Too good for the ‘Gram: Some photos from Scarlet Show ’22

arlene caffrey pole dancing in the scarlet show at defy gravity wales

Last Saturday I had the honour of being invited back to the Scarlet Show in Milford Haven in Wales.

I also got to teach my ‘Old School Flow’ pole dance workshop as part of this event; I had such a wonderful time and I can’t thank enough everyone who came and took part and who said such lovely words about it!

For folks who don’t know what the Scarlet Show is, it’s the creation of fellow pole OG Jamie Taylor and has been happening since 2017. Jamie is the creatrix of ‘The Scarlet Temple’ and ‘Serpent Power’, as well as the owner of Defy Gravity pole dance studio. In her own words, she is “is always creating new and unique ways to break chains and unlock magickal potential in those who work with her or follow her events”.

I’m pondering the right words to describe the Scarlet Show; it’s far from your standard pole dance show. It takes place in The Pill Community Centre in the seaside town of Milford Haven; it is exactly the sort of place where you will find traditional community groups and activities, such as children’s dance recitals, bingo, choir groups, etc… For the Scarlet Show it is transformed into a sacred space where literal magic happens, expertly held and facilitated by Jamie who is an Old Crafter and Magickian. Thirteen dancers, who are made up of Jamie’s students at Defy Gravity as well as pole dancers from around the UK and Ireland, bring to life characters inspired by the theme of the show, which they co-create with Jamie.

This year’s theme was ‘Scarlet Black – Beautiful Mourning’. This is how Jamie describes the theme:

“Scarlet Black is a Behemoth. She looks down on us from the height beyond the veil of night, and stands strong and silent in depths we cannot fathom.
She is solace in mourning. She is joy in anger. She is bliss in dark thoughts, which leads the blackest magick to bring much needed change.
She is Source of those who dare, who see through and break rules, who read between the lines of lies and those who find comfort on that which we are told to stay away from.
This Scarlet will not be for the faint hearted.
She is from the time before the opulence of Temple.
She saw the creation of the Red Thread of the blood behind Scarlet the Serpentine Realm.
She casts with the bones of Scarlet White.
Her scent is black feather, cold wood smoke and chalk covered caves. She was first.
Ever been afraid of the dark? That archaic, soul deep fear? It’s Her.”

To put it into context, the opening number for this years show included a woman drawing sigils on the walls of the theatre with blood, and then proceeding to scream (proper heavy metal style) on stage as Jamie entranced us with her swirly leggy dancing. It was truly awesome.

For my act, I wanted to embody my fae side and work with the archetypal energies of the Sidhe, which is something that is very close to my heart with my Moon Mná and Shamanic training! So Jamie created the character of ‘Sorcha Aes Sidhe’ and wrote the following poem to accompany it:

“5 strands, you’ll see
5 strands for thee

One cut, one long, one strong, one weak
And one that’ll be, between the weathers
Between the scents, and the words that they’ll speak
To you, as they lie, and they try to take back the payment
They just madeIn exchange for the seer sight answers only you have
They bring milk, and gold and honey, bright stones
They bring all but their truths, which you already know, of course.
A bribe is no good to hands as pure as yours.
A bribe is no good to a lineage as ancient as yours.”

Pretty cool right? I also translated this into Gaeilge and read it from behind the curtains before my first act in the show 🤘

So, with a spinning wheel as my prop, a black fringe costume beautifully made by Agata Jurago-Pach of Sway Polewear (which I decorated with found crow feathers) and a crown made from ivy, I set about bringing to life this fae character who weaves the threads of fate, with the message “No matter what’s going on in your universe, everything is going to work out OK”.

I don’t have a video, but you can enjoy some photos here by Bailey Media. As always, please do not download or share them without permission from me or the photographer. And if you like them, kindly consider buying me a coffee please and thank you!

Want to stay in the loop about next year’s Scarlet Show? Follow Jamie on Instagram 😉

arlene caffrey pole dancing in the scarlet show at defy gravity wales

arlene caffrey pole dancing in the scarlet show at defy gravity wales

arlene caffrey pole dancing in the scarlet show at defy gravity wales

arlene caffrey pole dancing in the scarlet show at defy gravity wales

arlene caffrey pole dancing in the scarlet show at defy gravity wales