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Q and A with Dr. Buff
Q: What is the most common posing mistake?
A: The most common posing mistake is not practicing enough. Many competitors think they’ll just ‘get it’ in a few minutes or an hour of practice. Wrong! Posing is hard, and it requires a lot of practice. Not just practice, but PERFECT practice. If you practice posing imperfectly, you’ll pose imperfectly onstage.
Tied to not practicing enough is not seeking help with your posing. Every show I see numerous competitors in which it’s obvious they never sought the help of a posing coach. Form, technique, style, stage presence, and so much more is painfully evident as they move from pose to pose.
Finally, little or no time is spent on the choreography of the night time routines. I like to say, “The music plays, the competitor poses, and never the two shall meet”. Even though the routine is not judged at the night show, it’s ‘entertainment’ for the crowd. Doesn’t it make sense to give the audience something to remember?
A good posing coach will not only teach you the mandatory poses and ¼ turns, but also help choreograph that crowd-pleasing, entertaining night time routine. I’ve always said, “No one remembers what place you take but EVERYONE remembers a great posing routine”! And if your coach can edit your song, that’s even better.
Q: What pose requires the most work to perfect?
A: It’s been my experience that there’s no one pose that is harder to learn or perfect than the others. Each person has strengths and weaknesses, and a pose that one person masters easily can be extremely challenging and difficult to learn for another. For example, I’ve had a dozen or more people in posing workshops, and in going up and down the line I could compliment one person on his or her front double biceps and work with another individual on that same pose. Yet on the side triceps the person that nailed the front double biceps might have problems with say, shoulder rotation, whereas the other individual could pick up that pose easily. Just like we have different taste buds, taste in cars, and even in fashion, so it is in posing. All poses should be practiced until all poses can be executed flawlessly or to one’s best ability.
Now, are there some people who ‘just can’t pose’? Well…that’s like saying can everyone play basketball like Michael Jordan? Everyone can play basketball to some degree, but not necessarily like Mike. It’s the same with posing. Everyone can learn how to pose, but for some it’ll always be a little rough around the edges.
Posing is an art form. It comes easiest to those individuals who can ‘flow’. ‘Mechanical’ posers have a little bit more of a challenge as they’re more robotic in movement. An individual that flows can transition gracefully from one pose to another whereas a mechanical poser is stiff and almost awkward. Yet a mechanical poser can learn how to pose but he/she will need lots of practice.
What’s the take-away message from this? Hire a good posing coach, practice, practice, and more practice (and make it perfect…), and give yourself enough time to learn how to pose correctly and learn your routine.
David “Dr. Buff” Patterson, MPE, CSCS, CSTS
“Tell me you will…tell me you won’t…don’t tell me you can’t!”