Over the years pole dancing has twisted its way into dance studios and gyms, and it’s all been in the name of fun and fitness.

On October 14 I went along to Claire’s Pole Fitness in Charles Street, Greenhithe, to see just what the fuss was all about.

Pole dance instructor, Claire Linsdell, has been pole dancing for five years. She offers private tuition and has recently launched a pole dancing fitness class.

As I was driving to the class I started to get nervous. Oh dear, just WHAT have I got myself into.

Flinging myself around a pole all in the name of work was not something I had ever thought I would be doing.

As soon as I got to the class I met Claire and she explained a little bit of what I would be doing.

Floor work, filler moves, twists and spinning, it all made me even more nervous.

Straight away Claire started off by showing me some stretches and then it was my turn.

My first move was to hold onto the pole with my left hand and push my hips to the right. As soon as I did this I could feel the stretch in my side and I knew this class was going to be tough.

I then went onto spinning (quite badly) around the pole and learning some other basic moves.

Miss Linsdell said: “It tones all of your body and really improves upper body strength. It’s about getting fit in a fun way.”

The 24-year-old said she has taught women aged between 17 years old and 50 years old.

When I asked Claire about the seedy image pole dancing has, she said she doesn’t agree.

She said: “I have taught people of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are really shy but by the end of it their confidence has really boosted. I have seen a lot of people change.

“It is more like gymnastics on a pole. I have seen so many people achieve and get the moves.”

I was quite surprised at how much strength it took out of me. Holding my entire body on a pole was quite a challenge and much harder than it looks.

Although I was very aware I was spinning around a pole, I had a lot of fun and I didn’t stop laughing the whole time.

During my class I learnt various moves which included a barbarella, which is a basic pole spin.

I really enjoyed the class but I did pay the price, the next day I was aching and had some bruises. Oh well, I guess that means I did well!

If you like the sound of pole dancing fitness call Claire Linsdell on 077254 86083