[| Sushine Coast Daily]

FOUR pole dancers, including the Sunshine Coast’s own 13-year-old national junior champion, are about to help cast off the stigma around the sport on the national stage.

Tracy-Lee Lawrence, her daughter Lilly Lenord, Samantha Croon and Larisa McLoughlin will compete in the Pole Championship Series at the Arnold Sports Festival in Melbourne on March 16-18.

Ms Lawrence launched Bella Bliss Studio in Caloundra less than two years ago alongside her 7-year-old Bundaberg studio, and said she was excited to be part of the team competing in the competition for the first time.

But Lilly is no stranger to national titles, after she was crowned the 2017 junior national champion at the Grassroots Pole Dance Championships.

"The industry is promoting it more in a sporting fashion now, because the International Pole Federation is trying to get it into the Olympics."

— Tracy-Lee Lawrence

“That’s pretty much the first national (pole dancing) comp for kids,” Ms Lawrence said.

Lilly has been pole dancing since she was eight, and the pair perform mother-daughter routines at pole competitions.

“She picked it up pretty well just from being at work with us and learning what I was teaching some of the girls,” Ms Lawrence said.

While that surprises plenty of people, Ms Lawrence said most people who came into the studio could see the classes were purely for fitness and fun.

“A lot of people think children shouldn’t be on poles.”

“We still run ‘sexy’ dance classes, but that’s only for adults.”

The upcoming competition will be strict in its dress code in an attempt to shake off old stereotypes.