Two Batemans Bay pole dancers are preparing to compete in Canberra and say the sport takes more strength than most people realise.
Charmaine Brereton, 42, and Rhinanna Smith, 26, have been working on their routines for more than a month for the Poison Ivy Amateur competition on April 16 at The Basement.
The pair trains, and Ms Brereton teaches, at Platinum Pole Fitness and say the sport is more than the stereotype of ‘strippers’.
“It is just a different form of gymnastics,” Ms Brereton said.
“As part of our pole classes, we do strength and conditioning. We also work on flexibility.
“A lot of people have that stereotype of strippers and that sort of thing. When people actually come and see what we do, they are surprised.
“You have to have some strength for this.”
Ms Brereton has been pole dancing for four years, while Ms Smith has only had 12 weeks of classes.
“Rhianna is amazing, you can teach her anything,” Ms Brereton said.
“It is incredible that she is ready to compete. We are confident that she will do well.”
For two hours every day, Ms Brereton works on perfecting her routine for the competition.
“It is pretty full on,” she said.
“I am teaching Rhianna and classes at the studio as well, so it does get hard to practice.”
Routines are judged on how well tricks are executed, stage presence, costume and control.
“There is no point planning out all these really cool tricks if they aren’t controlled and perfected,” Ms Brereton said.
“I love competing. It is nice to be able to put all your hard work into something.
“Being on stage is an adrenaline rush. I do get a bit nervous but I thought I would be worse.”
Ms Brereton has competed in three other competitions but hopes to come home with a place this time.
“I haven’t placed before. Previously, I have just gone for the fun and the experience, not to win,” she said.
“This time, my goal is to place. With the preparation I am doing and the experience of the other competitions, I would really like to see if I could place.”
Her routine is a slow, which she hopes will show the judges her control and strength.
Ms Brereton encouraged everyone to give pole dancing a go.
“Pole is for all ages and all shapes and sizes,” she said.
“I started when I was 38. It is never to late to start.
“I love it and everyone is so supportive.”