Forget the stigma, this dancing is poles apart from sleazy strip clubs
Spinning upside down, clinging on to the shiny pole with just her thighs, Stacey Lines is the picture of confidence.
She has perfected the "Kate Moss spin" and thinks nothing of performing in heels.
By her own admission, pole dancing has transformed the 26-year-old from being a layabout who couldn't be bothered to go to the gym to a toned dancer who is addicted to the pole.
But she isn't dancing for men or for money – she is dancing for herself.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
The art of pole dancing has come a long way in the past few years.
Five years ago, the words "pole dancing" would have conjured up images of strip clubs and erotic routines.
But today, thousands of women up and down the country pole dance for fitness.
Stacey, of Potterdale in Sutton Park, said the craze has changed her life.
"I know, there's a fair amount of stigma still attached," she said.
"Even the slightest mention of dancing on a pole and your thoughts are thrust into sleazy dance halls, semi-naked women and gawping men.
"However, the reality is pleasantly far from the imagination.
"I've wanted to improve my body for a long while, I've tried the yo-yo diets, the slimming pills and a variety of exercise regimes, to no avail.
"I've tried aerobics and found it tedious, swimming caused me to be constantly stared at by hairy old men, and yoga was held far too early on a Sunday morning for my liking.
"The gym was never really going to be an option either, as I just never had the motivation to walk the ten minutes from my house.
"I wanted something that was enjoyable, unique and something that didn't make me feel self-conscious while doing it."
Stacey had read that celebrities, including Carmen Electra and Kate Hudson, were fans of pole dancing and it had helped tone their bodies, so she went online to do a little searching.
There are now at least three pole dancing studios in Hull.
Stacey chose Studio Boutique in Beverley Road.
"I'll admit I had my trepidations when I was standing outside that door, after pressing the buzzer to be let in," she said.
"I essentially had a rather stereotypical idea.
"I expected the instructor to be a blonde, blue-eyed bunny who had a healthy dollop of fake tan.
"I was so relieved when I was greeted by Emma, a very bubbly, petite brunette with an amazing tattoo sleeve.
"I was made to feel at ease instantly and was so glad I had been wrong."
Stacey and the other girls were led into the studio, where six poles took pride of place and centre stage.
Catching a glimpse of a pink feather boa and a pair of platform heels at the side of the room, Stacey began to wonder what she had let herself in for.
But after doing the compulsory warm-up, the class was raring to go.
"When it came to strutting around the pole with my hand on my hip I had to really try hard to not giggle too loud.
"After being taught a few basic seductive poses, which stretched the backs of our legs, it came time to learn our first spin.
"I was very nervous about attempting what I'd been shown.
"Emma had made it look so easy and graceful but I was having doubts that I'd be able to pull it off.
"After a bit of encouragement I leaned forward and allowed my body to fall, and it was invigorating."
Stacey had just about mastered the art of the first spin when she was asked to try it backwards.
Once again, she astonished herself by ending up on the floor and her knees, as she was supposed to be.
Each class only has five dancers, which means each participant has a generous amount of time with the instructor to help with form and posture.
Stacey said: "Upon leaving the studio to go home, I was invigorated.
"I had such a buzz coursing through me that I wanted to go back and do it again for another hour.
"I knew this was all a result from the dancing and I made up my mind then, that this was indeed the right fitness choice for me.
"The next day, my arms and stomach ached but I smiled as I knew it meant it was working and soon I'd have that leaner and more-toned figure I was after.
"I'd highly recommend pole dancing to anyone. After you get over the initial embarrassment and let your inhibitions go, you'll have the most amazing time.
"It's given me a massive confidence boost and changed my life."