Last year we had 10 female flair bartenders competing, this year we have 17 – next year we are going to have even more! It’s great to see more and more women getting involved in the world of flair bartending, bringing their own unique style and talent to the fore. We are yet to have our first Purple or Black WFA level awarded to a female flair bartender, which you get for coming in the Top 6 of a WFA Grand Slam event, could 2018 be the year that this happens? Only time and a lot of flair, will tell!
With the next Roadhouse Chicks with Flicks only 6 days away (this 30th of September) we spoke to one of the world’s most well known female flair bartenders Naty Peralta to see what has changed and moved on in the world of female flair bartending since our interview last year:
What are your thoughts on how female flair bartending has developed in the last year?
“There has definitely been some growth in the development of female flair bartending since we spoke last year, particularly in attitude and understanding. I have met lots of new girls who are just starting out and are excited about the competitions. I try to motivate them to not be afraid of the big stage, you have to compete to get better. I am always really happy to see more girls going for it on stage. I can definitely see in the new generation of women that they are less scared to get up there and do it, there is a lot of exciting talent coming through! I’m keen on motivating the new generation, I tell them things like if you wait to be ready you are never going to be ready and to get up on stage as this is the most valuable practice. I’ve been really impressed by a couple of the Polish girls Agnieszka Kocjan and Ada Nadolska, as well as Georgiana Tache and Charlotte Copley. I can’t wait to see all of the girls compete at Chicks with Flicks very soon!”
Why do you think we are yet to have our first WFA Black or Purple Level female flair bartender yet?
“I think this is just down to the history of flair bartending. It has long been a male dominated scene and as a result all of the competitions and scoring systems have been designed around male bartenders. In all other physical competitions you don’t have men going up against women, you wouldn’t see Michael Phelps doing that in the pool for example! Women and men each have their own categories and then within that they compete with each other. The women are doing just as well and winning gold medals too, because the competition is more balanced. I think that is what flair needs to and Chicks with Flicks is the first competition to do this, of course it is not a Grand Slam competition so there is no chance to achieve a WFA Black level (for the Top 3 places) or a WFA Purple level (for 4th-6th).”
What you have been doing since we spoke last year?
“So my last competition was also last year, I decided at the start of the year that I wasn’t going to be competing and instead focus on experiencing the judging side of flair bartending and also work on my own personal development. The judging has really helped me build my experience and understand both sides of flair a lot better. I have also started working as a flair instructor at EBS London, I get a lot of hands on contact with young bartenders and students, particularly the girls. I love through this I can share my experience with them and also show my passion for flair and try to ignite that same passion in them”.
Tell us a bit about who you are excited to see at this year’s Chicks with Flicks…
“If I am completely honest I am always excited to see all the girls on stage! For me Chicks with Flicks is the most exciting competition of the year! Some people who I haven’t seen perform live a lot include Adriana Laguna from Columbia who has been flairing a very long time but as you can imagine, finds it difficult to get over to Europe from South America to compete regularly. Of course as I am judging I don’t want to speak too much about individual bartenders but it will be really interesting to see if ‘Ollie’ can retain her title! It is going to be a great competition with many different styles…”
Tell us a bit about your inspiration when you were becoming a bartender…
“I was working in clothing retail in Spain, having already done some bartending in Argentina. I came across a bar school in 2011 and discovered flair, as they were actively looking for females who could flair, or wanted to start. I wasn’t sure but I turned up and saw the flair bartenders practicing and I was like WOW what is that!? I went to see the Madrid Flair Open that had some big names performing such as Tom Dyer, Marek Posluszny, Luca Valentin and just one girl, Sabine Posch was so inspired watching her go toe to toe with the guys, after this my teacher showed me videos of Savine and Robyn Closson in Vegas, he showed me how they had different styles, he showed me also the differences between male and female flair bartenders and how you can use your femininity on stage. Mirka Gregova had a very beautiful dance style of flair, whereas Sabine had a strong but sensual style to her flair with high difficulty. Robyn Closson was a complete natural and just made it all look cool and effortless. This really opened up my mind to see I could be any type of bartender I wanted to be…”
Chicks with Flicks, September 2018
Currently the only female flair bartending competition in world at the moment. Now in its 3rd year at the Roadhouse, we are seeing more and more ladies join the world of flair. This competition is more focused towards choreography and show, so expect to see the ladies go all out and put on some of the best flair shows of the year.
The Finals kick off at 22:30 where the top 6 battle it out for the coveted Roadhouse World Flair Globe Trophy and a share of the prize money.
Prize money – £1000
- £700 + Roadhouse Glass Globe Trophy
- 18:00 – Heats Start
- 21:30 – Heats Finsh
- 22:00 – Bottle Off Speed Opening 7th – 12th
- 22:30 – Finals Begin – Top 6
- 23:30 – Finals Finish
- 23:45 – Winners Announced
- 00:00 – Afterparty till 3am
The top 3 bartender will win a spot in the Roadhouse Grand Finals in November where they will be in for the chance to win £10,000 and a WFA Purple or Black level shaker! Find out more here.