University of East Anglia Pole Fitness Club.
Article written by 2016 committee member Sophie Twyford.
UEA Pole Fitness club was founded in 2010 and has seen its numbers boom over the last year due to an increased interest in the fitness aspect of the sport. We changed our name from Pole Dancing to Pole Fitness in order to open peoples minds to the sport. As a result, we saw our numbers expand to reach our full capacity this year, having 240 people attend a taster session at the beginning of term.
We have a fantastic PDC approved 4 star pole dancing instructor Holly Munson who has been teaching with us since 2012 and in addition to running our sessions, she also runs pole classes outside of the University. Currently, we have five lessons per week coached by Holly and this year we have seen many more male members join which is great because it means the sport is becoming more accessible to everyone.
Picture right - Holly Munson offering pole advice to UEA members.
The club gets a huge amount of support from the University which strives to improve the standard of UEA Sport teams. It is also worth noting that Pole Fitness is regarded as a sports club and not a society. This means that we get treated exactly the same as other sports clubs (such as Rugby and Gymnastics) and receive the same amount of funding as they do. The UEA Students Union subsidises a substantial proportion of the cost of coaching, while all costs of trips to competitions are completely subsidised which really helps to support our ever growing competition squad. The university’s support really helps us to reduce the stigma attached to Pole Fitness and Dancing, and opens peoples eyes to the strength and dedication needed to do it. As our club is PDC approved it further validates its position as a UEA sports club.
Derby Day is an annual sports competition between the University of Essex and UEA. As a sports club we have enjoyed competing against Essex and showcasing our Pole routines. However, our next step in the club’s plan for development was to enter into a specific competition for pole Fitness.
Picture left - Sophie Twyford performing at IUPDC 2016
2016 saw the club’s first ever involvement in a Pole Dancing competition, which was at the Inter-University Pole Dance Competition (IUPDC) held in Warwick. This was by far one of the most amazing experiences for the whole team and it really fuelled our passion and enthusiasm for the sport. In order to improve our competition squad we now hold weekly training sessions to develop moves and choreography for competition routines. We intend to come back with a bang in 2017!