National University Pole Association (NUPA).
The National University Pole Association was formed in 2016 to oversee and develop the Inter-University Pole Dancing Competition (IUPDC).
The first IUPDC competition was held in 2011 but with limited places it was difficult to make the event inclusive for all the universities that wanted to enter. The 2011 format also meant that solo performers had to perform alongside other solo acts with limited music choice and frustrations for the judges. To allow more inclusivity the NUPA have created regional heats to allow all universities wanting to compete the chance to own the stage.
Since 2016 the NUPA board have offered their services for free to create massive improvements to the IUPDC competition and strict guidelines to create consistency across the regional heats.
The National University Pole Association (NUPA) is the national body that provides support and guidance to University Pole Societies/Clubs with the aim to develop and drive movement in the industry.
The main responsibilities of the NUPA are to promote developments and opportunities for University Pole Societies/Clubs in the UK. The NUPA also provide support and guidance to the organisers of official UK university regional qualifiers which feeds in to the Inter-University Pole Dance Competition final.
This new model mirrors other sporting industries with the best of the best competing in the final to be crowned the national champions.
Who are the NUPA board?
Lara is an instructor at Crystal Gibson's Fly Girls Fitness in Nuneaton. She is passionate about the tranformative power of poledancing and since 2010 she has been working in various roles to share that power with other women.
She has a background of 4 years as Performance Coordinator & Lead Dance Exec at Warwick University's Pole Society, where she was nominated for an Outstanding Contribution Award for her work.
Lara held a position on the Pole Sports UK committee (Now the British Pole Sports Federation), working on World Pole Sports events and undertaking IPSF training, from 2015-2017.
Lara previously organised IUPDC in 2016 and competed in IUPDC 2012-2015, placing 3rd in Group Division.process of certifying as an IPSF Judge.
Ley Jackson aka Poleguns started her pole journey as a student at Northern Pole Dance then took on the running of the studio. After an amazing 2 and a half years she then moved on to being a mobile instructor teaching at pole studios and gyms around the north east of England, During this time she also travelled to teach workshops along side train up new instructors with Pole Passion. Ley now has her own instructors training business - The Ultimate Instructors Training.
The opening of her own studio Poleguns & Aerial final happened in 2016.
PDC Approved 4 star Ley has always wanted to share knowledge with other instructors way before Poleguns & Aerial, Since 2013 the dream to create the ultimate instructor training course was there and it’s has finally become a reality training pole, aerial hoop and first aid, to all wanting to learn.
Over the years she’s had many students competing. Ley was also very involved with Newcastle university’s pole Society, being lucky enough to have been part of Newcastles amazing run of wins in years gone. Sadly as other commitments took over she had to give up training the universities, but you can sometimes see her at the IUPDC competition introducing the amazing competitors.
Ley joined the NUPA board in September 2022 so she could continue her university involvement and continue to share her passion for pole.
Sam started pole dancing in 2001. In 2004 she set up her own pole dance school, the art of dance in Plymouth. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 Sam competed at a national level in the UK before she started working as a judge both nationally and internationally in 2009.
Sam has judged for the IUPDC since 2011 adn been on the NUPA board since it's conception. .
Sam is joint founder of the Pole Dance Community, an advisory body to the pole dancing industy.
Sam is dedicated to making the pole industry a safer and more friendly place for all.
If you would like to find out more about any aspect of NUPA or IUPDC or if you would like to sponsor IUPDC just e-mail us.
Former NUPA Board Members;
Gem Heywood - 2016-2022
Gem has been a part of the pole industry for 6 years now as an instructor, competitor and now a judge. Gem first started judging the university pole competitions as the director of the national university pole association after setting up the first regional university competition.
Gem has competed semi-professionally and is a PDC approved instructor. She currently teaches at Momentum PoleFitness in Gloucester and House of Maya in Bristol. Gem is also the founder and lead organiser of Pole World Festival which aims to bring polers from across the country together to celebrate everything we love about pole dancing.
Mel Lee - 2019-2022
Mel graduated from Imperial College London in 2018, and is now working as an aerospace project manager in Oxford. She was previously president of IC Pole and Aerial Society, where she won Advanced Runner-Up (IUPDC 2017) and led the team to becoming National IUPDC champions in 2018. IUPDC has a very close place in her heart, and she believes that being in such a supportive environment really paved the way for her in future competitions such as:
Miss Pole Dance Scotland (1st Place 2018), PSO Zurich 2019 (All Floor All Day, 1st place Advanced) and Exotic Generation 2019 (Flow, 3rd Place).
Mel is super excited and honoured to be part of the NUPA team, and hopes that she can bring the same positive experience that she experienced during her time at university!
Robin De Meyere - 2022-2022