Belfast Telegraph

All Ireland Pole Dance Championships to get under way

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

Eyebrows will be well and truly raised in Belfast next month when the All Ireland Pole Dance Championships get under way.

Five male and 13 female competitors will battle it out in the Mandela Hall at Queen's University for a range of titles on Sunday, September 8.

The event is for advanced and professional level competitors.

Among the disciplines judges will be awarding marks for are the range of tricks, transitions and floor moves completed.

Championship organiser El Fegan (33) from Hilltown, Co Down, runs Polercise Ltd, in Belfast city centre.

It opened in Donegall Street in 2005 to meet growing demand from women (and some men) to learn pole dancing and pole fitness.

In her youth El dreamed of being a firefighter and even studied fire safety management at Preston University, obtaining a first class honours degree.

But on a year out in Australia discovered pole fitness.

"I was always into fitness and sport, but when I discovered pole fitness I fell in love with it," El said.

"I went to pole exercise classes in Sydney and knew I was going to bring it home. I did my fitness instructor training and was back and forth to England for specialist training.

"I opened my studio eight years ago and I've seen classes popping up all over Ireland."

El told the Belfast Telegraph a wide range of people, from all different backgrounds, attend polercise.

"My class is a full body workout," she said. "The pole is used to incorporate squats, sit ups and core work. We also use it for stretching, flexibility, tricks, spins and dance routines."

Tickets are available for the September 8 championship event in Belfast which includes burlesque and aerial acts.

Visit theallirelandpoledance championships.com.

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