[Southern Daily Echo]

A SOUTHAMPTON mum is hoping to be crowned Miss Pole Dance UK this weekend.

Pole dancing and fitness teacher Emma Simmonds has made it to the national final of the competition for the second year in a row.

Last year’s competition marked her return to competitive dancing following the birth of her daughter Lilygrace, now six.

She will be the first to take to the floor – and the poles – of 14 competitors as they battle it out in five minute routines on two different poles, one of which will be spinning.

She was very pleased with her routine last year, but has made it even harder for herself this year, in the hope of coming in the top three.

Self-taught Emma, from Chandlers Ford, has been teaching in Southampton for more than a decade and opened one of Southampton’s first pole dance schools, Pole Performers Dance School Ltd, in November 2004.