On Sunday, November 30th, members of Newcastle University Pole Dancing society hosted a showcase in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
They raised a total of £708.75, breaking the record for the highest amount they have ever raised from their showcases.
Over 33 dancers performed, ten of whom were part of a beginner’s group routine.
Also on the night, winner of Miss Pole Dance Scotland 2015, Heidi Hildersley, performed a routine.
The theme for this year’s showcase was ‘love’, so performers danced to Rachel Platten’s ‘Fight Song’ and Beyonce’s ‘Halo’.
The group routine was to Destiny’s Child’s ‘Independent Woman’ and the committee routine was to Sigala’s ‘Easy Love’.
Newcomer Lauren Shaw said: ‘It was such an adrenaline rush, can’t wait to do it again’.
Another beginner, Steph Morrison, said: ‘It was so enjoyable, you could just feel the buzz in the air.’
The dancers were trained by both volunteers and Lesley Jackson, who is also known as ‘Ley Poleguns’.
Volunteers teach the beginners and intermediate classes, whilst advanced classes are taught by an external instructor.
The society has another showcase planned for next term, where they aim to raise more money for the British Heart Foundation.
Last year, the two showcases organised raised over £1000 for Make-A-Wish, the British Heart Foundation and Success 4 All.
Event Rep, Rosie McCallum said: “Our biggest competition coming up is the inter-university pole dancing competition at Warwick University on 5th March.
“We came second last year and are aiming to win this year.
“We also have members competing at Nottingham Pole Stars and are looking into other competitions as well.”
Those who want to try pole dancing can book slots via Doodle links that are emailed to members.
Classes run on Wednesday and Thursday in term time.
This year, the society has introduced a new unisex logo to encourage male performers to get involved.
Sebastian Mellor, a male pole dancing performer said: “I was pretty nervous but a few of the girls really helped me get a routine together and then my performance was over so quickly.
“I tried to pretend I wasn’t nervous until the last few minutes, I think it worked. It was a real rush.”
He added: “All the girls were amazing, on and off stage, supportive, and everyone was so excited. After-show hugs were shared all around.
“I’m really pleased to have shown my friends and family what I can do now and proud to show my friends the amazing things we all do.
“I’ve already chosen my song for the next showcase.”
Rosie said: “We usually re-design the logo nearly every year.
“Seb started last year but we have had a few other male members previously too.
“It would be nice to raise awareness of this.
“We are a unisex society.”
In the past, the Pole Dancing society have won several awards and achieved recognition both from Newcastle University for their work as a society and nationally, taking part in inter-university competitions.
This year already the society have been awarded second place winners at the Inter Uni Pole Dancing competition, with Leah Somers coming first place for her advanced routine.
They won the University Pole Stars competition, with Rachel Britton coming second place for the advanced category.
Additionally, the Newcastle University Society Awards 2015 awarded them winners of ‘Best Use of Special Grant Money’.
They have also performed in RAG week, raising £350.
The next pole dance society showcase will take place next semester.