Interview with Shelley Blundell - UKAPP Manchester Heat Winner

Posted: Aug 27 2013

After an exciting final heat in Manchester for the UK Amateur Pole Performer competition we talk to one of the amazing winners Shelly Blundell to tell us about her love of pole dancing and how she feels being a winner...

1. You recently won the expert category at the UKAPP Manchester Heat. How do you feel being a winner and what made you enter UKAPP over any other competition?
I feels fantastic to be one of the many winners with UKAPP. I can't quite believe it and now looking forward tho the final on Luton. UKAPP competition has a great reputation and I really wanted to be a part of that. It's a fun and friendly competition.

2. How did you first get interested in pole dancing?
I saw an advert that ECN were starting pole classes just down the road from me and thought it would be an exciting. way to get fit. I had to take a friend along though for support as was very scared about going on my own. I was hooked after my first class.

3. What is it about pole dancing that you enjoy the most?
I love the challenge of mastering moves and combinations. I grew up doing gymnastics from an early age and gave up when I ruptured my Achilles' tendon. Pole lets me almost be a gymnast again, i never thought id be able to do what I'm doing now. It also combines my love of dance too which I attend weekly classes. I also love the challenge of creating new routines but I find it quite hard as well.

4. What are the main fitness benefits of pole dancing and how has pole dancing improved your fitness, strength or body shape? Pole is an all round fitness program. It helps keep you flexible and strong at the same time. Thanks to pole it has totally changed my body shape, my strength has improved massively along with my flexibility too. I love that aching body feeling you get the day after a class, you know you've had a great class when you ache all over and that your fitness is improving.

5. Has pole dancing had an impact on anything else in your life such as giving your more confidence or making new friends? I've met some wonderful people through pole, it feels like I've an extended family. It's given me back my confidence which I found I lost when I gave up gymnastics.

6. What are your 3 favourite pole moves and why?
Machine Gun, because I never thought I'd even get near this move and then one day I finally did. Spatchcock. I just love the complexity of this move. Extended crescent moon I love the way it looks when you do it on the pole.

7. What are your favourite strength training moves on the pole and why?
I love aerial dead lifts and iron x, they really help my core strength. I also love shoulder mount round the world and tick tock for great abs. Handstands help improve my core and balance.

8. Where would you like to see pole dancing in the future?
I think pole has an excellent future and with kids being a part of it and competing I think it's created a whole new dimension. The Worlds was an amazing competition to watch and it would be great for it to be an Olympic sport but I do hope it still keeps its artistry.

9. What pole performers do you admire or inspire you?
Oona Kivela is one of the first that inspired me and still does. i cant believe i met her too only a few weeks ago. Her masterclass was amazing. I love her flow and athleticism on the pole. Her routines are awesome and so artistic and graceful too. Bendy Kate is inspiring too, I love the creativity of her routines.

10. What would you say to someone who is thinking of trying pole dancing for the first time to convince them to give it a go?
If you want to improve your strength, change your body shape, gain body confidence while also meeting new friends then you have to give pole a try.

11. Three words that sum up pole dancing for you.
Athletic, graceful and empowering.

Read more about Shelley in this article in the Blackpool Gazette

The UKAPP Finals will take place on Sunday 10th November at Venue 360 in Luton. See you there! 

Photos by Fotocad Manchester

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