Divisions & Levels

Pole Theatre can be divided into three divisions: Amateur, Semi-Pro, and Professional. Not every division will be available to apply for every year at the discretion of the National Organiser and Pole Theatre International Organisers.

Some countries have Junior categories however competitors under the age of 18 may now enter Pole Theatre in Amateur, Semi-Pro and Professional divisions provided that they have parental consent (sent in with their application). Competitors under the age of 18 are not permitted to enter the Classique category even with parental consent.


  • The Amateur division is for competitors who have not won first place in the Amateur division of a Qualifying Competition.


  • The Semi Professional division is for competitors who have not won first place in the Semi Professional level of a Qualifying Competition, and who have not competed in the Professional division of a Qualifying Competition.


  • The Professional division is for competitors who have won first place in the Semi Professional division of a Qualifying Competition, or who have previously competed in the Professional division of a Qualifying Competition.

What is a Qualifying Competition?

Pole Theatre World recognises that there are many pole competitions all around the world, which are run with varying degrees of professionalism and standards.

We recognise that many of these competitions are social competitions which are social in nature and are primarily intended to be a fun experience for local competitors seeking a chance to perform on stage. Such competitions may be extremely well-organised and executed, but are not necessarily intended to be “serious competitions”, as they are primarily for fun.

They may be competitions organised by a studio for their students, they may be end of year performance opportunities, or competitions run in nightclubs for a cash prize. The primary purposes of these competitions include entertainment and fun. Pole Theatre World classifies such competitions as Social Competitions.

Other competitions are established with the primary purpose of ranking the selected finalists in order to award titles, with competitors scored by qualified judges against established and clearly set out judging criteria. Pole Theatre World considers such competitions to be Qualifying Competitions.

Social Competitions

Winning a social competition does not affect the competitor’s ability to select a division when entering Pole Theatre. For example, if a competitor has won Step Up or Dance Filthy Sydney (two Australian-based competitions that are classified as Social Competitions), they are still eligible to enter Pole Theatre Amateur or Semi Pro.

In the United States the following competitions are classfified as social competitions and competitors who compete in them would still in some cases be eligible to compete in Amateur or Semi-Pro:
  • Land of Lakes Pole Festival
  • Miss Showgirl USA
  • Pole Championship Series
  • Pole Sport Organization
  • The Pole Circus
  • Haute Velour
Competitors who compete at Level 5 within Pole Sport Organization, the Professional Level within Land of Lakes Pole Festival, or the Professional Level within the Pole Championship Series will be required to compete at a minimum of Semi-Pro in Pole Theatre USA.

Qualifying Competitions

The features of a Qualifying Competition may include the following:
  • It is held in a professional venue such as a theatre, hall or a sports convention.
  • There is a judging panel of qualified judges.
  • Finalists had to submit entries for judging in order to be selected to compete.
  • Entries are accepted on a regional, state, national or international basis.
  • There is an established and clear set of judging criteria.
  • The judging criteria has a focus on technical pole skill, including level of difficulty.
  • Titles and prizes are awarded (e.g. certificates, sashes, trophies or other awards).
  • It is generally considered to be a “serious” competition.
  • It is recognised by other competition organisers and competitive pole dancers as more than a social competition.
In deciding whether a competition is a Qualifying Competition, the Pole Theatre World team will have regard to:
  • Publicly available information about the competition.
  • Discussions with the organiser of the competition.
  • Discussions with the relevant Pole Theatre National Organiser.
  • Discussions with previous competitors in the competition.
  • Any other matters the Pole Theatre World team considers relevant.
In the United States the following competitions would be considered qualifying competitions and competitors from those competitions should compete at a similar level within Pole Theatre based on their participation or placement within those competitions:
  • Pole Theatre USA
  • Dance Filthy USA
  • U.S. Pole Champions
  • Exotic Generations USA
  • Original Sin
Decisions made by the Pole Theatre World team on the status of a competition are final.

If you have won a title that may impact the Pole Theatre division you choose to enter, and you are unsure whether the title you have won is from a Qualifying or Social Competition, you must approach your National Pole Theatre Organiser for clarification. You risk disqualification if you hold a title from a Qualifying Competition and you have entered the wrong division. You will not be entitled to a refund of your entry fee or any other expenses incurred if you have failed to disclose your titles. For questions on this please email poletheatreusa@gmail.com prior to submitting your audition.

Which division should I enter?

Applicants must decide which division they are submitting to, but can be moved up or down on the online judges’ discretion if placement is found to be in conflict with applicant’s level/experience. If the judges are made aware that you have applied in the incorrect division before the finalists are decided, the judges will move you to the correct division.

Anyone who has been found to have entered the wrong division after the finalists have been announced will not be allowed to compete. If you are unsure as to which division to enter, please contact your national Pole Theatre organiser at poletheatreusa@gmail.com prior to finalizing your application.


If you are made a reserve, you will be given at least 30 days notice if a finalist drops out. If you are a reserve but do not end up competing in the finals, then you can enter that same category again the following year, provided you still satisfy the division rules.

Inclusivity Pledge

At Pole Theatre USA it is our desire to create a safe and welcoming competition for performers of any gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, etc. Any performer is welcome on our stage and will always be treated with respect and equality. At no point will discrimination, harassment, or hate speech towards anyone competing, judging, or involved with the competition be tolerated. We pledge to make sure our competition is not only a fun and exciting event for competitors, but also inclusive and safe for everyone

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Missouri, United States