THE benefits of pole dancing are many and varied.
Call it therapy. Call it good for your fitness. Call it empowering.
Just ask 22-year-old Caitlin Clymo, who has been pole dancing for two years and recently attended the state pole dancing titles as an amateur.
Ms Clymo, of Deebing Heights, started pole dancing two years ago and was a relatively shy person. Not any more.
"When I started pole dancing I was a shy little girl, but it definitely makes you feel more confident within yourself," she said.
"It is surprising how far mentally and physically you can come."
Ms Clymo dances at The Pole Gym in the Ipswich Mall where owner and teacher Monique Meier has seen her make outstanding progress.
"She has come ahead in leaps and bounds," Ms Meier said.
"When she first walked into the studio you wouldn't hear a word out of her in an hour-long class.
"But now she pretty much runs classes for me.
"She has gone from being the quietest one in the class to being confident enough to stand up on stage there and teach people."
Ms Clymo said pole dancing was "something different and individual".
"We do a different routine every six weeks.
"You can do a slow song or an upbeat song, depending on what sort of emotions you want to portray in your dancing," she said.
"Instead of a counselling session you can come in and dance with your mates....I would call it therapy.
"Attending (the state titles) was purely about getting out there and having fun and feeling what it is like to perform for people."
Ms Meier said pole dancing "transforms the body from being unable to even lift the simplest things to being able to do it one-handed".
"It reawakens your spirit and brain to say, 'There's life. Let's go and get it'," she said.
"It makes people more adventurous too. I've had house mums come in here.
"They start poling and the next thing they do is go off shooting pistols because that is the next adventurous thing they want to do.
"I have people come in and start poling and the next thing they want to do is triathlons."
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