[ | Fraser Coast Chronicle]

“After having a baby, I joined up to get my body back… Now I have the best body I’ve ever had.”

Since taking up pole dancing classes four years ago Katelin Russell has lost 16kg, gained confidence and become an instructor herself.

She’s one of a growing number of women shrugging off stereotypes and embracing the gruelling, body-shaping world of pole fitness.

The 25-year-old will be taking part in an in-studio competition this weekend at Physipole Hervey Bay which is also hosting the Regional Queensland Pole Competition.

“After having a baby, I joined up to get my body back,” Ms Russell said

“Now I have the best body I’ve ever had.”

Studio manager Peggy Bray said the stigma surrounding the craft previously reserved for red-light districts was slowly wearing off.

“There is some stigma there with pole dancing, and always will be, but it is becoming more widely accepted,” Ms Bray said.

“We have people of all ages, all sizes and all abilities participating. We have lots of mums who come, and for many of our dancers, it’s their only form of exercise.

“Over the last year we have also taken part in a lot of community events too.”

Mastering the art of pole dancing requires flexibility, strength, stamina, grace, and the courage to perform risky tricks.