round. Got through that round, another prelim round and then got through to perform in front of the judges. I entered 2 years ago and got through to the Reveal stage (where they decide if you go through to the live semis). I was sooo excited. I wore my boots and my Bad Kitty Criss Cross shorts and had the time of my life performing. The judges were so nice. It got shown on TV and they censored the whole performance deeming it too outrageous to show without censoring. I remember being shocked because they showed people in nipple tassels and less. There was also someone in a g string giving Louis Walsh a lap dance (which I loved, incidentally). With no censoring! Instantly I knew why, it was because there was a pole! That bloody ill judged preconception getting in the way. So I entered again hoping to change the perception. I did everything I could for the audition to be taken more seriously. I covered up, wore PoleFit Fold Overs and had a concept for the dance. The song was “Breathe” by Prodigy. I had a gas mask. The concept started with me struggling to breathe. When I put the mask on, I could breathe and re-gained life which allowed me to perform all of the tricks. The mask represents something that gives you passion and a reason to get out of bed in the morning- a reason to breathe. Which for me and so many others is pole. The judges said some really nice things and allowed me to share my reason for being there. The audience was amazing and really got why I was there. I got 3 yeses and got through to the next prelim round and the “Reveals” which is the next stage.

Oh, I also tripped over after the performance. Which is typical. But I think it added depth to the audition haha. It’s funny because I can’t bear to watch all of those videos of people falling. My heart always breaks for them. But when I fell, it wasn’t so bad. I have put it on rewind a few times. But I still can’t watch other people falling over! Falling is just a part of everyday life. Just got to get back up and carry on.

Here is the link to the audition I did 2 years ago. The original posted one got taken down after nearly 2 years so this is the only one I could find:

So anyway, I got the call to say I would be shown on TV the next da. After the first time, I knew that anything could happen. You may have seen it already so I won’t go into detail but they censored me again. And played a different song to make it all a bit light hearted and to make it seem sexier, which just made it a little strange. However, they showed more of the tricks this time and they showed a couple of the really nice comments. So I’m really happy. I think I could have worn tracksuit bottoms and there wold be the same outcome with the censoring. I wished they could have shown the things I talked about and my reason for being there but pole is still at its infancy in the grand scheme of things. And at least the audience that were there that day got to hear everything so if a couple of people think about taking a pole class or change their perceptions of pole because of my audition then, fuck, that’s a great start. The video also has 250,000 views after 3 days so hopefully some of these people will see the reason why I was there.

So the reason I wanted to enter wasn’t to become ‘famous’. I mean, we have pole stars in the pole industry but we can’t do the job we do to become famous. We aren’t singers or comedians or actors. Instead, we work to be a positive influence within the pole community so that the community can grow and evolve.  The community is much bigger than singular people. So I entered the competition to try and help to promote the pole industry. I want to help to spread the word that pole is an inclusive dance/art/sport. In our society, women in particular are faced with judgement every single day without choice from their age, what they wear, their opinions to their waist size. Pole, on the outside, has the preconception of being for young, leggy, trim goddesses that tempt and woo men away from their wives and girlfriends that are at home trying to make a nice home for their loved ones. So in turn, this makes the general public think negatively when they hear the word ‘pole’. In turn, many women would not join a pole class because they don’t want to be branded a ‘good for nothing home wrecker’ either. This is why people who want to represent the pole community have a huge amount to do in trying to break the stigma.

So, I wanted to show that pole is inclusive. We don’t do it to woo men away and take their money. I personally have no bad feelings about strip clubs in any way. This is it’s own industry providing its own legitimate service. And most of us has a secret stripper inside us dying to get out. I know I do.

The pole community is different. It is a place for women to come to a class with the aim of building confidence both physically and mentally. Whether sports, art or exotic based, they all have the same effect of changing the way women live their lives. It makes us feel not only confident, but PROUD to be confident. In our society, without going into critical analysis, women serve society better when they are quiet and doing as they’re told. Well, here in the UK at least. And I am SICK TO DEATH of this. Every one of us deserves to be proud to be confident. I mean, look at the magazines that tell us that we should wear skirts that don’t go above the knee when you hit 30. What a load of bull shit. Or only wear a pencil skirt if you have the “right” figure for it. Have you ever heard such a sack of shite?

So if I can convince people to join a pole class then I will try my hardest to make it happen.

Also, I wanted to do it for all of my students at Pole Physique. They made the huge step to help the pole community by joining our classes despite the reactions that they would inevitably face so I should take a huge step too.

I am inspired every single day by my students and by all of the ambassadors of pole from companies such as Bad Kitty USA to pole stars and to instructors and their students posting their amazing progress. Their progress means constant progress for our pole community and I am honoured to be a part of it. Anyway, to finish up:

 

Anything you believe in is worth fighting for. And I will be damned if I ever stop fighting.

8 Comments

  • Pete says:

    Great write-up, Tiff. I got so much love for you and what you have done. This industry has one big plus, and one big minus. The Plus is that it feels like such an awesome underground members only club. It reminds me of when i used to be a Skateboarder and we were shunned by everyone who wasn’t a skater. But everyone who was in the game had so much pride and respect for one another. The flip-side to this whole movement, is the blind ignorance on the opposite site of the spectrum. I have to admit when Bad Kitty recruited me, i was still so ignorant. I wasn’t like that because i was being some dumb horny simple-minded dude. I just didn’t know how big and complex and talented and powerful it all was. Once i learned what it was all about and how big and exclusive it was, i was blown away and so appreciative just to be inside the circle in my smallest little ways. Now i feel like i walk around protecting the sport to anyone out there who is ignorant. Some people are just blind and i can talk to them for an hour and they still don’t get it. Then i fire up the computer, turn up the volume and say, WATCH THIS SHIT! And i play a couple of my favorite routines from major events and the crowd is going wild. Pieces of the essence that made me understand it all in the beginning. It’s usually at this point, whoever i am talking to finally get’s it and you just see them start glowing with respect that wasn’t there until now. I feel it is only a matter of time before the world finally let’s it’s guard down and see’s that this is just as big and important as Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Olympic Gymnastics or Nitro Circus. From my point of view, my Respect level for the whole Pole world is nothing short of colossal now and i hope more people can wholeheartedly see what i see with open arms and pride and excitement with this progressive movement. Love ya, Tiff.

    • Tiff says:

      Thanks for taking all that time out to write this up. Those words are so appreciated. So cool to hear about your skate boarding past. There is nothing that you can’t do is there? You talented bugger :) When I have people like you around me, I will always be happy with who I am, who we are and what we stand for. Swinging that love right back atcha xx

  • Rebecca says:

    You are absolutely right! I’ve been poling for nearly two years and have a long way to go yet, but I love the sport, and I love my classmates. I still get stupid comments from some people about the sport, but I know I am convincing many more about its merits. I shouted at the screen when I watched your censored act. There was NOTHING to cover up. Good luck with the next rounds :-)

    • Tiff says:

      Yeah, it was a shame they censored it. I entered knowing that anything could happen. I thought it was worth the shot rather than never knowing. Thanks so much xx

  • Alan Humphrey says:

    you rock pal. Hate what’s happened. Hate that society is forcing this on women. Be you and be proud!

  • Amalie Hagesæter says:

    I am deeply offended by the way BGT edited and sensored your performance. It is extremely disrespectful, and I don’t think they have even considered the message it sends to girls and women of every age. We can do and wear whatever we want! I am not an exotic dancer myself, I stick to the more “artsy” dancing, but I still wish every branch/style of pole dancing recieved the same respect. There have been so many “artsy” pole dancers on talent shows, both in Britain and internationally, without any kind of censoring, and I think it’s rude of them to treat you differently. I think it’s great that you participated! The progress towards acceptance of all pole dancing styles is slow, but slow progress is better than no progress, and things like theese definately help a lot! :)

    A round of applause for you – keep up the good work!
    Love from a fellow pole dance instructor from Norway :*

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