Belfast Telegraph

Video: Ulster woman vies for World Pole Dancing title

A Belfast fitness instructor is set to represent Ireland in the World Pole Sport & Fitness Championships in Zurich on Firday.

Joanna Robinson, 31, will compete against dancers from over 20 countries in the championships.



And the Larne native, who is an instructor at Polercise Ltd in Belfast, is training hard for the competition.



Click here to view video of Joanna in action

“It takes a lot of practise to prepare for a competition like this,” she said.



“The judging criteria is all about how well you interpret the music, the technicality of the moves, as well as showing all over body strength, endurance and flexibility.”



Joanna beat off stiff competition from fellow pole dancers in The All Ireland Pole Dance Competition which was held in Belfast earlier in the year to be shortlisted for the Worlds, but it was still a surprise.



“I couldn’t believe it when I won, I was so shocked. The level of pole dancing has greatly improved, and there are many new and harder moves with a gymnastic twist.



“It’s really very exciting to get to represent Ireland in the World Championships and I am rather nervous, but it’s good – it keeps the adrenaline pumping.”



The dancing instructor has been teaching at Polercise for almost three years and will join owner El Fegan who will also be competing in the British Isles Pole Dance Championships 2010 on October 16.



Joanna says she is so proud to be representing pole fitness as a sport at an international level.



“Polercise is now finally being recognised for the sport that it is. Thankfully the era of it being viewed as sleazy is dying. It is so much more than that.



“Polercise is just such a fun way to get fit and the obvious benefits and results of physical change speak for themselves. Our classes are an aerobic work out that builds flexibility and strengthens the legs, upper body and core. It is an all over body workout and there is no end to the different moves to be learned. It is becoming more popular and mainstream especially with pole dancers competing in talent shows such as Britain’s Got Talent.



Joanna added: “If your self esteem or confidence is low, joining the class really helps. Three years ago I could never have imagined stepping onto a stage and performing. Starting Polercise classes was huge for me. I have built great friendships with both students and instructors – there is always laughter in our classes. There is still some negativity out there but I say don’t knock something until you have tried it at least once.”

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