1. ITV Report

Warwick student pole dancers crowned best in the country

Student pole dancers from Warwick University have retained their title as the best in the country, after winning the Inter-University Pole Dancing Competition for a second year running.

Th group won the competition for the second year in a row Credit: BPM Media

It was hosted at the university in Coventry and coincides with the Pole Dancing Society's 10th anniversary.

As well as winning the Best University title, Warwick's beginner entrant Katherine Hewitt also came first in her category; Konstantina Koteva, came third in the intermediate category and Xrusavgi Mgra came fifth in the advanced category.

I cried so much when we won! We have been working on this routine for ten weeks.

I didn’t know the others in January, so we have been working intensely on this and we have become really good friends.

– Melissa Liow, group member
Two members show off their acrobatic skills Credit: BPM Media

Members of the team also spoke about overcoming the stigma associated with pole dancing, saying it was often referred to as 'vertical gymnastics'.

When people watch us perform there is no stigma. We tend to focus on moves that show physical and technical skills rather than focusing on any sexual elements.

People say things like ‘you must be really strong’ and they are really impressed. We have some gymnasts in the society.

We also work to encourage diversity and we hold a ‘bring a boy’ week when members bring friends, boyfriends and we focus on things like strength.

– Sophie Webb, group secretary

The society appears to be winning the battle against the reputation pole dancing, having attracted 270 people to become members, including 15 men.

They say the university is now much more supportive of the society, and other societies are now accepting them.