Yalding pole dancer finds exercise is perfect way to battle ME
By kentsussex | Thursday, September 20, 2012, 14:45
The world of a secondary school teacher from Yalding who has battled myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) has literally been turned upside down after she took up pole dancing.
Hannah Selden, 23, says her unconventional exercise routine has helped her triumph over the condition, which had threatened her career.
She has now even managed to reach the final of national competition Pole2Pole.
She said: "I have a bad back at the moment which is probably the worst thing I could have. But bruising is most common injury as you are gripping the pole with your skin without your hands. Pressing into the pole pinches your legs, waist and elbows."
Diagnosed with the chronic fatigue condition in her first week of studies, and having to sleep between lessons, Mrs Selden was warned by doctors she was unlikely to complete a teaching degree when she started university in 2007.
The Symonds Lane resident, who is searching for her first permanent teaching role, said learning pole dancing gave her the boost her energy levels needed.
"I picked it up really quickly and you just get so much strength from it," she said. "By the end of my third year my teacher told me I was better than her so I set up my own business."
Now running regular Pole Dynamics classes from Capel Gym, Mrs Selden, is looking forward to competing against 11 other professional pole dancers in October.
"It's really all about upper body muscles and mainly my biceps, which are now bigger than my husband's," she said.
"I love teaching the girls at the gym and watching them blossom, as six months down the line they're doing stuff they would never have been able to do."
Ignorance, caused by confusion over pole dancing for fitness and acts by erotic dancers, continues to frustrate Mrs Selden, but with part-time classes attended by people "of all shapes and sizes", including women in their sixties, she claimed the potential health benefits were huge.
She said: "It can be so frustrating as I'm so passionate about what I do, but people still judge me and ask questions like – do I have to bring high heels."
The Pole2Pole final takes place on October 19.